Material handling managers have a lot on their plate these days. As a result, it can be difficult to deal with basic human-resources tasks such as putting together employee work schedules and juggling requests for time off.
One potential solution is to put internal communications online. For instance, a new addition to RedPrairie Corp.’s Workforce Management software allows employees to go to a Web portal to confirm their work schedules, check hours worked, submit time-off requests and access other job-related information. In addition, once a manager approves a request for time off, the employee is notified, and the software does not schedule the employee for that time.
Employees can also check their work schedules through a WAP-enabled (wireless application protocol) device, such as a mobile phone or PDA. This capability can appeal to the mobile, tech-savvy interests of the new generation of workers known as the Millennials.
Most importantly, the secure, self-service application enhances employee and management communication while relieving supervisors of some administrative tasks. That way, managers can focus more on customer needs and operational efficiency.
“The demands on managers today, particularly those in the retail industry, are significant because they receive requests and inquiries from many sources,” says Jon Lawrence, RedPrairie’s vice president of product marketing. “By creating a userfriendly portal that is integrated with our workforce management scheduling application, we help improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of communication between managers and employees. No longer will managers have to answer potentially disruptive phone calls to confirm an employee’s work schedule or worked hours. Instead, they stay focused on the customer, and the employees become more self sufficient.”