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How the Public Sector can optimise the workforce and reduce cost

As for any organisation, employees are a Public Sector organisation’s biggest asset, but they are also their biggest fixed cost. Service does not stop at specific hours and unexpected peaks in demand can arise at anytime making overtime in the Public Sector a common occurrence. However, if not managed adequately, it can have a serious impact on operational costs as well as jeopardise employee morale and quality of work.

Being able to effectively optimise a workforce can deliver visible cost savings whilst improving the service provided to the customer.

It’s well known that keeping up to date with ever evolving technology can be a difficult task for the Public Sector due to tight budgets and lengthy processes. However, the capability of a solution like Workforce Management (WFM) to deliver a quick return on investment, reduce wasted time and improve employee engagement and productivity, makes the effort and investment well worth it.

WFM is an integrated set of processes that optimise the productivity of an organisation by matching employee skills to specific tasks over time and ensures the right number of staff, with the right skill set is available at the right time.  

It helps organisations:

  • manage employee leave and absence
  • improve performance through optimised scheduling
  • Improve overall workforce compliance
  • ensure scheduling fairness amongst employees
  • increase employee engagement through self-service and increased flexibility
  • increase visibility and insight into employee time
  • deliver reports and assess actionable business insight
  • provide visibility into employee real time performance against targets

In short, WFM allows organisations to gain the actionable insight they need to systematically manage unproductive paid time, better align actual worked hours to scheduled hours, and make more effective use of temporary labour and overtime.

workforce management and rpa for the public sector

Workforce Management can also help the Public Sector easily identify where overtime is most prominent and quickly find and resolve the underlying issue.

Other common culprits that can lead to high staff expenditure are tasks which are repetitive and time consuming. It is here that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Artificial Intelligence technology finds strong opportunities in the Public Sector, allowing organisations to prioritise human-centric services and declutter departments from redundant and time-consuming assignments. It does so by learning and mimicking the activity of a human in carrying out a task within a process.

It understand the steps necessary to complete that task and performs them more quickly and accurately, freeing employees to focus on work that requires human strengths such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgment, and interaction with the customer.

Very much like WFM, RPA has a positive impact on cost reduction, productivity, accuracy, data analysis and decision-making by automating repetitive, high volume tasks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology can bring major social and economic benefits by offering huge gains in efficiency and performance to most industry sectors, not just in terms of potential cost savings but through improved employee and customer experiences.

Although the upfront cost can appear to be high, a single license for a digital worker can be equivalent to five human workers, producing a quick return on investment.

Due to funding being public, Public Sector organisations are subject to a higher standard of transparency and are constantly balancing current operational needs with long-term obligations and goals. Workforce Management and Robotic Process Automation solutions become necessary to help optimise spending and enhance employee experience in the near-term, as well as ensure long-term commitments to employees and the public can be met.

Given the potential benefits of simultaneously delivering a better employee experience and organisational performance, Public Sector entities such as local governments, NHS, public safety organisations, care homes and housing associations just to name a few, can all benefit from automating and standardising their workforce processes and gaining the visibility required for managing their workforce accurately.