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Industry Innovation

Retail Applications of Workforce Management Technology

Using WFM Technology to Do More with Less

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ost c-store operators and managers do not have access to large HR departments. Therefore, you have to manage your employees on your own. Unfortunately, this can be daunting, especially since you are already faced with daily multitasking on a grand scale.

Time tracking, regulatory compliance, and employee scheduling can all be extremely time-consuming when done by hand. Workforce management (WFM) technology can streamline the process and help you focus on employee retention.

Here, we show you what workforce management is and why it is essential. Then, we will discuss its key elements and how technology can make your workload more manageable. After that, you will get an idea of which workforce management software tools work best for c-store operators.

What Is Workforce Management?

Simply stated, workforce management is the science of optimizing human resources. However, it goes well beyond matching the employee to the task. Instead, it encompasses a wide array of management disciplines to achieve maximum efficiency from every team member.

The research on this is clear:

When managers communicate a clear direction for employees to explore perspectives within the directive expectation, the manager is able to solidify employees that follow based on the need of the directive rather than the authority of the assignment (Krone, Kramer & Sias, 2010). Providing leadership to raise performance is an important factor when managing staff expectations. Although employees may have significant knowledge and expertise in the area of the profession, it is important that the workplace expectation stay linear to the company's primary mission, goals, and objectives. Managers that facilitate directives are dependent on the understanding and expectation of the regular staff to constantly develop efficient processes. This allows the adaptation of the needs of the job to meet goals while maintaining the workplace principles and ethics of the organization. (Williams, Pg. 11).

The overarching goal of workforce management is to mitigate risk and prioritize human capital. It also seeks to create a more productive environment in your store. All tasks are prioritized in order of importance and are checked off at the end of the day.

Benefits of Proper Workforce Management

  • Optimal labor forecasting
  • Efficient scheduling
  • Helps you stay within budget
  • Safe work environment
  • High employee retention rates

Consequences of Poor Workforce Management

  • Inefficient labor force
  • Increased accident rates
  • Regulatory non-compliance/lawsuits
  • Worker shortages
  • Soaring costs

What Are the Key Elements of Workforce Management?

Workforce management utilizes activities that focus on employee production, scheduling, and retention. The following are the most common elements in that process:

  • Hiring
  • Employee scheduling
  • Time tracking and attendance
  • Labor forecasting
  • Government compliance
  • Data collection
  • Training

Problems arise when any of these functions break down. Therefore, you need a system in place that can proactively mitigate the risks of having a human workforce.

How Does Technology Help?

Workforce management software utilizes algorithms and machine learning to correlate these elements. The following are some key features and benefits of using this technology for your c-store.


Employee scheduling is much easier by utilizing workforce management tools. It also makes the task of trading shifts between team members a lot simpler. You can even select certain employees for different jobs based on skills, experience, and other criteria.

Time Card Features

You can set up virtual time cards and apply certain rules specific to your c-store. Automatically track days off, sick days, and vacation time with your password-protected user dashboard.

Regulatory Compliance

Broken HR software allows you to keep ahead of government regulations and requirements. In addition, most software packages include regular updates.

Overtime Tracking

An overtime tracking function automatically alerts you if an employee gets close to their hourly limit. This valuable feature helps save you money long-term by limiting unauthorized overtime hours.

Labor Forecasting

By utilizing workforce management tools, staffing shortages become a thing of the past. Customized computer algorithms can tell you in advance whether holidays And special events may become a factor.


Generating reports and graphs by hand is the old way of doing things. Now, you can do real-time data on demand and download this vital data instantly.

Mobile Management

Sometimes you are away from the store. However, that is not a problem since most workforce management packages include a mobile capability.

How To Choose the Right WFM Solutions for Your C-store

Here are some things to look for in a workforce management software package. Keep in mind that there can be several differences between each option. However, in most situations, you should look for these features when choosing the best one for your c-store.

At a minimum, your WFM software package should include:

  • Recruitment management
  • Onboarding and hiring management
  • Time management
  • Payroll and tax management
  • Performance and engagement management
  • Basic HR management

In addition, it is best to have these attributes as well:

  • Full integration across multiple channels and devices
  • Complete automation
  • Flexibility
  • Ease-of-use
  • Regular updates from the developer
  • Excellent customer service

Final Thoughts

Workforce management plays a vital role in the way a c-store operates. Your objective is to utilize the technology available to your advantage. Hopefully, we have given you a basic starting point to do that here.


Williams, Michelle J., "Labor Management Principles in the Communication Discipline: Developing a Communication Plan Based on an Organization Analysis" (2017). All Capstone Projects. 340. http://opus.govst.edu/capstones/340

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