Preparing for a WorkForce Software Implementation

Tom Zdolec

Tom Zdolec

Principal Consultant, Team Leader Workforce Software, HR Strategies Consulting

Implementing WorkForce Software (WFS) can significantly enhance your organization’s workforce management by improving the efficiency of time tracking, attendance management, and employee scheduling. However, a successful implementation requires careful planning and preparation. This blog post will guide you through the critical considerations and steps necessary to ensure a smooth and effective WFS implementation.

Here are the considerations you need to make when preparing for a WFS implementation:


The foundation of a successful WFS implementation is thorough and accurate documentation of your business rules. Without clear documentation, configuring the software to meet your organization’s specific needs can be challenging.

  • Current Business Rules: If your organization’s business rules are not extensively documented, begin by compiling a comprehensive record. This includes policies on attendance, overtime, leave accruals, shift differentials, and any other relevant processes.
  • Upcoming Changes: If there are anticipated changes in business practices, ensure these changes are discussed and agreed upon with stakeholders. Properly documented rules will guide the software setup and help avoid discrepancies or confusion during the transition.
Employee Groups

Defining employee groups accurately is crucial for setting up pay periods, schedules, and various policies within WFS.

  • Pay Periods and Start Dates: Determine which employee groups share the same pay periods and weekly start dates. This information is essential for configuring payroll cycles correctly.
  • Categorization: Employee groups can be categorized by salary, hourly status, department, or location. Clear categorization ensures that policies and schedules are applied consistently across the organization.

For example, salaried employees might have different leave accruals and overtime rules compared to hourly employees. Proper categorization ensures each group’s unique rules are respected in the system setup.

Premiums and Shift Differentials

To maintain compliance and fairness, it’s important to configure premiums and shift differentials accurately.

Overtime Rules
  • Qualification: Identify which employees qualify for overtime pay. Full-time and part-time employees might have different eligibility criteria.
  • Variations by Region and Department: Overtime rules may differ based on the employee’s region (state or province) or department. Ensure these distinctions are well-documented.
Shift Differentials
  • Time Windows: Define the specific time windows for night, afternoon, and weekend shifts. Shift differentials are additional compensations for working these less desirable hours, and precise definitions ensure correct payment.
Holiday Pay
  • Eligibility and Calculation: Determine who gets paid for statutory holidays. Typically, salaried employees and certain hourly employees qualify. Clearly document how holiday pay is calculated for hourly employees, considering factors like average daily wages or specific holiday rates.
Short Term Leaves
  • Accrual and Entitlements: Identify which leaves accrue as a lump sum or throughout the year, such as vacation and sick leave. Define seniority bands and entitlements clearly.
  • Non-Accruing Leaves: Establish rules for leaves like bereavement or jury duty, which do not accrue but require well-defined policies.
Long Term Leaves
  • Identification and Rules: Catalog all types of long-term leaves (e.g., parental leave, sabbaticals) and define the rules for each. Different employee groups might have varying entitlements and conditions.
Employee Data

Accurate and up-to-date employee data is critical for integrating WFS with your existing HR systems.

  • Data Verification: Ensure your core HR system has current and correct employee data, including employee types, subgroups, job codes, and titles. Inaccurate data can lead to errors in scheduling, leave management, and payroll.
Change Management

Change management is a vital aspect of any new system implementation. It involves preparing your organization and employees for the transition to WFS.

  • Designated Change Manager: Appoint an individual or team responsible for overseeing the change management process. This person will coordinate communication, training, and support efforts.
  • Employee Preparation: Develop a comprehensive plan to prepare employees for the new system. This should include training sessions, user guides, and ongoing support to address any issues or concerns during the transition.

A successful WorkForce Software implementation hinges on meticulous preparation and attention to detail. By thoroughly documenting business rules, accurately defining employee groups, setting up premiums and shift differentials, ensuring accurate employee data, and effectively managing change, you can pave the way for a seamless transition. Proper preparation will help you fully leverage the capabilities of WorkForce Software, resulting in improved workforce management and overall organizational efficiency.

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