A little over a week ago I had the opportunity to spend time with WorkForce Software at their annual user event. I have followed WorkForce for some time and this was the fourth or fifth customer event of theirs I’ve been to. But it was the first under their new executive team headed by Mike Morini. Insight Venture Partners assumed a major equity position in the company in 2014, and Mike took the helm in October of last year. New owners taking over from the founding partners, along with a new executive team, coupled with their recent acquisition of Workplace, a UK-based scheduling solution with a heavy emphasis on retail and hospitality, meant that WorkForce Software is a very different place today that it was five years ago. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. Below are a few key takeaways from the event.
Nobody is forgetting the power of the clock. At least not within the workforce management world. When I talk to any solution provider that makes clocks, it is still a huge part of their business. And for one customer at the event, the clock made the difference in their implementation. In a customer panel, Adventist Health made the key observation that because the clocks they were using from WorkForce Software were compatible with their previous solution, they were able to get employees comfortable with the clock before flipping the switch on their implementation on the backend. This meant for the average employee, go live was a nonevent. It’s easy to forget that for most of your hourly workforce, the timeclock IS workforce management.
Gunning for the top. With clear investments in the area of retail and hospitality, WorkForce Software appears to be readying itself to go up against any and all comers in the retail space. There was much discussion of an increased focus on the employee experience, and utilizing Workplace’s intuitive and attractive mobile app to make the solution sticky with an increasingly fickle workforce. And guided implementation to help organizations get running quickly, along with best practices for key verticals are clearly aimed at increasing market penetration.
Millennials are still top of mind. There was a LOT of conversation around millennials at the event. Which is an important conversation, but I would challenge WorkForce, and all other players in the space, to think about demographics beyond just when you were born. People want choice and flexibility in how they consume information and how they engage with both their employer and the actual time and place of their work. Understanding these needs and how they match to your organization’s needs is much more important than when your employee was born.
WorkForce Software’s story is evolving, and they are making all the moves that indicate they are looking to play big in the next chapter. It will be exciting to watch Mike and his team over the coming several years and see what the next evolution will bring.