Labor Model

The labor model is workforce management's foundation.  The labor model is used for a variety of purposes from the creation of an annual labor budget to being the source of requirements for WFM software . As with any foundation, if it is built poorly, it will not support the structure that sits on it.  Similarly, an ill-defined or poor labor model will not support a robust WFM strategy.

The labor model describes the workforce and the work it performs.  Some key ingredients to a well-defined labor model are:

  • Tasks and Labor Standards.  A labor standard describes the average amount of time it takes the average worker to perform a task.  The labor model documents every task workers perform and its labor standard. 
  • Processes.  Processes connect tasks into larger activities that drive productivity.  The labor model illustrates processes your workers perform to define standard operating procedure and as a means to operational improvement. 
  • Workplace Attributes.  For multi-location organizations, the attributes of each store, factory, hospital, airport, warehouse, etc., affects what people do and how they do it.  For example, a workplace with a large floor plan requires more cleaning time than one with a small floor plan.  The labor model documents workplace attributes and their impact on work performed at each location.
  • Pay Rules.  Most organizations need to manage a myriad of pay rules.  Some are established by government via the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as state wage and hour or meal and rest laws.  Others are a result of corporate policy or collective bargaining agreements.  The labor model synthesizes these sometimes conflicting rules into a logical decision tree so that pay can be applied consistently without errors.
  • Metrics.  Workforce management increases the visibility to labor.  The labor model defines the specific key performance indictors that an organization uses to track the workforce across multiple dimensions including productivity, cost, and service level.

Developing a labor model can be intimidating.  The key to developing a labor model is focus. A workforce management strategy will identify what aspects of the labor model require investment in what aspects can be left alone. Learn how Axsium can help measure, maintain, improve and transform your labor model with our Business Services.