### Headcount calculation using a calculator

## The headcount calculator allows

- define the scope of work for which the headcount calculation will be performed;
- define the time norms for performing individual operations;
- take into account the loss of working time and the absenteeism rate when calculating the number of employees;
- estimate the actual workload of employees at the current workload and the available number and staff;
- calculate the number of employees required to complete a certain amount of work (target number);
- compare target numbers with actual numbers to see if there is a need to change numbers or staffing.

## For those who want to correctly calculate the number of staff

To get started – read the article on 12 principles of calculating the number – this will allow you to avoid errors when collecting data and setting up the calculator. I respect those who fundamentally do not read the instructions, but agree that the cost of an error in calculating the number may be too high.

## How to use the headcount calculator

- First, enter into the calculator all types of operations/work performed by an employee or employees of the unit. In order not to lose anything, group them by work blocks/business processes.
- For each type of work, determine the rate of time and the frequency of this work (quantity per shift/day/week/month/year). The norm is determined either by the method of expert evaluation according to the formula HB = (3 * Tmin + 2Tmax)/5, where Tmin is the minimum time for operating, Tmax is the maximum time for performing the operation, or using timing.
- Multiplying the time rate by the frequency of work/operations in the selected period (shift, day, week, month, year), you get the volume of work per month, calculated in hours.
- Taking into account the mode, work schedule breaks, and losses of working time, determine the productive working time (in man-hours) per shift/day.
- Divide the amount of work in hours summed up for all operations by the time in man/hours – you get a headcount calculation.
- Analyze the calculation data, check the correctness of the data you used.

## How the headcount calculator works

This is a simple five-sheet MS Excel file. Two of them are used to enter data, two are used to configure the calculator, one is used to display the received data. Especially for those who are afraid of messing up something, the cells where you need to enter data are locked.

## How to customize the calculator

Open the “Established positions” sheet and enter the positions in them, the number and workload of which we will calculate.

Then open the “Frequency” sheet and add the necessary data to it, if the available characteristics of the frequency of operations/jobs are not enough for you.

## How to enter data for headcount calculation

Pay attention to the color-coding of the cells of the sheets for data entry – you need to enter data in the fields without brown filling. Open the “Job Description” sheet, select from the drop-down list the position that performs a certain operation.

If the same work is performed by employees in different positions, this means that there are flaws in the organization of work, the principle of division of labor is not implemented. It is allowed to replace employees who are absent from work on weekends or the possibility of duplicating their functions in case of employment in other jobs or, if necessary, to complete a larger volume of work than usual at a time.

In the next field, specify the business process/block of work. Then specify the operation, its duration (maximum/minimum), select from the drop-down list the appropriate parameter for the frequency of the operation to be performed, indicate the frequency of the operation itself and the number of workers required to complete it.

After you have figured out the scope of work, go to the “Working hours” sheet. Everything should be intuitive on it, special attention should be paid to the red column “Loss”.

It introduces the total time of loss of working time – the time for “switching” from one type of work to another, losses due to ineffective organization of work, due to uneven workload (for example, at first there are no buyers, and then the influx), technological breaks (you need to wait for the completion of some work, then start others), time for urgent and unscheduled tasks, losses due to violations of labor discipline, etc.

## How headcount calculation looks like

The data you enter allows you to calculate the target headcount and workload for a given amount of work and compare it with the actual headcount.

Do not forget about the principles of calculating the number. All calculations were made following them. If the calculator’s algorithms suddenly fail, a cell with the amount of “lost” hours highlighted in red will appear to the right of the “Check” label.

## What difficulties can you face in preparing data for calculating the headcount

Often, when standardizing operations, the maximum execution time is several times longer than the minimum. This happens when the name of one operation hides several operations that differ in content and scope of work.

Here is an example, when I had to “split” the operation “shipment of goods” lasting from 5 to 40 minutes into two:

- “shipment of goods under an invoice with a small number of items of goods” – 5-10 minutes
- “shipment of goods under an invoice with a large number of items of goods” – 30-40 minutes.

If the duration of an operation is long (several hours or several days), it is necessary to clarify its content and split it into several operations, or, if it is difficult, split it into several suboperations with a fixed step by duration or number of operations.

## Additional functions and limitations of the calculator

In addition to basic algorithms, the calculator can use headcount drivers – quantitative indicators of the amount of work that indirectly determine the workload of employees. For example, the number of store visitors or the average daily number of receipts. Besides, using the calculator, you can determine the optimal position of the department.

About restrictions. Of course, the price for the calculator’s simplicity is the risk of inaccurate calculations. If you need high accuracy of calculations, it may be worth using other methods and tools.

## In conclusion

I hope that the description of simple algorithms for calculating the number will be useful to you in solving applied problems.