As the owner of a construction business, you always consider new ways to save time and add to your bottom line. Equipment and supply costs will always be an issue, but labor is also a big consideration. Properly managing your workforce should always be near the top of your list. If you run a business with a large team and multiple worksites, looking into a new construction time clock system is worth the effort. Old school punch-in and punch-out time clocks simply can’t keep up with today’s flexible work demands. They hinder your workers from doing their job efficiently and lead to mistakes and abuse. Here are some reasons why you should consider a biometric time clock system in your construction company.
Benefits of a Biometric Construction Time Clock System
Those businesses that don’t stay current with technology will fall behind the times and lose the ability to compete. In today’s work environment, companies are relying more on technology that allows them to be nimble and diversify their team. A biometric solution can do that for your construction company. Here are some specific benefits:
Workers Can Use it on Any Job Site
Biometric time clocks can be accessed from a worker’s personal smart device. This allows them to clock in and out no matter what job site they are working at, or if they are on the road. If you or your HR team is struggling with how to keep track of when workers arrive at and depart from multiple job sites, a biometric solution could be your answer.
It Eliminates Time Clock Errors and Abuses
Traditional time clocks are easy to forget about and even easier to abuse. If workers are forced to stop at an office or on-site trailer every morning to punch in and stop in again before they leave for the day, they will either forget or find ways around the system. This could include buddy-punching, which is when one worker punches in or out for one of his co-workers or misreporting of time spent on the site.
Biometric solutions all but eliminate time clock errors, abuses, and neglect. When workers have easy access to their schedules and can track their attendance with a swipe on their smart phones, they are much more likely to accurately report time worked.
It Helps with Shift Management
Biometric timekeeping solutions not only help track attendance, but they can also help HR teams schedule shifts. By easily accessing all workers’ available schedules, how much time they’ve already put in for the pay period, location, and other details, HR managers can easily create effective schedules. Workers can also use the system to request shift changes or even swap shifts with their co-workers. HR teams can make sure each shift is covered and that no gaps occur. They can also prevent overscheduling and missed shifts.
It Improves Communication
With traditional timekeeping, workers need to call, send an email, or physically walk into the HR department’s office to talk to them. This can leave management in the dark for long periods of time and make them wonder why a worker didn’t show up on time or left early. With new biometric timekeeping, workers can instantly talk with the HR team. This lets them explain absences, justify overtime, or request vacation directly from their smart device. Not only does this help HR keep all communication consistent, but it also helps them update schedules quickly and efficiently.
It Reduces Payday Errors
Integrating payroll with time and attendance records is not an easy job. It’s especially difficult when the HR team has to sift through spreadsheets or manually add up hours from a time clock. This can easily lead to mistakes. No worker wants to worry that his paycheck may not be correct when payday arrives. New biometric methods seamlessly integrate into the payroll system. This reduces the time your HR team spends on the task and guarantees that each worker gets paid for the actual hours he or she worked.
It Assists with Overtime Management
Do you pay for unnecessary overtime each payday? This could be impacting your bottom line. It could also put a strain on workers who don’t have enough time to rest between shifts. A biometric timekeeping solution helps you determine who has more hours available and who has already put in more time than they should. With streamlined shift and project management options, overtime can be reduced and even eliminated in some cases, when using this software.
Labor management is vitally important in your role as construction company owner. Providing technology that helps your workers manage their schedules and track attendance from their smart devices is one way you can make sure you keep up with the times. This not only increases your team’s engagement, but it also helps your bottom line.
The number of people you have on staff and the complexity of work shift patterns can add extensive time to managers’ schedules. They can easily spend eight hours or more each week simply putting schedules together when their tool is an old-fashioned spreadsheet.
With concern growing for more work/life balance options and employee engagement, initiatives such as flexible schedules and compressed work weeks will only add to the impossible juggling act for your managers.
Given this will add another complex layer, it may be the optimal time that you join the companies who have adopted different employee scheduling processes. There are smart web based staff scheduling software solutions that will help.
Tools are available to reduce the amount of time-consuming tasks involved with employee scheduling. Instead of a full day’s work, you can switch to an online scheduler to ease management’s workload.
Web Based Software Makes Scheduling Easy
Using online software to schedule employees’ work weeks gets the task done within minutes. With user-friendly features, managers have options to create standard and complex shifts.
It does not matter if your work days are:
Four day, 10-hour shifts
Even if like most companies your schedules do not change from week to week, all managers need is a template of the first schedule. They can duplicate it and create schedules several weeks or months in advance.
Here are five reasons why you should consider a web-based solution to move the task of preparing work shifts forward.
1. Easily Adapt to Sudden Changes in Employee Shifts
With spreadsheets, employees must call managers whenever they need to make one or two changes to their work schedule. Managers must make those changes manually. This time-consuming and error-prone task can lead to costly mistakes.
An effective solution allows those changes without phone calls or even text messages. Scheduling software with a feature that allows immediate notification for managers to approve and also find another employee to fill the shift.
2. Simplify Process for Time-off Requests
Writing down time off requests on Post-it notes or sending them through email is a recipe for something being overlooked. With scheduling software via the web, your staff can send their requests directly to managers.
Your managers can also keep track of:
FMLA related absences
Approving or declining those requests can occur the same way. Managers will also have a report of unavailable employees so they do not mistakenly add them to the schedule.
3. Keep Accurate Staffing Levels on Shifts
Supporting customer needs and business objectives is not separate from ensuring you have the right amount of employees scheduled to work. In fact, your managers can make better staffing decisions with employee shift scheduling reports.
Using report data, managers can see the busiest times and seamless adjust shifts to ensure coverage is available to meet customer demand.
4. Decrease Turnover by Giving Employees More Power
Employee self-service systems are a must-have to move your company into the 21st century of scheduling. There’s no reason that your employees cannot enter their last-minute shift changes.
Rather than managers scrambling to find someone who can cover the shift, employees can make shift swaps among themselves.
Web-based tools allow employees to connect with each other. They agree on shift coverage and submit the information to their manager. Self-scheduling features put the responsibility of changing their schedules in your employees’ hands.
This level of autonomy gives your staff more power over their schedules. Managers have adequate coverage, employee satisfaction increases and you reduce turnover rates.
5. Meet Mobility Demand with Access Anytime, Anywhere
With streamlined scheduling and self-service options, the next level of web based staff scheduling software is mobile apps. This allows employees to access schedule information any time of the day and from any place on the globe, literally.
For instance, an employee who is on vacation may need to quickly check their shift date and time once they return. Mobile accessibility can work with different smartphone technologies.
Additionally, mobile apps can serve as an automatic notification portal so managers can update employees about schedule changes. Daily and weekly reminders of assigned shifts are also efficient features. This eliminates questions about upcoming scheduled shifts.
Running or managing a small business that employs an hourly staff requires using something for coordinating schedules. More often than not, the answer is either a spreadsheet or pen and paper. That said, you can find interesting ways to leverage scheduling software.
A scheduling system that is accessible to everyone in your company is an effective tool to keep the process smooth. It also serves as a communication platform where managers and employees stay abreast of requests and changes in real-time.
Every smart business owner knows that traditional punch-in and punch-out time clocks are a thing of the past. With today’s business world becoming more flexible and agile by the day, owners and HR managers need to keep up. They should consider using a timekeeping solution that is current with the times. An answer that more owners are turning to is an electronic time clock system that allows employees to keep track of their schedules and attendance from their personal smart devices. These systems not only allow easy clock-ins and outs, but they also improve communication and schedule management. Are you considering an electronic timekeeping solution for your business? Here are some dos and don’ts for a successful transition.
Use of Electronic Time Clock for Employees Dos
Making an electronic time clock system successful in your company does not have to be difficult. It’s a simple matter of education and training. Follow these simple list of dos to make sure your team embraces the new technology and uses it correctly.
Do Tell Your Employees Why You’re Using It
You don’t want any confusion among your team members about why you are integrating a new timekeeping solution. Make sure your employees know that you’re doing so to keep current with new technology and to provide them an easier and more flexible way of keeping track of their schedules and attendance. Show them how the new system will allow them to more easily work remotely or from other job sites. Show them how they can request shift changes or put in for time off right from their phones. When they see this is not a tool to micromanage them or keep track of their whereabouts, they’ll be more likely to accept and appreciate the new system.
Do Train All Employees on the System
Though most electronic timekeeping systems are user-friendly and quite easy to operate, it’s important that you train each employee how to properly use the system. Older team members may be suspicious of new technology they are unfamiliar with and need some coaching. Younger employees may pick up on it quickly, but need to be reminded of guidelines or rules that will keep your system secure. Train all of your staff before the system is put into use and then add training to all future onboarding.
Do Use it in Your Recruiting Efforts
Every business needs to be an attractive workplace for the new generation of millennial workers. These potential employees now make up more than 40% of the workforce and you need their fresh ideas and tech-savvy skills to compete. When you are in recruitment mode, make sure you include your timekeeping technology in job postings, recruitment ads, and in initial interviews. This tells potential employees that your company is committed to offering them the flexible workplace they want.
Use of Electronic Time Clock for Employees Don’ts
With every new technology or tool, there are always potential pitfalls. Managing these while taking advantage of the many benefits is the key to successful integration. To avoid possible issues with your new timekeeping solution, keep in mind the following don’ts.
Don’t Use it to Micromanage
When you know employees have the ability to clock in and out and manage their schedules from anywhere, it can be tempting to keep constant tabs on them. Don’t make this mistake. Flexible tools are meant to empower your employees to fit their careers to the way they work best. They are not meant as babysitters. If you have the right team in place that you trust, you’ll have no need to look over their shoulders or check up on them.
Don’t Limit Its Use to Departments
Many HR managers wonder why in-house employees who come into the office every day need an alternative to the attendance system you’ve been using for years. However, when you implement a new tool for only some members of your team, you breed resentment. All employees should have access to technology that makes their lives easier and allows them better schedule management.
Don’t Fail to Set Guidelines
Many electronic timekeeping solutions can be accessed from an employee’s personal smart device. While this is one of the reasons why they are so user-friendly, it can also lead to blurred boundaries. Make sure your employees know what information they can access through the system, how to send secured messages through it to the HR department, and other important guidelines. Keep expectations consistent for every employee to reduce confusion and increase engagement.
If you have not upgraded your timekeeping system and are still using a traditional manual time clock, it’s time to look at new solutions. With electronic time clocks, you can provide a flexible and user-friendly tool to your team. This will help your business with employee retention and recruitment, improve communication, and help you create the flexible workplace that the new generation requires.
Maintaining inconsistent employee work schedules is not limited to retail and service industry employers. Fluctuating schedules that change from week to week – or even month to month – gives employers the ability to have more accurate schedules.
A similar system is using on-call shifts where employees are on standby and report to work as needed. Typically, this type of shift scheduling requires employees contact employers within 24 hours of designated shift times. For employers, this offers greater staffing flexibility.
However, critics are gaining steam with the argument that such practices bring unstable work schedules to employees. They argue that this type of scheduling prevents employees from steady work and income. Jeopardizing their eligibility for benefits adds to uncertainty.
To be available, employees must secure transportation and childcare for shifts they may never work. The ultimate goal is to end on-call shifts completely and replace it with the practice of predictive scheduling.
What is Predictive Scheduling?
As the name implies, this type of scheduling is setting predictable work hours for employees without considerable changes from week to week.
At a minimum, employers will give employees more notice of schedules weekly. This, in turn, allows employees to adapt and have more stability in their pay and schedules.
Some parts of the country have already implemented laws requiring employers to give advance notice. If employers fail to do so, they may face penalties such as giving employees extra pay when they do not receive notice within the required timeframe.
Additionally, predictability pay may be required if:
On-call employees are not called in for a shift
Changes or reductions to shifts are made after initially scheduled shift notice
Cities Leading the Way for Changes to Employer Requirements
San Francisco, considered the pioneer of predictable schedules, was the first city to pass an ordinance. Employers covered by the law must provide a good faith written estimate to new employees of a minimum number of shifts per month.
In addition, employers must include the days and hours of the shifts for which employees are scheduled. They must receive the schedules two weeks in advance. Managers can post a paper copy of schedules or give employees access to an electronic scheduling system.
Under the law, changes to schedules that provide less than a seven days’ notice mean employers must pay employees 1-4 hours of pay. The amount of notice given and length of the anticipated shift determines how much is paid.
When employees are on-call but never called into work on that particular day, employers must pay for 2-4 hours. This is also based on the amount of notice that was given and the length of the anticipated shift.
Seattle will enact a similar ordinance July 2017. In addition to providing a good faith estimate of median work hours to employees, there are other stipulations in the law that will change the way employers handle workers with irregular schedules.
Employees can submit schedule preferences to meet outside commitments
Employers must post work schedules 14 days in advance
Employers must pay employees one additional hour if hours are added to a previously posted schedule
Employers must pay for half of a scheduled shift when the employee is sent home early
Employees must receive half-time pay when they are on-call for a shift but never are called into work
Employer sends a notice to all employees and employee volunteers to work additional hours
Expect More State and Federal Changes
Other areas across the country are also considering whether these type of laws should become standard on a larger scale. In fact, this is expected to become the next legislative trend to impact the employment sector.
Since 2015, eight other states – Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota have introduced some form of predictable scheduling legislation. Even the United States House and Senate have delved into implementing federal changes.
Many ordinances and federal proposals will include provisions for employees to be entitled to one of more of the following:
Change requests to schedules to accommodate job training programs, education classes or a second job
Predictability pay to compensate employees who are sent home before the end of a scheduled shift
Compensation for being required to call in availability but not given a work schedule
How to Prepare for Possible Legislation
First, employers should not wait for predictive scheduling to pass in their city or state before updating work scheduling policies. A brief look at changes already in effect offers an outline of what to expect.
While predictable schedules make life easier for employees, employers can also make the changes manageable.
Implementing a workforce management system that incorporates varied work shifts, easy changes to schedules and streamlined communication processes will help employers stay compliant with laws that are changing the employment landscape.
An extremely important aspect to the life of any law firm is the unavoidable billable hour. Profitability comes when enough money is generated from billable hours to cover overhead and salary costs and bring in revenue.
With this in mind, it is obvious that the more hours your law firm bills, the more revenue you can bring in.
Keeping Track of Time
Tracking time is often considered the most onerous obligation in a firm. While attorney timekeeping software does not eliminate what can feel like misery for some, it does automate part of this important process.
These details provide valuable information that not only allows your law firm to bill clients, but you can also measure how much time is spent on a specific task.
Ineffective time tracking systems may cause a loss of 30% or more in billables. This translates into lost revenues for your firm. To alleviate the burdensome task of entering this type of data, it helps to think more like business owners.
Continued success also requires employing metrics to improve time productivity and business practices that increase the bottom line.
Billable Hours and Utilization Rates
Evaluation of billable hours is done in the context of utilization rates. This serves to compare employees, clients and your firm’s overall performance.
For some firms, there are at least two main causes of low utilization rates: administrative and practice management tasks. These two activities make up the bulk of non-billable hours. Another culprit could be attorneys that inadequately capture and record their time.
Yet, many attorneys grip about entering their time, whether on timesheets or in a system that keeps track of billable and non-billable hours. For those who do not understand the full impact of effective timekeeping, education and manageable tools can help to resolve the wedge.
Make Timekeeping a Relevant and Consistent Practice
Essential to improving billable hours tracking is ensuring all attorneys participate in entering their time accurately. Even top-of-the-line systems are limited to data input. Therefore, if attorneys are not inputting hours worked on a particular client file, no data exists.
If your law firm is like most, the compensation structure is linked to revenues, which means more billable hours are crucial. Changing outcomes requires looking closely at the costs of working on specific client cases.
This goes beyond simply billing by the hour; everyone involved should be productive. Keeping the focus solely on billing by the hour only fulfills one part of the equation. Effectively tracking all time is the best way to understand how much one client case really costs.
For example, if an attorney spends 100 hours on one client but only bills 15 hours, you must evaluate whether the firm’s time is being used appropriately. A closer look at how the other 85 hours were spent is crucial to understanding what may need to change.
Was the time spent on business development? Or, was it something else that got lost because it was deemed unimportant?
It is necessary for all attorneys in your firm to understand the value that keeping time has for revenues and costs. Detailed information can directly impact their compensation.
Timekeeping Helps in Making Smart Decisions for the Firm
Time data also aids in making smarter business decisions. An attorney timekeeping software solution becomes a useful tool during a critical point in the legal business.
Taking on too many cases before making hiring decisions is not the best way to conduct business. Data gleaned from keeping time is an invaluable tool or analyzing this aspect of the law firm.
This explains the importance of having accurate utilization rates. You will know whose time is written off more frequently than others. Members of the administrative staff may not have enough work, so hiring another assistant is not the answer.
Additionally, collection of this type of data can help when assessing job performance. Analyzing from a profit-level standpoint can provide answers. You can evaluate whether more people are needed or if better efficiency from current employees is required.
Other possibilities could be to raise rates or get rid of unprofitable clients. Analyzing records of time billing will also help you strategically decide if charging flat fees for certain transactions or routine tasks is a viable option.
Perhaps your legal clients are not asking for alternate fee agreements. However, fixed fees for routine services may prove more profitable. This is the type of decision accurate time tracking can help you make for the firm.
Stressing the need to enter time spent on each client is crucial for the business of running a legal firm. This will also take the guesswork out of what is working and more importantly, what is not working for your firm.
The right solution is one that fully integrates every aspect that is affected to ensure billing is accurate. Client meetings, research, court dates and other events that occur to build a case are captured.
One thing that is inevitable in a workplace where there are people from different backgrounds with different values, beliefs etc is conflicts. Workplace conflict is a state of disagreement among individuals working together, which may be caused by an alleged or genuine opposition of needs, beliefs, and interests.
It is important to resolve employee conflicts promptly in order to maintain a smooth working environment. It is not a good idea to assume that conflicts will simply disappear naturally; even simple conflicts can grow into major problems in an organization if not dealt with appropriately and quickly. Causes of employee conflicts should be understood by the Human Resource department and the management so that a proactive measure can be put in place before such conflicts escalate beyond control.
There are so many causes of tension among employees in an organization, but it is not the focus of this article. However, it is important to know the cause of a problem to properly address it. Listed below some of the causes of employee tension in an organization:
Clash of personalities
Lack of honesty
Few ways to effectively manage workplace tension among employees.
Establish staff rules and regulations
As stated earlier, conflict among employees is inevitable. However, one of the ways to manage it preventively is to establish rules and regulations that define boundaries to relationships among employees. For instance, citizens of most secular nations have the right and freedom to practice different religious and social beliefs, which are sensitive to them.
Therefore, opinion and counter-opinion relating to such sensitive matters if not controlled have the potential to create tension and conflict among employees. It is therefore important that organizations should establish rules that prohibit employees from expressing views that contradict the beliefs of a fellow employee while in the workplace. This is the surest way of managing tension that could have arisen from a disagreement in values.
Create communication channel
Workplace tension could increase if there is a lack of open communication channels. When communication channels such face-to-face meeting and written communication between workers and management are created, it reduces tension in the workplace.
Also, regular meetings is another open channel of communication that help to keep employees informed about company projects and assist in defusing any rumors or misunderstandings about new plans and policies. Regular meetings provide the opportunity for employees to get clarifications on company policies, table any issue of concerns and ask questions about working environments or processes.
As stated earlier that one of the causes of tension among employees is leadership failures; therefore, constant training for all employees of your organization is very important irrespective of their levels. Such training should focus on helping staff members manage tension, teach them stress-reducing exercise activities and recommended ways to build positive connections with their co-workers.
It is believed that companies that provide advice for establishing sensible working habits and workweek planning also experience less employee stress and tension.
Give immediate attention to complaints and deal with them
Dealing with complaint promptly is one way to manage tension among employees; it prevents a growing concern from going out of control.Companies that offer a formal process for filing and handling complaints regarding workplace issues are likely to have less tension among workers than companies that doesn’t put such processes in place.
A tip for you: your Human Resource department should incorporate a human resource software that can help employees log in a complaint immediately the issue comes up. The earlier a potential problem is reported the earlier it can be dealt with, reducing the possibility of a full-blown conflict.
Listen to both parties and know the facts
Once a conflict situation has occurred in the workplace, the best approach is to inquire to know what the conflict is about by inviting for a free expression of feelings and frustrations regarding the conflict from those involved.
To achieve this, you need to clearly define boundaries and make sure that they understand the goal of such dialogue and the need to express themselves.Explore the concerns of both parties and assess the situation by asking questions and make sure you avoid making statements about your own point of view until both persons’ positions have been clearly understood.
Find common ground and encourage compromise
Once you have listened and clearly understood both parties, try to look at the conflict objectively. Thereafter, find a common ground, which is very important, because each side may have some concerns that may be agreed upon by the other party. This will form the foundation that will enable you to create a connection between the parties involved.
Afterward, you need to encourage both sides to compromise. You need to make it clear to both sides that each person must have to give in a little for the purpose of working together; though it may take some time because each side may already have their own viewpoint or version of what should be done for the issue to be resolved. However, once this is accomplished, everyone will feel a lot better.
The new economy of an on-demand workforce satisfies the employer need to hire who they need, when they need them from any place in the world.
Particularly for service industries and companies that need virtual workers, pay and labor hours are no longer wasted on idle employees.
While there are many benefits to hiring with freelance workers, potential pitfalls could force you to return to the traditional ways of hiring talent. The problem with that is your labor costs remain unresolved.
The better way to combat issues with managing a different type of worker is finding solutions keeps things intact. Here are two common problems associated with contract workers and tips to deal with them without creating more problems.
Problem #1: Not Communicating Effectively
Working offsite makes it easy to get communication wires tangled. Perhaps the contractor prefers to call, but your preferred method of communicating is via .
Another scenario is being unable to reach them when you need an update on a project. Either one of these issues could lead to lost productivity time and frustration – on both sides.
A solution is to have a communications agreement for every contractor to sign before them begin work. Be specific and provide details of when you will meet as well as how often. Agree on the best form of communication.
If your company has a workforce management system, setup access with contractor profiles. Not only can this tool be an effective way to communicate, but you can send updates, alerts and even know when contractors are working with a clock in and out feature.
Include in the agreement plans to check in more frequently than what is necessary for an onsite, full-time employee. Typically, freelancers will need more feedback since they are unfamiliar with your company’s culture.
It is very important that expectations are clear. Additionally, freelancers work for you, but in a different capacity than regular workers. Therefore, times when they are unreachable should be expected.
Again, make full use of your attendance system. You can communicate scheduling and other messages through the system that can improve your relationship with hiring workers on-demand.
Obviously, staying abreast of the contractor’s work progress is important. This means tracking more than their progress. You need to stay informed about how they are adjusting to your expectations.
Weekly status reports, which involve speaking with contractors, will give both sides a chance to ask questions about what’s good and what’s a potential challenge.
Problem #2: Poor Work Performance
Performance issues are a tricky subject with an on-demand workforce. If it is time to renew contracts, you may need to reconsider extending their time to work for your organization.
However, find out whether the problems are easily remedied. This will save time in searching for a replacement to unfinished work.
Maybe they are having a problem with one aspect of their assigned duties. Without putting your project in jeopardy, they may only need a refresher to improve their performance.
Keep in mind that you cannot treat contractors passively. Be direct and honest about your concerns. If they are not meeting your expectations, they need to know. Otherwise, they will become complacent in their performance, believing that they are doing a good job.
Avoid micromanaging contract workers who seem to be struggling with certain duties. By definition, contractors should be able to handle their workload. If every effort proves they are unable to do so, it is time to find a new contractor.
Facilitate ongoing coaching. Doing this fosters continuous development because the modern workforce craves timely feedback on a regular basis. It gives them what they want while you quickly identify and respond to potential issues.
Track skills and competencies of your on-demand talent. This is another area to get the full benefits of an employee management system. Although contractors are not full-time employees, you can set up contractor profiles.Enter their skills so you can match your strategic business goals with their ability to get things done. You can use the data to determine if any skill gaps exist.
Align Strategy through Motivating and Growing Talent
Your senior management team has a strategic plan. Whether it is to increase profits, reduce time-to-market, increase market share, improve customer satisfaction or all the above, the plan is built on an operation that will get you there.
Central to the plan’s success is the talent you hire. On-demand workers share in this experience. Therefore, performance management goals should link to the strategic vision of your organization.
This cost-effective and efficient way to add expertise when needed is a smart solution, especially when contractors are motivated to get the job done. As they work within your organization, do not be surprised if even the most experienced need guidance from time to time.
Simply align individual goals and expectations with the overall strategy to ensure activities are translated into positive business results.
Retailers must cater to smarter customers who have access to more technology and information than ever before. Change is the new buzzword for stores like yours. Whether it is local events, the weather or customer traffic flow, it is survival of the fittest to keep pace with the change.
Consumer demographic changes add to the mix of finding resources that can give you the edge in being prepared at all times. Their preferences and shopping habits must translate into a strong workforce that is prepared to deliver.
The shift can pose new challenges as you train and strive to retain your retail workforce. Failing to realize that changes in demographics will impact how your workforce operates can put you at a disadvantage.
In response, you must rethink your hiring, training an engagement strategies. Generally, this will require tailoring your fundamental processes for managing employees.
Investment in a retail workforce management software can serve as the perfect tool to make this happen sooner. Accommodating the future workforce today will improve retention and customer engagement.
Shifting Workforce Demographic
The workforce of the future comes with many positive characteristics that will benefit the retail industry. They are more creative, tech savvy, adaptable and eager to test emerging technologies. This combination promises to greatly improve your customers’ experience.
What makes them a great workforce also presents new challenges for your store. They come with a lot of skills, but this means you must adapt training methodologies to this new set of behaviors and attitudes.
Additionally, you are hiring workers who have different expectations of you as their employer. This new generation is driven by:
Opportunities for career growth
While this presents different recruiting and hiring experiences, you will gain by employing the same ideology with the right technology tools.
Manage Workforce Training on the Go
One thing that is prevalent in many areas is having the flexibility to get things done whenever and wherever it is convenient. The same can be said for training and retraining employees. You will need training programs that adapt to your future workforce.
Also, you want training programs that can adapt to new customer demands. Bulky printed manuals complete with a table of contents and index has lost their effectiveness. Instead, you must rely on a more sophisticated multimedia platform to keep employees trained.
In some instances, training videos can bridge the knowledge gap. However, you should also consider learning tools that will keep employees engaged. Include a point-based reward system and multiple proficiency levels to provide immediate satisfaction for the learning experience.
Favor Best Practices of Labor Scheduling
Scheduling employee work shifts is another area that needs an upgrade. Best practices in labor standards serve as the basis for optimal scheduling to ensure employees feel they are being utilized.
This is also important so there are enough employees available to serve the customers who come into your store. Typically, this will require taking a variety of factors into account:
Staffing for multiple locations
Short-term peak activities
Labor law restrictions
The granularity of factors will depend on your retail store’s need. Some retail workforce management software programs also have an employee self-service feature. This gives your workforce some autonomy in bidding for specific shifts and requesting time off.
Support Employees’ Desire for Work/Life Balance
Emphasis on achieving work-life balance has been on the minds of workers for many years. The desire to have greater control over their work schedules will not change. Their demand to have shift schedules and payroll information available at all times is equally important.
The future workforce wants the ability to swap shifts and review benefits on a platform that is comfortable to maneuver. Many software systems include a mobile feature that supports this need.
Giving employees access shows that you want to keep them engaged and that you understand their values.
Connection between Productivity and Customer Service
Employees who have relevant information at their fingertips can be more effective in representing your retail offerings to customers. Relying on back office reports will no longer suffice when customers demand information in real-time.
Because your training and learning platforms are up-to-date, employees are self-assured when helping customers. They can react faster to trends with mobile solutions. This gives new meaning to having a mobile workforce.
Employees are prepared to deliver quality customer service by checking inventory and assist customers with comparing product features. Not only will they know when inventories need to be restocked, but they feel confident in the information they provide customers.
Having this solution available enhances both your employees and customers’ experience.
With the changing role of technology in the workplace, you will need a retail workforce that is prepared to deliver. Embracing the need for more innovative ways to keep employees engaged positions your store for a successful transition into the future.
As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to improve your internal processes. Smart owners know that it’s not all about their sales team. True growth happens for businesses that are run by those who think about the big picture. While sales are important, they know that creating efficient systems that allow HR and other internal teams to run effectively is of equal importance.
Time and attendance is one area that is often ignored by businesses that are too focused on external growth. An outdated system that is difficult to use and lacks flexible options can have a negative impact on both future opportunities for growth and a company’s current bottom line. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for the owner who is ready for an upgrade. Most of the best choices are cloud based and utilize cutting-edge technology to provide flexible and user-friendly solutions.
Benefits of Cloud Based Time and Attendance Software
New technology has allowed for solutions that are light years more advanced than traditional time clock methods of attendance tracking. Many of these are cloud based, which means they are remotely backed up and easily accessible by your team. Cloud based solutions have many benefits for both owners and employees. Ease of use and security are just a few examples of why this type of software can be the answer to your problems. Here are the five top benefits of this type of solution.
It Enables Flexibility
Millennials make up a large percentage of our workforce. This younger generation is used to working when and where they want, and traditional clock-in and clock-out methods don’t normally fit in with their worldview. Cloud based attendance technology can be accessed from an employee’s smart device. This allows them to keep track of their schedules no matter where they work from. This allows for remote working situations that appeal to many millennials. It also facilitates growth that can come from multiple locations, satellite offices, or flex workers. When you’re able to streamline scheduling and communication through one user-friendly platform, a world of new possibilities opens up.
It Integrates with Payroll
Does your HR team still struggle with poring through clock-in records or attendance spreadsheets when it’s time to process payroll? This draining task can take up valuable time and resources. When you implement a cloud based attendance system, it works seamlessly with your payroll processing. Your HR team can set parameters to track paid holidays and differentiate between salaried and hourly workers. It can also automatically approve or deny employee requests based on preset rules.
This not only saves your HR team time and frustration, but it also reduces payroll mistakes and oversights. Employees no longer have to critically assess their paychecks to make sure they are accurate. HR staff can also stop worrying that they will have to handle complaints and adjustments on payday.
It Helps Your Team Communicate
How do your employees currently communicate with HR when they need to change their schedules? Most likely, the communication is a jumble of texts, emails, phone calls, and in-person requests. This can cause confusion and mistakes and can also lead to employee withdrawal.
Cloud based HR systems make communication a snap. Employees can easily request time off or shift changes. They can also schedule leave or communicate with HR members about absences or tardiness. This consistent communication reduces stress and confusion on the parts of your HR team and the rest of your employees.
It Increases Employee Engagement
When employees have trouble communicating about their schedules or feel that they are often getting incorrect paychecks, they can get frustrated. This frustration, if not addressed, can easily lead to withdrawal. To keep your employees engaged with their jobs and their managers, you need to provide them a user-friendly and reliable schedule management solution. Cloud based systems increase engagement by allowing employees to focus on their jobs instead of wasting time and energy worrying about their paychecks or schedules.
It Saves Time and Money
How much extra are you paying HR team members who spend hours of unnecessary time trying to develop shift schedules or processing payroll? Are payroll mistakes costing you extra money? Are you losing valuable team members because they don’t get the flexible options they need? Are employees ‘cheating the system’ by engaging in buddy-punching or reporting more hours than they actually worked? All of these issues and much more can be addressed by a simple software solution. Cloud based time and attendance software save you both time and money both in the long and short term.
The best business owners are the ones who always have an eye on both internal and external processes. They focus on how to facilitate growth and add to the bottom line. Using HR software that helps improve communication and integrates with payroll is a smart choice for forward-thinking owners and managers. By increasing flexible work options and bolstering employee engagement, these software programs can be of benefit for both business owners and their employees.
Employers who mistakenly believe that overtime should be avoided fail to realize a cost-saving strategy. The key is to manage the usage of employees working more than 40 hours each week. To do this, it is important to measure the impact overtime can have on the organization.
First, you will need to determine how many employees in the organization actually qualify for overtime according to Massachusetts labor laws. Next, assess how much overtime is currently worked.
It is also beneficial to identify which category employees fall under.
Occasional overtime does not strain the labor budget and often proves the most effective category.
Expected overtime occurs when employees rely on or expect overtime in their regular compensation. This may require setting an overtime budget for each employee while allowing them to manage when to use it.
Heavy overtime can become a cost burden. This may require raising salaries that meet or exceed a set threshold. You avoid overtime pay running up labor costs and employees feel they are receiving fair compensation.
Some departments may combine these strategies as needed to have the most cost-effective management plan for overtime usage.
Manage and Track Changes to Overtime Rules
Overtime rules are not difficult to understand but can prove challenging to track even if your company uses overtime sparingly. With too many moving parts, managing everything in a spreadsheet only makes things harder.
The better way to track extra hours is with a scheduling tool that keeps pay rates and positions current. Department managers need an electronic platform to manage overtime based on Massachusetts’ specific laws.
Setting weekly thresholds serve as an additional layer. Managers and employees will know when time worked beyond normal work schedules is approved or not allowed.
Automatically Track Overtime Usage
Time and attendance software works by allowing you to set default pay periods and pay rates based on departments and job types. Managers have full access to edit their department rosters as necessary. They can:
Add new hires
Set pay rates
This information is synced with your clock in and out system to keep track of hours worked. Data is also useful for payroll processing with third party vendors.
Issues with overtime scheduling are not transparent with a spreadsheet or verbal communication between department heads and team leaders. Small departments might feel comfortable relying on an antiquated system.
However, when you have 50-plus employees, you will get more accuracy with an electronic system. Information is stored into one place and will send alerts to you and the employee who is about to go into overtime status.
Alerts are good for tracking daily work schedules and labor hours. An overtime report, however, provides more detail to analyze overtime usage. Your managers can determine costs per day and week.
This is a powerful knowledge that helps managers pinpoint areas where overtime is costing too much. Scheduling adjustments make it an easy fix to avoid cost overruns. Reports offer additional insight for hiring needs.
If too much overtime is going to the same employees, managers can alter schedules or offer shift work.
Overtime Warning Report
Generating an overtime warning report is critical to preventing too many hours beyond normal shifts. A report like this is easily configured based on employee name, job code, and schedule.
Reports can be distinguished between scheduled hours, actual hours and overtime hours, along with dates.
Communicating New Overtime Rules to Salaried Workers
Cultural impact is one thing employers must be aware of when applying the new overtime rules according to Massachusetts labor laws. Higher salaried employees who are now eligible for overtime pay must track their own hours.
If nothing else about their job changes, i.e. responsibilities, work hours, doing this might feel like a demotion to some employees. Others might feel less valued because they now track their time.
Now, you are faced with combatting lower morale and a sense of lost prestige. There are ways to overcome the inevitable stigma of salaried employees tracking their time. The goal is to empower employees while emphasizing time tracking is not synonymous with their importance.
Communicate with employees:
Their salary status has not changed. New rules from the Department of Labor do not require paying them by the hour.
Their workday will not necessarily change. Some employees will simply receive additional pay when they work over 40 hours in one week. Time tracking is used as a benchmark to know when they hit that point.
They are still in control of their work schedules. The new rules do not dictate a specific schedule. Salaried employees who are mobile or on flex schedules in this category will still control where and when they work.
They can manage their time. Supply employees with mobile connections or web portals to track their time without an in-office time clock, which has a stigma for professional workers.
They will receive overtime notifications. You can setup automatic alerts for employees and managers so they know when they are approaching overtime pay. Managers can stay on track and budget.
Millions of workers qualify for overtime pay now that the minimum salary threshold is in effect. This leaves organizations like yours looking for cost-effective labor strategies to get the most out of this new requirement.
Shifting salaried employees to a time tracking system also comes with many advantages. Communicating the importance of the new rule is a balancing act between compliance and cultural complications.
Explain how any changes will affect your employees’ workday and status. Use of self-service technology empowers them to keep track of their time. You can still send automated alerts if overtime hours are available or if they are about to exceed limits for that pay period.
Employees who are used to receiving overtime during every pay period will also have to adjust. That is why developing an overtime management plan is essential to ensuring your system aligns with government and business needs.