Posted on 7/9/2021
Managing a workforce that is spread across multiple areas is tricky. Based on the headaches we’ve seen with the businesses we work with there are five main pain points that business owners and operators often share in relation to rostering staff:
A lot of businesses use spreadsheets to create rosters which are communicated verbally or posted on a notice board for each employee and then use handwritten time sheets to record their time and attendance. These timesheets will then require further calculation to correctly interpret award rates for casual staff, creating administrative data entry to process and make payment of payroll. These processes generate risk of human error and can lack accountability in the integrity of the data provided.
This creates a time consuming, inefficient process that can be frustrating for managers, their staff and payroll personnel. Sound familiar?
This is a particular frustration that we’ve worked with a number of clients to solve through technology. With the evolution of cloud-based systems, there are a number of easy-to-use workforce management solutions that have been developed to address these problems that can greatly alleviate your time and head space in this area.
Our Director of Cloud Solutions, Nick Grieve explains “Cloud-based rostering and time/attendance solutions help your operation to gain huge efficiencies in your rostering, timesheet, staff communication and payroll payment processes. One such system that we use is Deputy, which plugs into Xero. We’ve found that it’s an easy-to-use system and with the additional ability to provide Award interpretation, ensuring that staff are being correctly paid for their time.”
Let’s say, for example, that you run a pub.
Your business would be set-up using your various rostering areas, such as the front bar, dining room, bottle shop. From there, you can then roster shifts across each of these areas. Rosters are completed in minutes and submitted online.
Once the rosters are submitted in the system, it triggers a notification that is distributed instantly to each of your corresponding staff via the downloadable Deputy smartphone app as well as via email.
Any updates to the roster are delivered in the same automatic, real-time fashion, keeping your staff up to date with the status of their shifts.
In the event that a shift becomes available, appropriate staff can be sent notifications of the availability and can choose to accept the shift. Once accepted the remaining employees will be notified the shift has been filled.
Staff clock in and out of their shifts and breaks via a timeclock on a suitable tablet device (Apple or Android), their mobile smartphones or web browser. The award rates are then applied to the hours worked and await a manager’s final approval.
Once approved, the timesheets are synced with the click of a button to your integrated payroll solution to provide payment to staff.
Full time staff can submit their leave requests directly in the application for manager approval. These requests are also synced to your payroll software for payment once approved.
When it comes to selecting the right technology for your business, you also want to consider how the features can support your wider needs.
From a communications standpoint, we’ve seen a number of clients leverage a “News Feed” feature, making it the main communications hub between management and staff. The staff communications can range from sharing a new menu/ product/ process to a new staff policy, or even the celebration of a team member’s milestone. With a robust News Feed feature, posts can also be sent directly to individual employees or to the staff as a whole. If you want, you can even request a confirmation of receipt to ensure the posts have been viewed!
It’s a great way to ensure that the right messages are being seen at the right time by the right people. And it also has the added benefit of keeping staff connected and engaged, even when they are not on-site. For operations that continue to be affected by restrictions, this feature has particular relevance as it allows managers to promptly communicate with staff around any changes that are taking place real-time.
Building processes and automations through a cloud-based application like Deputy can also have a significant impact on the time it takes to onboard new employees. Harnessing the one-to-one direct news feed function to provide new employees with information and checklists can save time, confusion and risk for both the new staff member as well as the staff training them.
Gone are the needs for paper documentation and new employee forms. When initial employee information is submitted by the new team member online, the information is then able to be synced directly with your integrated payroll solution saving time on data entry and providing an online copy of the relevant employee forms.
“The key to choosing, implementing and leveraging technology to help your business is by first working with your business advisers to uncover the areas that are sucking time and effort from you and your staff; in this case, rosters and communications” explains Nick
So, the long and the short of it is that there are solutions available to immediately relieve the pain points of rosters and costing in your operation right from Day One. And there is scope and possibility to leverage them even further by working with your business advisers to help address bigger picture needs.