5 Benefits of Using Time and Attendance Software
Every year, problems with tracking time and attendance (and ultimately, wages) cause governments to apprehend and collect millions of dollars in penalties. Planning shifts, creating rosters, managing leaves, and keeping track of employees’ clock in and out are some of the most important things a business manager does on a regular basis. While some still use paper and punch cards in order to get these done, it can easily become tedious and prone to errors — especially if the company is growing at a steady pace.
Luckily, with the age of technology comes automated solutions in the form of time and attendance software. Here are some reasons why it’s worth investing on:
Whether you’re in need of a solution for simply creating rosters, or something that already integrates with your POS system and payroll software, or perhaps all of the above, an all-in-one platform is guaranteed to cut down admin work from hours to minutes. One of these software is Tanda, which provides an automated solution that covers ground from onboarding down to paying employees for the hours they worked.
Find out what Tanda can do for your business. Get your 14-day free trial today — no credit card required.
Industry Insights |
Taking Back Time: Solving the enduring wage theft problem in Australia
A spate of wage theft accusations has swept across Australia. It left in its wake damaged reputations and millions in back wages. From the small Barry Cafe in Northcote to cosmetics giant Lush, employment practices, especially involving overtime pay, have been called into question. Some smaller businesses have also come under fire, mainly in the hospitality industry, where experts say wage theft and exploitation are rife. In the mad scramble to resolve these accusations, two questions emerge. Why does wage theft happen, and how do we solve it? Complex Awards system blamed for wage theft In the aftermath of a street protest by the former employees of Barry Cafe in Northcote, owner Anne Petroulias said a lack of understanding about the awards system led to underpayment. She admitted they were unaware of the wage rates, and thought weekend penalty rates could be traded off for staff meals. “My brother looked on Google and got the wage rates. I know we did wrong and we want to rectify anything.” Could it be that the complex award system is the root cause? Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Greg Bicknell thinks it is a major factor. “The award system is quite complex for small businesses to use,” he said. Recent Fair Work investigations seem to support this. A cafe in Darwin underpaid three employees $4,988 in total. They apparently misinterpreted the classification descriptions under the award. It’s not just small businesses, however, as even the popular cosmetics store Lush wasn’t immune. Last month, they committed to paying back $2 million to 5,000 workers. The massive breach, according to director Peta Granger, was the result of inefficiencies in its payroll system. This occurred during the 2010 transition to the system of Modern Awards. More recently, the Super Retail group declared they will pay $7.9 million in back wages to 4,500 staff members. According to Managing Director Peter Birtles, an internal review revealed employees were not paid under the correct award. They also approached time in lieu, overtime payments and allowances inconsistently. “This was a genuine mistake that we deeply regret,” he emphasized. Dire consequences for businesses The reality, however, is that ignorance of the Fair Work Act will not shield an employer from its consequences. Last May, employees of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and Vue de Monde began to sue for back payments after allegedly working for more than 50 hours a week, for just 38 hours of pay, due to the incorrect application of annualised salaries. The owners of the restaurants, celebrity chefs Darren Purchese and Shannon Bennett, risk damaging not just their own brand. They also risk their many affiliations, such as MasterChef Australia. Indeed, the price is not just financial. Businesses can quickly lose their reputation in the controversies. Recall that last year, another celebrity chef and MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris apologised after his restaurant group was caught underpaying 160 staff members a total of up to $2.6 million. Unsurprisingly, Calombaris’ professional credibility as a judge was questioned, and the incident is likely to cast a long shadow on his career moving forward. And it’s not just the owner’s personal brand at risk, because the businesses’ reputation as an employer is too. The spotlight on underpaying businesses revealed a slew of other unethical practices. The fixed pay at popular travel retailer Flight Centre, for instance, was revealed to be $4,000 below minimum wage. They made the rest of their legally mandated pay from commissions. Employees also complained of rare breaks and unpaid overtime, likely discouraging others to pursue a career with them. And without the best people, there is no way for a business to succeed. Read more: How to Serve 200 Customers Daily in an 8-seat Restaurant Beyond payment of back wages, governments are also now considering criminalising wage theft. Queensland’s Palaszczuk government began hearings last Thursday after being contacted by 169 people to detail cases of wage theft. Victoria’s Labor Government has also promised to introduce laws targeting employers who underpay their workers, with hefty penalties of up to 10 years in jail. Using tech to comply with Modern Awards While Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross admits significant improvements can be made to make understanding awards easier, businesses need to comply with the current system and fast. There is no question that the complexity of modern awards costs a lot of time, money, and effort. According to the Australian Payroll Association’s 2018 Payroll Benchmarking Report, it costs an average of $36.30 to produce a single payslip for companies with less than 200 employees. In addition, some employers cannot keep up when superannuation and tax policies change. But times have changed. Employers are no longer limited to old, unwieldy methods of complying with various laws. Automation has been introduced to many companies around the world. Businesses subscribed to automation software are able to use an impartial system that monitors time and attendance, tracks employee rosters, and applies modern awards. One such software is Tanda, whose library of modern awards automates payroll and wage calculation with minimal effort from administrative staff. Investing in time and attendance software ensures that businesses do not make the same mistakes that are now costing others millions. The revolution has begun, and it is expected that many more will follow. In fact, research from Willis Towers Watson found that workplace automation is expected to surge in the next three years. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Empower staff, improve business The responsibility to pay staff correctly falls squarely on the shoulders of employers. This is true whether they’re running a large retail chain or a small neighborhood cafe. And indeed, companies can insure themselves against controversy down the line by investing in time and attendance software. However, that’s not the only reason to do it. A fair system builds trust among employees. It empowers them to do their best in their respective roles. It’s a win-win situation because it maximises the bottom line without defrauding the front line and ruining the brand. When done correctly, time and attendance automation means there would no longer be a need for staff to protest on the streets, or form digital unions to fight wage theft. Employers will automatically comply with all regulations, every time. Automation can spell success for your workforce, and ultimately, your business, in more ways than one. The recent spike in accusations has already drawn attention to the weakness in how companies compute wages; now it’s time to solve it. Want to see comprehensive workforce success technology in action? We’re ready to show you – request a demo here.
Industry Insights |
Why employees love Tanda’s Workforce Success software
Workplace automation, including the use of artificial intelligence and robotics, is expected to surge in the next three years, according to multinational insurance broker Willis Towers Watson. This development is unsurprising, as automating HR can lead to significant cost savings for your organisation, especially when implemented in managing attendance, eradicating benefit errors, and automating compliance. With the growing demand for advanced technology use, automating HR processes is not an eventuality, it’s a necessity. But streamlining processes and lowering administrative costs is only one side of the coin. Yes, owners, employers, and managers stand to gain a lot from ensuring that the business is ready for the future. But employees, too, are benefiting from workforce technology platforms that not only ensure wages are paid accurately and on time, but also introduce flexibility and increase transparency in the workplace. Employees love Tanda’s workforce success software because it empowers them in more ways than one. Read about how Tanda is making a difference in workplaces around the world. Error-free Timesheets and Pay Runs The first and most obvious benefit of workforce technology platforms is error-free timesheets and accurate pay runs. Companies that still use manual methods for timekeeping and pay calculation can cause employees to second guess if they’re really getting paid the right amount every time the payslip arrives. In fact, Australia recently had a spate of wage theft accusations, leaving in its wake damaged reputations and millions in back wages. Owners and managers commonly cite a lack of understanding of Australia’s complex award system as the reason it happens. Read more: Taking Back Time: Solving the enduring wage theft problem in Australia Switching to the Tanda employee time clock app ensures staff that their shifts are recorded accurately throughout the pay period. Timesheets are processed with Tanda’s award interpreter, to account for modern awards of Fair Work Australia as well as other enterprise award agreements. This is then exported in a format compatible with a host of payroll integrations, making pay runs quick and reliable. This increases the level of trust and transparency between employers and employees, which in turn increase productivity and engagement in the long run. Better Work-Life Balance When employees have a healthy work-life balance, they become more fulfilled with their work, and more invested in the future of the company. There are a number of ways flexibility can be introduced into a company without hurting the bottom line. For instance, Tanda’s unavailability calendar feature lets employees tell their managers whenever they might not be open for shifts. This helps the company create rosters around each person’s unavailability. Another feature, leave management, optimises the leave request process and lets staff file requests via the web browser or employee app. For some companies, more novel solutions like shift swapping are providing employees with more options to achieve better work-life balance. It allows shift workers to trade shifts with one another when the need arises. This lets shift workers strike a balance between their personal commitments and work responsibilities. Tanda’s shift swapping feature that integrates into its time and attendance web and mobile apps. It lets staff request to drop or cover a shift right from their mobile phone, making it easy for them to start the swapping process. Read more: Achieving Workforce Success: Shift Swapping for Managers Reliable Rostering and Communication Employees need to know their schedule well ahead of time so that they can plan their upcoming week. Tanda’s web-based rostering software cuts down the time companies spend making the weekly roster. Cognitive Rosters® can be connected to your existing roster templates for the predictive suggestion of staffing requirements. Once approved, Tanda sends the roster to staff via SMS, email, or employee app. Employees can then inform their manager of any leave requests or else apply for a swap, dramatically reducing the chances of unfilled shifts throughout the week. Proper rostering is extremely important because overstretched employees aren’t productive. Too few staff on a given shift affects how they engage customers and respond to demands. Tanda’s Predictive Workforce feature uses sales data from the business’ Point-of-Sale (POS) to give an accurate forecast on how many people are needed on any given shift. During the day, Live Insights can be used to make key decisions on whether to call more people in, ensuring that the high quality of operation is sustained and uninterrupted. Read more: Introducing Live Insights: Using real-time staffing to secure your business Transparent and Engaging Workplace According to a survey done by Interaction Associates, 86% of employees say that they are more productive if they trust their employers. A separate study by advocacy group Trust Across America found that trustworthy companies outperform companies in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index. Building that kind of game-changing trust starts with transparency within the organisation. Employees must know that their company is working in the interests of all and they are open about the information that matters to them. With a world-class workforce success software like Tanda, employees have access to a portal that lets them know their time and attendance records, time off allowances, and upcoming shift schedules. It also increases employee engagement in other ways, like clocking in by taking a selfie on the Tanda Time Clock. Starting the workday with a smile can change the employee’s whole perspective, which can lead to a better rapport with customers and fellow coworkers. And with Tanda doing most of the admin work, employees have more time to do the things that matter to them. Read more: Crafting Workforce Success at Windsor Alehouse Why Workforce Software Matters For the modern employee to do their best at work, they need to feel that the company is supporting them and is willing to adjust to their needs from time to time. They need to know that the company they’re working for pays them correctly, supports their life commitments, and effectively communicates with them at all times. Companies can make all this happen by moving on from outdated processes that bogs down human resource management. By using workforce management software, employees are more motivated to work, empowered by a platform that allows companies to drive trust, engagement, and the ultimate employee experience. Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.
Awards & Rostering |
Black Friday Blues? 5 Tips to avoid a staffing slump
Retailers all over the U.S. take the time to prepare and advertise Black Friday deals and discounts, for good reason: last year, retailers earned $7.9 billion on Nov. 24. This figure represents an increase of nearly 18% from a year ago, and research indicates it can only go up. And while online shopping is all the rage, store traffic only declined by 1%. This means a considerable number of shoppers still prefer to get their retail fix in brick-and-mortar stores. Others engage in both types. The situation presents a significant challenge for managers nationwide. So if you’re managing a business, here are 5 tips you can use to avoid a staffing slump on the most important day of the year. Leverage your pool of part-time staff Part-time workers, also known as the contingent workforce, is a subsection of the broader workforce that works on a flexible basis. This includes casuals, contractors, and temps across a wide range of skill sets and capabilities. They may choose to work for one business at a time. They could also make up their working schedules across a variety of employers. During shopping holidays, they can make the difference between success and chaos. Many employers see part-time workers as a last resort. However, effective managers will instead schedule them on a regular basis to improve customer experience and increase sales. Part-time workers are flexible, so productivity is greatly improved without additional permanent wages. Based on your data of peak hours and most critical tasks, leverage your pool of part-time workers to ensure there is no gap in your operations. And make sure to contact them early, because many other businesses will be demanding their services this season. Read more: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business? Distribute your A-Team Good managers know how to delegate properly and rely on the best of the best to do it. During shopping holidays, it’s necessary to make sure that each shift and each team has at least one key player who can handle the pressure. But even the top performers need an effective support team to function, so you’ll need to spend some time on getting the mix right. Start by pulling POS software results from past Black Fridays, and distribute your best associates among the different teams. Schedule more top performers during peak hours to prevent overall burnout. Read more: William Gooderson’s 8 Characteristics of Good Managers Set targets and rewards With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, many employees will be looking to make bonuses. This is especially true for part-time workers who may have had erratic schedules and inconsistent income. One effective way to motivate everyone to perform at their peak on Black Friday is to set clear targets, and rewards when they’re reached. Cash and gift cards are popular, but another option is to put up some of your merchandise as rewards. To prevent unhealthy competition, give them out on a team basis, or hold a raffle whenever a goal is reached to energize employees. Brief staff, communicate changes early The pre-Black Friday briefing is extremely important in setting expectations and reminding everyone of the best practices to be followed. This is also the best time to go over safety reminders, as serious accidents have happened in the past. Employees need to stay calm throughout the day and take crowd management seriously. Mistakes and malfunctions will happen, but that’s just part of the process. Start with preparing them for the correct mindset, and emphasize that as long as the team works together, Black Friday will be a productive experience. If there are any changes in the schedule, make sure to tell them days in advance. This will avoid unnecessary stress on the day itself, especially if you are managing different locations. Workforce management software like Tanda make it easy to schedule staff and communicate changes via SMS, email, or in-app notifications. Tanda also creates accurate timesheets ready for export and compatible with most payroll software out there, so paying employees for Black Friday will be a breeze. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Don’t forget Cyber Monday Many customers split their time and money between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, digital transactions reached a record $6.59 billion, a 16,8% increase from last year. Clearly, Black Friday shouldn’t be your only priority when it comes to staffing, especially if you run an online store along with your physical one. Heavy online traffic brings with it system and customer support challenges. Make sure your online teams aren’t too worn out from Black Friday and be ready to call in additional staff. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for retailers. However, there’s no reason why employee and customer experience alike can’t be planned out to get the best results. Keep in mind that these opportunities are not just for sales. They are also there to hone company best practices and train future managers of the company. So when you’re planning out your staffing for Black Friday and other shopping holidays like it, look at the big picture. Invest in technology that will help you in the long run. And most importantly, invest in the people who will make those sales happen.