Achieving Workforce Success: Becoming a Data-driven Workforce
Achieving workforce success (WS) means being driven, open-minded, empowering, and the ultimate master of your work. In this part of the series, we’ll focus on being driven. WS Champions are driven because they are doers who maximise their resources in order to deliver quality outputs. One readily available, indeed ubiquitous, resource is data. How do you use data to achieve WS?
Today’s professionals constantly and consistently use the cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies. Data, and how we share data, is at the very core of how we get work done. From the way we calendar meetings to how we collaborate on reports and track progress, we always use some form of technology.
The applications of technology have gone far. But they can go much further, right into the heart of business: workforce management. No company or organization will survive without its workforce. However, we often use outdated systems to manage them. Data and digital technology are highly transformative, and businesses need to take advantage of it.
So what does it mean to have a data-driven workforce? It means harnessing technology to not only solve challenges in the workplace, but also to optimize it. Investing in the correct workforce technology can empower employees while resulting in long-term savings for the business. Below, we explore how your organization can develop a more data-driven workforce.
Automating time and attendance
Cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies are key innovations that have had an impact on the workplace. Integrating any and all of these into day-to-day operations can revolutionize the way you work. You can do this via cloud-based automation of time and attendance. This is a popular solution because time and attendance are “highly necessary but tedious processes that are the fastest and cheapest to automate,” according to Terry Walby of the FinancialDirector.
When you shift to a cloud-based HR platform, you can expect reduced administrative costs. You can also expect automated onboarding for new employees, and more accurate timesheets. You will no longer need to manually track leaves, sort out onboarding documents and attendance records, or calculate payroll manually. Best of all, you will never need to worry about wage theft accusations.
Wage theft, and the millions in back pay some businesses have had to comply with, is not an issue with the correct automation software. With all this out of the way, managers can spend more resources planning for the business and improving morale. Integrating automation Besides time and attendance, management firm Ascentis also recommends automating benefit calculation and legal compliance.
Optimizing shifts and shift swapping
Cloud-based HR can also help you optimize shifts by ensuring that you have the right person, in the right place, at the right time without having to physically check in on your employees. Software like Tanda can predict staff counts: it determines staffing levels with smart algorithms and facilitates updating your roster to reflect that. This way, you can save money on labor while delivering the best possible service to your customers.
Even better, Tanda’s new feature, Shift Swapping, takes shift management in service-oriented industries to another level. Hospitality staff, for example, can request to drop or cover a shift right from their app, while the manager controls all swap approvals and roster updates. Absences are inevitable, but unfilled shifts are not, so the shift swapping feature is a useful addition to service-oriented industries.
Using data to expand business
Finally, a data-driven workforce means being able to use data to not only succeed in the day-to-day tasks but also to expand the business. More systems today are being integrated, facilitating a better analysis of how the business works. They make it easy for owners and managers to generate financial and operations reports. Seeing the big picture and planning for the future is easier with the right data at hand.
With cloud-based HR, managers and business owners have access to insights that were not available before. You can correlate different types of data for better benchmarking purposes. For example, Tanda lets managers track business revenue and labor costs in real time while complying with all the labor and data privacy laws. Managers can make smarter decisions and ensure that the business will grow over time, without having to do excessive administrative work.
Data has had an unprecedented impact over the way we do things at work. Indeed, it is almost impossible to imagine a time before the cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies. The long-term benefits are more than worth the initial birthing pains, as most businesses see an increase in workforce productivity and savings. Taking advantage of these innovations may well determine if a business will succeed in this increasingly fast-paced world.
Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.
Industry Insights |
What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business?
Phil caught up with the team at Sidekicker to learn more about how the contingent workforce is shaping successful workforces of the future. When we think of the contingent or temp workforce, we imagine the young Christmas casual or the temp that fills in at reception. These caricatures don’t inspire visions of influence and power and they certainly don’t appear as the kind of people that will have immense pull over the shape of the future. However, these workers are not only integral to keeping businesses moving but when they are empowered and treated right, they’re set to resculpt the entire employment landscape. What is the Contingent Workforce? Far more diverse than our initial imaginings of the temp receptionist, the contingent workforce is a subsection of the broader workforce that works flexibly. This includes casuals, contractors, and temps across a wide range of skill sets and capabilities. Contingent workers may choose to work for one business at a time or make up their working schedules across a variety of employers – but they are defined by their flexibility and impermanence. For businesses, these flexible workers solve a number of problems. From assisting in times of peak demand, covering for absent workers, lending external expertise, or allowing businesses safer, and simpler scalability, contingent workers allow businesses to improve productivity without the risk of additional permanent wages. How does the Contingent Workforce generate influence? Today, the contingent workforce makes up more than one-third of the entire AU/NZ workforce. This number is growing rapidly, and with it, the opportunity for businesses to benefit from the flexibility these workers bring. As the size and saturation of the contingent workforce grows – so too do the impacts they have on the way businesses and workers see employment. With 163,000 new contingent workers joining the workforce in recent years, and early results from 2017 showing considerable growth in both people looking for flexible opportunities, and businesses offering them – the size of this labour pool is only set to increase. Research shows that many senior HR Managers expect the contingent share of the workforce to grow to almost 50%. The bigger the size of the workforce and the more businesses that benefit, the more the impacts of bringing in contingent workers are amplified. In this way, the contingent workforce begins to exert greater influence over the working landscape. What does this power mean for the future? The impacts of this growing, flexible workforce are already beginning to manifest in a handful of ways. These considerations are integral to how flexible workers will be dealt with in future and what the landscape could look like. 1. Contingent workers are changing management styles. As more and more business engage contingent workers, they create situations where permanent and temporary staff must cooperate regularly to achieve business goals. This will force managers to reconsider the way they deal with their teams. How do you unite and motivate a team who aren’t always together? 2. Contingent workers are changing the way staff are engaged. The more the contingent workforce grows, the more it drives development of technology that supports it. As technology gets better, more and more connections between businesses and the appropriate flexible workers will happen digitally and simultaneously – making employee engagement simpler and allowing staffing managers to focus on other aspects of their role. 3. Contingent workers are changing the quality of the contingent workforce. With more businesses recognising the value in flexible engagements, the more they will engage the third party recruitment firms that know where to access them. Because it is in the best interests of these firms to present only the top-tier candidates, the overall pool of flexible workers will improve. The top-tier will build skills through constant engagement and the remaining talent will need to work to improve their performance to access opportunities. Growing at a rapid pace and picking up considerable influence, the contingent workforce is something businesses can no longer ignore. While recognising and leveraging their benefits in your business is a great first step – it’s important to understand how you will respond to the trends they are creating. To learn more about how flexible workers are impacting the future of work, check out the Contingent Workforces eBook here.
Industry Insights |
Achieving Workforce Success: Shift Swapping for Managers
Achieving workforce success (WS) means being driven, open-minded, empowering, and the ultimate master of your work. In this part of the series, we’ll focus on empowering. WS Champions are empowering because they help employees succeed – even when someone can’t make it to work. WS Champions know how work-life balance positively impacts productivity and loyalty. Thus, they build a flexible environment while maintaining, and even exceeding, the company’s bottom line. Among the ways that that can be done is shift swapping, which allows employees to cover for each other in an organized and mutually beneficial manner. Shift swapping is “an arrangement that 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. Finding a staff’s replacement for the shift matters, especially for the service industry. The correct number of staff can often determine if the service is delivered properly. And when service is consistent and customers are satisfied, they are more likely to come back and refer their friends. Read more: Michael Barnard’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Customers for Life But shift swapping is not always as easy as it sounds. In fact, many managers have so much trouble with it that they simply don’t allow it. The initial confusion of organizing the system, especially when they try to do it manually, turns them off. This is unfortunate, as it provides an easy solution to the problem of unfilled shifts. Below we’ll take you through how you can set up a shift swapping system for your company. Figure out the need for shift swapping First things first, determine if you actually need shift swapping in the first place. If your business is operating 24/7, or have at least two different shifts in a day, then you might need to consider this arrangement. This applies to many industries like healthcare, retail, hospitality, media, and law enforcement. Shift swapping introduces some flexibility for the employees and helps them avoid burnout in these demanding fields of work. If your managers are attuned to their teams, they should be able to input on this matter. Read more: How to Serve 200 Customers Daily in an 8-seat Restaurant Organize your employee data The success of shift swapping depends on how many employees are qualified to cover for each other. Evaluate each individual and determine which positions they have had some experience with, or would like to learn more about. This will minimize mistakes, increase accountability, and save you time. Once you organize your data, you will be able to make decisions about shift swaps faster. It will also give you a big-picture view of your workforce and allow you to make the necessary adjustments for hiring and promotion. Choose a shift swapping tool Shift swapping requires a tool that can organize your employee database, rosters, and swap requests. Managers often have to choose between manual and automated methods, depending on their resources and goals. Manual methods employ programs like Microsoft Excel to track time, attendance, unavailability, and shift swap requests. While manual methods require no initial investment, many find it unsustainable because of the increased administrative work required. Employees will have to call in their requests, which you will inputted manually into the database. For businesses with more than 20 employees, this can easily become a nightmare — even for the best managers. Read more: From Battlefields to Boardrooms: Finding Good Managers with William Gooderson When you are ready to implement shift swapping, you can explore automated solutions. Tanda, for example, has a 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, while managers control all swap approvals and roster updates. It decreases the amount of administrative work, is suitable for over 20 employees, and can even be used to generate an analysis of your workforce. Perhaps the best thing about an automated system is that shift swaps go directly into the timesheets, meaning there is no additional step of calculating for it. Employees will be paid accurately, and businesses will save money on computing for additional pay. With that out of the way, managers can focus on creating a great work environment and building the business. Track the results Once you’ve implemented a shift swapping system, it’s time to track the results. Compare new data with your baseline after 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and so on. This will help you decide what to do next with your shift swapping system. Look at the following indicators: Number of employees who use of shift swapping The frequency of unfilled shifts The ease with which employees are using the system Effect on administrative work hours Effect on productivity and sales If you choose an automated shift swapping system, it would be easy for you to compare performance and labour cost data from month to month. It would also allow you to take advantage of other features such as tracking business revenue and labor costs in real time while complying with all the labor and data privacy laws. Take a free demo to find out how time and attendance automation can help your business. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Empowering your employees means constantly finding new ways for them to be able to grow in your company and their career. This means building a more flexible work environment that lets them have work-life balance while not disrupting operations. Businesses that are accommodating towards staff are more likely to retain top talent and attract the best in the industry. Secure the future of your business today by being an empowering employer. Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.
Awards & Rostering |
Peak Season Rostering: How to use data to meet demand and raise profit
The number of festivals, trade shows, conferences, and marketing meetings is on the rise. According to Eventbrite Australia, 54% of businesses plan to host more events in the future. And with several major holidays like Easter and ANZAC Day just around the corner, businesses face an increased demand in products and services. Hotels, pubs, retail shops, and restaurants all encounter staffing challenges during peak season. Businesses that do not roster with increased demand in mind risk losing out on profits and providing quality customer service. Is effective rostering easier said than done? For many managers, there is too much guesswork involved to really be successful. Without modern tools, managers roster based on what has worked before, some even based on gut feelings alone. But each small staffing decision can impact costs and productivity in a huge way. How you respond to the flow of operations throughout the day also matters. Instincts and guesswork can only take you so far. Data about employees, wages, and operations can change the game for businesses, especially those that rely heavily on shift workers. Check out these three data-driven tools that help you meet demand and raise profit! 1. Cover all your bases with Key Alerts Anything can happen after publishing a roster. Monitoring tardiness and breaks, substituting unavailable staff, and calling in extra help are all part of running a shift. And losing track of them has severe cost and productivity impact that accumulate over time. For example, if staff clock-in or out late, the business doesn’t have the appropriate level of staff. There could be too few or too many for several minutes, even hours. If there’s only one person rostered and they’re 10 minutes late, the revenue potential for those 10 minutes is zero. Your quality of service suffers tremendously. That’s where Key Alerts comes in. Key Alerts helps you make sure that the staff sticks to their rostered hours. It lets you know who clocks-in or out late, doesn’t take breaks, or takes breaks too long. This is helpful throughout the year, regardless if it’s peak season or not. But especially during peak season, deciding on whether to allow overtime is crucial, particularly when it comes to being on top of wage costs and additional allowances. Key Alerts, which comes for free with Tanda’s mobile app, also flags managers if staff is approaching overtime. The data lets you decide between paying overtime and calling in another capable staff member. And because software takes care of monitoring for you, all bases are always covered. Read more: Why Live Workforce Data is the Future 2. Respond to changes in real-time with Live Insights Getting Key Alerts throughout the day is one thing, but responding to real-time demand is another. For hospitality, retail, and food businesses, events in the area cause an uptick in customers. Sometimes, the change can be so unprecedented that the staff is swamped and customers are left unsatisfied. Fortunately, you already have something at hand that can help you keep up: your Point-of-Sale (POS) system. Your POS can track the number and type of sales each employee makes, and more importantly when they make those sales. The same data can be used to optimise your daily operations. Live Insights, or real-time staffing, utilises data from your POS to tell you if you’re under- or over-staffed. Previously, managers needed to wait for end-of-day reports to see if the rostered staff was enough and how the business went overall. With Live Insights, multiple staffing decisions can be made throughout the day in response to real-time data. You can see how much you’ve made compared to how much you’re spending on wages. You can also see how sales compare to expected numbers. Based on this data, you can adjust staffing levels to make sure targets are hit and customers are happy. Read more: Introducing Live Insights: Using real-time staffing to secure your business 3. Plan ahead better with Cognitive Rostering Continuously learning from experience to plan better is the key to success. Many businesses rely on optimising wage costs to ensure a decent profit margin. During peak season, there is a real opportunity to recover from slow days. You can engage more customers and create programs that can keep them coming back throughout the year. But when you overspend on wages, that opportunity is lost. So how do you get the staffing level right? How do you make sure that your customers are getting the best service without spending too much on wages? The simple answer: use technology to learn better. With Cognitive Rostering, you don’t have to remember how you built your most effective roster a year ago. Using indicators such as wage percentage of sales, this tool builds the perfect roster for you. And because it learns how your business is doing, the more you use it, the better it works. Cognitive Rostering uses your own data to save you time, effort, and money. You can test millions of scenarios for every roster to find the optimal solution, and you can concentrate on more important tasks like training staff or developing sales strategies. In short, you can empower yourself to grow your business faster than you ever thought you could. Read more: How this retailer increased profit by $8.9m from rostering more hours Stop guessing — Become a data-driven workforce Technology for businesses has definitely gone far. But they can go much farther, right into the heart of your business: workforce management. No company or organisation will survive without its workforce. For many businesses, especially those that rely on shift workers, wages are the biggest overhead expense. However, we often use outdated systems to manage them. Data and digital technology are highly transformative, and businesses need to take advantage of them. Key Alerts, Live Insights, and Cognitive Rostering are testaments to the difference data can make on operations, whether it’s peak season or not. There is no way around it: meeting demand, raising profit, and growing your business can only be done with a data-driven workforce. You need to use technology not only to solve workplace challenges but also to optimise it. Investing in the correct workforce technology platform can increase productivity, savings, and even sustainability. The long-term benefits of shifting to a workforce technology platform are more than worth its initial birthing pains. Taking advantage of these tools may well determine if you will succeed in this increasingly fast-paced business environment. Free eBook: Overcoming Employee Challenges in Shift Work Industries