Four Ways to Keep your Managers on the Frontline
Managers juggle different roles throughout the day. They set goals, coach employees, monitor performance, and control budgets and expenses. When they don’t do it effectively, employees become frustrated and can’t perform their best. In fact, a worldwide survey revealed that 40% of employees are dissatisfied at work due to a lack of help and support from their boss. Uncertainty about the workplace’s vision or strategy and heavy workload also factor into employee dissatisfaction. You can bet that this is because of an ineffective manager who doesn’t spend time on the frontline with employees. There are a couple of reasons why this is bad for any business.
When managers aren’t on the frontline as often as they should be, they’re left guessing about day-to-day operations. They miss out on observing team dynamics and employee satisfaction. Engaging customers or responding to complaints about products and services is harder. And they become increasingly out of touch with both their team and customers. As a consequence, they don’t see why costs blow up and can’t figure out how to increase sales. The bottom line is that managers need to spend a significant amount of time on the ground. Few problems in service-based industries can be solved from behind a computer. So how can you keep your managers on the frontline?
1. Keep your managers mobile
Don’t let your managers get stuck behind a desk. Keep admin tasks short by bringing it right to their smartphones. Tanda’s employee scheduling app gives managers the information they need to run a shift through their mobile device. It features automatic notifications and tools to respond to changes throughout the day. Managers can see who’s coming in for the day and when they start work. They can edit shifts without needing to sit down at a computer. They can even notify staff when new schedules are published, or when there are vacant shifts to fill. It doesn’t matter how many teams and venues a manager is handling because they can all be accessed from a mobile phone. They will be able to adjust rosters based on the flow of customers and other observations on the ground.
2. Keep an eye on staffing in real time
Monitoring late staff and breaks, substituting unavailable staff, and calling in extra help are all part of running a shift. That’s where Key Alerts comes in. Key Alerts helps you make sure that staff stick to their rostered hours. It lets you know who clocks-in or out late, doesn’t take breaks, or takes breaks too long. Key Alerts, which comes for free with Tanda’s mobile scheduling app, also flags managers if staff are approaching overtime. Managers don’t have to sit at their desktop or constantly check their app to see who’s not in. The alerts come automatically every time. All bases are always covered with Key Alerts so managers can focus on helping employees identify ways to improve the business.
3. Lessen paperwork with Time Clock Questions
Are employees clocking in too early without informing their supervisor? Are they consistently staying back into overtime without a known reason? Instead of manually contacting staff about this and clarifying why, Time Clock Questions does this automatically. The feature asks staff relevant questions about their shift when they clock-in and -out of their rostered hours. You can customise questions and answer options to facilitate the process. Now there’s no need to call up staff manually to verify their reasons. The faster managers can complete timesheets or timecards, the faster they can get back to the frontline.
Free download: Overcoming Employee Challenges in Shift Work Industries
4. Stay ahead with Shift Replacements
Absences are inevitable, and good managers know that every unfilled shift adds burden to other team members and compromises overall performance. With Shift Replacements, managers can see which employees have indicated they won’t be able to work a shift. Once a replacement has been requested by an employee, the manager can go into Shift Replacements on their app. The number of replacements that need action is shown as a red bubble. Managers can offer these shifts to all available people on that team or just to specific people. Overtime, hours, and other information is shown to managers so that they don’t get any nasty surprises in payroll. With calling for replacements out of the way, managers can devote time and effort to other more important tasks.
Keep your managers on the frontline
Managers need reliable data to get their work done. Looking at the numbers after a day’s work is good. But looking at what’s behind the numbers is better. Ideally, managers should be able to address issues in real time rather than at the end of the day. Rosters, sales, demand, and staff engagement all affect how well the team does. But many managers are swamped with paperwork. They’re spending more time in the back office than on the frontline with their staff. Managers who are unable to spend time training employees and engaging clients will not be able to have a clear idea of how to improve the business.
Indeed, time spent in your office as a frontline manager is wasted time. Tanda helps keep managers in the frontline with several features made with shift work in mind. Gone are the days when managers are burdened with hours and hours in the back office. And the less time you spend on paperwork, the more time you have to pay attention to things that really matter. Managing staff, engaging customers, and growing the business are easier with the right technology. No matter how competitive the business landscape is, managers on the frontline will make a difference. Investing in workforce management technology to empower your managers gets you closer to cementing your place in your industry.
Want to eliminate tedious tasks and keep your managers on the frontline? Start your free 14-day trial with Tanda today! No credit card required.
Industry Insights |
Forging the Workforce of the Future: Why frontline employees matter
Think back to the last in-store purchase you made. Were you promptly welcomed or was the store too busy for you to get their attention? Did staff assist you while you were looking for items, and given advice on deals or discounts? Was the cashier polite or uncommunicative? These small interactions with frontline employees often shape their opinion of a brand, regardless of how good the product is. They perform all kinds of customer service roles. This includes answering phone inquiries, assisting clients who visit a store, performing consultancy work, and fulfilling installation or maintenance jobs. At the end of the day, clients remember the experience that staff create. Frontline workers are vital to any business. But as the face of your organisation, they face high levels of pressure and stress. They juggle time pressure and quality of work to deliver the customer promise. If frontline employees are highly motivated, they are able to provide great customer experience, increase customer retention, elevate the brand, and grow the business. That’s why at this year’s Workforce Success Conference, we are inviting students to propose ways to motivate frontline employees. Read on to know more about why frontline employees matter and sign up for the student cup today! Providing Great Customer Experience Making sure the customer experience is stellar should guide all business decisions and methods regardless of industry or size. When businesses, especially large ones, go out of their way for customers, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Businesses need to leverage their ability to deliver the customer promise and surprise the customer with extra care and support. In fact, consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for better customer experience. This underscores the fact that customer experience isn’t just a small part of the sales process, it’s a genuine gamechanger. Conversely, PwC suggests that globally, 60% of consumers would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service. Many consumers (46%) also would not patronise a company with poorly trained employees. Due to this, companies are increasingly relying on chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) to answer customer concerns. But the same survey suggests that a balance between human interaction and automation is what customers actually desire. It seems the verdict is in: consumers still value the human element, perhaps because great customer care is hinged on empathy — something AI cannot emulate. Read more: Keeping up with the Customers: Why feedback matters for every business Elevating the Brand According to a survey by PwC, 65% of respondents find great customer service more influential than great advertising. Getting customer service right is actually a better investment than spending millions on ads, because it becomes an advertisement in itself. In the age of social media, interactions with sales staff, cashiers, customer support, and other frontline staff make their way onto posts, stories, and tweets. This becomes even clearer when we consider that 84% of millennial consumers do not trust advertisements anymore, especially when making an online purchase. Instead, they seek third-party validation, whether through reviews left in the comments or through mentions on social media. Unsurprisingly, many comments left on websites are not about the product, but about the company’s customer service. When reviews about customer service are positive, they can create advocates out of customers. At this stage of the customer journey, they are already a valuable ally in maintaining the popularity of the brand. When negative, however, it can result in boycotts and massive losses in profits. Consider the United Airlines incident, where musician Dave Carroll saw baggage handlers damage his custom-made guitar from his airplane window. His band made a song about it which went viral, and reportedly cost the airline $180 million (10% of share value) in 2009. Social media has given consumers the power to be heard instantly around the globe. Harnessing it makes a successful modern business; failure to do so means losing out to more tech-savvy companies. Free download: Empowering Frontline Staff with Modern Technology Increasing Customer Retention “The most important customers are those that come back consistently and invite their friends,” says Michael Barnard, Workforce Success Champion and General Manager of consultancy firm Customology. Customer retention, or the ability of a company to retain its customers over a period of time, is impacted by how many new customers are acquired, and how many existing customers churn. It is important because it costs 10 times as much to obtain a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer. According to a survey by PwC, 73% of global respondents say that a positive experience is among the key drivers that influence their brand loyalties. The phenomenon is intuitive — why would you go back to a company that didn’t treat you with urgency, empathy, and importance? That’s why businesses need to invest just as many resources in retaining existing customers as in selling to new customers. A big part of this is making sure that frontline staff is empowered to deliver the best services so that customers feel they are a priority. Putting customers first through excellent customer service allows brands to make a lasting connection with them. Read more: Michael Barnard’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Customers for Life Expanding the Business Frontline staff have access to a wealth of information when it comes to understanding your customers and how the business is really doing. Owners and managers don’t always make time to converse with frontline workers, but they should. Being the first point of contact, they have unique insights that can improve how business is done, whether it’s about the product or the way stores are constructed. Keeping the lines of information open is not something all businesses currently do. According to a Gallup study, only 17% of workers strongly agree that they are able to freely voice their concerns and suggestions. Leveraging the knowledge, experience, and skills of frontline staff are key to expanding businesses. Without them, managers will not have a real pulse on the clients and what they want. The impact frontline workers have on customer experience, business branding, and customer retention cannot be understated. They can make or break your reputation. Managers on the frontline are also allies in growing the business and training new staff members in the company’s values and goals. When frontline workers cater to customers’ interests, they are contributing to the success of the overall business for years to come. Ready to forge the workforce of the future by motivating frontline employees? Form a team of 3-5 students and sign up today. A cash prize and internship awaits!
Product Updates |
How to Set up MYOB to connect to Tanda?
MYOB AccountRight Live: Importing Staff Tanda and MYOB AccountRight Live have a live API connection, so you can import your staff from MYOB into Tanda automatically. This article will take you through requirements in MYOB and Tanda for integration and how to bulk import your staff into Tanda the first time and then options for new staff going forward. Integration You will need to have MYOB AccountRight Live Plus or Premier to integrate with Tanda. The Standard solution does not have a Payroll component, therefore it cannot integrate. It’s also recommended to run the latest version of MYOB, you can check out this article from MYOB to ensure you’re running the latest version. In MYOB You’ll need to configure a few things in your MYOB file to use Tanda: 1. Timesheets are enabled: Setup > Preferences > System tab > ensure you have ticked I Use Timesheets for Payroll and my Week Starts on a [enter start day]: 2. Terminated staff have been marked as Inactive Card and also set a Termination Date: Tick the Inactive Card box under Card File > Employee > Staff Member’s profile: Enter a Termination Date under the Payroll Details tab: 3. All staff have a mobile phone number and/or email address: You can use staff contact details to send out information from Tanda so it’s easier to have it in MYOB now so it imports automatically. 4. Your Company File is Online: You have uploaded your file to the cloud, so it is Online. In the bottom right corner, it should look like this: If your file isn’t Online, just click the box to upload it, or speak with a Bookkeeper/Accountant. Should you not want to unpload your file, you can import your staff as you would with MYOB AccountRight Desktop. In Tanda Add MYOB to your Tanda account by going to Settings > Add-ons > Payroll & Accounting: In the top right corner, click on + New Payroll Integration: Find the MYOB AccountRight Live logo and click on it: A pop-up will then display asking you to login to MYOB. Enter your Email and Password that you would login to MYOB AccountRight Live with and click Login.Please note you will need to have Administrator level access: Next, choose your MYOB business name, and enter the login details for your company file. Leave the password field blank if you do not have a password for your company file. You’ll then go back to the Integration Setup screen in Tanda and you’ll see a box with MYOB. You can click on this box to go into the Integration setup where you can configure: Who the integration applies to: All staff by selecting Everyone or Default Locations and then selecting a Location (if you haven’t set this up yet you can come back into here later). This is used if you have more than one MYOB account connected to your Tanda account, you need to match a Location to a MYOB file. You can also select how you want Tanda to handle new staff. If you have enabled to Automatically import new staff profiles, when you add a new employee to MYOB, Tanda will automatically import this within the hour. Only new employees will be imported and existing profiles updated. If you make any changes just click Save at the bottom. Importing Staff In Tanda Go to Workforce > Staff: On the right, click on + Add Staff: In the pop-up window, at the bottom select Import from > MYOB AccountRight Live.Click on the MYOB box to select the integration. If you only have one file attached to Tanda, you’ll just see one box however if you have more than one just click on the one you want to import from first. Next, you’ll see a bar loading to show your staff are being imported, depending on the amount of staff you have this can take a few minutes, so just stay in the screen. Once the import has finished, you’ll see a list of your staff that have been imported into Tanda. If there are any staff in the list that shouldn’t have been imported to Tanda, just click Don’t Import next to their name and they won’t be brought through, otherwise if it’s all correct just click Complete Staff Import at the bottom: If one or more staff didn’t import and they are in MYOB, check their details in MYOB to ensure you have added them, their start date is correct, they don’t have a termination date or they don’t have Inactive Card ticked on their profile. Your staff list will now show under Workforce > Staff. Going forward, when you have a new employee you have the following options: Add the employee to MYOB and if you have enabled to automatically import new staff, in your Tanda MYOB integration setup, Tanda will automatically import this employee within the hour. Add the employee to MYOB and you can force this update to happen immediately by going to Workforce > Staff > Add Staff > Import from MYOB. Only new staff will be imported and existing staff updated. Use Employee Onboarding: this sends the new employee an App to fill in their details and a profile will then automatically be added to MYOB and Tanda. Next you might want to look at Adding Locations & Teams, Welcome Staff or Build your first Roster.
Industry Insights |
Invisible Hand: The Direct Business Impact of Every Frontline Staff
It often goes unnoticed, but the barista who serves your daily cup of coffee has an invisible yet powerful and direct influence in the way you taste your drink. And we’re not just talking about the way they handle your order. “I’m sorry ma’am, I just have to assist someone else for a minute,” are words from a bank clerk that can instantly induce frustration in any customer. Bank errands are stressful enough, but this one clerk, whose name I clearly remember to be ‘Jenna’, was one of the best clerks I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with. She smoothly helped me through my transaction and was consistently patient in answering all my questions. She was the kind of clerk that even at four in the afternoon, with only a few minutes left before clocking out, still had the energy to smile at her client like it was just her first hour at work. What was so remarkable about Jenna isn’t her technical knowledge of the products; it was Jenna’s way of dealing with customers at hand. Her attitude was a subtle yet very clear indication of how happy she was to work for that bank. When I asked about one of the tabletop printouts on her desk, she wasted no time to explain everything and almost immediately presented an investment plan that would fit my lifestyle. It was a sign that she was trained very well; that she was given enough time by the management to read, study, and sell to any kind of customer that she’s faced with. Overall, what would have been a tedious and time-consuming process felt like a mere 15 minutes of talking to a someone I already knew. And the following week when I came back, Jenna was the same person I immediately looked for, because I knew that their branch had someone who can breeze through all my concerns. Suddenly, running bank errands didn’t seem so bad. People like Jenna have a direct influence on a business’ reputation. Bank clerks, along with many other frontline professions, are one of the most influential people that a business can employ. There is an invisible, direct control that lies with customer-facing staff. They leave a big impact on clients and are a potential bottleneck for prospects. Everything they do determines a customer’s impression on the business, and helps them decide whether or not they will patronise the product or service. Often, it isn’t just the company’s branding or products that really catch attention — it boils down to how properly and professionally their people handle clients’ concerns. Whether it’s a business that physically or digitally interacts with people, the same effect rings true. In 2018, Tanda received an online review from a client named Rachael, and it read: “Tanda support is local and has always been prompt and issues [are] resolved straight away. I would have no hesitation in recommending Tanda.” Since then, it’s been a common sentiment in reviews — clients will almost always bring up how exceptional the customer support team is. “Support is very helpful and quick to respond”; “customer support is amazing and the staff there are very friendly to deal with”; even going as far as, “I honestly think that Tanda support team on its own can be the reason to go with this software.” Imagine a client recommending a product based on customer support alone. Back when SaaS was still young, that would probably be hard to believe, but what seems unthinkable then is now one of the greatest leverages any digital business can use to acquire more customers. Regardless of industry, frontline influence is universal The power of well-trained frontline staff is universal. Their behaviour constantly influences the public’s perception of the company they represent. The experience they create is what clients will always remember. It’s the same in hospitals, supermarkets, service centres, restaurants, hotels, and cafés. Frontline staff service plays a huge role when it comes to helping a business stand out above the ever-laden competition. In the case of restaurants, there’s a reason why Michelin Stars, the most notable and popular restaurant-rating system, includes ‘overall dining experience’ in their list of criteria. Mastery of food taste and techniques are important, but one faulty dining experience of an inspector and your hopes for 3 stars are easily out the door. For hotels, Les Clefs d’Or (The Society of Golden Keys, widely popularised by the 2014 film, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’) was organised formally 90 years ago for the sole purpose of delivering the best quality of customer service in hotels across the globe. Wearing the signature pin of crossed keys in a concierge’s lapel is synonymous with “excellent services rendered by a seasoned professional.” These are the most vital people in any hotel — not just the rooms, value for money, or amenities offered — but the people in front are considered to be the most crucial point of interaction for any hotel guest. As with coffeehouse chains, I often remember the best drinks to be the ones served promptly and properly as I would order them. Some baristas do not exactly know how to prepare a certain drink, but this only tells me one thing: the company needs to invest more time training them. However, the way they handle orders is not the only thing that factors into a customer’s perception. There’s even an account of Forbidden Bean founder and barista, Vanessa Lee, talking about how a barista’s brand image (dress code) affects the taste of coffee. It is seemingly possible to affect a customer’s impression of coffee even before they taste it, simply from interacting with their server. Read more: Keeping up with the Customers: Why feedback matters for every business Whether you go to a bank for over-the-counter transactions or order coffee in the corner shop, the fact that frontline workers will serve you do not change. Everywhere we go, whatever service or product we buy, their omnipotence is a force that if otherwise existed, will not amount to much of the business’ operations. Yet, majority of the world’s businesses who hire frontline workers either pay them less or make them work more than the maximum hours, sometimes even both, resulting in rampant cases of wage theft across different industries. Millions and billions unpaid annually Recently, in the United States, J.V. Car Wash and its sister locations were caught in a lawsuit for a wage theft case amounting to approximately $8.5 million. It was the result of underpaying their workers $4 per hour, $50 per day. On average, that amounts to $350 a week. To put this on a clearer light, the average American’s weekly spend on food is $161, not taking into account that shelter is at $450 per week and transportation is at $200 per week, all on average. That’s already way beyond the $350 a week that J.V. Car Wash employees were getting. Source: Consumer Expenditures (2017), US Bureau of Labor Statistics And this type of case is not at all exclusive in the West. A 2017 report by Middlesex University and the Trust for London notes that “unpaid labour” is not limited to the failure of employers to properly pay employees, however even covering cases such as forced labour, “workfare”, unpaid internships, cessation of pay in company insolvency, and even unwaged domestic work and childcare. The same report concluded that there are between 35,000 and 40,000 cases of unpaid wages every year in the UK alone. Business Insider also reported that these amount to £2.7 billion every year, excluding any unsettled statutory pay and self-employed individuals. In Australia, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) apprehended and penalised businesses in 2018 that amounted to a whopping A$10 million. The penalties were in response to improper payroll processing and underpayment of employees, most of whom were found to be students and immigrants. Among those businesses apprehended, labour issues were most rampant among the fast food industry, restaurant, hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing. One case is that of Degani Café. On 21 December 2018 they were penalised A$140,000 for underpaying staff and providing inspectors with false records, according to FWO. Only 5 months prior to FWO’s notice, Degani was also the subject of a non-compliance report, particular of 15 of their outlets. The problems identified were consistent: Underpayment and record-keeping breaches. Read more: How to solve the enduring wage theft in Australia Yet, the cases of businesses not paying staff accurately remains on its toes. Unfortunately, no big change has been heard of in terms of these issues. As I’m writing this, approximately A$2.3 million in underpayments and wage theft has been announced by FWO — and we’re only halfway the month of March. So, where exactly is this issue coming from and why is it supposedly so difficult to resolve? A complex system’s inner workings Massive cosmetic brand, Lush blamed “serious payroll system errors” as a reason of underpaying staff after they became the subject of Australian controversy in July 2018. It was found that over 5,000 retail and manufacturing workers were improperly paid over the duration of 8 years, amounting to over A$2 million in penalties. What’s interesting to note however, is that their statement also attributed the penalties with the transition of payroll systems to the Fair Work Act’s system of Modern Awards in 2010. Australia’s system of awards has not been short of public dissensions. Putting simply, the legal document serves as a guide in paying staff, where different levels of employee classification, pay rates that change based on hours and days, and the industry covered are indicated. Many factors are taken into consideration when paying people due to this system, and it’s hardly ever a fixed rate for staff since conditions will vary depending on shifts undertaken. One example of this multi-layered complexity was made by SMSF Adviser: “For example, under the Cleaning Services Award 2010 there are three levels of classification, different rates for ordinary hours, Saturdays, Sundays, Public holidays as well as shifts that start prior to 6am, commence after 6pm or for permanent night shift as well as split shift allowances. Additionally, there are allowances for toilet cleaning – if a large portion of the day involves cleaning toilets an allowance of 1.766 per cent of the standard rate per week is paid or 0.359 per cent per shift, a cold place and hot place allowance if you work more than one hour of your shift in a cold or hot place – the amount of allowance varying depending on the temperature. Height allowance, own transport allowance, first aid, leading hand, meal allowance if you work an additional 2 hours without prior notice, refuse collection allowance if a major portion of time is on refuse collection, uniform, higher duties allowance – if you perform higher duties for more than 4 hours in the day you are paid for the whole day if under 4 hours just the actual time you performed higher duties.” I will not even attempt to do the math with the statement above. But imagine the concentration it requires to sift through such details. And then imagine that you’re a business owner whose forte isn’t exactly wage and pay calculation. This makes it strenuous for managers to keep up, what with updates on rates from the Fair Work frequently released. It’s true that complex systems pose major bottlenecks in accurately paying staff; however, it’s also important to take into account that another reason why employees do not get paid well is due to their lack of awareness of how much they should be paid in the first place. In the case of J.V. Car Wash, the workers had barely an idea of what their base wage should be, and whether or not the tips were theirs to take home. If you look at it, this should really not be the case if a business has a proper onboarding system. It’s not solely an employee’s responsibility to understand how the system works — let alone a complex one — rather shouldn’t it be under the employer’s discretion to explain and disclose what an employee should expect? Read more: Onboarding: The Employer’s Checklist Shaping staff confidence to build client confidence Why does accurately paying your staff matter anyway? Underpayment is one factor that leads to low employee morale, and when your frontline staff has low morale, it can significantly affect the way they treat your customers. According to Snap Surveys, any one of these signs are red flags in the company that you should fix ASAP: Poor communication with management and team Frequent absenteeism Excessive complaining over small matters Increased employee conflicts or fighting among staff Poor work quality Increased customer complaints If left unattended, low employee morale will affect business operations faster than managers realise. Productivity will go down, and staff will eventually stop caring about the service they provide to clients. And through the power of social media, it is now easy to leave thoughts and feelings about a company in just one tap. Unsurprisingly, many comments left on websites are not about the product but about the company’s customer service. In fact, according to a PwC survey, 65% of respondents find that great customer service is more influential than great advertising. As Peter Shankman put it: “Customer service is no longer about telling people how great you are. It’s about producing amazing moments in time, and letting those moments become the focal point of how amazing you are, told not by you, but by the customer who you thrilled. They tell their friends, and the trust level goes up at a factor of a thousand. Think about it: Who do you trust more? An advertisement, or a friend telling you how awesome something is?” Employees who are not confident in the job they perform says more about how their employers treat them than anything else. Should a business decide to build their clients’ trust, the trust should begin between managers and employee first, e.g. proper onboarding, decent training, just payouts, and an open feedback system, among others. Read more: Actionable feedback from the front line The truth of the matter is that the demand for frontline staff will not die down for as long as businesses like banks, department stores, coffee shops, and groceries operate. Even when businesses opt to turn digital, customer service representatives still play an essential role of setting a brand image for clients. The way employers treat frontline staff translates into the way they treat their customers, which in turn makes or breaks a brand. For as long as employers fail to provide their customer-facing employees the proper training, fair pay, and flexibility to do the best work they can, these industries will continue to lose more than they can afford — and we’re talking more than just the revenue, more so the overall quality of operations and lifetime value that they have in the books. Know more about how you can empower your frontline staff with our FREE eBook: