Improve Employee Engagement with Technology (Bonus: Free Payroll Calculator)

Jessica Genio-Ignacio

3 February 2020    |   

Media often frames technology and automation as warning signals, heralding the potential replacement of workers and death of the job market. But the truth is that no one can avoid technology at work forever. Industries are moving forward; according to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2030, approximately 14% of the global workforce may find themselves needing to switch occupational categories as technology and digitisation disrupt the working environment. All of this will inevitably usher in significant changes to the way we work. They will also pose many challenges for businesses large and small due to their sheer impact. But, thankfully, they are also critical to adapting to new trends in consumer behaviour and essential to improving employee engagement and retention.  Data-driven decision-making New tools that make connecting and transacting with customers easier have influenced customer expectations for targeted activities like marketing and sales. Data analytics software gives organisations a clearer picture of their audience—who their current sales targets are, and who they need to focus on for marketing. Data has its uses for employees, too. Integrated human resources software can capture and collect employee data from credentials, accomplishments, performance management, wages, and more. With this data, supervisors can make better, more informed decisions about how to manage their employees: their preferred schedules, who works best with who, who costs more.  Productivity gains from payroll It sounds surprising but it’s true: Many businesses still use completely manual methods for processing timesheets and payroll. This can include writing down dates and time on log books or pieces of paper. Then, whenever the payroll period comes around, whoever’s in charge needs to consolidate all that information, double-check it for accuracy, and file it hoping for no mistakes. This can take hours. There’s also an increased chance of error as well, and with something as critical as wages, you’d want that margin of error to be as small as possible. Automated timesheet software cuts out the majority of these steps by applying wage calculations to the number of hours worked. This frees up time for managers and employees to focus more on core tasks, regardless of business size, industry or sector.  One such success story is that of Inala Primary Care, a healthcare general practice organisation operating in Queensland, Australia. As their CEO Tracey Johnson puts it,  “You’ve got lots of practice managers spending hours and hours and hours and hours and hours doing payroll, rostering, and all these very tedious, repetitive tasks. Thankfully we’re just using systems to do this stuff, which then frees up time for them to really work on the business.” How do tools like this work? You can try it for yourself and see how quickly it works out with this free payroll calculator. Just input your staff’s name, details about their shift length, whether they have any breaks and their base wage. The free payroll calculator will do the rest. Personal and professional development opportunities Employee engagement isn’t some abstract concept. It corresponds to concrete action and results in tangible business gains. Gallup research found workplaces exhibit 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity if its employees are engaged. Because of the positive workplace behaviours of these highly engaged employees, it’s natural they impact profit for the better: The study’s results indicate a 21% increase in profitability.  According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 78% of companies believe digital and transformational leadership is important. However, 65% don’t have any strong program to drive this kind of skill growth in employees. Picking up on where other companies lack by offering skills training for digital tools can not only address blind spots but improve employee engagement by satisfying staff needs for personal and professional development. A future-ready workforce Technology is in the global workforce’s future, and organisations will need to adapt lest they fall behind while others in their industry soar. Help employees cope with new technology by developing both hard and soft skills and conducting thorough onboarding and testing processes for any new tools you may encounter.  Want to save time on manual admin tasks and boost productivity? Tanda’s automation tools give you more time for training and engaging with employees. Give it a try today. No credit card required.

Media often frames technology and automation as warning signals, heralding the potential replacement of workers and death of the job market. But the truth is that no one can avoid technology at work forever. Industries are moving forward; according to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2030, approximately 14% of the global workforce may find themselves needing to switch occupational categories as technology and digitisation disrupt the working environment.

All of this will inevitably usher in significant changes to the way we work. They will also pose many challenges for businesses large and small due to their sheer impact. But, thankfully, they are also critical to adapting to new trends in consumer behaviour and essential to improving employee engagement and retention. 

Data-driven decision-making

New tools that make connecting and transacting with customers easier have influenced customer expectations for targeted activities like marketing and sales. Data analytics software gives organisations a clearer picture of their audience—who their current sales targets are, and who they need to focus on for marketing.

Data has its uses for employees, too. Integrated human resources software can capture and collect employee data from credentials, accomplishments, performance management, wages, and more. With this data, supervisors can make better, more informed decisions about how to manage their employees: their preferred schedules, who works best with who, who costs more. 

Empowering Frontline Staff with Modern Technology - Tanda eBook

Productivity gains from payroll

It sounds surprising but it’s true: Many businesses still use completely manual methods for processing timesheets and payroll. This can include writing down dates and time on log books or pieces of paper. Then, whenever the payroll period comes around, whoever’s in charge needs to consolidate all that information, double-check it for accuracy, and file it hoping for no mistakes. This can take hours. There’s also an increased chance of error as well, and with something as critical as wages, you’d want that margin of error to be as small as possible.

Automated timesheet software cuts out the majority of these steps by applying wage calculations to the number of hours worked. This frees up time for managers and employees to focus more on core tasks, regardless of business size, industry or sector. 

One such success story is that of Inala Primary Care, a healthcare general practice organisation operating in Queensland, Australia. As their CEO Tracey Johnson puts it,  “You’ve got lots of practice managers spending hours and hours and hours and hours and hours doing payroll, rostering, and all these very tedious, repetitive tasks. Thankfully we’re just using systems to do this stuff, which then frees up time for them to really work on the business.”

How do tools like this work? You can try it for yourself and see how quickly it works out with this free payroll calculator. Just input your staff’s name, details about their shift length, whether they have any breaks and their base wage. The free payroll calculator will do the rest.

Personal and professional development opportunities

Employee engagement isn’t some abstract concept. It corresponds to concrete action and results in tangible business gains. Gallup research found workplaces exhibit 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity if its employees are engaged. Because of the positive workplace behaviours of these highly engaged employees, it’s natural they impact profit for the better: The study’s results indicate a 21% increase in profitability. 

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 78% of companies believe digital and transformational leadership is important. However, 65% don’t have any strong program to drive this kind of skill growth in employees. Picking up on where other companies lack by offering skills training for digital tools can not only address blind spots but improve employee engagement by satisfying staff needs for personal and professional development.

A future-ready workforce

Technology is in the global workforce’s future, and organisations will need to adapt lest they fall behind while others in their industry soar. Help employees cope with new technology by developing both hard and soft skills and conducting thorough onboarding and testing processes for any new tools you may encounter. 

Want to save time on manual admin tasks and boost productivity? Tanda’s automation tools give you more time for training and engaging with employees. Give it a try today. No credit card required.

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How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

Awards & Rostering    |   

Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should be paid in your state. First, let’s see when the holidays will be in 2014. You might be surprised! If your business is open on any of these public holidays, you’ll need to pay staff the appropriate public holiday rates. You should check your award, which will tell you exactly what multiplier or penalties to apply, often under a Public Holidays section. A common multiplier is 2.5x. Some businesses pay staff salaries, or pay casually “above award”. Public holiday penalties still apply! If you have a contract, it should cover this – check with Fair Work if you are unsure. Staff who don’t work on a public holiday If you have full or part time staff who should have worked on any of the weekday public holidays – Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Easter Tuesday in specific cases – they are still entitled to pay, even if they do not work. Generally you’ll pay at base rate for the hours staff would have been entitled to. Of course, if staff do work on the day, you’ll pay at a higher rate as dictated by the award (see above). But keep in mind: this only applies if they usually work on that day. For example, a part timer in Queensland who generally works Tuesday to Thursday probably wouldn’t get paid the public holidays because there’s no public holiday on those weekdays. Check your award/agreement to be sure! If your award dictates how rostered days off work, you should check to see if staff with an RDO on a public holiday are still paid. In some states, some kinds of businesses are not permitted to open on public holidays due to trading regulations. If this applies, you will probably still be required to pay staff who would otherwise work on that weekday. Again, if you’re not sure, it’s best to ask. Staff who work on a day that isn’t a public holiday Keep in mind that the rest of the award doesn’t shut off just because it’s Easter. For example, if you are in Tasmania and pay Saturday rates, you’ll still need to pay these on Easter Saturday (which is not a public holiday for you). Did you know… If an employee takes sick leave around a public holiday (eg. Thursday April 24 to Monday April 28), they still get paid the public holiday if they were otherwise supposed to work that day (ie. full/part time) If an employee takes annual leave, public holidays during the leave period don’t count towards their annual leave balance Public holidays do not need to be paid for staff on unpaid leave Staff cannot be forced to work on a public holiday if they have reasonable grounds for doing so. Common reasons include: the amount of notice given, family responsibilities (especially over Easter), and whether one could reasonably expect the business to be open on a public holiday. Tanda’s employee time clocks automatically interpret industry awards – including public holidays – so you can be sure you paid staff right, without tedious manually data entry Add the Fair Work Infoline to your speed dial, they are always happy to help. The number to call for any payroll queries is 131 394. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

Industry Insights    |   

Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part of effective management is providing your personnel with feedback when they’ve done something incorrectly, or perhaps just less correctly than you would prefer. Ideally, you want to train your workforce to act as you would in a given situation. This takes time, patience, and consistent positive reinforcement. So how can you communicate to your beautiful and unique snowflakes that they’re not meeting your standards without alienating, offending, or irritating them? Here is a list of best practices that can help you deliver a difficult message in ways that will improve employee attitude, engagement, and performance. 1.      Focus on Positives Even if you’ve been stuck with the worst employee in the world, even if they come into work smelling like a Cypress Hill concert in un-ironed slacks made of organic hemp, you’ve got to find a silver lining. To be clear, this doesn’t mean sugar-coating the negatives. It just means balancing criticism with praise. Build employee confidence first, then present avenues for improvement. The thing to remember about creating a harmonious work environment is it begins and ends with being nice. The simplest gestures can prevent resentment, discontentment, and hurt feelings. Keep your employees happy, and you’ll be a much happier manager. 2.      Objectivity This can be tough. It’s important not to let your emotions get in the way of effective management. Subjectivity can get you into all sorts of trouble: favouritism, nepotism, and a plethora of other –isms worth avoiding. A cool head is needed for command decisions, plus your employees will reflect the attitudes you present to them. Come to work angry, and you’re likely to look out and see an office rife with cantankerousness. 3.      Always Deliver Negative Feedback in Person It’s a busy day, you hear a bad report, and you want to get it handled quickly. So you just shoot of an email with a textual reprimand. A very tempting scenario, but not the best idea. People can read into messages more or less than you intend. If there’s a problem with an employee important enough for you to respond personally, then it’s important enough to respond to it in person. 4.      Time your Feedback Correctly Timing is everything. You have to take the opportune moment. For minor infractions, or something of a sensitive nature (a conflict between employees for example), allow a bit of time to pass so that tempers might cool before addressing the situation. Similarly, don’t call an employee out in front of their peers. Wait for the right moment, when they’re not under scrutiny, to approach. You don’t want to embarrass an employee, and you never know what can get the blood running to someone’s cheeks. 5.      Location, Location, Location Along the same lines as timing, the location of a performance review can have a great impact on how receptive an employee might be to your suggestions. Go to an empty conference room, any neutral ground will do. 6.      Pay Attention to How You’re Being Perceived This means watching your phrasing and body language. Present problems in a sympathetic light, and avoid negative syntax: “I don’t think… You shouldn’t… This isn’t…” Maintain eye contact, without being creepy. Keep gesticulations, mannerisms, and movements calm and casual. Aggression is an animal instinct, don’t release the beast during a performance review. 7.      Be Clear With Your Criticisms, Leave No Room for Interpretation Convey your meaning quickly, clearly, and without ambiguity. Be direct with your employees, let them know exactly what you disapprove of, how they can improve, and if there’s a need for it: a warning as to what continued instances of the undesired behavior will result in. Alternatively, reinforce desired actions. If they’ve done anything right at all, mention it, and offer praise. Building an effective team is a complicated process, but armed with common sense and a healthy dose of positivity, you can put together an office environment that runs like a well-oiled machine.

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About the author

Jessica Genio-Ignacio

Jessie is a PR and Content Writer interested in the impact of tech and digital on people and businesses.

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Awards & Rostering

How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

Awards & Rostering

Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

Industry Insights

Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part […]

More Resources

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