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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 |
3 Strategies to Master Your Wage Costs
Understanding your wage costs from a financial report is a bit like trying to piece back together a fruit smoothie that’s already been blended. Only a fraction of employers ever master their wage costs. Those who do are able to turn what’s viewed as a burden by their competitors into their best competitive advantage. A well trained and engaged workforce is a terrifyingly sharp weapon to take to your competition. The secret to it all is actually highly practical in application. It has been proven through decades of research that links highly engaged workforces to increases in topline revenue. We’ve worked with some of the most successful companies in traditionally low margin industries. Here are three of the most potent strategies you can apply to turn your workforce into your weapon in the new year. (1) Start measuring the future, rather than just reporting the past Financial reports are good if you want to see what happened yesterday. But taking control of wage costs is a long-term game. This means managing all expenses that a company bears for the employment of a staff member. This includes everything from gross salaries and benefits to other legal employer contributions. If you want to improve your future wage cost position, you need to start in advance. Building a conceptual report of your future wage costs works well because changes to the way you manage your workforce can take a long time to flow through. That’s especially true when it comes to agreed rostered hours, employment types, and hiring strategies, which take time to materialise into long term savings. You know what Christmas trade was like last year, so what will it look like in the new financial year with higher wage costs and new employees? What could you change throughout the year in terms of things like the types of employees you hire and their agreed hours? The difference can be significant. Scenario test your forecasts based on employment type, age, level and test the impact of unforeseen overtime. Software will greatly speed this process up. If you’re only reporting on how well you’ve done, start reporting into the future in 2019. Plan to be successful in the future so you can start moving towards your goals now. (2) Tie up loose ends with a sharp ‘day of operations’ plan A well-run shift feels good, it’s like a hot knife through butter. The perfect win-win-win for business, employee, and customer. For some businesses, this is a random occurrence, but businesses that invest in the success of their workforce replicate this effect on a daily basis. It sounds simple enough: you need the right people in the right place at the right times, and management that leads the charge from the front. The reality is that planning and execution have many moving parts, which is why the day of operations plan holds key to your long term success. Staff levels should track your schedule, or day of operations plan, like clockwork. Any observed discrepancies should be viewed in light of demand being increased or decreased versus what was expected. At Tanda we we’ve quantified the ‘loose ends’ of a shift to be worth at least 1% of total payroll cost, based on clients who moved off manual timesheets. These represent just the small 1 to 5 minute variances here or there to what was planned, so with larger unexpected variances there can be a much larger than 1% difference between your plan and actual costs. Executing shifts with precision and recording times accurate to the minute is low hanging fruit in 2019. You can do this by setting goals for the time between trading or production end, and the official shift end, to encourage staff to finish diligently. If the original plan results in success, sticking to the plan guarantees it. Tanda’s Live Wage Tracker lets you see wage costs in real-time and adjust staffing levels to drive profitability (3) Return Managers to the Frontline If you want to sell more, make more, and ultimately do more in 2019, empower your managers to lead from the front. This is an opportunity that most businesses leave on the table. Frontline managers are your managers who lead shifts and teams, and they lead more employees than any other level of management. Remember, frontline staff have direct and measurable impacts on top line revenue and quality — they are the doers of any company. Research shows that the most valuable thing a frontline manager can do is allocate time to lead from the front, yet frontline managers spend more time on administration than on more important things like coaching and training. Make the admin the exception. Analyse what keeps managers in their office and automate it, so they can lead the charge from the front. Industrial engineers use the fancy term “task-based observation”, but in practice finding out what to automate is as simple as analysing each piece of paper a manager touches and asking, “why?” Tanda’s Live Wage Tracker monitors your wage costs in real time as Tanda’s Award Engine calculates the exact cost of your wages for each minute of the day Master your Wage Costs Mastering your wage costs only takes a few key changes to the way you do business. First, investing in the right software will empower you to accurately forecast the next 12 months and beyond based on both reported data and common scenarios. Workforce success platforms like Tanda eliminate the need to guess how different employment and overtime levels affect revenue. Second, planning ahead and having contingencies ensure that every shift runs well and no resources are wasted. Besides having a sharp “day of operations plan”, preparing for staffing difficulties is possible with features like shift swapping that dramatically reduce no-shows. Third, ensuring that managers have a connection with both the staff and the customers gives you an edge over the competition. A manager that is not stuck in the back office understands concerns from all ends, and makes better decisions as a result. Help your business grow by implementing these three strategies today! Curious to know more about a workforce management system that can help your business get better? Book your FREE demo with Tanda today.
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.