The Three I’s of Data-Driven Workforce Management

Enrique Estagle

7 September 2017    |   

Data is the foundation of today’s digital revolution. Because of it, we are able to hail rides through a smartphone, find out what our friends are up to on a daily basis, and access content at any time of the day. This revolution is also making waves in the field of workforce management. Through the power of data and digital technology, companies are finding ways to enhance the employee experience. At the same time, it is benefiting business owners as it also reduces the overall business costs. The core values of data-driven workforce management can be summarized by the three “I”s: Innovation Some of the key tech behind the data-driven revolution are cloud computing, the internet, and mobile. And because of it, workforce management is innovating at a rapid pace. Dedicated legacy equipment and software are being replaced with low-cost, flexible solutions that serve as platforms for data to be received and interpreted. Old-school punch clocks are giving way to tablet-based time clock software. Employee onboarding becomes easier as paper forms are replaced by web-based processes. Integration More devices are connected to the internet, which makes exchanging data easier. With the advent of application programming interfaces or APIs, different kinds of software are able to work together to do more tasks. Integration is reducing the time and resources needed for workforce management. Sales information from the POS can be used for predictive workforce rostering to help determine the number of staff needed at any given time.   Insight With more systems being integrated comes more data. This means that managers and business owners have access to insights that were not available before. Different types of data are correlated for better benchmarking purposes. At a glance, managers can track business revenue and labour costs in real time. This enables them to make decisions quickly, keeping up with their core metrics. When considering a workforce management solution for your business, look for the one that is highly data-driven. Choose those that puts innovation, integration, and insight at the forefront.

Data is the foundation of today’s digital revolution. Because of it, we are able to hail rides through a smartphone, find out what our friends are up to on a daily basis, and access content at any time of the day.

This revolution is also making waves in the field of workforce management. Through the power of data and digital technology, companies are finding ways to enhance the employee experience. At the same time, it is benefiting business owners as it also reduces the overall business costs.

The core values of data-driven workforce management can be summarized by the three “I”s:

Innovation

Some of the key tech behind the data-driven revolution are cloud computing, the internet, and mobile. And because of it, workforce management is innovating at a rapid pace. Dedicated legacy equipment and software are being replaced with low-cost, flexible solutions that serve as platforms for data to be received and interpreted. Old-school punch clocks are giving way to tablet-based time clock software. Employee onboarding becomes easier as paper forms are replaced by web-based processes.

Integration

More devices are connected to the internet, which makes exchanging data easier. With the advent of application programming interfaces or APIs, different kinds of software are able to work together to do more tasks. Integration is reducing the time and resources needed for workforce management. Sales information from the POS can be used for predictive workforce rostering to help determine the number of staff needed at any given time.  

Insight

With more systems being integrated comes more data. This means that managers and business owners have access to insights that were not available before. Different types of data are correlated for better benchmarking purposes. At a glance, managers can track business revenue and labour costs in real time. This enables them to make decisions quickly, keeping up with their core metrics.

When considering a workforce management solution for your business, look for the one that is highly data-driven. Choose those that puts innovation, integration, and insight at the forefront.

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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.

Industry Insights    |   

Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: 1. Cost of living This is by far the biggest benefit of being in Brisbane; housing and office space are so much more within the price range of a business that’s just starting. This has allowed us to bootstrap to a considerable size without using external funding. 2. Transport This may sound like a small thing. The best advice we got when we were starting our business was “it takes a lot of shoe leather”, meaning we’d spend a lot of time on our feet talking to anyone who’ll meet with us. Driving around Brisbane is so much better than other capital cities. It’s affordable enough, and nothing is too far away. Despite what philosopher Alain de Botton might say about the Riverside Expressway, it’s one of my favourite features of the city. Because Brisbane’s not that big, we can justify having an office outside of the inner city where rent is a bit cheaper, without feeling like we are out of the loop. 3. BCC Brisbane City Council is making a very concerted effort for the future of the city to be digital. I was lucky enough to receive the Lord Mayor’s budding entrepreneur grant and have heard Cr Quirk talk about the city’s plan for the future and I’m excited about growing a business here. 4. Business community There are a number of great communities around start-ups really getting some traction in Brisbane such as River City Labs and iLab. But the other great thing about the city is how many innovative business people are willing to talk to you and lend a hand – which is particularly good for a B2B business! 5. Talent Brisbane has two great technology courses at QUT and UQ, which makes it much easier to attract and retain young talent to help build and grow our business. It’s a much tougher market for employers in other capital cities, especially those with only one technology-focused university. I’d recommend Brisbane as a great place to start a business for anyone considering starting out. The team at Brisbane Marketing & Digital Brisbane have a lot of support available to you on top of the many other benefits.

Awards & Rostering    |   

Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your 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). Tell me some more interesting facts about payroll around public hoildays 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 Where can I get help? 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. What’s your favourite easter treat? We’re impartial to Lindt chocolate bunnies. Yum. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

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About the author

Enrique Estagle

Enrique was the former editor-in-chief of Tanda's Blog.

Related Articles

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 […]

Industry Insights

Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: […]

Awards & Rostering

Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your 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 […]

More Resources

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