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Industry Insights    |   

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. [caption id=\"attachment_25324\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"650\"] Source: Consumer Expenditures (2017), US Bureau of Labor Statistics[/caption] 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:

Invisible Hand: The Direct Business Impact of Every Frontline Staff

13 March 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Workplaces are adapting at a fast rate, with seismic changes over the last decade. Businesses now, more than ever, realise the importance of employee wellbeing. The reason is simple: Happy staff members are more productive. This positivity also means your retention rates go up and they’ll stay on a long-term basis. This article explores how and why you should set aside budget for investment into a wellbeing program. Employee wellbeing: A quick history According to wellness expert Michael Rucker, the first recorded example of worker wellbeing comes from a physician called, Bernardini Ramazzini. The Italian lived during the 17th century and noted the effects of overwork on people of his era. But it’s only in the last two decades that wellness programs have become popular in businesses on a widespread scale. In America, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services ran a program called, \'Healthy People 2000\', and another programme called, \'Healthy People 2010\'. After a similar run in the 1990s, this encouraged businesses to support their staff with various wellness initiatives. And over the last decade it’s certainly taken off, with many and varied businesses engaging openly with healthy initiatives and supporting employee mental health. Investing in your staff And what are the benefits of putting in that investment? Well, there’s a lot of scientific research backing this up. There’s Wellsteps, for a start, with Dr. Steven Aldana and Dr. Troy Adams stating: “We have evaluated both approaches and have concluded that the group-based approach is more effective and cost-effective. The group-based approach significantly improves health and well-being in both community and worksite settings. These studies show that cardiovascular risk factors, depression and stress were reduced, and physical activity, nutrition, and sleep were all improved.” So, it’s now well noted you should invest in wellbeing to better your business. But it’s about much more than free fruit days or discounts on cinema tickets. It takes a concerted effort from your business to develop a wellness program. The benefits of support packages To do that, take a look at Forbes’ insights on starting your own version. The documented results are as follows: Improved employee health behaviours; Reduction of health risks; Improved productivity; Decrease in absence rates; and A lift in workplace morale. All of which, unquestionably, add up to a better staff retention rate. If your employees are well supported, their performance will translate into better productivity and happiness in the workplace. Just look at Microsoft’s wellness package, for instance. Although many employees would want to work there regardless, it still provides some exceptional perks for hardworking staff members. Who would want to leave? And you must think of your competitors when approaching your decision. To keep your best staff members, you want to offer them a major reason to stay. And a rich benefits package with wellbeing support is a major impetus to do so. If you’re not providing anything impressive, your staff will likely head to a competitor who does. Similarly, when you’re looking to hire, it’s a major highlight to include your benefits package in your job specs. If you’re able to boast of what you can provide your staff in the long-term, then it can prove to be a major incentive for them to join, and ultimately stay, with your business. As such, view employee wellbeing programs as long-term ROI. Spending the time and money now to keep staff happy will future-proof your mission statement. Summary Wrapping things up, there are only a few things to keep in mind when hiring and retaining good talent. And keeping your staff happy is the right first step to take. To get the best talent, you have to spend a little. And retention over time can transform into loyalty, with staff committed to your brand—and no one else. In short, it’s absolutely worth looking at your budget to see how you can spend to retain more members of your team. And a key part to all of it, as Dr. Frasier Crane would say, is with good mental health.

Why investing in employee wellbeing will help you retain talent

12 March 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Various changes are expected to occur in the UK as a result of the Brexit negotiations. Business owners anticipate that developments will affect labour and employment regulations across the country. While there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until at least 31 December 2020, employers are already raising questions and preparing for changes. One major issue is the UK Right to Work, as a no-deal result could impact the labour supply of projects in some industries. So who can work in the UK right now, and how might that change? UK Right to Work at present In general, citizens of the United Kingdom, Switzerland or one of the following European Economic Area (EEA) countries, have the right to work in the UK: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. These citizens need to produce documents that prove their nationalities, such as their passport, Biometric Residence Permit, or adoption certificate. EU nationals will need to prove their right to work in the UK through, for example, a valid UK National Insurance number. Nationals of certain countries, such as Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria, may require special permission. Citizens of countries not specified above usually need to apply for a visa to be able to work in the UK. There are various types that include long-term, short-term, investors, entrepreneurs and talent visas. In most cases, a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer is required before you can work in the UK. Read more: Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade Employer’s responsibility to check Employers are responsible for complying with migrant work legislation. They need to ensure that none of their employees are working illegally in the UK. To this end, the Home Office launched an online Employer Checking Service. According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, “This service enables UK employers to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit or a biometric residence card, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions.” The online service will benefit employers, as employing illegal workers has dire consequences. Employers can face a civil penalty with a maximum fine of £20,000 for each illegal worker. It can even affect their ability to sponsor migrant workers.  Employers can avoid the civil penalty only if the online check backs up their decision to hire. UK Right to Work post-Brexit According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, in case of a no-deal Brexit, employers will be expected to check whether EU nationals have the right to work in the UK. “If somebody hasn’t been here prior to the end of March [2019], employers will have to make sure they go through adequately rigorous checks to evidence somebody’s right to work,” she said. EU citizens in the UK must apply for a ‘settled status’ in order to remain in the country. The registration process that will affect around 3.5 million EU citizens is currently being tested. Because the negotiations are ongoing, it is impossible to tell whether the no-deal Brexit scenario will take place. According to Furley Page Solicitor Tessa Robinson, the current immigration system will apply to EU workers arriving in the UK until 31 December 2020. Individuals who arrive by the end of 2020 can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021. Regulations and procedures beyond this depend on the Brexit negotiations. What employers should watch out for There is plenty of speculation surrounding the possible effects of Brexit. Investor confidence remains unstable after the pound failed to recover from its nosedive after the Brexit vote. Two years ago, the currency dropped 10% to its 31-year low of $1.33 to a pound. It has hovered there since. This financial climate has contributed to a skills shortage in many sectors, notably construction and hospitality. Given this, employers need to watch out for pressing challenges, as well as opportunities. It is too early to tell what the real impact on labour will be. However, all trends indicate that recruitment is going to become a challenge. Employers can future-proof their business by putting systems in place to remain compliant with new regulations. They also need to ensure a steady supply of qualified labour. Beyond the usual recruitment strategies, employers can source a contingent workforce and invest in management software. They can do these changes now to avoid the negative effects of Brexit.

UK Right to Work: A simple guide to check eligibility

22 February 2019

Industry Insights    |   

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. [caption id=\"attachment_25324\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"650\"] Source: Consumer Expenditures (2017), US Bureau of Labor Statistics[/caption] 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:

Invisible Hand: The Direct Business Impact of Every Frontline Staff

13 March 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Workplaces are adapting at a fast rate, with seismic changes over the last decade. Businesses now, more than ever, realise the importance of employee wellbeing. The reason is simple: Happy staff members are more productive. This positivity also means your retention rates go up and they’ll stay on a long-term basis. This article explores how and why you should set aside budget for investment into a wellbeing program. Employee wellbeing: A quick history According to wellness expert Michael Rucker, the first recorded example of worker wellbeing comes from a physician called, Bernardini Ramazzini. The Italian lived during the 17th century and noted the effects of overwork on people of his era. But it’s only in the last two decades that wellness programs have become popular in businesses on a widespread scale. In America, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services ran a program called, \'Healthy People 2000\', and another programme called, \'Healthy People 2010\'. After a similar run in the 1990s, this encouraged businesses to support their staff with various wellness initiatives. And over the last decade it’s certainly taken off, with many and varied businesses engaging openly with healthy initiatives and supporting employee mental health. Investing in your staff And what are the benefits of putting in that investment? Well, there’s a lot of scientific research backing this up. There’s Wellsteps, for a start, with Dr. Steven Aldana and Dr. Troy Adams stating: “We have evaluated both approaches and have concluded that the group-based approach is more effective and cost-effective. The group-based approach significantly improves health and well-being in both community and worksite settings. These studies show that cardiovascular risk factors, depression and stress were reduced, and physical activity, nutrition, and sleep were all improved.” So, it’s now well noted you should invest in wellbeing to better your business. But it’s about much more than free fruit days or discounts on cinema tickets. It takes a concerted effort from your business to develop a wellness program. The benefits of support packages To do that, take a look at Forbes’ insights on starting your own version. The documented results are as follows: Improved employee health behaviours; Reduction of health risks; Improved productivity; Decrease in absence rates; and A lift in workplace morale. All of which, unquestionably, add up to a better staff retention rate. If your employees are well supported, their performance will translate into better productivity and happiness in the workplace. Just look at Microsoft’s wellness package, for instance. Although many employees would want to work there regardless, it still provides some exceptional perks for hardworking staff members. Who would want to leave? And you must think of your competitors when approaching your decision. To keep your best staff members, you want to offer them a major reason to stay. And a rich benefits package with wellbeing support is a major impetus to do so. If you’re not providing anything impressive, your staff will likely head to a competitor who does. Similarly, when you’re looking to hire, it’s a major highlight to include your benefits package in your job specs. If you’re able to boast of what you can provide your staff in the long-term, then it can prove to be a major incentive for them to join, and ultimately stay, with your business. As such, view employee wellbeing programs as long-term ROI. Spending the time and money now to keep staff happy will future-proof your mission statement. Summary Wrapping things up, there are only a few things to keep in mind when hiring and retaining good talent. And keeping your staff happy is the right first step to take. To get the best talent, you have to spend a little. And retention over time can transform into loyalty, with staff committed to your brand—and no one else. In short, it’s absolutely worth looking at your budget to see how you can spend to retain more members of your team. And a key part to all of it, as Dr. Frasier Crane would say, is with good mental health.

Why investing in employee wellbeing will help you retain talent

12 March 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Various changes are expected to occur in the UK as a result of the Brexit negotiations. Business owners anticipate that developments will affect labour and employment regulations across the country. While there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until at least 31 December 2020, employers are already raising questions and preparing for changes. One major issue is the UK Right to Work, as a no-deal result could impact the labour supply of projects in some industries. So who can work in the UK right now, and how might that change? UK Right to Work at present In general, citizens of the United Kingdom, Switzerland or one of the following European Economic Area (EEA) countries, have the right to work in the UK: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. These citizens need to produce documents that prove their nationalities, such as their passport, Biometric Residence Permit, or adoption certificate. EU nationals will need to prove their right to work in the UK through, for example, a valid UK National Insurance number. Nationals of certain countries, such as Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria, may require special permission. Citizens of countries not specified above usually need to apply for a visa to be able to work in the UK. There are various types that include long-term, short-term, investors, entrepreneurs and talent visas. In most cases, a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer is required before you can work in the UK. Read more: Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade Employer’s responsibility to check Employers are responsible for complying with migrant work legislation. They need to ensure that none of their employees are working illegally in the UK. To this end, the Home Office launched an online Employer Checking Service. According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, “This service enables UK employers to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit or a biometric residence card, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions.” The online service will benefit employers, as employing illegal workers has dire consequences. Employers can face a civil penalty with a maximum fine of £20,000 for each illegal worker. It can even affect their ability to sponsor migrant workers.  Employers can avoid the civil penalty only if the online check backs up their decision to hire. UK Right to Work post-Brexit According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, in case of a no-deal Brexit, employers will be expected to check whether EU nationals have the right to work in the UK. “If somebody hasn’t been here prior to the end of March [2019], employers will have to make sure they go through adequately rigorous checks to evidence somebody’s right to work,” she said. EU citizens in the UK must apply for a ‘settled status’ in order to remain in the country. The registration process that will affect around 3.5 million EU citizens is currently being tested. Because the negotiations are ongoing, it is impossible to tell whether the no-deal Brexit scenario will take place. According to Furley Page Solicitor Tessa Robinson, the current immigration system will apply to EU workers arriving in the UK until 31 December 2020. Individuals who arrive by the end of 2020 can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021. Regulations and procedures beyond this depend on the Brexit negotiations. What employers should watch out for There is plenty of speculation surrounding the possible effects of Brexit. Investor confidence remains unstable after the pound failed to recover from its nosedive after the Brexit vote. Two years ago, the currency dropped 10% to its 31-year low of $1.33 to a pound. It has hovered there since. This financial climate has contributed to a skills shortage in many sectors, notably construction and hospitality. Given this, employers need to watch out for pressing challenges, as well as opportunities. It is too early to tell what the real impact on labour will be. However, all trends indicate that recruitment is going to become a challenge. Employers can future-proof their business by putting systems in place to remain compliant with new regulations. They also need to ensure a steady supply of qualified labour. Beyond the usual recruitment strategies, employers can source a contingent workforce and invest in management software. They can do these changes now to avoid the negative effects of Brexit.

UK Right to Work: A simple guide to check eligibility

22 February 2019

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Why Fingerprint Scanners don’t work for Time & Attendance

The ability to quickly identify and verify individuals has been a crucial skill in human society, since the start of civilisation. Where previously face-to-face recognition would have sufficed in tribes and small villages, thanks to today’s rapidly growing global population we require more tools to quickly identify who someone is. In the workplace the need to identify individuals is particularly important, as it’s often tied to staff attendance, payroll, and workplace security. Throughout the years various solutions have been used to verify staff attendance from paper timesheets, to the Bundy Clock, to fingerprint and biometric scanners. Despite the best efforts of some die-hard fans, the fingerprint scanner has reached its limit, being surpassed by the electronic time clock. With so many other solutions available at our fingertips, why are some people so desperately clinging to their fingerprint scanner? Surely we’ve all seen enough spy movies to know fingerprint scanners aren’t foolproof, let alone feasible in today’s day and age where most of the fun comes from trying to fool the system. And yet, it’s something that we still occasionally hear, “why don’t you have fingerprint scanners?” So to put the debate to rest once and for all, here are three reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work. And before you start saying, ‘but what about this…” here are three great reasons why the electronic time clock has surpassed the fingerprint scanner. 3 Reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work to track staff attendance 1. They’re Expensive No matter which way you look at it, fingerprint scanners are expensive equipment. Despite the fact that the technology has been around for years, the cost of the device still remains relatively high, potentially setting you back a few thousand dollars. In addition to the device, the cost of the integration between the scanner and corresponding system can be expensive to build. The scanners are delicate, and aren’t always built to handle the hundreds of fingerprints pressed onto them throughout their lifetime. Which brings me to my next point... 2. They’re Unreliable Unlike your favourite FBI crime-show encryption-grade biometric scanners, workplace fingerprint scanners are notoriously unreliable. In order to correctly identify and record an individual, fingerprint scanners require a clear image or impression of your fingerprint. Fingers that are dirty, greasy, cold or wet for example, often don’t register on the scanner, making it hard to both clock out, and verify the individual. Employers who prefer to use fingerprint scanners, do so because they think it’s easier than remembering a passcode. However should the fingerprint scanner fail to register the scan, some systems will request a passcode. Not only is this an additional hassle to staff who are trying simply to clock in or out, but it also opens the window to time theft through buddy clocking. 3. Maintenance is a pain As previously mentioned, fingerprint scanners are not cheap. They’re a costly purchase, and are even more expensive to repair or replace when they wear out. Repairing a broken scanner requires a specialised technician, and often costly parts. On the occasion that it is easier to replace than repair, users often run into more problems as they are not readily available at your local JB Hi-Fi or electronics outlet. On top of this, users often experience issues around the device’s durability, which lead to additional maintenance costs and ultimately a new device down the track. Introducing the 21st Century solution Electronic time clocks are the most robust, user-friendly, and affordable solution to record staff attendance. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 11.2 million Australians owned a tablet device in 2015. It’s therefore no surprise that table based time clocks like Tanda are taking off in popularity amongst Australia’s workforce, thanks to their ease of use, and reliability. By utilising a tablet device, they provide an effective and consistent solution to time theft as well as streamlining your entire payroll process. 3 Reasons why electronic time clocks are the market leading solution: 1. Affordability Tablets in their various forms have started to become more commonplace in businesses of all sizes. This is thanks to more core business functions such as POS, inventory, and payment processing, becoming available on tablet devices. This technology is providing business owners with greater mobility to engage with customers, as well as streamlining core business activities in one device. Time Clock tablets are easily accessible, affordable and present a number of additional benefits to a business looking to improve their customer offering. 2. Robust and reliable. Thanks to the prevalence of tablet usage, most people are familiar with how to use a tablet and how they should be treated. Tablets are touch-screen based and as such built to handle lots of little fingers pushing and tapping the screen. Tanda’s Time Clock verifies staff attendance through photos and PIN code verification. Which means that unlike a fingerprint scanner, it doesn’t matter if staff have dirty or wet fingers, they’ll still be able to clock out the first time around. The timestamp and photo verification also make it quick and easy for managers and business owners to quickly check that the right person has clocked in and out for the correct shift. 3. Cloud-based for more options Using a cloud-based Time Clock solution like Tanda provides users with more options, which enable rather than restrict the user. Software maintenance and upgrades are not required, as they’re done automatically in the system. Devices are easy to replace and interchangeable, and should the system connection be disrupted, all clock in data is stored locally and uploaded to the cloud later. In addition to this, as a backup, users can access the Time Clock app through a browser on a desktop. Using a cloud solution to track staff attendance provides unparalleled opportunities to streamline additional business administration tasks, as well as providing greater insight into labour costs, staff punctuality and staff engagement. Workplaces are busy places, and managers have much better things to spend their time on than trying to get the fingerprint scanner to work. Using electronic Time Clocks to track employee attendance allows staff to clock in quickly and efficiently, so that they can get out of the backroom and working in your business. Because at the end of the day, you need a system that is affordable, reliable, and accessible, so that you can get on with paying staff and focusing on your business.

Product Updates

New Tanda Time Clock

Today we\'re excited to announce the upcoming release of a newly redesigned Tanda Employee Time Clock. Addressing the problem of recording accurate employee Time and Attendance is core to ensuring we service you, our customers. This is why, on the 29th of January 2019, an update to both iOS and Android will be released on the respective app stores. Any update from the app stores from the 29th of January onwards will download this new Time Clock. The new Time Clock features a bunch of improvements that are expanded upon below: A new redesign Clock breaks with break buttons Portrait & Landscape Orientation Smart shift status Facial detection Easier device reporting To get this new Time Clock now - download the Beta on both Android and iOS. Redesign New colours, new design and some obvious layout changes have been perfected and refined for this new Time Clock. A zappy keypad now sits on a deep navy background that ripples blue waves to the rounded edge of each button. Successful entry opens a vibrant and compact user interface that pops with judicious colours. A thin-blue timer encapsulates the \'close\' button and indicates when the Time Clock screen times out - gleefully sliding all contents away. Employee\'s information is smartly displayed within the shift card and clocked times are swiftly populated upon each action. This is the Time Clock of the future. Get Beta versions now. Clock Breaks with Break Buttons The Time Clock will automatically show/hide break buttons based on the Settings enabled in your My Tanda account. If your My Tanda account doesn\'t allow staff to clock breaks - your Time Clock will display just \'Clock in\' and \'Clock out\' buttons automatically. Read more on Displaying Break Buttons or our blog post on the release of multi-breaks. See it in action below: Portrait & Landscape Orientation Dock your tablet in whatever orientation suits. The new Time Clock will dock and send photos in portrait, landscape and even upside-down (charging ports are sometimes in funky spots). All features will work as expected. Smart Shift Status Knowing what stage of a shift you\'re in helps Timesheet reporting and accuracy. That\'s why we\'ve made the Time Clock smarter in detecting a shift status (whether it\'s started, on a break, near completion) to automatically render the correct button action. This will go a long way in answering common questions staff have: what button should I press? was I on a break or already clocked in? how long was the break I just took? and providing instant clarity during a shift. Facial Detection Making sure the correct staff are at work at the correct time is important for your business. Equally important is making sure the correct staff are clocking in. As an introduction for much cooler things to come, both iOS and Android support facial detection on the Time Clock. Device Reporting We want our customers to successfully manage their business, not their Tanda accounts. That\'s why we\'ve made reporting device information about your Time Clock as simple and as fast as  possible to Tanda Support and technical staff to help us assist you debug any issues. Read more about how to Send Device Info to Tanda. The Wrap This new Time Clock will provide quicker clarity to employees throughout their shift and help support the entire shift cycle. Users on Android 5.0+ and iOS Devices 9.0+ can download the Beta version right now and get clocking in. The Time Clock will be released in full for everyone on January 29th 2019 - to prepare for this release. Ensure you have: Your 8 digit setup code or login details prepared All pending clock ins sent prior to updating Read the FAQ If you have any questions, please contact support@tanda.co.

Events & Media Industry Insights

Domino’s and Tanda: Building the Workforces of the Future

Brisbane-based company Tanda has today announced a business partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s), to automate and optimise the company’s payroll process. The partnership will assist Domino’s in empowering its franchisees with the right technology and tools to efficiently manage rostering and payroll as a competitive edge. Tanda Director Tasmin Trezise said he is excited about the partnership. “Tanda is proud to be working collaboratively with Domino’s to build the future of workforce management, and this represents an exciting step towards using technology to shape enterprise workplaces,” said Mr Trezise. “Domino’s is an agile and forward-thinking company who are leading the way in terms of innovation, whether this is through their drone delivery services or re-imagining their labour supply chain management.” The partnership between Tanda and Domino’s will see a roll out of the software to over 700 Domino’s stores across Australia and New Zealand. Domino’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Nick Knight said the Company was looking forward to making franchisee’s lives easier with the efficient time and attendance program. “We are always looking to use the latest innovative technology in everything that we do as a Company – this from delivery to customers and for systems and processes with franchisees,” said Mr Knight. “Rolling out Tanda in stores across Australia and New Zealand will allow our franchisees to efficiently roster and record team member’s attendance so we look forward to reaping the benefits of the innovative program.” Trezise explained that Domino’s franchisees would soon see incredible benefits after the working relationship with Tanda begins. “This partnership will empower Domino’s franchisees with a greater understanding and insight into their labour costs so they are able to make smarter and more informed business decisions whilst having comfort that their payroll complies with current awards and enterprise agreements. “The fact that Domino’s and other Australian businesses are using new technology like Tanda is a testament to Australia’s growing success as an innovative nation.” Domino’s partnership with Tanda began in the Company’s dedicated innovation space, the DLAB, which was designed to encourage out of the box thinking. From local corner cafes to global workforces, Tanda is revolutionising the world of rostering and payroll one shift at a time. About Tanda Tanda is a scalable workforce management SaaS, that is helping businesses to unlock efficiency and productivity gains through more effective labour force management. For more information, visit www.tanda.co About Domino’s Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited is the master franchisor for the Domino’s brand in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany. Across these seven markets, DPE and its franchisees operate over 2,000 stores. For more information on Domino’s, please visit www.dominos.com.au For further information, media enquiries or images contact: Bridget Mahon Marketing Communications Officer Email: bridget@tanda.co

Industry Insights

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Why investing in employee wellbeing will help you retain talent

Workplaces are adapting at a fast rate, with seismic changes over the last decade. Businesses now, more than ever, realise the importance of employee wellbeing. The reason is simple: Happy staff members are more productive. This positivity also means your retention rates go up and they’ll stay on a long-term basis. This article explores how and […]

UK Right to Work: A simple guide to check eligibility

Various changes are expected to occur in the UK as a result of the Brexit negotiations. Business owners anticipate that developments will affect labour and employment regulations across the country. While there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until at least 31 December 2020, […]

Rota & Compliance

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Show Up for Success! A step-by-step guide to rewarding employee attendance

“I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time, and it has made a man of me.” – Lord Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) Improving employee attendance has always been a puzzle for business owners and managers. In a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 29% of respondents said they came in late at least once a […]

All Work No Play in the UK? Taking a vacation matters for business – here’s why

A curious trend is sweeping across the country, and it’s even bigger than football. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in eight employees clock in more than 48 hours a week. Another statistic supports this growing workaholism: in the UK, the average employee takes just 62% of their annual leave entitlement. The latest […]

Product Updates

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Free UK Pro Rata Holiday Leave Calculator Now Available

Are you finding it difficult to figure out how much holiday leave each of your employees have left this year? Is it taking a long time to process holiday leave requests and finding out how much leave days can be carried over to the next year? These can all be a thing of the past […]

Events & Media

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Tanda clocks in at Xerocon London

Tanda recently joined over 70 exhibitors at Xerocon London 2018 – one of the biggest fintech showcases in the UK. Held at the Excel London conference centre, industry leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were present, discussing the future of business and cloud accounting, at the 2-day event. With over 3,000 attendees, Xerocon […]

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