The phone is ringing and you really need to respond to your vendor’s email that’s been in your inbox for three days. But you also need to set the schedule for your six hourly employees and fix the printer that recently broke in your office.
When you’re running a small business, you’re constantly pulled in multiple directions. What should you prioritize first? And will work ever be less hectic?
Read on to learn four time management tips for small businesses.
Time management tip #1: Upgrade your payroll
There’s a simple one-word answer to upgrade your payroll: digitization. Happily, today this doesn’t mean ripping out and expensively disrupting an entrenched system.
The convergence of mobile apps, cloud-based data, and API technology means that any organization can immediately shift to a more efficient way of managing payroll data flow. Here are some tips to help you fix your broken payroll.
- Invest in software that ensures accurate timekeeping: Instead of relying on paper timesheets, select a staff management software that allows employees to clock in and out using a mobile app, onsite kiosk, or even SMS text. Geolocation features can confirm the employees’ location, ensuring accurate time recording.
- Find a system that seamlessly integrates your payroll: With an Open API and an extensive network of integration partners, staff management software can integrate easily into corporate payroll systems, eliminating the other key manual step in the data flow process for gross pay.
- Focus on reporting and labor compliance: Your systems should create an accurate audit trail of employee details such as timesheets and wage allocation, making it easy to manage pay rates, as well as calculate leave, track the exact time worked, breaks taken, and paid time off.
Time management tip #2: Streamline your scheduling
As part of new predictive schedule regulations, some laws mandate that employees must receive an estimate of their minimum hours and schedule before they take up employment.
For example, employers in Oregon are expected to give employees their schedules at least seven days in advance of the first day of their work schedule. While in Seattle, employers are expected to post employee schedules at least 14 days in advance.
Soon, all employers will need to deliver schedules to employees in advance. Often, managers create schedules just a few days before a shift. And worse, the only place for staff to find their shift is by looking at the spreadsheet post in the break room.
To adhere to predictive scheduling regulations — and to save time — employers are turning to software that enables managers to create and share schedules easily. This means avoiding analog methods (like break room bulletin boards) and instead sharing schedules through email, text, or push notifications. That way, managers and staff have updated schedules at all times.
Time management tip #3: Communicate with your staff
Gathering, analyzing, and sharing up-to-date information is crucial to the success of your team. You might want to remind your team that you’ve changed the week’s menu at your restaurant. Or maybe there’s a new HR policy that you need your staff to read.
Regular communication with your team is key for any small business. While you should be talking to your employees in person, sometimes it makes sense to check in electronically. And with the right software, managers can request confirmation, ensuring employees see a particularly important message.
Time management tip #4: Automate manual tasks
Workforce management (WFM) software reduces the time you spend on tedious tasks. Instead of marking up a spreadsheet and spending hours trying to manipulate the schedule to account for all leave requests, availability, and skills, your WFM software will quickly do all that for you.
“I used to spend an hour and a half setting up schedules. That was time that I didn’t have,” says Bobby Heuser, owner of an Ace Hardware store in Bluffton, South Carolina. “What I love about [WFM software] is that it saves me so much time. Now, it only takes around 20 minutes! [The software] makes it so easy to view schedules in advance — it’s everything we need it to be.”
To make your life easier, the right WFM software should:
- Have a drag and drop feature to let you create shifts instantly
- Build custom schedule templates so you don’t have to start from scratch each week
- Include an auto-scheduling option to instantly schedule regular staff
Save time on employee time and attendance
Even small businesses need to shed outmoded administrative workflows. The hours spent on manually tasks is time that should be spent on improving your business. Check out this ebook to learn how the right workforce management solution can provide you with long-term growth. And even better — help you maintain a positive, productive work environment.