In 2015, time will be an even more valuable and scarce resource for directors and managers of SME’s and I expect many more to utilise staff management software having understood the opportunities that staff management software provides them to improve their business and management style.
A few of the ways it can do this would be:-
- by freeing up their time and that of their admin staff,
- by improving their planning
- by improving staff engagement process
which all leads to your company becoming a more productive, efficient and profitable business.
One of the challenges for SME businesses
Most companies have difficulties relating to the management of people, whatever positions or level they hold. That’s part of the nature of business. To make your business better and your life easier you need to find the time:-
- to plan and organise staff work schedules
- to properly plan meetings, appraisals and interviews
- to ensuring productivity is at an acceptable level
- to engage with employees
In general, larger companies have systems, processes and procedures to create the time to manage, train and engage with their staff pool but this is certainly is not the case with all SME’s.
All companies whatever size, benefit from efficient and productive employees, so the question is how to free up the time from a busy or frantic work schedule to accomplish this? To create more face to face staff engagement time?
In SME’s this isn’t going to be easy and will require a lot of discipline? Having been there myself I recognise that it’s very easy to get caught up in the day to day management and become blighted by tunnel vision.
Technology can help free up time to manage
Within every business almost irrespective of size there is a lot of repetitive work that needs doing. Examples of this could be:-
- weekly email communication
- schedule and shift notifications
- collating and managing training records
- copying certificates and certificate management
- generating work schedules, rotas or shifts
All of the above tasks help the business. They are all important and necessary but fundamentally mundane and not the most efficient use of your employees’ time. They don't generate any incremental income for the business! Therefore, finding a system that drastically reduces the time taken to successfully complete the 5 types of task listed above, better engage staff, freeing up their time and that of management to do more productive work has to be a solution worth considering.
Choosing a workforce management solution
Picking one that allows instant access to KPI's such as total staff cots, department staffing cost of staffing gross margin, tracks clocking in/ out in real time as well as absences and holiday management can really benefit the business. Without much effort it could really make your business more efficient.
Realistically, integrating a solution is not going happen overnight. There’s going to have to be training and help with implementation, so choosing the right workforce or staff management system for your business is critical and could really help make the transition easier. I would recommend that finding a solution that’s well designed, easy to understand and quick to start is essential.
Making Integration easier
You need your management and staff to embrace your choice, to immediately see the benefits and come with you on the technological integration journey. The process will be more successful and help you to better engage with them and smooth the integration process if you emphasise the benefits to them of being able to apply for and swap shifts, request absences and see exactly the hours they are to be paid for.
Why choose a Cloud based solution?
With systems like PARiM, your workforce management solution is based in the cloud. This benefits the business by removing any costly internal I.T requirements (with the exception of WiFi or broadband) and internal I.T support. There’s also no capital outlay and you can “rent” the program almost on a month by month basis if that’s what you want. Of course there are solutions that require a payment upfront and a considerable contract length sign up! Cloud based solutions also remove the concerns about failure to back up and damage to an onsite server as most cloud based systems typically back up automatically, at least once a day.
Such a solution also allows your management and staff, access whenever they need it, wherever they are. Allowing the staff their own self service portal where they have access to real time, up to date information they find important such as holidays, sick days and shifts helps engage them and it removes mis-communication and misunderstandings. It also allows the management to do their staffing tasks such as planning and scheduling wherever they are at a time more convenient to them.
Deciding to use technology to save time, costs, resource and paper should be straightforward and a relatively easy decision. Yes, there will be a lead time and some time will need to be set aside for integration and training. but even picking a basic solution will save you a lot of time and money in the future. If you pick a more comprehensive, innovative solution with extra features such as switch on/ off self service staff and client portals, certificate, training and absence tracking your business could benefit even more.
It could result in:-
- Better motivated and engaged staff
- Happier and better engaged clients
- Regular useful communication and feedback from client
- More clients by selling your company as “technologically advanced” to prospects
- Better work life balance for you and your management
- Fewer staffing issues, errors and misunderstandings