Discussed in this article:
· Managing Remote Employees
· Timesheet Recording Software
· How you can save money by using software
· How you can learn more about your business
The Challenges of Getting Bigger
If you operate or manage a business with remote employees, you are likely intimately familiar with the theme of this article: managing in-the-field personnel is stressful, time-consuming, and can add a tremendous amount of stress to your day when and if things go wrong. You’re also focused on growing your business, but know the larger it becomes the harder your workforce will be to manage. This type of “Scaling” is often times the hardest jump a small two to three-person operation will face when trying to become a double-digit location service company. In this article we’ll talk about a few ways to make that transition easier.
Cleaning businesses are labor-intensive and that labor cost can make or break your bottom line. When you have more employees than you easily manage in your head – as a rule of thumb, say five – the propensity for every-day overclocking, early departures, and missed appointments increase significantly, resulting in a double-whammy to your bottom line: poorer service at an increased cost. You need a way of tracking when workers come and go which can be a problem for growing businesses that have left the mom-and-pop size range. This is where timesheet recording software comes in.
Remote employees don’t have the benefit of using an actual time clock like other labor-intensive industries to keep their time. Owners lack visibility into employee accountability and are forced to rely on trust, which in many cases isn’t enough. Studies have shown that using a time clock tool will improve employee arrival times and reduce no-shows simply by informing employees they’ll be using one, a “Placebo Effect” if you will. The sheer act of using a software system will almost immediately drive positive employee behavior and vet out those who aren’t playing by the rules.
Save Yourself Time and Money
Consider that you currently might have someone processing timecards or sheet logs and calculating paychecks based on that information. You may also have security or loss prevention personnel checking physical locations to ensure workers are arriving on time and staying for their schedule amount of time. Those are both duties you can eliminate with online timesheet tracking, because suddenly requiring all your workers to clock in and out when they are at the client site gives you that visibility. This is the tip of the iceberg of what timesheet recording software can do for you and your company.
A powerful byproduct of enforcing worker hours on the job is superior service. For example, you may have a shift scheduled for three hours when it actually only takes two hours, which may lead to your employee leaving early, despite being paid for the full three hours. Using time clock software, the worker is required to stay the full three hours, or inform you that the job only takes two, both positive outcomes in which you will either have a lower labor expenses or better service to your customer. Happy customers are in themselves growth levers as they tell others about their positive experience with your business.
Timesheet recording software also helps eliminate human error. If you used to (or still have) someone calculating payroll based off timecards from a punch system or even a log-in book, they – or very likely “you” - have to spend time once a week going through all that by hand. Software can help save time running payroll and eliminate potential errors. Need to check whether an employee made their shift on time on a certain day? Use your software’s Reports feature to check the record for you.
Even the best-trained professionals are still human beings, and they're not going to be right all the time. Payroll errors can cost you - employees being paid too much, which you're unlikely to ever get back, if an employee even informs you; or even worse, employees being paid too little due to a payroll error. Most owners know how quickly disgruntled an employee can become over an incorrect paycheck, as it wastes time and destroys trust and morale.
Get a Better Understanding of Your Business
Finally, where timesheet recording software or an online system can truly save you money is in discovering where employees have found cracks in your current system that they can exploit. You might not have any idea what these are until you put a system in. To use the example above again, an employee may have a three-hour shift that they know only takes two hours, and therefore show up an hour late and get paid for the full shift. By using a time clock system you’ll become aware of this issue quickly and can decide if you’d like to shorten the shift.
Consider the example of a carpet cleaning company. If technicians are paid hourly starting from the time they leave the warehouse to the time they get back, the business could use scheduleing software to figure out what time is spent with clients and what time is spent on the road. Certain discoveries might be possible, and they might not all be pleasant. Some workers might be taking scenic or long routes to run up the clock, and some of them might even be stopping for personal matters or lunch while still being paid. Worse yet, they might try and hide this by rushing the work at the client locations, leaving shoddy carpet cleaning in their wake, which are customers that aren't calling again.
Any business of any industry can have devious or cunning workers who simply do not care. Automated systems, technology, and software can help you catch them. From there, you can eliminate the cracks in the protocols to close loopholes and save payroll, or create best practices to ensure your staff is doing the work you’ve scheduled for them.