XU Magazine - Issue 11

A best practice guide to employee management

How to attract and retain the best employees ever…

Your approach to employee management can position your staff as either the greatest asset, or the greatest liability to your business. Following best practice allows you to cultivate a culture of positivity, create a better work environment, increase motivation amongst employees, all with the follow on effect of attracting and retaining better staff. Growing a solid and loyal team behind your business is the key to securing its long-term and ongoing success, providing an invaluable advantage over your competitors.

Neglecting to follow correct employee management however, leads to higher rates of employee churn – which means precious time is wasted in rehiring and retraining new employees at the cost of employee morale and the quality of customer service.

To start building your best team ever, we’ve put together this easy to follow 5-step checklist for best practice employee management.

1. Create fair schedules

The notion of achieving ‘work-life balance’ is not the latest idealistic business buzzwords; it’s a real and important practice that you should be implementing. Any employee that feels they can’t adequately manage the number of hours they are being rostered on to work is inevitably going to be unable to perform to the best of their ability.

Fatigue in the workplace is an important issue and it is vital to recognize and appreciate the difference between the legal maximum hours an employee is allowed to work and the maximum hours that the employee can realistically manage.

To consistently create fair schedules, it helps to be aware of the number of hours your employees have requested, in addition to keeping track of any requests for leave, unavailability or other factors that can reasonably restrict their number of hours on the clock. It also pays to be conscious that the availability of your employees is subject to change at different times throughout the year such as school holidays, exam periods or due to personal circumstances, and be prepared to adjust your rosters accordingly.

2. Check your payroll

Accurately paying your employees is not just best practice; it’s a legal obligation. It’s a no brainer that your employees want to be paid fairly for the work they are completing, yet inadequate pay still continues as a key issue leading to employee turnover indiscriminately across most industries.

As somebody managing employee pay obligations, you should by now be aware that the same rate of pay can’t be arbitrarily applied to all employees, regardless of how similar their circumstances appear from the outer. Factors such as skill level, relevant qualifications, experience and age can all affect your employees’ level of pay even within the same industry and job description. Things can get more complicated when penalty rates, overtime, leave and other pay allowances need to be accounted for – as this is something that can vary regionally and by industry.

If you or one of your employees believe a mistake has been made, it is helpful to have references of all your payment and timekeeping records readily accessible to quickly and easily resolve any dispute. It is here that we strongly recommend letting somebody else do all the heavy lifting in keeping you compliant – but we’ll get to that in step 5.

3. Keep your team balanced

With varying rates of pay come varying levels of capability. You should be wary of the false economy that comes with stacking your teams with the cheapest available combination of employees without considering the realistic needs of your business.

Inadequately accounting for the different skill levels and experience of your staff only leads to longer wait times for service, dissatisfied customers that are less likely to repeat business, and overworked, stressed employees that are lacking the support and efficiency that would ideally be provided by senior and more experienced co-workers.

By rostering a balanced team of mixed experience, skill level and ages, not only will employee morale and the customer experience greatly improve, but through a faster and more efficient service allowing for a greater number of customer transactions, so too will the bottom line of your business.

4. Communicate

Encouraging open, two-way communication with employees should be considered an absolute priority. When your business is considering any aspect of change, whether it is a major change to the company structure or a minor adjustment to the weekly roster, the wider benefits that come from implementing and maintaining a strong culture of consultation and cooperation are far-reaching and plentiful.

You should be striving to seek opinions and views from your employees through ongoing consultations with individual employees, employee groups, unions or a mixture of all three. When employees feel aware and involved in the decision-making processes in the workplace, you can benefit from an increase in productivity, an increased ability of staff members to cope with change in a positive way, and a proven minimization of disputes and employee claims against you or your business.

5. Phone a friend

Don’t worry, we saved the best til last – Xero and Deputy have joined forces to make effortless best practice employee management a reality. Through one-click integration between Xero and Deputy you can be enjoying the benefits of having all of your employee records correctly managed for you before you can say, ‘Who or what is Deputy?’

To answer your question though, Deputy is your ultimate tool in employee management, providing you with balanced and optimized rosters that stick to budget while also guaranteeing an adequate distribution of skill level across your rostered team, designed to maximize the efficiency of your business across every shift. Our intuitive cloud-based solution simplifies employee scheduling, time and attendance, tasking and communication as well as providing you with fantastic features such as Award Interpretation, that can guarantee an accurate payroll every time.

Through seamlessly syncing employee details across your Xero and Deputy accounts, employee leave requests that are entered into Xero or Deputy will be automatically considered when creating your rosters with Deputy, which prevents unavailable staff being accidentally included in the roster, while employees reaching their maximum hour allocation will be flagged in real-time to avoid unnecessary employee fatigue.

Deputy puts best practice employee management into automatic, so you can focus on the things you love most about running your business.

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About the author

Kristin Harris

Kristin Harris is the General Manager of leading online work scheduling and people management platform Deputy.