Five Alternative Ways To Reduce Staff Turnover – And Save Money

VacancyMany of you will be aware of the headlines this week about the recent rise in staff turnover. It would seem that businesses are now paying the price for the long period of time that employees, fearful of losing their jobs, have put up with wage restraints, lack of bonuses and some pretty tough management decisions that have been made during the economic downturn.

According to research it costs on average around £30,000 to replace a member of your staff that leaves. This figure includes the cost of employing a new member of staff and lost productivity whilst bringing your new employee up to speed in their role. That’s a big expenditure and if turnover suddenly accelerates, your organisation can find itself  in a very tight corner operationally and financially. So your organisation needs to make sure it retain’s key talent and keeps employees motivated and productive. And remember that retaining great employees isn’t always about hiking pay.

Here are 5 alternative ways that can help keep staff engaged, motivated and productive:

  • Create connections through self-service

As more people perform day-to-day activities such as shopping, reading the news, paying bills, and socialising with friends online, they want the same flexibility and instant access to up-to-date information on the job. For example, why would an employee prefer to wait days for the busy HR department to process a handwritten leave request, when he or she can submit it online in seconds using self-service? As more employees leverage self-service technology in their personal lives, they are increasingly willing to adopt it in the workplace too.

  • Let employees participate in the scheduling process

Scheduling automation also helps organisations find last-minute replacements so they can meet demand. When an employee calls in sick, some scheduling systems can automatically recommend replacement workers, prioritising them by wage, seniority, skills, or other company-defined criteria. Some scheduling systems can even notify qualified replacements via email, text, or a manager call list to speed the process and further minimise impact on production and fellow employees.

  • Empower employees to take ownership of performance

Workforce management systems can help your organisation gain control over processes such as compensation cycles and performance reviews by automatically letting managers know when preliminary budgets and employee evaluations are due. Automated alerts help organisations keep their compensation planning and performance review processes on schedule, so employees receive feedback and rewards in a timely manner

  • Foster career development and professional growth

Workforce management systems can also help organisations track employee certifications and licenses — automatically notifying managers when those critical qualifications are about to expire — to minimise compliance risk and maximise workforce safety.

  • Increase employee engagement — and the bottom line

Workforce management technology can help organisations increase employee engagement. By providing employee self-service applications and automating processes such as time and attendance tracking, scheduling, human resources, and labour analytics, organisations can empower employees to take a more active role in HR and scheduling activities, take advantage of training and professional development opportunities, and get the continuous feedback on performance required to motivate and encourage innovation. For organisations looking to control costs and increase productivity, increasing employee engagement through the effective use of workforce management technology may be the answer.

Find out more and download the full white paper ‘Employee Engagement as a Competitive Differentiator’

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The Perfect Millennial Storm

perfect storm

According to Wikipedia ‘perfect storm’ is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. The term is also used to describe an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude. Being an passionate sailor – I am watching the weather like a hawk this weekend and taking a trip to coast to keep a protective eye on my pride and joy as what is threatening to turn into the true definition of a ‘perfect storm’ is brewing in the Atlantic and looks like it will be landing on the south coast tomorrow bringing storm force winds, rain and flooding that may even rival the catastrophic storm of 1987.

 

Now, maybe not so physically catastrophic but with just as far reaching and dramatic consequences to businesses everywhere, is the ‘perfect millennial storm’ which is currently brewing and will land in 2020. This will be when over 50% of the workforce will be made up of ‘Millennials’ demanding all the technologies at work that will enable them to communicate in real-time, at any time and with anyone they need to, wherever they may be working. It seems Millennials want a more sociable, friendly working environment that will allow them flexibility to balance life and work and not necessarily tie them to an office.

 

Technology is advancing and some providers of workforce management solutions are already getting ahead of this ‘perfect storm’. Integrating popular enterprise social networking and collaboration capabilities with a workforce management solution already offers innovative and intuitive options I am sure Millennials will approve of. While mobile and cloud options allows managers and staff to access their Kronos solution ‘on the move’ and gives them the freedom they expect –  to allow them a more flexible working environment whenever possible.

 

Millennials won’t just be expecting to work in a flexible and communicative environment – they will also be consumers expecting retailers and service companies to allow them the freedom to choose, buy and share their feedback through a variety of channels and have the technology to enable this. Yet another reason that workforce management  in even smaller organisations will need to be flexible enough to keep pace with the impatient demands put on the business of socially driven consumer market full of of ‘I want it and I want it now!’ Millennials.

 

A lighter look at mobile workforce management

Here is a little something to get over the Wednesday hump –  did you know you can manage your workforce from anywhere? Learn more about three breakthrough technologies: Instant Engagement, Guided Decisions, and Mobile Management — and how they will change the way businesses manage their workforce. Here’s an informative white paper you may find useful download white paper.

Time Well Spent
Time Well Spent

 

Cutting Edge Workforce Management Must Be Social, Mobile and Available in the Cloud

Simon MacphersonPlease accept my apologies for the quiet week last week but I had had a busy time attending our exciting annual KronosWorks event where Kronos customers from all geographies and industries (Retail, Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare and Services) come to exchange views and discover what’s new at the leading edge of workforce management. I got to meet up with friends, old and new, and it never ceases to amaze me how many of our international customers make it to the US. So today, I would like to share with you some key highlights.

In CEO Aron Ain’s keynote speech he talked passionately about how managing your workforce should be easier, how employees need to be interconnected, how to make technology simpler and more efficient and the way that Workforce Technology in the Cloud has become the fastest growing part of the business. And, most importantly, how we are committed to delivering workforce management innovation that works to ensure our customers continue to enjoy higher productivity, lower costs and competitive advantage.

Exciting new product enhancements were launched which got everyone talking. These were based on our key principles of delivering products with an intuitive interface that consumer products have led us to expect; making the relevant tools available on the mobile platforms we, as consumers, are so used to and continuing to provide guidance to our users to optimise the use of labour in their organisations.  Things such as data analytics enhancements that give organisations access to visualisation and exploration tools that make managing big labour data much easier. The fantastic new social networking platform  that allows organisations to use the power of social collaboration to help their business perform better. And workforce management technology  that makes it easier for employees to embrace more flexible working which can improve an organisation’s productivity, efficiency and agility including the sleek Intouch®  time clock which now incorporates new biometric technology and enhanced wifi capabilities for faster employee deployment.

Now, whilst I and our Kronos customers may well be very excited about the new innovative products at the show. I can’t forget that these developments have been driven by our customers and their need to manage their employees more efficiently and effectively. Businesses today have to be more agile to remain competitive. They have to retain their best employees and keep their workforce engaged and productive. They have to manage their people more effectively in order to control costs – things like reducing the cost of absence; reducing payroll errors or scheduling employers more effectively to improve productivity and reduce overtime helps organisations improve their bottom line. Organisations must make their people front and centre of their business and are missing an important opportunity to achieve their business objectives if they don’t.

Find out more about Kronos in our press room

Customer Service – have we gone too far?

My colleague Andrew Busby recently attended a retail event that included some quite controversial topics of conversation around customer service. We all shop so it is quite interesting to see how retailers’ views are changing in the wake of omni-channel pressure.

“Trade abuse for availability”

I enjoyed a great evening earlier this week talking retail with some of the biggest and most well known names on the High Street. It was a lively and sometimes slightly controversial debate sprinkled with some hilarious exchanges as befits such an occasion. But one assertion gradually emerged from the discussions: customer service – have retailers gone too far in their offer for the convenience of the consumer?

The general acceptance around the table was that we are currently in an arms race with every brand on the High Street trying to steal a march on their rivals by differentiation through world class convenient customer service.

Price, product & availability have now got to be taken as assumed. However, customer experience, service delivery, online experience, in-store experience – all are at the forefront of retailers’ minds as they try to understand how to generate increased footfall, better conversion rates and therefore sales.

The consumer these days is so fickle, so savvy, so mobile and light of foot that traditional loyalty is a thing of the past. Whereas once before brand loyalty, especially to supermarkets, was a strong deciding factor in buying behaviour, today that doesn’t exist to nearly the same degree. What matters most is the experience. But this doesn’t have to be the same for every touch point. It varies according to the buying need whether it be luxury, essential or just browsing. Someone on a short lunch break wanting to grab a sandwich for lunch is typically going to be in a hurry and not interested in a personalised engagement at the checkout. They might be far happier to use the SSC and be out of the store as quickly as possible. On another occasion and perhaps for particular demographics, their trip to the supermarket is as much a social interaction as a necessity to buy the groceries, in which case an entirely different experience needs to be delivered.

But one thing shone through in all the debate: pretty much all the retailers are grappling with the same challenge. Different approaches to try to crack it but all in a similar place and all wondering whether, in trying to deliver a better offering to the customer, the arms race is in danger of causing irreparable damage? Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is click and collect and the impact this has on virtually all aspects of the retail operation: supply chain, stock availability, replenishment, store operations, returns, fulfilment – the list goes on. And in striving to offer better and better offerings to their customers will we see even more casualties on the High Street?  After all, all this customer service and convenience comes at a cost which isn’t necessarily passed onto the consumer. Think grocery home delivery; anyone making any money from that operation: No, didn’t think so.

Perhaps the time is rapidly approaching when, as the supermarkets said in the wake of the meat scandal, if you want cheap food don’t be surprised if it sometimes goes wrong (or words to that effect) so, the same maybe about to happen with online. If you want a ‘premium’ service sure, but you’re going to have to pay for it.

Or put it another way, which incidentally brought the house down the other evening: trade a little abuse for availability! We can’t have it both ways. Or can we?

Follow Andrew’s blog ‘Retail Storm’ here: http://andrewbusbyretailstorm.tumblr.com/

The Connected Generation – Is Your Organisation Keeping Up?

The connected generationThe Next Generation of workers has arrived. And they are expecting to be connected anywhere, anytime to all the information they need, at work and at home. They are more than happy to access business information via their own personal devices and rather than being tied to desktops and laptops – their mobile devices are the primary technology used for the majority of their communications and information to support productivity at work.

Managers and employees increasingly expect to have the freedom to manage and work ‘on the go’; utilising their time efficiently and maximising productivity. And with more employees demanding a flexible and balanced work life, one way for employers to enable this is by embracing the mobile technology that is now available. Flexible working practices can mean less overheads and improved employee engagement for many organisations. Mobile technology will also support a more agile workforce – one where managers and employees on the frontline are able to respond in real time to the changing needs of their business and customers – allowing them to approve requests for more hours, respond to absence and share information quickly and easily wherever they may be.

With mobile technology becoming more widely available, affordable, reliable and secure, workplace culture is experiencing a tsunami of change.  And as long as organisations have the right technology and IT infrastructure in place there is little to hold back the tide. Those organisations that don’t move with the times will be left behind and have to deal with disengaged employees, gaping skills gaps and will lag behind competitors who embrace the new age.

The ‘Me, Me Generation’ Have Come Of Age

Gen YOver the last few weeks it’s been really interesting  observing the increasing amount of media coverage about generational differences in the workplace and how employers can keep their multi-generational workforce engaged and motivated.

Statistics suggest that 50 per cent of UK employees will be Millennials within a year. With the Millennials (also known as Gen Y – a generation that were born between the early 80’s and early 2000’s) now flooding the workforce and who will  soon be occupying more senior roles in businesses – it seems an appropriate time for businesses to take a closer look at how they will the meet their needs .  Think about this, the first Generation Y CEO (born after 1980) to lead a British FTSE company is expected to be appointed by 2016, according to Deloitte’s Upwardly Mobile report.

Millenials are often labelled as the ‘me, me’ generation who have an inflated sense of entitlement and believe there is nothing to learn from the older generation. And according to an article in IoD Connect, it seems, now we are getting to understand them better, they have been misunderstood and many people will have to change their views.  It appears Gen Y are actually a happy, ambitious and vocationally-minded workforce. Based on the finding of the City & Guilds organisation’s edition of its Career Happiness Index, Millennials are ‘positive, high-aiming, go-getters, who are eager to learn’ (as well as being ‘tech-savvy and hyper-connected’!), and if this is true I can’t see any organisation having an issue with a Gen Y workforce.

But as with all employees – how they are managed and treated by their employers can make the difference difference between having a productive fully engaged and motivated workforce or one that is disengaged and unproductive. So how can employers keep this high-flying generation engaged?

  • Positive Feedback – if your Millennial does something well –tell them.
  • Training/development – they are highly ambitious generation – help them achieve those ambitions and retain good talent.
  • Challenge them as individuals and teams – Set them tasks/projects that mean they have to solve problems or learn new skills.
  • Create a positive and inclusive environment – Millennials want (as we all do) to be happy at work – so help ensure that the workplace is a good environment to be in.

With two successful Gen Ys still living with us, I’m possibly risking family harmony blogging about this subject, here’s hoping not too much, as we might need looking after in our twilight years.