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Reputation Management demands the right attitude to treating employees fairly.

In the first half of 2018, too many well-known and respected Australian employers learned the hard way that treating your employees unfairly can result in glaringly negative publicity. Paying your staff incorrectly and rostering staff unfairly, whether on purpose or through mismanagement and error, can result in fines, far-reaching media coverage and reputational risk. When a company’s actions impact real people – especially hundreds or thousands of people at once – that kind of bad news can travel quickly.
Make no mistake, while payroll errors have been making the headlines, the underlying problem goes beyond underpaying staff and has wide-ranging implications for the critical things on the minds of Australian CXOs such as:

• Remaining compliant in a complex regulatory environment
• Attracting and retaining great staff
• Leveraging data for business value and insights
• Balancing labour costs and productivity with finding efficiencies and savings

Why is this happening?

• Some organisations don’t fully understand or have misinterpreted rules, regulations,
legislation and/or compliance requirements under which they must operate. Ignorance is no
excuse, however unintended the actions or situation, and companies will eventually incur fines and repercussions despite any lack of criminal behaviour or malicious intent.
• Some companies do not have the sophisticated IT systems required to manage the
complexities of business operations, accounting, people management and compliance,
leaving critical workforce management operations like rostering, time and attendance and payroll open to error or abuse. This means there are too many opportunities to get around the rules, at least temporarily, whether on purpose or by accident.
• The decisions, processes, and values of some organisations are not supported and enforced with policies, technology and automation, leaving them open to workforce mismanagement and payroll issues whether through error or abuse by individual franchisees, division managers, payroll staff and those responsible for rostering and time and attendance.

How do you solve a problem bigger than payroll

The solution is not as simple as adding new payroll software to the mix. Digital transformation is not just a buzzword. It is a real and necessary change happening in organisations of all sizes, all across the country, because it must happen to run a successful business and it must extend to the management of your workforce.
The solution must include:
• An effective workforce management strategy of policies, procedures and values
• Combined with a modern workforce management software solution and platform
• Underpinned by experience and an understanding of your market and your challenges

Workforce compliance and its complexities

Any technology solutions you deploy to support better business management practices including workforce management and payroll must be fed with accurate information: award rules, payroll compliance requirements, legal obligations, industry regulations, certification or skill requirements, standards and conditions and whatever else applies to your organisation and business sector. Ensure you understand any enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) that impact your business. And, it should go without saying, ensure you are across the most recent labour laws and standards.
From there you can identify and develop a set of rules, policies, and values that are set in place from the top down, for governance and compliance purposes.
There’s so much you need to get right: loadings, allowances, shifts worked, leave shifts, shift penalties, pay rates, cost centres, and more, depending on your industry. Most payroll systems do not have built-in award interpreters. Manual award interpretation and data entry are time-consuming, resource heavy and error-prone. This simply will not cut it, if you are seeking to avoid payroll error, reduce risk and tick off other targets on most organisations’ lists like increasing productivity and finding cost efficiencies.
You need a technology solution set, working with accurate and reliable data, that can be customised with the relevant conditions and rules associated with state and federal awards and individual enterprise agreements, and has a powerful enough work rule engine to handle the complexity of accurate interpretation.

How does a Workforce Management Platform help?

This is the technology that will support your business with:
• Automation and digital processes around workforce management
• Policies around how you treat, roster and pay your employees
• Processes to ensure you remain compliant
• Governance to help you maintain consistency and control
Deploying the right workforce management platform will promote and assist
accuracy and productivity, support your staff in achieving compliance, as well
as remove the opportunities for workforce mismanagement and payroll issues whether through error or abuse by individuals, managers, and divisions. This will enable you to “bake in” compliance at a fundamental level.

Digitise, modernise and tighten your business operations

Inefficient, manual processes for workforce management tasks such as rostering and the tracking andprocessing of employee attendance, timesheets and absences reduce productivity and create too many opportunities for inaccuracies and errors. This is directly related to the execution of your company’s payroll activities, where inaccuracies and errors can have a negative impact on your staff, who should be valued and paid appropriately for the work they do.
But again, it’s not just about payroll. It’s also about:
• Fair rostering and scheduling patterns
• Preventing employee fatigue due to excessive overtime, kilometers on the road etc.
• Ensuring the right number of people are rostered to provide excellent customer service
• Ensuring the right person with the right qualifications is rostered for each shift or the service
• And much more

How does a Workforce Management Platform help?

Look for a solution that will allow you to set rules and thresholds by site, department and even down to the individual employee level. A modern workforce management solution will alert you when employees are nearing overtime status, or allow you to prevent staff from being assigned overtime hours.
When organisations get these kinds of things wrong on a consistent basis or across a large number of employees, it’s a slippery slope to the aforementioned compliance issues, fines, headlines, and damage to brand reputation. When they get it right, it directly contributes to engaging and retaining great employees.

Data + analytics = decisions

Manage workload demand based on data that matters, and leverage this data to develop insights thatwill help you run your business.
A rostering tool, accurately drawing on real-time data about staff availability, preferences, capabilities and payroll information, can maximise workforce potential and maintain the critical balance between meeting service expectations and reducing payroll costs.
Now imagine carrying these positive effects on productivity, service and the bottom line across national outlets, multiple locations and the full range of staff types (casual, full time, seasonal).

Automated timesheets and the digital capture of employee work, break times and days off will provide you with real-time and historical management of employee attendance. Shift splitting across the right cost centres, planned and unplanned leave and absenteeism can all be handled, accurately recorded and analysed. Greater visibility of labour costs with real time, reliable data and established parameters will help you control your budget.

You can use this data to spot issues, find efficiencies and reduce costs.
Fed into your HR and business planning analytics systems, this kind of
data can be used to plan for busy seasons and workload demand, to aid
in succession planning, as well as to inform decisions around investing in
your facilities, teams, professional development programs and even
expansion to new regions or opening up new outlets or divisions.

How does a Workforce Management Platform help?

Modernising your business operations with workforce management technology solutions will:
• Improve how you collect, manage and leverage your data
• Help you ensure reliable data feeds for award interpretation and payroll
• Help you ensure accurate records, efficient reporting and the availability of accurate, real-time information to aid in compliance
• Provide you with a range of very useful data points about your workforce, allowing you to level upyour data analytics capabilities to help your organisation make better, more strategic decisions.

Ask what a Workforce Management solution can do for you

Don’t become Australia’s next “PR Fail” headline because of compliance issues or workforce
mismanagement. Get your workforce management technology right to avoid costly errors, unhappy employees and unwanted media attention.

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