Matthew Zelek, Senior Product Manager
Strong retail organizations understand that it is vital to provide effective time and attendance tools to help store-level management achieve operational excellence and deliver great service to their customers at the optimal cost. All while managing their largest controllable expense – and their most valuable resource – their associates.
Time and attendance modules and functionality are frequently identified and labeled as a “commodity” and viewed as necessary but limited in function. By utilizing time and attendance as a key element of a complete, integrated labor management application, time and attendance can be a vital component in helping your organization achieve its workforce management goals.
As we head into late 2023 and 2024, businesses are adjusting to a post-pandemic phase where widespread social changes will shape how people work. This new normal for employee management will include remote and “gig” work as employers expect those pandemic-era trends to continue.
The latest entry in this blog series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) will focus on top time and attendance trends and expectations in the new normal as businesses strive to better serve their workforce.
A recently released 2024 Salary Guide from employment firm Robert Half highlights how both workers and employers are reassessing compensation, career priorities and recruiting strategies. “Competitive pay and flexible work are top of mind for professionals and will likely influence their career decisions in 2024,” said Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half.
“To attract and retain top talent – particularly in an uncertain economy – it’s critical for employers to benchmark salaries and compensation packages, consider options for hybrid work, and employ strategies to bolster employee engagement and morale,” she added.
Two key initiatives and their time and attendance implications for retail
Supporting remote and flexible work
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the general adoption of remote work arrangements and communication. In 2023, many organizations continue to embrace remote and flexible work options, allowing employees to work from different locations and providing them with more control over their work schedules. Retail time and attendance applications must provide functionality to accurately capture and calculate these work hours. This includes data collection options beyond the standard time clock on the wall. Mobile and web functionality are vital for accurate collection of work transaction data, and the need for associate self-service capabilities will greatly increase.
Retailers will need tools that allow associates to access their schedules and accurately record hours worked, paid time off and other leave without necessarily having access to the traditional time clock and paper schedule. Mobile self-service drives associate engagement and establishes a protocol for submitting time-off requests and viewing and administering schedules. It increases morale and retention by empowering associates with control over how they are scheduled and paid. This ultimately improves accuracy and associate confidence that they will be compensated appropriately and fairly for their work. Further, the ability to attract, empower and retain top talent in turn drives your customers’ experience while streamlining operations.
Supporting work-life balance
Employers are placing increased emphasis on employee well-being and work-life balance. In our modern times, younger workers seek gig-like flexibility, mobile-first technology and compelling work options. They want to use an app on their phone to schedule work, not haggle with the manager over their schedule on a week-to-week basis. As such, retail employers are increasingly in need of a flexible, efficient labor model that supports these innovations as they strive to create a productive, engaged and resilient workforce.
Any initiative that helps reduce turnover delivers significant organizational savings. Recent findings reveal it costs, on average, approximately $5,000 to find, hire and train a replacement for a $13/hour associate, and many organizations report a median turnover rate of greater than 75% for part-time employees.
Utilizing effective time and attendance tools that can be accessed directly via mobile devices or associate self-service will empower associates with real-time access, control and understanding of how they are compensated – with the ability to provide input and feedback throughout the process.
In future posts we will examine additional time and attendance trends that include the utilization of AI and reporting tools to meet the evolving needs of both retailers and their workforce.