How Workforce Management Solves The Top 5 Problems Faced By Small Businesses

SwipeClock workforce management for small business
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

If you are a small business owner who doesn’t use workforce management, this message is for you.

Do you believe workforce management software is unnecessary for small businesses? An expensive luxury whose benefits are restricted to the cash-sucking Human Resources department?

The truth is that workforce management (WFM) is integral to business success. When you manage your employees efficiently, you manage your business efficiently. You increase your profit margin. You attract and keep quality employees. You spur business growth. You are able to work fewer hours and accomplish more.

If your business is struggling, workforce management may save your company.


Workforce management software solves the top 5 problems small business owners face.

1. Inadequate Cash Flow

2. Lack of Business Insight

3. Regulatory Compliance

4. Poor Employee Engagement

5. Operational Inefficiency

Sound familiar?

Serious problems require powerful software. SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB is uniquely suited to the task. WorkforceHUB is an all-in-one HR system that handles all of your workforce management. Your employees, managers, and administrators access everything in a centralized, online portal.

WorkforceHUB has the following components:

Now that you’ve had a short introduction to WorkforceHUB, let’s get back to the top 5 problems faced by small business owners. How does HR software like WorkforceHUB solve these problems?

Small Business Problem #1: Insufficient Cash Flow

Over a third of small businesses tank in the first five years. Insufficient cash flow is a contributing factor in most failures.

Even businesses with a well-marketed, quality product, talented employees, and experienced management are at risk. Suppose your company is hired to produce 10k units which will take about six months. That’s all well and good. The problem is that your customers won’t pay you until the products are delivered. But you have to keep the lights on until then. You’ve got the lease on your building and payroll twice a month. You have to buy shop supplies and materials. You have to maintain and repair equipment. It’s no wonder that many entrepreneurs quit paying themselves at times so their business will survive.

How Does WorkforceHUB Workforce Management Software Improve Cash Flow For Small Businesses?

Most companies spend at least 50% of revenue on labor costs and benefits. (Some spend up to 75%!) Implementing HR software like WorkforceHUB reduces these expenses significantly. When you decrease your fixed costs, you can allocate those funds to other expenses.

Workforce management software lowers labor and admin costs reliably month after month. It’s not a one-time benefit. Rather, it’s consistent, ongoing ROI.

How Does Workforce Management Reduce Overhead For Small Businesses?

Let’s discuss the savings in detail.

Eliminate Employee Time Theft

U.S. employers lose millions every year by paying employees when they are not working. 74% of business owners lose money to time theft. The average timesheet inflation is 4.5 hours per week. Time card padding and buddy punching are the two most common forms of time theft. Unintentional rounding errors also inflate labor expenses.

Reduce Payroll Errors

One-third of employers make payroll errors regularly. There is a 1-8% error rate for manual payroll processes. Think about the last time you made a payroll error. How long did it take to correct?

Control Overtime

HR software helps you prevent unnecessary overtime with predictive scheduling and customizable notifications. WorkforceHUB can reduce overtime 88%. Analytics guide scheduling to meet production requirements on straight time. Overtime rules prevent unintentional overtime scheduling. Alerts flag shift swap requests that put workers into overtime.

End Overstaffing

Having overstaffed shifts is easy to do when managers create schedules based on what they have always done in the past. Limit overstaffing with advanced scheduling and labor forecasting. Labor (or demand) forecasting looks at historical scheduling data compared to production needs to determine the ideal number of employees for each shift. Customized schedule rules prevent you from scheduling too many workers. It can also give you insight into whether you should change the lengths of shifts and how to combine them most efficiently.

Reduce Employee Turnover

Talent recruitment doesn’t just take a lot of time—it also takes a lot of money. The cost of hiring includes advertising, processing applications, reviewing resumes, and interviewing. After hiring, you pay for onboarding and training. It costs 16% of annual salary to replace an employee making under 30k per year. It costs up to 20% to replace an employee making 30k-50k. Ka-ching!

A new employee may take more than a year to reach the productivity level of an experienced employee. High turnover also lowers the quality of customer service and employee satisfaction. Businesses that use workforce management software have a lower turnover rate.

Enforce schedules

Clock lockout prevents early punch ins and late punch outs. Stop paying for unpaid breaks or any out-of-schedule clock-ins.

Schedule Strategically With Labor Forecasting

WFM software applies algorithms based on your KPIs. The data generated shows you how to maximize productivity per employee. Analytics guide shift configuration, full-time/part-time ratio, location staffing, and team assignments. Workforce management software also tells when you have maximized productivity for your current staff. You can hire with confidence knowing that the time is right.

Reduce Administrative Costs

It takes 7 minutes per time card to calculate hours, correct mistakes, and verify. If you employ 60 workers, that equals 7 hours each pay period! That time could be spent on revenue-generating activities.

With WorkforceHUB, small HR teams can manage large workforces. WFM is inexpensive when compared to the salary and benefits paid to administrators.

Small Business Problem #2: Lack of Business Insight

Stop making business decisions based on guesses. Human resources software allows managers and owners to see complex business data.

Some business owners hear the word “analytics” and dismiss it. (Surely, big data is too sophisticated for my food truck.) If you are one of those business owners, I invite you to expand your vision. You have far more variables than you realize. These can be measured, analyzed, and optimized. When you see what’s really going on, you can improve operations. This translates directly to a higher profit margin. Small businesses with few resources may have the greatest need for data-driven decision making.

How Does Workforce Management Provide Strategic Insight?

It all starts with customization. No two businesses are alike. You enter your company’s KPIs in your workforce management software. Every business measures productivity differently. It could be the number of widgets produced per cost of labor and materials. It could be the number of lawns mowed, service tickets resolved, or pedicures performed.

Consider all the variables involved with employee scheduling and job duties. Some employees perform better on the swing shift versus days. Some employees are more effective in certain job roles. Graphical reporting reveals outliers and deviations difficult to detect otherwise. WFM provides a way to detect and capitalize on these metrics.

Whether you run a restaurant, day spa, or landscaping company, your business operations are built on processes. Processes also have a profound impact on profitability. (Ask any Six Sigma expert if you want a passionate discourse on the topic.) Analytics help you refine and improve the efficiency of your processes.

You can also measure variables that affect productivity indirectly. These include onboarding and training ROI, employee absenteeism, and staff turnover. Contrast by department, team, or project.

Small Business Problem #3: Regulatory Compliance

Since 2013, the Department of Labor has recovered 1.2 billion in back wages. The typical business involved in a wage and hour dispute is liable for 30k in back wages. Three-fourths of labor disputes result in a settlement.

How Does Workforce Management Help Small Businesses Stay Compliant With Labor Laws?

First off, human resources software accurately tracks employee hours and wages for payroll. This ensures paycheck accuracy. Automated time and attendance is the foundation of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance.

WFM compliance customization provides further protection from expensive violations. Set rules for Fair Work Week, minimum wage, overtime, meals/breaks, and union contracts. Protect Affordable Care Act small employer classification or employee full- or part-time status. Set rules for FMLA at the Federal or local level. Track employee classifications including agency, contractor, employee, seasonal, and union. Track certifications.

Employers with mobile, remote, and offsite workers are at greater risk of a wage and hour violation. Mobile timekeeping apps with GPS track employee time for all offsite staff. If you were challenged on a minimum wage or overtime violation, your mobile WFM software would have the time card data to back you up.

Since 2016, long-term healthcare facilities have been subject to Payroll Based Journal reporting. They must track and report staffing data including tenure, hours worked, and caregiver-patient ratios. Without workforce management software, it is extremely time-consuming (if not impossible) to track and verify this information.

Incorrect employee classification trips up thousands of employers each year. The fines are staggering. WFM helps business owners track employees, independent contractors, interns, agency labor, and seasonal workers so they can be paid correctly.

Small Business Problem #4: Low Employee Engagement

Don’t discount the power of employee engagement. Engagement may be the missing ingredient in your recipe for business success. Employee engagement is tied directly to your bottom line. Improving it can give your small business the competitive advantage.

  • Engaged employees are more productive
  • Companies with high engagement are more profitable
  • Engagement reduces absenteeism, turnover, and burnout
  • Companies with engaged employees receive better online customer reviews
  • Engaged employees are onboarded and trained more quickly
  • Engaged employees spur innovation
  • Engaged employees become brand ambassadors for your business
  • Engaged employees create a positive work environment
  • Engaged employees are positive role models for co-workers

How Does WorkforceHUB Increase Employee Engagement?

When your employees come to work, they are greeted with a company-branded WorkforceHUB dashboard. The dashboard shows their punch status, company announcements, and most recent pay stubs. There are links to all the HR information necessary.

WorkforceHUB provides time and attendance transparency and accountability. Employees know that they will be paid for all their time worked. The time card will show if they stayed late on a busy day. It also verifies punctuality and lack of break abuses.

Remember the KPIs we talked about earlier? When you have comprehensive data on productivity, you know exactly where to focus your efforts.

Identify which processes are breaking down. Compare team, shift, or location performance.

Customizable workflows help managers duplicate habits of top performers. Improve training and onboarding. Create more effective employee schedules.

WorkforceHUB gives managers realtime oversight so they can solve problems quickly. It allows them to answer questions, provide feedback, and reward top performers.

Feedback needs to be bi-directional. WorkforceHUB’s anonymous suggestion box solicits candid employee feedback. Respond to employee complaints and suggestions and remove obstacles to engagement.

WorkforceHUB improves collaboration. This is especially important for geographically-dispersed teams. With centralized document access, team members don’t need to wonder if they are working on the latest version of a spreadsheet. This was always a problem when the master spreadsheet lived on one employee’s laptop instead of in the cloud.

Allowing employees to work at home can dramatically improve engagement. Providing flexible schedules is another way business owners improve job satisfaction. Employers who want to attract millennials (and younger) will have a hard time if they only offer a traditional 9-5, onsite working environment. Alternative working arrangements are made possible by HR software. The software tracks their time and location and makes it easy to bill hours to clients.

Basic time and attendance is a start. But you need a unified HR portal like WorkforceHUB to benefit from the engagement tools discussed in this section. You can even set up your own engagement programs and manage them through the portal.

Small Business Problem #5: Operational Inefficiency

Do you handle all the HR at your business with manual processes? If so, you probably work longer hours than you would like. If you lost your weekends a long time ago, it’s time to reclaim them. Look over the following list and consider what it would mean to cut HR time in half.

How Does WorkforceHUB Improve Efficiency?

Automating manual activities is the first step. There is no reason to perform tedious processes by hand if HR software can do it cheaper, faster, and better.

Of course, you need some human guidance. Well-designed mobile WFM apps allow owners to handle HR processes anytime, anywhere from their phone or mobile device.

Time And Attendance

  • Auto-sync timekeeping and payroll.
  • Employees don’t have to fill out time cards.
  • Managers can approve digital time cards much faster.
  • Reduce time-consuming payroll mistakes.
  • “Employee aware” clock eliminates missed punches.
  • Customized PTO tracking.
  • Import employee hours directly to payroll.
  • Simplifies absence management, overtime control, and leave planning.

Employee Scheduling

  • Make complicated employee schedules in minutes with templates. Drag-and-drop employees into shifts. Copy them forward. Duplicate and tweak as necessary. View multiple schedules at once.
  • Schedule rules prevent mistakes.
  • Automated schedule notifications eliminate texting, calls, and emails.
  • The WorkforceHUB scheduler (TimeSimplicity) prevents understaffing, overstaffing, and double-booking employees at two locations. This reduces supervisor time necessary to solve scheduling problems.
  • Self-service employee shift trading saves managers time.

Records Management

Centralized, searchable online databases streamline records management.

Benefits Enrollment

  • Employees can access plan info and forms in WorkforceHUB.
  • Admin staff can track employee progress and completion.

Shrinking admin time has important collateral benefits. You’ll have more time for marketing. You’ll have more time to develop new products. You’ll have more time to do things that have nothing to do with your business! Sound good? Schedule a WorkforceHUB demo today.

By Liz Strikwerda

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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