They’re your crew! Together you work through some of the busiest times meeting production deadlines or service demands. While it’s always exciting to find a new enthusiastic member, it’s often difficult to maintain a feeling of comradery among the staff. Between demands for preferred shifts, juggling their personal lives and helping you to maintain standards, it is often tempting to reach out to a few favorite employees. However, that is when the slide down into perceived favoritism can tarnish you reputation as a leader. By using a few key software tools, you can work to promote an improved working environment that responds fairly to each individual’s needs.
Building Schedules to Meet Demand and Needs
Part of effective crew management is balancing staffing during peak hours vs. your staff’s need for flexible time off. A good payroll software suite can help you to build scheduling templates to help ensure the right number of people are placed on each shift. Idle hands are almost as detrimental to the attitude of a team as overworked staff. Combine static templates with business projections to add flexibility for changes in demand to ensure that peak periods get the extra attention they deserve. The software can help you determine when staffing levels have dipped and a new hiring cycle is needed.
Add a Staff Portal for Electronic Tracking of Requests for Time-off
Get rid of the time-off requests scribbled on slips of paper. They slip under file cabinets, disappear into the trash and can cause misunderstandings between management and staff. By adding a portal accessible by every employee to your payroll software, requests are time-stamped and recorded electronically, diminishing the chance one can be overlooked. You’ll see improved crew management when responses to requests can be seen by each employee and verified.
Improved Accessibility Keeps Everyone Informed
With the increasing use of smartphones, just about everybody has an inbox riding around on the belt or in their pocketbook. Your payroll software is capable of creating a shareable scheduling file ready to send out as a batch email to the entire staff at the same time. Instead of relying on a single posting of a flexible schedule near the time clock, why not invite all the employees to be able to read their hours on their personal electronic device. You can also add reminders for meetings, inspections or updating training certificates with the weekly bulletin. Part of improving crew management is always opening up communication paths. Electronic posting of schedules is a step in the right direction.
Building a great crew takes time and effort. Most of all, it requires fair and welcoming leadership that encourages each member to work with each other and you to reach those demanding deadlines. Take advantage of every tool at your fingertips. Your staff will thank you!