How to avoid overstaffing through wage tracker software

By Rick Bell

May. 21, 2020

While restaurants brimming with patrons and retailers bustling with shoppers are energizing images, employers must keep a level head when staffing their locations. Whether it’s reviving a dormant construction site or setting up the outdoor patio for a busy weekend brunch, a real-time wage tracker solution will help employers avoid the common mistake of overstaffing their workplace and spending too much on labor costs.

Understand your wage spend

Business owners want to keep patrons coming back whether they are grabbing a meal or leisurely shopping for a new pair of shoes, which means more foot traffic in the door.

Correctly staffing your location is crucial to profits as well as customer satisfaction. That can be as simple as consolidating employee data currently logged in varying systems and spreadsheets into a single online platform. Merging your employee data with the technology to track wage costs in real time and adjust staffing levels can avert the nagging issue of being overstaffed or understaffed.

Beware of peaks and valleys

All organizations have their rush times and slowdowns. Think strategically and incorporate software solutions for those periods but also remain flexible for the unexpected. Some ideas to consider:

  • Denote peak seasons and hours versus slow seasons and hours to determine how many employees are needed.
  • Give employees schedule preferences, reasonable time off and the holiday schedule.
  • Distribute advanced schedules to head off any conflicts or unforeseen circumstances.

Avoid overstaffing

Eager employers don’t want to be left short-staffed. Wage tracker software helps eliminate erring on the side of caution and adding more people than are needed, which cuts into the company’s profits.

There’s also a dirty little secret when it comes to the cost of overstaffing. Employees hate getting cut once they show up and also dislike standing around for hours on end with nothing to do. Either way, employees will complain that their time was wasted by a boss who scheduled too many employees. Do it over and over and you’ve provided them the time to search their phones for other employment options.

And avoid understaffing 

When the workplace is short-staffed, employees complain that they are constantly on the run and overworked to the point of exhaustion. That leads to poor quality of work, high levels of stress and increased absences. There will be higher overtime expenses, which can result in a more costly alternative than hiring additional employees full time. And like overstaffing, short-staffing a workforce leads to employee turnover, too.

Keep employees happy and cut costs

Put the kibosh on grousing employees and give them a reason to be happy and fairly compensated for the work they do. Effective wage-tracker software will prompt managers that wage costs are higher than expected so they can make adjustments throughout the day to successfully run their shift. The wage tracker platform’s built-in wage calculator monitors real-time costs, staff count and where employers may be overspending per shift with up-to-the minute reporting.

The result will be a savings in wage costs and a drop in unnecessary overtime. You’ll also notice a more satisfied and engaged workforce.

As organizations ramp up their staffing, this is the perfect time to incorporate live wage tracker software to empower managers with the tools they need to accurately and fairly compensate employees and assess staffing levels in the moment and at a glance.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director.

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