Payroll processing is one of the most important functions in your grocery business—and one of the most challenging. It takes a lot to keep up with ongoing changes, updates to employees' data, manage labor costs, and stay on top of tax updates and compliance. What makes it an even bigger challenge is that payroll processing is usually a delegated task, often in HR, and not a full-time job. The employee handling payroll usually has other responsibilities in the store, and might not have all the software and tools they need for the job.
Managing labor costs in the grocery business has always been a challenge. Until recently, scheduling and timekeeping were more of a manual operation, with managers relying on experience and gut feelings to build employee schedules. In addition, timekeeping in many stores fell under Human Resources instead of operations, which created a disconnect between what was happening in the store and what happened on the timecards.
Scheduling your team’s shifts is a lot like juggling. So many moving parts require your constant attention and, for each one you lay your hands on, two or more remain completely up in the air. Once you toss in holidays, PTO, overtime, sales forecasts, customer expectations, and legal compliance, even the most adept grocery store manager can soon find their skills pushed to the limit.
English is full of dead metaphors, familiar phrases for which the original meaning has been lost in time. Consider “punching the clock.” We all know what this means—namely, to check in and out of a work shift. But its points of reference—mechanical contraptions that printed timestamps on paper cards to record employees’ arrival and departure times—have largely vanished from the workplace. Today, time clocks that use unique codes, swipe cards, or some other digital identifier are the norm.
With the rising cost of retail labor—and today’s tight labor market—every grocer knows that any opportunity to optimize their labor management system is hard to pass up. Doing so would be as big a mistake as slashing hours and disinvesting in superior customer service. Using an employee attendance tracker is one such opportunity, with the hope of ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations concerning pay, overtime, lunch and break periods, and more.
At TRUNO headquarters in Lubbock, Texas, we may not have snow for the holidays—it’s not even dipped to freezing this week—but we can’t help inserting the holiday spirit into everything we do this time of year. Lately we’ve written about what we’re so thankful for in 2018, as well as this year’s perfect Christmas gift for retailers. We even talked about how to stay jolly while protecting yourselves from holiday shoplifters.
Holiday-shopping season is just around the corner—will you be adequately staffed to handle the rush? As shoppers hit the stores earlier and earlier each year, retailers have to fight to keep up. If you’re looking at the calendar and think it’s already too late, the right technology may be able to help you prepare.
Preparing for payroll is often overwhelming and stressful. The payroll process’ success effects the entire organization—from hourly workers to upper management. Because of this, there is pressure to have a process that produces accurate results.
Are you getting the complete picture of your in-house payroll costs these days?
Accurately tracking the hours an employee works is an age-old problem. It was more than a century ago, in 1888, that the first time clock was invented to address the issue. In fact, the technology company IBM owes its start to the time clock. Back then, time was recorded by manually punching or stamping the card that corresponded to a specific employee. Some time clocks still use this method, but the industry is evolving to overcome the unique challenges that come with timekeeping in the digital age.