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.
Retail staff scheduling affects more than just your grocery store’s operation, it also impacts your employees. As a grocery store manager, you put in a lot of work to create an optimal schedule, only to have to change it as employees send in last-minute requests. And for employees, shift work can be unpredictable, making it a challenge to schedule their personal lives into the future.
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.
The weekly task of building a schedule could be completely automated except for one thing. Your store is staffed by human beings.
Matching the right employees to the right shifts can be a challenge even for experienced grocery managers. The prior week’s schedule provides a starting point, but changes to staff availability, time-off requests, vacations, and seasonal fluctuations in sales volume can all complicate the process.
Most retail employees have heard it before: “I’m running a little late, can you punch me in?” Or perhaps, “I have to cut out a few minutes early today, can you punch me out?” It may seem harmless enough to employees simply trying to juggle their schedules. Even the name we’ve given this practice—buddy punching—sounds innocuous. Who wouldn’t do a favor for a good friend? But realize it or not, when one team member clocks in or out for another, they are committing fraud.
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.
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?