The value proposition of a more mobile workforce is an enticing one: improved workforce efficiency, greater productivity, enhanced collaboration, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of devices are just some of the touted benefits for SMEs
However, concerns remain for many SME owners. Security, compliance, the challenges of managing a highly mobile workforce, the complexity of rolling-out mobile solutions, integrating and managing devices on the company network, the cost implications of writing off investments in legacy systems, and the hardware costs are all pertinent concerns.
Stuck in the dark ages
The truth is, in such a challenging economic climate SMEs should be focusing on the fundamentals of business, not wasting time and money implementing and managing new forms of technology. Sadly, business prosperity and technology are no longer mutually exclusive. The two now go hand-in-hand and SMEs that refuse to embrace new technologies like workforce mobility will lose competitive advantage and, subsequently, sustainability.
The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with customers, suppliers and employees is an integral part of every SME’s success, which is precisely what mobility enables. A more mobile workforce means that staff can be on site with clients while remaining connected, in real-time, to the office.
This allows them to place orders, access vital customer information, check emails, schedule meetings, communicate with office-bound team members for rapid issue resolution, or even action items themselves while on the go. This speeds up the business process, reducing lead times and increasing responsiveness to enhance customer service and delivery.
Enabling mobility within SMEs has become mission-critical. Stifling mobility is akin to stifling business growth. Thankfully the concerns that the small business owner has, while justified, are easily addressed.
For instance, with the increased speed and capacity of mobile and fixed-line broadband in South Africa, with an accompanying reduction in cost, workers now have access to high speed Internet access from the office or while on the move.
This makes the adoption of key technologies like cloud computing, possible. Cloud computing gives SMEs access to enterprise-grade applications and systems that are hosted in a centralised data centre. These services are available on a pay-per-use, scalable model and the entire environment is managed and maintained by managed service providers.
This has significantly lowered the TCO of technology for SMEs as there is no longer a need for large capital outlays to implement new technology and the burden of IT management is now outsourced to industry experts.
As software, data and information is hosted in a data centre it can also be accessed from any Internet-enabled device, as long as there is suitable connectivity. This is the key enabler of mobility within the SME as there is no complicated integration or new hardware required.
Accessing other new technologies that can further enhance business performance and efficiency, like unified communications and collaboration tools for instance, are also more accessible when SMEs move their network into the cloud.
Advancements in consumer electronics have also played an important role in making mobility a viable option for SMEs. The mobile devices consumers buy and use daily for personal use are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
Employees are also bringing these smartphones, tablets and phablets (phone-tablets) into the business environment and using them to access the company network.
Mobility on demand
This trend, termed Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), gives employees access to technologies like voice calling, Internet access, e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing and access to hosted applications and databases, all from a single device.
This means that SMEs can often enable mobility without the need to invest in new hardware and the cloud computing model negates any concerns around integration as everything is now web-based and accessible through a portal.
The headache normally associated with the management of the rapidly growing number of mobile devices entering the network is also less of a concern thanks to automation and mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
These solutions manage mobile devices from the same platform as desktops, laptops and servers, ensuring business continuity, and provide secure access to the network without exponentially increasing the demands and workload placed on internal IT staff.
Automation can also provide a variety of other benefits, including savings on bandwidth as it manages software updates, automates security updates and automatically applies configurations and settings to new devices.
With all of these services and capabilities now available to SMEs as part of cost efficient, fully managed offerings there should be no hesitation from SMEs to embrace mobility and benefit from the strategic and competitive advantages it offers.
Want People To Love Working For You? Here’s How To Get Them There
If you don’t want to go to work, why should they?
If you don’t have a culture in your startup, it will decay. If you don’t know your core values and how your business should reflect them, then your employees won’t know how to reflect them either.
And if nobody knows who you are, what you represent or what culture you promote, then their passion for the business and its future won’t exist. Nor will yours. In short, if you don’t build a culture, then it will slowly collapse inward on itself until nothing is left but a stale idea.
So, how do you create a culture that has you leaping out of bed at 5am? What do you do to inspire yourself so that you inspire others?
1. You sit down and prepare your values
What do you stand for? What do you believe in? How do you want other people to perceive the work you do and your ethics?
Are you a cutthroat, step over the bodies of your foes kind of business, or are you a people-focused, solutions-driven kind of company? Build up a core of words that define you and then use these to create an acronym that sustains you.
Be sure to investigate the meaning of any acronym you create before you set it in stone.
The last thing you want is an acronym that has some dark and twisted counterpart on the web…
2. Communicate your values
Seriously, this is key. So often people sit down and craft these lovely values and build these awesome acronyms and then just send them over email. Or include them once in an onboarding.
It’s all very good to put your strategic thinking down on paper, but relaying the message is vital.
Get it on your social media, put it on your intranet, stick them in the coffee area, repeat elements of them at meetings. Get these values out and about as often as possible.
3. Get engaged
Well, office romances are normal so that’s cool, but this is more about engaging people in your culture. Get buy-in from your staff in a genuine and open way.
They have to believe in what you’ve created otherwise you’ll be skipping down the company pathway alone.
Consider adding in motivations, recognising people for their contributions to specific values and rewarding them for their engagement.
4. Walk the talk
Don’t mess about. Don’t pretend the values are important to you and then do the opposite. If you don’t live your own values, nobody else will either.
In fact, saying one thing while doing another is a sure-fire way of creating a toxic working environment that will see high staff turnover and plenty of customer dissatisfaction.
5. Patience is not a cheese
Don’t expect everyone to leap onto the values train from the first day. This isn’t how it works, especially if you’re already established and have only just got around to creating them. People who joined before you implemented a new culture or value system may not be a good fit or may need more time to adjust.
It isn’t a race to the culture finish line, it’s a process. Learn as you go, trust in one another, take things forward carefully and be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them.
Finding Success With Workforce Staffing In The Minimum Wage Reality
Has your company joined the panicked masses?
From the 1st of May 2018, the minimum wage officially becomes a South African business reality. Many companies have implemented rushed contingency plans, readying themselves for minimum wage related redundancies, layoffs, cutbacks and other vastly destabilising business changes that could more likely injure business, rather than save it.
Before you start making these same, rash decisions, ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Are you worried about not covering wage costs?
- Do you know exactly what the minimum wage payments are?
- Are you aware of the minimum wage exemptions?
- Have you spoken to an expert about practical solutions?
These questions, and many more, should be asked in depth before any rash decisions are made. As this is the first time in South Africa’s history that such an act has come to pass, there is equal doubt as well as joy at its arrival.
The positives and negatives of the National Minimum Wage
“A national minimum wage will increase unemployment and further remove constitutional rights from SA’s ‘forgotten people’,” stated journalist Eustace Davie.
“The introduction of a national minimum wage was made possible by the determination of all social partners to reduce wage inequality while maintaining economic growth and employment creation.” said President Ramaphosa.
No matter what camp you fall into, the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA) is a reality everyone will shortly experience, with few solutions publicly available.
How Workforce can keep you compliant
Workforce Staffing is a legal and compliant supplier of temporary employment services and as is expected from a high quality labour solutions supplier, we will adjust any payment rate below R20 an hour, to keep our clients compliant with legislation.
When you turn to Workforce Staffing for solutions, you turn to a compliant and legal industry professional. Having analysed the situation from all possible business angles, we know that we have the means to support you in your NMWA transition, assisting with your standard compliance and exemption cases.
The NMWA’s rates:
- R20 and hour
- R18 an hour for farm workers
- R15 an hour for domestic workers
Criteria for the (currently set at) R18 an hour exemption:
- The employer must be unable to afford the R20 minimum wage
- The employer must have consulted with the relevant unions and employees
- The employer must submit financial statements (and make same available to the employees or relevant union)
The Workforce Staffing solution:
- Contact us to receive consultation on your business’ unique situation
- We will provide effective and tailor-made solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of the NMWA on your business growth
- Our staff management solutions will help reduce overtime, assist in production management, and provide alternative employment structure models
Workforce Staffing provides the expert help you need in ensuring your business is prepared for the guaranteed arrival of the NMWA. With our planning and professionalism, there’s no need to fear the future.
Related: Will A Strike Cripple Your Business?
How To Know If You’re Mismanaging Your Staff
Wouldn’t you like to free up some of that time to increase your company’s productivity and profitability while providing solutions to admin issues and organisational hazards? Workforce can show you how.
The average manager can spend up to two full days a week on administrative tasks. You aren’t a machine and neither are your managers or HR team. However, to gain the most from your temp staff, a machine is exactly what you need. A smart one.
WorkTRACZone is the definitive product that’s been especially developed to offer you ultimate control through technology.
WorkTRACZone ensures that you surpass the 80% of businesses that are floundering in misadministration, and guarantees that your temp staff are utilised to the maximum.
Keep clear of the danger zone
Research by UK-based company, Service Now, found that eight out of ten companies still use inefficient manual tracking to drive productive work processes, putting their company’s temping situation in the danger zone. Are you one of them? Ask yourself these five questions:
- Are you aware of all the skills available to you through your temp workers?
- Can you remotely access your temp staff’s work rosters anytime, anywhere?
- Do you know exactly how much overtime is being generated in your business?
- Are your temp staff’s absenteeism records completely up to date?
- Do you have convenient access to all your temp staff’s work histories?
Related: Finding Your Staffing Partner
If you answered no to any one of these questions, then your temporary staff are gravely underperforming.
Manage your temp staff better today
As specialists in the temporary employment field, the designers behind WorkTRACZone are well aware of what businesses need to make the most of their workforce.
If you would like to protect your company from all the possible failings hiding behind mismanagement, visit www.workforcestaffing.co.za, or call 087 135 8888 to take the first step in distinguishing your business.
Solutions to your biggest temp staffing issues
1. When I don’t have information available now, my business fails later
WorkTRACZone is a digital portal that is available to view from any smart device at any time. It provides complete transparency on all of your temporary staff, from work rosters to up-to-date labour costings. Have access to your outsourced staff’s information, collected onto the WorkTRACZone digital dashboard, and integrate time and attendance with payroll and invoicing systems.
2. How can I be sure staff aren’t taking advantage of overtime?
Mismanaged overtime is one of your biggest risks to profitability. WorkTRACZone records all overtime recorded by temporary staff, allowing you to spot dangerous patterns or misused hours before it becomes a drain on profits.
3. I’m not totally aware of what my temp staff can offer me
From clock number to ID, WorkTRACZone makes searching easy with editable fields and succinct categories. Workers’ skills are available to you at a moment’s notice with this digital portal.
4. I hardly monitor staff backgrounds, equipment issues, and other details
Having this information on hand is the first step to ensuring complete control over your outsourced staff. If you skip this step, all other processes often fall to disorder. WorkTRACZone provides the best solution to ensuring all this information is captured and easy to access.
5. With worker turnover, predicting salaries has become near impossible
All your temporary staff’s past and current work rates are viewed on demand via the WorkTRACZone digital dashboard. This provides accurate salary projections, allowing you to plan ahead and foresee any potential complications.
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