New: Reminders For Your Employees via Facebook Messenger

Do you have employees who forget to clock in and the start of their shift, or forget to clock out at the end?  Well, we can help, we have a new tool that reminds your employees of their schedule.

If PayrollHero has not received a clock in or out from your employee, they can be reminded 15 minutes prior to their schedule or after the completion of the schedule, automatically, via Facebook Messenger.

Why Facebook Messenger? 

For starters, you most likely already have it on your phone, so no need to download a new app to get PayrollHero reminders.  Plus, in many countries (including the Philippines), Facebook Messenger is free, no data required.

What do the reminders look like? 

Good question, here is an example of a reminder. It pops up prior to the shift to remind employees to clock in.

Employee Reminders

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Time Management Secrets for Busy Business Owners

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As the owner of a restaurant, retail business or startup, your priority is to move your business forward every single day.

Running your own business is different from working for a company because the line between professional and personal life is blurred. In this case, it is essential that you make the best use of your time and we have a few tips to get you started!

Cut down on meetings

Meetings can often be directionless and unreasonably lengthy. You may find yourself spending an entire day running from one meeting to the next and ending the day having done nothing significant at all. Whether the meetings are with your subordinates, potential clients or investors, it’s worth pressing the pause button, going through the goals for the meeting and deciding whether they warrant a meeting at all.

Meetings with your subordinates might occur too often, with no significant change in the status of their work. Meetings with clients may involve work that can be done on your own time. It’s important to cut these meetings down if most of the time is spent going back and forth on decisions that have already been made.

A good way to do this is to outline the goals of the meeting beforehand and go back to these goals at the end of the meetings and check if they have been met.

Going through emails

Through the day, you’re bound to get emails from friends, family, business partners, advertisers, clients and others. Keeping up with emails is one of the most time consuming tasks of the day. But this can be simplified.

There are a bunch of apps that help you. Gmail has a priority inbox folder that sifts through your mail and categorizes them for you. SaneBox is another app that cleans up your inbox so you focus on communicating with important people instead of missing out on their emails under all that spam.

Whatever you choose, make sure you are on top of it over the first few weeks as you get used to how the app prioritizes your mail.

Another important point on emails is to prioritize your replies. If your reply requires only two minutes, you should do so immediately. It saves time by preventing you to archive emails that really just require two minutes of your time.

If an email requires more time for you to think over your reply, you should move it to a whole new folder (maybe create a Priority Replies folder). This marks down the emails you need to go over again before you choose to reply.

Building a playbook

When you’re doing a task multiple times, you can write down the task step by step in a Google Doc and standardize the process. This makes it easier to delegate the task to someone else so that you can focus on more urgent matters.

Many CEOs and managers recommend creating a playbook because standardizing the task saves time, makes it fool proof and works as a guide for future reference. We do it at PayrollHero too and it helps getting new hires up to speed with how we work through tasks.

Advising your team

Many managers propose engaging with their team on a regular basis to find out what they need. They say that walking through your office and stopping by your employee’s table and asking them questions about their day really builds morale and productivity. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  1. What roadblocks are you facing today?
  2. How can I remove some of the roadblocks for you?
  3. What resources would help you move faster?

All these questions help the employee focus on moving forward by identifying barriers and removing them. By paying attention to your employees’ roadblocks, you can gauge what you can do to help them be more productive.

Altogether, these steps are simple to implement and quick to produce results. You should be able to free up you time to prioritize on core business activities that you can make the biggest impact on.

Hope this helps, and let us know if you have time-saving secrets that you would like to add on!

More Than Just a Payroll Solution

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that we are a time, attendance, and payroll solution that meets your company’s needs. That’s true.

But let’s move away from that for a while and let’s look deeper into what PayrollHero truly is.

You see, PayrollHero is a cool app that lets you clock in to work with a selfie, and generate payroll with just a few clicks. That’s one of our biggest selling points, and one of the biggest reasons why our clients love us.

But that’s not why our product is genuinely enjoyed by some of the best companies in the Philippines and Singapore.

The real reason why our product is valuable to your business is because we save you time.

Time Management Redefined

Beyond the #selfie clock ins, facial recognition, leave management feature, and many more, what PayrollHero wants more than anything is to give you back the time you lose from outdated time, attendance, and payroll methods.

One of our clients, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines, shared their experience on how PayrollHero makes their payroll processes faster and more efficient.

Here’s a snippet from CBTL’s CEO Walden Chu:

We wanted a payroll solution that was cloud based and built for the Philippine business environment, PayrollHero was exactly what we were looking for and took our payroll processing time for 700 employees from 16 days to 5 minutes” – Walden Chu, CEO, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines

WATCH: Walden Chu’s Testimonial on How PayrollHero Helps Their Business

16 days to 5 minutes.

That’s 144 working hours (or more, due to OT) brought down to just 5 minutes. I don’t know about you, but that’s A LOT of time saved.

Walden-Chu-PayrollHero-Testimonial

And that’s not all… The time that our ridiculously efficient product saves results into a world of other benefits for businesses.

Time Saved Results to Happier Employees

Because time, attendance, and payroll becomes easier to do, employees who act as primary stewards of these processes are taken a huge load off of their shoulders.

It’s not a secret that HR staff, payroll administrators, and accounting / finance employees are the ones that are most affected by the hassles of traditional payroll processes.

With PayrollHero, these employees can relax and focus on other important aspects of their work such as recruiting and employee engagement (for HR), and internal audit / accounting for those in Finance.

The system was not made to replace these employees, but rather, to help them become more efficient and less stressed with the rigours of traditional payroll. A more streamlined, easy, and hassle-free payroll solution can make these employees less stressed and happier at work.

Happy Employees are Good for Business

It has long been proven that happy employees are the best brand ambassadors you can ever have.

The happier your employees are, the more energized and motivated they are to work; and those little things eventually add up. Your customers will notice how happy and engaged your employees are, and this in return, causes them to love your brand even more.

Word of mouth referral goes a long way in growing your business. So the happier your employees are, the more customers you will attract. It’s a domino effect that you can take advantage of.

Beyond Business

Of course, making employees happy isn’t just done to boost your profits. As an employer, it’s important to always put a premium to your employees’ happiness.

With PayrollHero’s selfie clock in, we are able to help your employees start the work day with a smile.

Check out this video of how employees clock in and out of work using PayrollHero’s TeamClock App:

Not only do employees start the work day with a smile, they also clock out happily as they get ready to come home to their loved ones.

The overall mood of employees skyrocket, and because of this, their personal lives improve as well.

Right Person. Right Place. Right Time.

Not only does PayrollHero save you time; we also save you money.

Biometrics and time cards for time and attendance can be tricky. For one, it can easily be gamed by dishonest employees. There’s the case of buddy punching and ghost employees that is pretty much prevalent in the Philippines.

Take a look at how much money you can lose just because of buddy punching:

buddy-punching-PayrollHero

Even if you only have 1 buddy punching employee (which is very unlikely), you’ll be losing P4,000 a year! Now, in most cases, for companies with a very unreliable time and attendance process, buddy punching is more common.

If you had 500 employees, and 10 of them are regular buddy punchers, you could lose as much as P40,000 a year

With PayrollHero, you are LITERALLY free from buddy punchers because our system makes sure that the right person clocks in at the right place, at the right time.

You can learn more about Selfies vs Biometrics in this post.

Time to Make a Change

If you’ve made it this far down, then I can only assume that you are considering PayrollHero for your business. Whether you are running a restaurant in the Philippines, or a retail store in Singapore; or even any business in Asia, there’s just so much PayrollHero can offer for you.

time-attendance-with-PayrollHero

Handling time, attendance, and payroll for your business will never be the same once you go for PayrollHero.

It’s time to make a positive change for your business. Let us help you save money, and most importantly, save precious time for you and your employees.

If this is something that you’re interested in, we’d love to chat with you. You can contact us at sales@payrollhero.com or visit any of our websites: Philippines, Singapore, Global, to learn more.

The Dark, Ghastly World of Manual Scheduling and Attendance

time-theft-payrollhero

Psst! Are you still using punch cards, time clocks, or any other form of manual scheduling to track employee attendance and schedule? If you are, we have bad news.

Sit down for a minute and consider the following statistics:

  • A full 95 percent of employees steal from their employers through time theft. More than 30 percent of these employees perform time theft by writing in earlier arrivals or later departures, or having a co-worker clock them in or out,  – 2013 survey, Kessler International
  • Buddy punching accounts for 2.2 percent of gross payroll losses – Nucleus Research
  • Businesses lose an average of 4.5 hours per week per employee in time theft – that’s more than half the amount you pay for a regular employee in a day. – American Payroll Association
  • Each year it costs companies an average of $65 per employee to collect, calculate and enter payroll data. Unauthorized overtime adds yet another $292 per employee, and mistakes in time calculation and employee fraud combined cost an additional $430 per employee. Therefore, manual timekeeping methods cost companies an average of $787 per employee annually. – G&A Partners

The aforementioned figures are worth pondering, right?

Now let’s dig further into the dark, ghastly world of manual scheduling and attendance.

Behold the TERRIBLE TRIO!

The Deceitful Paper-Based Time Sheet

Paper-based scheduling and attendance can be as simple as jotting down everyone’s name in one column and putting in the number of hours they’ve done in a week on another column. Often, login and logout times are jotted down too. It sounds uncomplicated but here’s why this method is outdated:

  • Reconciling time sheets, accounting for vacation leaves and overtime, and adjusting schedules takes a lot of time! What if the staff doubles in number for the next six months? The horror!
  • There’s a lot of room for error, whether intentional or not. Garbled handwriting, anyone?
  • Since it’s taking you forever to go over the time sheets, pay is most likely going to be delayed. Delayed pay means unhappy employees which, of course, leads to a decline in productivity.
  • It’s not shareable. Sure, you can have neat photocopies of the time sheets but at the end of the month, most of them are lost or mangled into pieces.

The Abominable Manual Time Clock

Many businesses still stick to the manual time clock because of its low cost. In comparison to time scheduling software, it’s obviously less expensive. But really, how certain are you that the time clock is saving your business money?

It could take a few seconds for an employee to punch in and out, yet much time is required to record and compile the raw data. In short, you need to hire an extra pair of hands to do all these things. The funds that you supposedly save goes into the daily wage of the employee who collects and processes the data.

Next, you could be paying for work that isn’t done in the first place! Enter buddy punching. It’s not common for one of your employees to text a co-worker to kindly clock in for him because he may be running late for work. Or worse, someone from production got a nasty hangover last night, can’t get to work, yet one of the team members clocked in for the absentee today because they’re BFFs.

And there’s the costs of time cards. It may look insignificant at first but the monthly costs could quickly add up, particularly if you’re adding more employees.

Lastly, like it’s deceitful sister – the paper-based time sheet, the manual time clock is a vast magnetic field for errors.

The Sinister Spreadsheet

What’s so sinister about the humble Excel spreadsheet?

Let’s talk about dueling spreadsheets. While there’s no princess to be saved nor kingdoms to be claimed, dueling spreadsheets can be a waste of time, money, and effort in the long run. This occurs when multiple versions of the same spreadsheet do not reconcile with each other.

This Smart Data Collective post explains dueling spreadsheets well:

It happens because the data in a desktop spreadsheet is not bound to a single source that everyone is working from. It may be a single source, but the data may be collected at different times. There may be changes to formulas or additions or deletions that take place, and not everyone is on the same version. This is what happens when spreadsheets are used in repetitive, collaborative enterprise processes.

Research by Ventana on the dueling spreadsheets scenario revealed that 43 percent of their respondents reported that it happens frequently or all of the time, and one-third (31%) find it happening for the most important process that utilizes spreadsheets.

Despite these findings, organizations continue to embrace spreadsheets because “they seem to believe that, like the weather, you can complain about these issues but you can’t do much to change the situation.”

Put an End to the Terrible Trio of Manual Scheduling and Attendance!

Now that we’ve revealed the evil ways of the terrible trio, the PayrollHero team would love to help you prevent the above mentioned pitfalls!

Our ridiculously client-focused approach guarantee that we’ll be with you as you battle your way out of the dark, ghastly world of manual scheduling and attendance. Isn’t it about time that you seek an automated time and attendance system that provides real value for what you’re paying for?

Get in touch with us today and we’ll help your business transition quickly to a seamless time and attendance management system!

 

Get Everything Done as a Small Business Owner (And Still Appear Calm and Cool)

Time-Management-Tips-For-Small-Business-Owners

Not having enough time is a struggle that many small business owners deal with.

It’s that overwhelming feeling of trying to tackle everything in your to-do list but you feel like time is racing against you too. Before you know it, dusk has settled in (or dawn if you’re a night owl) but you have nothing tangible to show for it.

Where did all the time go?!

Working long hours to accomplish each task you’ve set yourself for the day is not the solution. We outline three science-backed, actionable steps to leverage the 168 hours you’re given in a workweek.

With this, you can stop feeling you don’t have enough time, and eventually get things done. NO SUPER POWERS REQUIRED

Forget about managing time. Focus on your energy instead.

This may sound counterintuitive at first. Yet there’s actually a science to it. Tony Schwartz, CEO and founder of The Energy Project and co-author of The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy Not Time suggested a different approach to productivity in this Harvard Business Review article.

“The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story,” Schwartz pointed out.

Working on The Energy Project, Schwartz and his team consulted with business leaders and owners, and evaluated their time-management efforts in parallel with their productivity. In their findings, they found out two fine points that are actually hurting one’s productivity:

  • Multitasking
  • Infrequent breaks within the day

Multitasking, according to Schwartz, slows you down. “A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, for instance—increases the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25%.”

Instead, he recommends taking ultradian sprints – being fully focused for a specified amount of time and taking breaks in between these specified time blocks.

This approach is grounded on human physiology. Psychophysiologist Peretz Lavie referred to it as “ultradian rhythms,” or natural cycles that take place within the 24-hour sleep wake cycle. In a nutshell, humans have 90 to 120-minute cycles during which we gradually shift from a high-energy state into feeling burned out. This is why taking frequent breaks are crucial.

In another Harvard Business Review post last year, author Ron Friedman examined why foregoing breaks at work is a recipe for disaster:

Studies show we have a limited capacity for concentrating over extended time periods, and though we may not be practiced at recognizing the symptoms of fatigue, they unavoidably derail our work. No matter how engaged we are in an activity, our brains inevitably tire.

Still not convinced? Ferris Jabr of The Scientific American laid out several studies in this in-depth look of how frequent breaks can actually help you regain attention, be more creative, and improve your decision-making skills.

The Action Plan

Devote all your attention and focus to a specific task for a certain time block such as responding to emails or crunching out your team’s current payroll.  Figure out what works for you – experiment on 30, 60, or 90 minute intervals – and ride the waves of your own ultradian rhythm rather than go against the flow.

Next, step away from your work to do non-work related tasks for a specific period of time too. Logging in to Facebook doesn’t count! Why not have a short chat with one of your employees? Or play foosball with the team?

In hindsight, not all hours were created equal. Therefore, it is best to schedule your tasks based on when you are feeling the most energetic and engaged!

Sketch out your ideal work week.

As a small business owner, planning things ahead is most likely second nature to you. Yet apart from scheduling meetings or outlining what needs to be done for the entire work week, have you thought about designing your ideal week?

Michael Hyatt, author of the New York Times bestseller Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World wrote in this short yet succinct post:

Sure, you can’t plan for everything. Things happen that you can’t anticipate. But it is a whole lot easier to accomplish what matters most when you are proactive and begin with the end in mind.One of the ways I do this is by creating a document, I call “My Ideal Week.

The Action Plan

Hyatt suggested that it’s like drafting your weekly budget, but instead of allocating your finances, you are planning out how you will spend those 168 hours you have in a week.

But structures are supposed to hinder creativity, right? Well, it turns out that small business owners like you need a system in place to empower yourself into regaining focus.

Georgetown University professor Cal Newport who runs a blog on productivity has this response:

Sometimes people ask if controlling time will stifle creativity. I understand this concern, but it’s fundamentally misguided. If you control your schedule: (1) you can ensure that you consistently dedicate time to the deep efforts that matter for creative pursuits; and (2) the stress relief that comes from this sense of organization allows you to go deeper in your creative blocks and produce more value.

Newport further explained:

A 40 hour time-blocked work week, I estimate, produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour work week pursued without structure.

By and large, you are less likely to get frazzled once Monday kicks in because you have already made the decision by designing time blocks (including the breaks in between) in your calendar within the week

Delegate and automate.

You can be the most awesome small business owner in the world but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re also the most prolific blogger, most proficient accountant, or the most welcoming receptionist.

In a survey of small businesses, it turns out that “day-to-day store operations” is the most time-consuming task identified by the owners and managers.

So how do you  go about your mission to gain new customers or forge meaningful relationships with your existing clientele if you’re busy with the day-to-day store operations? Impossible, right?

The Action Plan

Do more of the things that you are good at and quit wearing multiple hats. You can either delegate accounting functions to an independent contractor or start automating payroll and inventory management tasks.

It all boils down to embracing newer technologies to find more time for the things that truly matter to your small business.

The Bottom Line

The key takeaways to getting everything done in your small business are to manage your energy rather than time, sketch out an ideal week, and consider delegating and automating repetitive tasks.

What time management tips are currently working in your favor? Which ones didn’t work?

Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!