May 19, 2020

Scheduling Matters

Work Culture
scheduling practices
employee scheduling
business scheduling
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Scheduling Matters


In hospitality and retail, two industries so reliant on shift workers, piecing together a staffing schedule puzzle is always a balancing act between payroll control and adequate coverage.  As managers, however, we sometimes get so caught up in the numbers that we often fail to create a truly effective schedule. We overlook the factors which will maximize productivity and profitability: the needs of our employees. I'd like to share the three elements a manager should consider before he or she can master the art of designing their best schedule.

I've seen, from industry experience and my re-invention of the traditional staffing agency model, how shift work employees are affected by the traditional scheduling process. The number of part-time workers has grown significantly due to the slowly recovering economy and a cultural shift in priorities as it relates to work. Managers must adapt to a new reality to keep productive staff motivated to perform and stay on the job...and much of it starts with taking an interest in how they want to work.

Here are three tips to getting the most from your employees through great scheduling routines.

1.What Does Their Ideal Schedule Look Like?

As is common for many shift workers, they have other obligations. Many that work in retail are also juggling school schedules. And plenty of weekend servers are pursuing other jobs during the week. Asking staff what their ideal schedule looks like is a great way to figure out exactly what they want. You may not be able to please everyone, but this is an essential step to finessing a schedule that works for your staff. 

Their answers could be a surprise. A security guard who regularly works nights but covets the early morning shift that is so hard to fill. Or a sales person who has worked the last 16 Sunday’s in a row and would love the occasional Sunday off. Just asking is a start at showing staff how much you care. From there, a few small changes can make a big impact.

2. How Much Do Your Staff Want to Work?

The number of hours that employees want to work vs. the number of hours they are scheduled is one of the largest complaints of shift work. Each employee relies on a certain number of hours to maintain their life. It’s that simple.

Regularly ask your employees what their expectations are; they may have changed from their initial hiring period. Some are looking to cut back a day or two and others would gladly work overtime. Being upfront with staff about whether you can meet their expectations is key - even if you can’t meet them. The knowledge and consistency of a predictable schedule provides staff with the security they need to feel great about their job.

3. Who Do They Work Best With?

Finding patterns between supervisors and staff that get more quality work done when they are paired up - independent workers paired with more hands off managers, or people that thrive under a task driven supervisor.

The balance between getting things done and getting along is essential to seeing the best in your staff. And happiness is contagious. Working in an environment where people get along is crucial to job satisfaction.

As you begin your hiring, try adopting the scheduling practices that prioritize your shift workers' needs, in addition to budgets and business requirements. You'll experience a marked difference in their energy and likely a better return on your payroll investment.

Margaret Readings is CEO and Founder of Connect For The Best, a new-model agency re-inventing the way the service industry satisfies its staffing needs. Her expertise comes from 30 years of prior managerial and executive experience at high profile international hotels and she enjoys relating her unique perspectives to the students of Humber College's hospitality program in Toronto, Canada as an educator.

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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