Australian retailers are preparing for the most important sales period of the year, met with increased footfall, longer trading hours and the need for additional staff, as more consumers choose to shop in-store in a post-Covid environment. 

Even without this year’s challenges of rising inflation and elevated interest rates impacting consumer confidence, managing a workforce in the retail sector is difficult, given high staff turnover and a complex modern award system, which is why managing staff and their shifts efficiently is critical to success. 

Employee management tools such as Planday from Xero digitise administrative jobs, making it easier for small business owners to get the right data to make informed choices about cash flow management. 

Six in 10 (61%) Australian small business owners increased their prices in the last 12 months to stay ahead of rising costs and make a profit, according to Xero’s ‘Money Matters’ report, with more than one-quarter (27%) also dipping into their personal savings to manage cash flow.

Employee management spans building rosters, managing timesheets, setting wages, processing payroll and communicating with teams. It’s important to do these jobs correctly and on time but manual processes leave room for error which can also affect the balance sheet. 

Manual processes also take time and cost money. Using digital tools can streamline tasks such as creating rosters and filling open shifts, managing leave requests and staff absences, and overseeing team performance by analysing leave types. Planday allows business owners and managers to review leave requests based on the employee and their requested leave, and then find someone to replace shifts based on a similar hourly rate and skillset. 

Australia’s modern award system is one of the most complex, globally. Paying staff in line with an award means employees must be paid in accordance with award rates and penalties. Planday’s built-in award interpretation tool enables small businesses to import award rates and then understand spend per employee, per shift. This is helpful when budgeting salaries against revenue and can ease cash flow pressure. 

Using technology for workforce management can connect with other systems, including point-of-sale (POS) technology, to provide real-time sales forecasts to roster teams accordingly. When combined with Xero Payroll, Planday delivers a real-time picture of labour costs versus key operating metrics. It can generate data to make proactive decisions that may influence business growth.

Planday’s blog looks at more ways that employee management can improve cash flow. If you’re interested in using Planday, visit the Planday website to learn more.