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3 Labor Management Tips for Small to Medium Businesses

3 labor management tips for small to medium businesses
Victoria Brunette

By Victoria Brunette

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Labor Management Isn't Just People ManagementLabor management is more than telling your employees what to do and when to do it. In fact, taking that approach will land you in the "worst boss ever" category, and you don't want that.
Labor management involves keeping employees on track, helping them take responsibility for their tasks and actions, and making sure they have the tools they need to succeed. By looking at yourself as more of a partner in productivity, you can help your staff do a great job and love doing it.
Empowered employees work harder, need less supervision, and tend to be happier and more efficient. To get them to that place, you need to understand their needs, how they work, and what you can do to make their jobs easier. That's labor management at its finest, and it's not as hard as it sounds.
When you learn proper labor management techniques, the rest of your managerial tasks tend to just fall into place with less effort on your part, and a whole lot less stress, too. Below, we cover the top 3 tips to help managers do their job better and keep employees happy in the process. And yes, it really can be done with just these three points!
Start with the Right Staff Your employees are not just tools to be used to get bigger profits. They are people with ideas, opinions and needs of their own, and the first step in labor management is making sure you have the right people for each job.
Take the time to get to know your staff, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and then place them in a position within the company that lets them use their skills. Yes, of course you want to hire people that you can train, too, but starting with the right people in the right jobs makes labor management that much easier. Fewer training hours needed, less stress for you and the employee, and more confidence for your staff member when they see they can do the job with little to no supervision from you. That alone will ensure you have more free time to handle another aspect of management and you won't have to worry if your employees are doing their best.
A great way to get this process started is to provide a way for your employees to communicate with you, give ideas, and even make complaints, all without having to wait for an appointment to talk to you or filling out a long and boring paper request form. We'll discuss this even deeper in the next tip.
Give Them the Right Tools
The exact recipe for success will vary from business to business, but the basic ingredients are always the same. For your staff to do a great job, they need the best tools, which includes actual tools of the trade and training.
As the manager, you need to be aware of the tools and training necessary to do every job in the store. From the type of ovens you use to the brooms in the maintenance room, to the way your employees clock in and out each day. Providing the safest, most efficient, and user-friendly tools will show your employees that you've got this labor management thing down to a science.
While providing what your staff members need to do a great job every day, you're also improving your brand's reputation. Great managers understand their employees' needs and take the extra steps to be sure those needs are met. Are there any areas you can improve your staff's tools and training? A little extra work now means easier labor management down the line, so it's definitely worth another look.
As mentioned in the first tip, communication is a good way to get your employees more involved and more engaged, making labor management that much easier. Consider giving your employees an app that allows communication from a mobile device, cutting out the in-person meetings, unless they're needed, and any long and cumbersome request forms. Real-time communication, anytime, anywhere - that shows your employees you're there to support and help, not just cut a paycheck.
Log, Report, and Adjust Part of awesome labor management is logging everything, creating comprehensive reports, and being willing and able to make adjustments when things don't go as planned. Your logs and reports are your best weapon in tracking spending, growing profits, and catching any issues that might require disciplinary action. If your logs aren't complete or you're unable to create a detailed report with the swipe of a finger or click of a mouse, you're wasting valuable time and money. Make logging and reports easier by getting yourself the right tools, too.
Digital checklists for employees that you can check and update in real-time help to keep employees accountable and empowered, while scheduling software and online time clock apps that can be run on any mobile device keep everyone in the loop.
Time saved is money earned, and getting your business set up with powerful apps and mobile devices is the best way to accomplish that.

Are You Ready for a New Way to Do Business?Some labor management practices are still stuck in the dark ages, causing more work, more frustration, and more mistakes. That frustrated manager doesn't have to be you. Embrace the newest technologies now to show your employees you're up with the times, open to new ideas, and ready to make everyone's job easier. In the process, you'll improve profits, reduce costs, and get employees engaged.
Having a great suite of apps that can access cloud-based data and give real-time feedback and alerts is a step in the right direction. Get your company out of the slow and painful past, and usher it into the future with affordable productivity apps that truly improve labor management, not just add useless bells and whistles. We have more information on labor management tools and tips in another article if you'd like to see a bit more. Otherwise, sign up for a free trial of one of Hubworks many business management apps to see how we can help improve your labor management, increase sales, and control costs.

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