In retail, staffing is one of the most critical factors that affect profitability. Not having someone to assist customers, restock inventory, accept returns, or handle other jobs can mean lost profits and wasted opportunities. Luckily an online time clock can help you to manage and overcome common staffing issues.

The various features built into an online timecard system make it much easier to manage all the different moving parts of scheduling, time off requests, and managing hours so that you have better and more accurate control of your retail staff during any given situation.

Manage Staffing Levels and Control Overhead

Without an online time clock, staff management is challenging. There’s nothing worse than not having enough employees or having too many to be productive. Understaffing can leave you shorthanded at a critical moment, leading to a loss in sales, and even worse, angry customers.

Overstaffing is equally problematic since that can lead to distracted staff, people without anything to do, and overall confusion about the division of labor. Not only that, too many staff means unnecessary increased labor costs.

Online time clock software makes it much easier to not only manage staffing levels at a glance by seeing who’s clocked in and who isn’t but to do so in real-time and make adjustments as needed. Real-time oversight helps to eliminate the confusion and make cutting down staff or adding staff in a pinch a much simpler process.

Control Absenteeism

One of the worst problems that afflict retail is having employees not show up for their shifts. Sometimes this is due to problems with scheduling, where employees’ needs are not taken into account, making them unable to work their assigned schedules due to personal responsibilities. Other times, there are reasons for absences that need to be addressed, such as willful disregard for the job or medical emergencies.

In any of these cases, online timesheet management software can help solve the problem. With an online time clock, managers can instantly know when employees are absent and are sent alerts. Getting real-time updates allows management to identify when an employee is absent habitually and work to rectify the situation, either by altering the schedule to address individual needs or reprimanding the employee if they neglect their duties on purpose.

Use Historical Data

Since online employee timesheet software automatically records all your clock in, attendance, and other data, you have a powerful tool at your disposal that you can use to better prepare your retail staff for increases in business or downturns as well.

You can use past data to tell where staff issues are likely to occur at any given point during the year and plan ahead. For example, using historical data for forecasting may mean scheduling employees for fewer hours when times are slow or scheduling more employees when you know that business will pick up.

Adjust in Real-Time

Even with all the data and features of online time clock software, you can’t plan for everything that can happen in a retail environment. Unexpected absences occur, historical data can be wrong, and you may need to make changes on the fly to adjust to a given situation.

Because the work tracking software easily controls scheduling and attendance, making adjustments on the fly is much easier when something unexpected happens. Being able to make changes from any permitted device means you can manage your employees and call in extra staff when an unexpected increase in customers occurs so that you can capitalize on the increased business.

The same is true for an unexpected slowdown; you can see staff levels in real-time, and if business decreases, you can send people home so as not to waste hours and pay unnecessary labor costs.