The Nowsta Blog

Management tips and labor market insights to help you run your business

Payroll Reconciliation: How to Do It in 6 Easy Steps

By Henry Updegrave November 8, 2018

Payroll reconciliation is the key to maintaining accurate records of employee wages, withholdings, and other key pieces of tax information. Like many finance-related tasks, it’s a tedious yet crucial part of running a small business. In this post, we’re going to lessen the burden for you by breaking the process down into six simple steps.

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Why Your Business Needs an SOP for Everything

By Henry Updegrave November 7, 2018

Imagine you manage a restaurant and a new employee starts. You begin their first day by asking them to clean up all the cutting boards and cooking utensils in the kitchen. That may sound like a simple task, but as any food services professional will tell you, there’s a specific process to cleaning any food contact surfaces. By sending your new employee in blind, you’re risking your customers’ health, and you could fail your next health inspection. Worst of all, you could’ve eliminated those risks if you’d taken the time to write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

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Managing Millennials: 3 Solutions to Your Biggest Complaints

By Josh Burnett November 1, 2018

Everyone has heard the stereotypes about millennials. They’re lazy, entitled, addicted to their phones -- the list goes on and on. But as a business owner or manager, the first thing you need to understand about millennials is that they’re here to stay. They became a majority of the workforce in 2015, and more are joining every year. Chances are that millennials already make up a significant portion of your staff.

So, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to learn how to work with them. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this post, we’re going to offer some solutions to some of the common issues employers have when it comes to managing millennials. And who knows? We may even find a few silver linings to some of their supposedly negatively traits.

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15 Team Building Games Your Employees Will Actually Like

By Stephanie Knapp October 30, 2018

If you’ve ever led or participated in a team building game, then you know that they can often cause eye rolls. It’s not that employees don’t want to have fun and become closer to their coworkers. It’s more likely that they’ve encountered team building games that have been uncomfortable, boring, or just plain corny.

You’ve probably experienced this yourself, which may leave you wondering why you’d even bother with team building games in the first place. Here's why: A staggering 68% of U.S. employees are disengaged at work, and just over half are looking for a new job. So, if your business resembles the rest of the workforce, that means more than two-thirds of your employees simply don't care enough to give their best effort. Does that sound like a recipe for success? Of course not. The data backs it up too, as a study by IBM’s Kenexa found that companies in the top quartile of employee engagement have double the net income as companies in the bottom quartile.

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What Motivates Your Part-time Employees?

By Henry Updegrave October 22, 2018

Many businesses rely on part-time workers as a cost-effective, flexible source of labor. But some managers complain that part-timers aren't committed enough -- without the full schedule and benefits that full-time staff get, they worry there simply isn’t enough there to motivate part-time staff to put forth their best effort.

We think that’s a cop out.

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The Future of the Gig Economy: 5 Jobs that Could Be Next

By Henry Updegrave October 15, 2018

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more people participate in the gig economy, taking non-permanent, freelance jobs often facilitated over the internet. While it’s hard to pin down exact numbers, a review of several existing studies conducted by Nation1099 suggests that 11% of the U.S. workforce counts freelance jobs as their primary source of income, while an additional 25-39% have freelanced in the last year for supplementary income. Research from McKinsey suggests that many more workers want to join them and experience the independence that comes from being one’s own boss.

But when most people think of the gig economy, they think of apps like Uber, AirBnb, or TaskRabbit. Nearly all of the jobs available on these apps are one-off, transactional deals conducted between individuals. The work isn’t consistent or high-paying enough to replace a full-time job, which is why companies like Uber say more than half of its drivers work 15 or fewer hours per week.

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How to Do Payroll Manually Versus With Software

By Henry Updegrave October 10, 2018

Let’s face it. Doing payroll is nobody’s idea of fun. Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, you probably aren’t looking forward to the process of calculating wages, withholding taxes, and filling out IRS forms.

But, as is the case for many tedious but necessary business processes, technology can automate parts of the payroll process for you. How much can it take off your plate? That depends on the software you’re willing to invest in. You have three options:

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The Dreaded No Call, No Show: How to Respond as an Employer

By Josh Burnett October 8, 2018

Workplace absenteeism is a significant problem across the entire economy, and an expensive one at that -- experts estimate it costs businesses more than $84 billion a year in lost productivity. Sometimes, of course, employees simply can’t help but miss work: We all have to call out of work sometimes due to family crises, health problems, car trouble, and other unavoidable issues.

But what employers can’t afford to excuse is the dreaded “no call, no show.” We’ve all the experience of a team member -- whether a peer, subordinate, or supervisor -- not showing up for work without letting anyone know beforehand. It throws the entire shift into disarray. After all, managers don’t build the daily roster with extra fat to cut. They schedule exactly as many people as the business needs, and no more. When a shift starts without someone who was scheduled, managers have to scramble to reallocate jobs and every coworker has to pick up the slack.

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What Do Retirees Stand to Gain from the Gig Economy?

By Henry Updegrave October 4, 2018

Most people picture retirement as their Golden Years: a time when they can kick back, relax, and lead the lifestyle of their choosing. The ability to realize that dream, however, is largely dependent on one’s financial situation.

Unfortunately, that situation is bleak for many. In a recent study on retirement readiness, Northwestern Mutual found that 67% of Americans expect to outlive their retirement savings. It’s becoming increasingly clear that many will need to earn supplemental income during retirement to maintain their current lifestyle.

But financially tenuous retirees may have a savior: the gig economy. Millions of Americans are supporting themselves by taking on a steady flow of short-term jobs that allow them set their own schedule and be their own boss. You’ve likely heard of this in the context of apps like Uber and Airbnb. However more traditional jobs in retail and food service, as well as a plethora of opportunities in professional and consulting work, are increasingly being outsourced to independent workers. 

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What is Workforce Management?

By Henry Updegrave September 28, 2018

One of the most difficult parts of running a business is managing your employees, and I don’t mean in the traditional sense of motivating or coaching them (though these are difficult, crucial undertakings in their own right). I’m talking about basic logistics like getting them in the right place at the right time and making sure they get paid.

In many ways, these are bare minimums to operate as a business. But to consistently grow and thrive, you need to do more than the bare minimum -- you need to solve these problems more efficiently than the competition. That’s where workforce management comes into play. Workforce management is the set of tools and processes businesses use to deploy their employees efficiently, keep labor costs in check, and track staff performance.

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Helping you become a better manager.