Strategies in Employing Employee Management Software

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Understanding the best ways to manage a growing company is having a strong program to streamline employee management. Keeping track of payroll, compliance, and benefits for each employee as the facility expands means more than a pencil and paper or a simple spreadsheet program.

For a growing brewery like California’s Topa Topa, that means onboarding a new HR and payroll management system. HR & Public Relations Director Heidi McElvaney said the company spent time looking into what was best for their situation, which is probably about the same type of questions and concerns many breweries in the 10-15,000 barrel range.

“We have been growing at a very fast pace and this is the right time for us to jump into a robust software system,” McElvaney said. “We did extensive research on employee management software and are really excited to start using Gusto.”

McElvaney said the addition has been a huge win for the company, the HR department, and the admins who manage PTO, timecards, and employees.

“It’s an interface that is easy to use and that looks great,” she said. “We are a modern brand and we want our employees to be taken care of and be given the level of access and service they deserve.”

For timecards, scheduling, and taproom communication, Topa Topa uses WhenIWork. McElvaney said that it integrates easily with Gusto for payroll.

“We have been using WhenIWork for scheduling for some time and it’s pretty great,” she said. “We have five taprooms and this platform fits our needs well.”

For email, document storage, and calendars, the brewery has been utilizing the Google Suite extensively. The reason that Topa Topa has dug into the internal employee management software is that with new hires, having that air of professionalism means everything.

“It all starts with the onboarding experience,” McElvaney said. “This is the employees’ first experience with the company. If it’s easy, straightforward, and modern, the employee is going to immediately feel taken care of and valued — a huge win for retention.”

As the HR Director, McElvaney said being able to generate and send off offer letters and job descriptions within one platform and having all employee documents stored electronically in one place is a huge win. That means a more robust use of time for payroll, onboarding, employee files, and having access to dedicated HR reps in the software along with an off-boarding system. She says the idea behind moving to a robust software system is that they are hoping to keep as much as they can under one platform so that they can utilize it fully and have a one-stop-shop for HR/payroll.

“We can send documents, like updates to the handbook, out from Gusto and require e-signatures that auto store in the employee files once signed,” she said. “We can run reports to check if anything is missing or out of date. It’s a big win for compliance.

“We are a small office team — this platform will allow us to focus on bigger picture agenda items and the other hats we wear and less on all the paperwork and compliance items that are super important and necessary, but time-consuming.”

Photo courtesy Natalie Tyson

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