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Spreadsheets serve a good purpose. And several companies use them. In fact, some of ATS financial analysts and even some, in the professional service areas like; software engineers use spreadsheets to measure results. However, this data usually comes in from outside big data tools as oppose to being keyed in manually. The potential to run into errors when manually keying data into spreadsheets is real,especially, when you are dealing with things like leave management and employee attendance.

In a recent article by Courtney Blanchard, for TLNT titled, With Paid Leave Laws Expanding, You Need to Update Your Attendance Policies there are some worthwhile advice for HR and Payroll Practitioners on how to best navigate and keep accurate records of attendance policies. They read, in part:

  •  Review company attendance policies to ensure that any mandatory notice periods (i.e., 2 weeks’ notice for a planned doctor’s appointment) do not violate the sick leave law.
  • Update hiring notices and workplace posters.
  • Educate supervisors on how to spot fraud or abuse without inadvertently retaliating against employees for using paid leave. Most laws prevent employers from seeking any verification unless an employee has been absent three consecutive working days.
  • Review payroll practices to ensure employees are receiving the proper rate of pay for the use of sick leave, and that pay stubs include any required information.
  • Develop a consistent tracking method to ensure that employees accurately accrue time, and that any time used is properly credited and deducted from the balance.

And, while this article is specific to regions in the state of Minnesota, their impact will reverberate across other US states. Also, while labour laws and leave management tracking are different in Canada they could eventually make their way north of the border.

 So, if your company is tracking employee time and attendance including, vacation, and other leave management through paper time sheets, you don’t need to anymore.

With ATS TimeWork OnDemand you can:

 Automate Tracking of Management Policies: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand helps automate the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, and otherregional employer-specific leave policies. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand can be configured to match the needs of your organization to maintain balances, reduce manual process errors, and control absence costs.

Simplify and Streamline Compliance: Federal regulations and provincial and/or state laws and union policies, often have overlapping eligibility rules, benefit accruals, and notice requirements. Which makes it all the more important that companies should a time and attendance system that allows to them to accurately track employee attendance and leave management policies. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand solution allows your organization to automate laws and policies in a single solution—simplifying compliance and reducing costs, while also freeing your HR team to focus on higher priority responsibilities.

Keep Accurate Attendance: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand will make sure your leave policies are enforced consistently and accurately across your entire company. With ATS leave management automation, your employees will have access to self-service capabilities through leave eligibility, and balance tracking — available24/7, 365 days a year from any Smartphone or tablet, anytime, anywhere.

To learn more about ATS TimeWorkOnDemand Leave Management solution, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-weekly webinars. And to reach an account executive,call: 866.294.2467.

Now that we’re into the month of December and the holiday season has kicked into full gear, here’s a question just about every manager probably has on their mind: Just how much work am I getting out of my employees this month, anyway?

Well, regardless of your religious affiliation the end-of-the-year holiday season impacts every workplace, and every worker, whether it’s retail, manufacturing, or healthcare. And, as someone who manages people, you probably only too well, that your employees will likely be distracted and stressed at this time of the year.

This article from Entrepreneur and Glassdoor titled 7 Ways to Manage Employee HolidayTime Off’ is a useful guide for any manager:

1. Plan in advance: Many industrial businesses have their holiday schedule planned well in advance, and there’s no reason any type of business can’t do that either. According to Brian Koniuk, a principal at the HackettGroup, manufacturers typically require employees to plan out their vacation for the coming year so they know in January who is working what holiday and who is off for the entire year. In other industries, like health care, Koniuk says schedules are made three to five months in advance.

 2. First come, first served: If you are running a business that is busy during the holidays or needs to be staffed 24/7 year-round, one way to prevent employees from taking off in large numbers is to limit the amount and give workers off on a first come, first served basis, says Pat Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care. “If they know they are going to want to be off over the holidays they know they have to ask for the time off way in advance,” says Sweeney. She says that starting as early as September supervisors can notify the staff that requests for time off have to be made as soon as possible. Hand in hand with a first come, first served policy is capping the number of people that can take off during the holidays.

 3. Stagger the schedule: You may not be able to keep a full staff during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to close early or provide a reduced level of service. To combat that, Kathy Harris, managing director of recruiting firm Harris Allied, says to stagger your employee vacation scheduling. For instance, you can have someone work in the morning during the holidays and another worker take the afternoon shift. Another option: have one employee work Monday and Tuesday and another Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The idea behind a staggered employee vacation schedule is to always have coverage, and at the same time, give employees time off during the holidays.

4. Keep a pool of part-timers: If you are operating a business that picks up during the holiday season, or you know a lot of your staff will be gone during that time, it’s a good idea to keep a pool of part-timers that you can tap when you need extra help, says Gary Should is, a small business consultant, coach and owner of a gymnastics center. “We have a pool of part-timers that we know can work the holidays,” says Should is. “Whenever we hit the holiday period or periods where we lose part of our staff they come on.” According to Should is, it’s a good idea to keep in contact with these part-timers year-round so you’ll know their availability ahead of time. Another option is to post a job in anticipation for holiday hiring.

5. Offer a holiday pay differential: For some people money talks even if it means they won’t be with their family during the holidays, which is why offering a holiday pay differential can keep your business staffed. According to Sweeney, it should be something that is part of the company’s structure and not something you offer just to entice an employee not to take off. “If you’re in a business you know there are a lot of requests for time off you can have some differential built in,” she says.

 6. Institute a vacation blackout period: For some businesses, particularly retail, the holidays are the busiest time for them, which means they need a full staff if not more. If your business falls into this category, a way to prevent employees from taking off is to have a blackout period where no one can take off, says Tanios. If an employee wants off during a blackout period he or she would need to ask well in advance, and it would be at the manager’s discretion, says Tanios. It’s a good idea to inform employees from the beginning of the blackout policy so they aren’t blindsided come holiday time.

 7. Let employees work at home: These days pretty much everybody has a laptop, iPad or smartphone that enables them to work remotely. If your staff doesn’t have to be on site, letting them work at home during the holidays can be a productive way to get things done without having to bring in additional staff. Working at home is a viable option only if the business lends itself to it and there’s away to ensure the employees are actually working. “In this day and age working from a virtual office anywhere is possible,” says Sweeney.

Bottom-line: During the holiday season, employees are likely dreaming of cozying up in Christmas sweaters with their egg-nogs or just dreading that visit from relatives that they see only once a year. Employees will be stressed out enough as it is, anything you can do as their manager to bring joy, could increase productivity and yes, profit to the bottom line.

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So You Think Using Big Words, Make You Sound Smart? Think Again

December 4th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Workforce | Workplace - (Comments Off on So You Think Using Big Words, Make You Sound Smart? Think Again)

It was not too long ago, (in the opinion of some anyway,) that in order to sound smart, one had to use fancy words. And, if the recipient on the other end of that conversation could not or chose not to respond in kind, it meant they were not as smart. In 2018, such an approach would come across as being pompous and out of touch. In other words, times have change and so, should our way of speaking.

Priyansha Mistry, article in The HR Digest Big Words Make You Sound Stupid offers some simple tips that can be used for everyday conversations and reads in part;

So You Think Using Big Words, Make You Sound Smarter? Think Again

To help you on your quest to sound intelligent, here are phrases that won’t strengthen your vocabulary, but might make you carry the sound of your intellect more effectively.

“Good point, but”
People who want to be heard begin by acknowledging what’s already been said before contributing to the conversation. Instead of saying “I don’t agree,” a more influential speaker might say, “You make a good point. I’d like to chip it another perspective on the table.”

 “In your situation…”
When you want your colleagues to follow your suggestions, the last phrase you should use is, “This is how I’d do it.” Giving people direct advice, even when they’ve asked for it, can be off-putting when not told in the right manner. Something along the lines of “In your situation…” can work wonders!

 “Yes, and…”
The magic behind “Yes, and…” is that it eliminates defensive phrases such as “actually,” “but,” or “sorry, but…” from your diction. When you want to make sure your listeners keep an open mind, you rely on this phrase to deliver unwelcome news.

Bottom-line, one does not need fancy words to convey their message, even if you want to impress your co-workers, the use of simple words will do. In short, if colleagues know you are smart, you should not have to work so hard to prove it with big words.

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Accelerate your Implementation and Get Value out of your ATS Workforce Management Investment

November 22nd, 2018 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Cloud Computing | Time and Attendance Canada | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on Accelerate your Implementation and Get Value out of your ATS Workforce Management Investment)

Most companies know that technology alone does not drive world-class performance. To get the most business value from your ATS workforce management application implementation, your technology deployment should be conducted a set of guidelines and milestones to measure success. And, to get the best results, it’s important to ensure that your processes meet best practice standards before completing your ATS workforce management implementation. If not, your company could inadvertently, automate inefficient processes that leave you short of the streamlined business processes and cost optimization you were looking for when you decided to deploy the solution.

 Accelerate your Implementation and Get Value out of your ATS Workforce Management Investment

Here are a few reasons why companies across various industries, implement ATS workforce management:

Expertise and Best-Practice Processes: ATS implementation is based on the experience we have gained from years of numerous projects. We continually maintain the latest ATS TimeWorkOnDemand version for continuous improvement and long-term scalability.

Unrivalled Support: ATS team supports all phases of implementation including process benchmarking and gap analysis; the ATS deployment package, includes; configuration, deployment and integration; and post-deployment diagnostics.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership: With ATS Implementation, your workforce management solution can be less costly, less risky, and deliver faster time to benefit.

Bottom-line: Our team will work to ensure the implementation of your ATS workforce management solution is perfectly attuned to your technical infrastructure, as well as, configure the solution, to your specific business goals. The team will provide you with best practices in relation to data integration, data analytics and configuration building blocks to jumpstart your deployment. Our project methodology, reduces time to value, and helps you get the most out of your ATS workforce management investments.

To learn more about ATS Workforce Management Solution implementation methodology, or to attend one of our weekly webinars, go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

Cloud computing solutions like ATS TimeWork OnDemand, is changing the way healthcare entities including; hospitals, life sciences, clinics, biotechnology manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry deliver quality, affordable services to their patients. And, by embracing ATS TimeWork OnDemand, the healthcare industry can improve operational efficiency, increase employee productivity, and respond to market demands with agility.

Healthcare Practitioners Embrace The Many Benefits Of The Cloud

Here are three reasons why healthcare providers are ditching paper, and instead are moving, to a cloud computing solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand:

ATS TimeWork OnDemand set of cloud-based workforce management software solutions replaces complex paper-based processes, and systems with best-of-breed, yet intuitive technology, empowering payroll and HR professionals alike, to deliver streamlined workforce processes and remarkable experiences.

Moving to the cloud, allows healthcare entities to spend more time with patients and less time on infrastructure-related activities, laying the foundation to perform workforce management and human capital management (HCM) functions more effectively and efficiently.

Healthcare Practitioners Embrace The Many Benefits Of The Cloud

Simplifying the data integration landscape-with  third-party Payroll, HR, Talent Management, CRM and ERP all using ATS integrated purpose-built middleware solution tool to send data to each other in a cohesive manner and achieve unparalleled end-to-end efficiency. With ATS TimeWork OnDemand, the result is a connected, application that automates, anticipates, and unifies your business processes together.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand for healthcare, or to attend one of our weekly webinars, go to our website. To speak to a representative, call 866.294.2467.

 

8 Reasons Why You Are Still Struggling To Recover From Daylight Savings Time

November 6th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Employee Productivity | Office | Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance Canada | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on 8 Reasons Why You Are Still Struggling To Recover From Daylight Savings Time)

This past Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2:00 a.m., daylight savings time occurred with many provinces and states across the US setting their clocks one hour back. And, every year, a growing chorus of health professionals, bemoans the need for this and, like many of us, ask why is it we simply don’t get rid of daylight savings time altogether.

Here is an excerpt from a recent article with some compelling reasons to ditch this yearly ritual, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) titled Eight scientific reasons to ditch daylight time:

  1. You are eight per cent more likely to have a stroke for two days after changing your clocks.
  2. You are also 24 per cent more likely to have a heart attack the Monday after (and 21 per cent on the Tuesday)
  3. Suicide rates in men increase for two weeks after the clocks change.
  4. Judges give harsher legal sentences the day after switching to daylight time
  5. Losing that hour of sleep increases workplace injuries, and the injuries themselves are much more severe.
  6. You’re also more likely to get into a car crash. In fact, this researcher estimates that over the years, 30 fatalities have been caused by the time change.
  7. Daylight time can lead to a dramatic increase in ‘cyberloafing.’
    In adolescents, it can take over a week to adjust to the change, losing an average of 32 minutes of sleep per night, which messes with their memory and reaction time.

Bottom line: Daylight savings time has served its purpose, whatever purpose it was. Lost productivity and sleepy eyed employees is not exactly what employers expect in their organization. Maybe that’s why the European Union is considering doing away daylight savings time in 2019.

Bottom line: Daylight savings time has served its purpose, whatever purpose that was. Lost productivity and sleepy eyed employees is not exactly what employers expect in their organization. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the European Union is considering doing away daylight savings time in 2019.

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Employees using their face to record their hours of work is becoming quite common in time and attendance world. And, now it appears that the use of this technology, albeit slowing, is also being adopted at some airports according to a recent article, by Stuart Emmrich titled Will Your Face Be Enough to Get You on a Plane? for The New York Times, and reads in part;

“Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration released a 23-page report outlining changes it is proposing on how passengers are screened before boarding their flights. Key among those changes is the proposal that passports and other forms of identification will eventually be replaced by biometric technology.

Early this year, the agency began testing facial recognition technology for international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport. The biometric technology matches facial images to photos in government databases, such as photos obtained from passports or visa applications.

And in 2017, the T.S.A. tested fingerprint technology at the T.S.A. PreCheck lanes at the Atlanta and Denver airports. The technology matches passenger fingerprints provided at the checkpoint to those provided to the T.S.A. by travelers who have enrolled in the PreCheck program.

Biometric technology is also being evaluated by individual airlines. Delta Air Lines announced in September that it is building a dedicated biometric terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The technology, to be installed at Terminal F, would allow passengers to check-in at the self-service kiosks, drop off their checked baggage at the counter and then be used as identification at the terminal’s T.S.A. checkpoint”.

 If you are unfamiliar with ATS biometric time clocks, these data collectors includes the latest in technology and works, in tandem with our time and attendance application, to deliver exceptional value – helping organizations control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

Using ATS biometric technology, your organization can expect:

Options
A variety of biometric data collectors to choose from that include: fingerprint, hand geometric face recognition and a variety of biometric features, and mobile capabilities. ATS biometric data collectors, offers enhanced technology, thus allowing employees to easily and more accurately enroll on the time clock’s controlled finger, hand geometry or face recognition template– which reduces, read error rates for a more accurate biometric enrollment, and protect employees’ personal information and eliminate costly buddy punching.

Peace of Mind
Backup battery protects employee information against power outages and flash memory backs up data. And, with open standards, field upgradeability and keypad functions, these time and attendance biometric time clocks are —ideal blend of performance, function, style, and affordability designed for essential workforce management functionality.

Accuracy and Productivity
No more manual data entry which is always prone to errors and, instead can look forward to a best-of-breed application that will enforce pay and attendance policies at the time of an employee recorded hours. An application that will improve workforce productivity by giving employees intuitive self-service access to scheduled hours and time-off balances from any device, from anywhere.

ATS advance biometric time clocks are designed for today’s advanced cloud computing workforce and provides state-of-art, touch-screen functionality and accurate, up-to-the-minute analytics data your company can rely on.

To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call 866.294.2468.

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Is Conflict Ruining Your Team’s Cohesion? Here Are Some Tips On How To Handle It

October 24th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Is Conflict Ruining Your Team’s Cohesion? Here Are Some Tips On How To Handle It)

Employee conflict occurs on every team, whether it’s in little league baseball or in your professional work settings. How the leader of the team, handles conflict can either make or break the cohesion of the team— moreover, no one benefits when these conflicts are ignored—not the employees or managers.

Is Conflict Ruining Your Team’s Cohesion? Here Are Some Tips On How To Handle It

Here are some tips on how to handle conflict from an article titled 4 ways to harness the power of conflict in your team from HR Grapevine:

  1. Be explicit about the value conflict can bring: As a team leader, subtly trying to influence the level of conflict in your team won’t work. You need to be explicit in your expectations and why a degree of conflict is needed and valuable for performance. Make it clear that differences of opinion within the team are both inevitable and useful. As a leader, state how you expect people to share their opinions, especially when they differ from the group, as this may help uncover assumptions, enlarge the pool of available information and shine a light on what matters most to those involved in certain tasks. Left buried, these differing opinions can derail a team; aired openly for consideration, the team can use put the insight to good use.
  1. Back conflict ideals with role modeling: It’s no use asking people to share their opinions and reacting negatively or defensively when they do. Remember the positive intent that’s often at the core of conflict; when someone is bold enough to share a controversial opinion it often reflects a deep level of care and passion for what they do. As a leader, listen for what it is a team member is protecting or trying to improve. Aim to explore and understand, rather than resolve and answer.

 

  1. Invest time upfront co-creating and establishing the team ground-rules: It’s common for a team to spend time clarifying its purpose but much rarer for a team to invest time explicitly discussing how people will work together and provide constructive challenge to the group. Contracting this in advance creates positive expectations and lays the foundations for building trust and clear communication. Alongside explicitly stating the value of conflict, spark a team discussion around: what would it take for people to feel able to speak without censorship? How can we disagree with each other whilst always ensuring people feel respected?
  1. Pre-empt relationship conflict with personality insight: Inevitably team members will have different values and styles in the way they interact with others at work. The more self-awareness and understanding team members have of each other’s preferences and how these may differ from their own, the less likely team members will be caught off guard or misinterpret someone’s style or approach. This insight helps stimulate and structure discussion around some of the personal differences it’s easy to overlook as a team.

Bottom-line: Understanding the reasons behind workplace conflicts can help managers tackle problems before—or after—a conflict turns into a face-off between departments that refuse to work together or a screaming match between colleagues.

A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This

October 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Career | HR | Recruitment | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This)

No HR professional or company executive wants to hire the wrong person yet every company has done exactly that at one point or another. And if your company is a very successful one do you have time to use the proper metrics to help you avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire?

A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This

In her article 3 Common Hiring Mistakes New Managers Should Avoid for the Harvard Business Review Whitney Johnson offers some solid tips on how companies can avoid bad hires. They include:

“If only I could clone myself.” Lauren Rivera, a researcher from Northwestern, told me via email, “what most people are looking for is ‘me.’” Her studies concluded that “interviewers who lacked systematic measures of what their company was looking for tended to fall back on themselves and defining merit in “their own image,” meaning that the most qualified interviewees were those who best resembled their interviewers.” It’s easy to want to make this kind of hire — a carbon copy of yourself. But they will be bored and frustrated quickly because there’s no headroom for them to grow and advance. You already have you and don’t need another you.

“If only I could find someone to do all the annoying stuff that I don’t want to do.” This impulse, while understandable, is an even more dangerous one. Sure, it is tempting to avoid the responsibilities you find tedious or challenging. But you’ll have trouble attracting talented people to a job that’s mostly boring work. If you want to off-load everything that you detest doing, mostly junk work, it’s likely you’ll disrespect the person you’ve hired to be your dumping ground (a sentiment they will be inclined to return).

“If only I knew how to do that.” There may be tasks that demand attention but you don’t personally have the expertise to complete them. You value this skill in other people, and it’s what you’re looking for in a new hire. But there can be a couple of pitfalls with thinking this way. Sometimes, there’s an undercurrent of envy — you may feel threatened because they have talents you lack. Or you may put them on a pedestal — we do this all the time when we say we want to hire a “unicorn” or a “ninja.” Either way, you risk overpaying financially — and emotionally. Not only that, if you don’t understand the work they are doing, you may not have a clear sense of what path this person needs to be on to maximize their talent and overall productivity.

Bottom-line-every company will or have had an occasional bad hire or two, the trick is to make sure it’s not a consistent pattern.

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To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a demonstration. And, to speak to a representative, call; 866.294.2468.

Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR

October 4th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Artificial Intelligence | Cloud Computing | ERP | Google | HR | Labour Analytics | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR)

If you are in HR, you are likely familiar with a variety of buzz words, especially, when it comes to technology and the many applications that are available in the market, to complement your business processes.

Below is a list of such buzz words that most if not all in HR, is familiar with by now. This list was first compiled by Sharlyn Lauby, of HR Bartender and regenerated by HumanResources Online.

Artificial intelligence (AI): From google maps to spam fillers, AI brings convenience and helps people fulfill their career ambitions. The future trend is to scale their efforts and bring consistency to their activities. Programming is out of the question, but HR leaders need to know enough to guide the conversation within employees and make the best decisions for the company.

Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR

Boolean Search: This is a method for searching websites to limit the results by defining the relationships between key words. With all the new fancy search engines, fundamental tools such as Boolean Search can not be ignored by HR professionals. Google search is focused on recent results. Refining Boolean Search skills can quickly access information from any database of software. The must-know Boolean operators are SITE, INURL, AND, OR, NOT.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is quickly becoming an important data tool for HR professionals. What is it and how does it differ from artificial intelligence?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) ERP is the successor of materials resource planning which is described as a combination of manufacturing, financial and materials management software functionality. Human resources, professional services and customer relationship management functions are added to ERP. ERP can go beyond the common benefits. It can use analytics to reduce workforce attrition, and therefore better target talent.

The Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things – or IoT – is the latest technology term for HR pros. It’s all about connectivity but it’s much more than that.

Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is a practice of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in the search engine. It is no longer only useful for marketing professionals. It is also crucial for HR professionals to minimise their talent acquisition efforts since more and more candidates are using major search engines for job searches. Mobile-optimised career microsites are becoming an important part of companies’ SEO strategies.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): SaaS is any software paid for through a subscription or licence rental that does not require one to download it onto a computer. SaaS is easily confused with the term “cloud”, which refers only to computing resources such as data storage, virtual servers or networks which are only accessible for the information technology departments.

In the end, some buzz words simply go out of fashion or are so over-used, that we get tired of them, and so just stop using them altogether.