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Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?

January 16th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?)

The happiness of employees at their workplace depends, on many factors, including; the actual jobs they are performing, and to a large degree the type relationship they have with their boss and colleagues among others. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.

 

In his article, Happy Employees Is Good For Business Damon Burton lays out 5 benefits of a happy workforce. They include:

  1. Better decision-making abilitiesPeople are better equipped to make decisions when they are cheerful. On-the-job difficulties engender some degree of fear and nervousness in most of humanity, but satisfied people can return to their original mood faster after being faced with adversity.
  2. Happy people sell more– A simple search on Google of “happy people, productivity, success, business” are better at business” returns countless articles and several studies showing happy workers are more productive.   The expression of positive emotions can be an effective bargaining tool.
  3. Greater innovation– There’s strong evidence showing a correlation between happiness and creativity. Some studies have shown that happy employees have higher levels of creativity than unhappy ones. Being happy can free up the brain, allowing for increased mental flexibility and imagination.
  4. Reduction in lost productivityHappy people are healthier. When employees take less sick leave, they are more productive, thus improving the bottom line.
  5. Better customer service– This is a no-brainer. People like happy people. And when it comes to customer service, businesses need to be cheery. When employees’ morale is high, customer interactions reflect it. Happy people are the perfect people pleasers for customer service-based roles.

And, of course there is the conventional wisdom that purports to the fact that if employees are paid well enough they will be happy. While paying employees well should not be discounted, that’s only one component of an engaged, productive and happy workforce.

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The burden of proof for hours worked by its employees is the responsibility of an employer especially in organizations that do not have an automated system. However, many companies might have employee hand books that contain language, which states, in part, that employees are required to record and report time work, and submit their time cards, to their respective supervisors for review and approval.

How Ontario’s Bill 148: Employment Standards Act Reform Could Affect Employers

 

On June 1, 2017 Bill 148, was introduced. If you operate a business in the province of Ontario, here is summary of some of the changes you should prepare for in 2018.

Benefit Accruals, Vacation, Statutory Holiday and Overtime Pay

  • Personal Emergency Leave: Rather than limiting this leave to organizations with more than 50 employees, all workers will be given 10 personal emergency leave days per year – and a minimum of two days would be paid. Further, employees will not have to provide employers with a sick leave note when requesting personal leave.
  • Overtime: The Mixed Hourly Rate (a weighted average established for employees with multiple rates) would be eliminated in favour of paying overtime at the rate of the work performed after the weekly threshold is reached
  • Vacation Entitlement Increase: Minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise from two to three weeks per year (after five years with the same employer)
  • Public Holiday Pay: Calculation changes for public holiday pay that refer to regular wages in the pay period before the holiday divided by the days worked (rather than a four-week period of regular wages divided by 20)

Employee Workforce Scheduling

  • Three-Hour Rule: Broader application – The rule would extend to unworked on-call situations and when shifts are cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled start time.
  • Advance notice: Employers must offer employees advance notice of 96 hours or be subject to refusal.
  • Three-Hour Rule: Removal of minimum wage component – Rather than topping up shifts less than three hours to three times the minimum wage, as proposed, eligible employees would be entitled to three times the regular rate.

The reforms to the Bill148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 will work in concert with the rise of the minimum wage that was also enacted into law as well. If your organization is still using an antiquated time tracking system or one that is no longer meeting your needs, it might be time to think about upgrading to a modern time and attendance solution- one that’s specifically, designed to comply with today’s ever changing regulatory and work-rule policies.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance Solution, go to our website, where you can download a pre-recorded demonstration, brochures or register for one of our upcoming live webinars.

To reach a representative, call 866.294.2467.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | HR | Telecommuting Employees | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Building A Business Case For Telecommuting)

Want to convince your boss that you should work from home? Make sure you have a compelling case, including facts to prove that working remotely will not impact your productivity. In other words, do your due diligence, talk to your HR personnel, other work colleagues, and be sure to take time to learn about your company’s history as it pertains to telecommuting, otherwise, it could backfire on you.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

Here are some tips from Melanie Pinola’s blog on LifeWire titled What You Should Know Before You Ask to Work from Home

“The first thing you should know, if you’ve never worked from home before, is that telecommuting has awesome benefits but it’s not for everyone.

There are many pros and cons to telecommuting. That said, if you want to give it a try, start with the basics below.

Find out what the current policy is

  • Check the employee manual. If there’s an existing remote work policy, then your chances of success are good. You can use the information provided to make your case in your remote work proposal.
  • If there’s no written information but some of your co-workers currently have flexible work arrangements, ask them for advice on proceeding. They’ll have the inside scoop on how easy it was to negotiate the work arrangement and how it’s working out for them.
  • Don’t worry if no one ever has established a flexible work schedule or remote work agreement at the company, though. You can be the first! (In my former job, I was the first person to start working from home regularly as a telecommuter as I was able to prove I could get my job done at home. See below for more details.)

Use your experience to your advantage

  • Because your supervisor’s support and approval will be key to getting your request granted, you’ve got a leg up if you are an established employee whom your supervisor trusts and values. Make sure you maintain that respect and continue to make yourself invaluable to the company.
  • Gather past employee evaluations that had positive comments related to critical telecommuting traits, such as: initiative, ability to work without supervision, and communication skills.
  • If you are a new hire, think about past experience at other companies that prove your ability to telecommute productively, such as occasionally working while traveling for work or working from home when needed on the weekends. If you don’t have past remote work experience, perhaps delay the request, however, until you’ve developed a strong rapport with your supervisor and proven yourself invaluable to the company.

 Be sensitive to your employer’s needs and goals
Look at the company’s mission statements, website description, and other materials to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about their employees’ well-being or are innovative/progressive companies of today, you can use these “branding statements” in your proposal.”

If you are still unable to convince your boss about the benefits of telecommuting, don’t be dishearten, simply try again in a few months. However, if your company has a no telecommuting policy, you should also be respectful of it by either abiding by the company’s policy, or find a company that offers telecommuting to its employees.

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Today’s HR practitioners have a symbiotic relationship with technology. And why shouldn’t they? When you consider the old ways of calculating and managing employee time and attendance was relegated to paper time sheets. In other words, a time-consuming task, that resulted in numerous errors, it’s no wonder many in HR are giving a warm embrace to technology.

Technology Has Become A Great Resource For HR Departments

A brief summary of an article titled World-class HR departments do more but spend less, thanks to technology written by Valerie Bolden-Barrett, for HR Dive reads, in part:

  • World-class HR organizations spend 25% less than average HR organizations and function with 30% less staff, but are more effective, according to a report from The Hackett Group. The consulting firm’s benchmark analysis​ also found that, should an average company with $10 billion in revenue gain world-class HR status, it could save up to $15 million a year. The Hackett Group defines world-class HR operations as those which maintain a level of performance in the top quartile in effectiveness and efficiency.
  • The analysis also showed that world-class HR operations spend more of their budgets on cloud-based technology and selective outsourcing compared to other HR staffs. Top-ranked departments have also reduced the amount of staff performing transactional tasks with error rates for those tasks two to fives times lower that of traditional HR operations.
  • The Hackett Group’s research also found that, through digital technology, HR organizations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services, boost customer experience, place additional resources on high-value activities and use sophisticated analytics for better decision-making.

Bottom line: Technology has created remarkable new opportunities to eliminate administrative overhead and, at the same time, give HR departments access to advanced technology tools like, workforce analytics, real-time employee dashboard review, employee self-self service and hosts of other workforce management tools available 24/7 365 days a year.

Do you think your HR department will want to turn their backs on tools that helps them streamline payroll costs and improve productivity? We are guessing the answer is no.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management Solutions go to our website. You can also register for a bi-monthly webinar or call us at 866.294.2467 to arrange a demonstration.

Whether you run a small, midsize or large organization, chances are, you will be impacted by the proposed minimum wage hike in Ontario and several other jurisdictions across Canada. And, similarly, US businesses are grappling with the same challenges.

How To Prepare Your Company For The Minimum Wage Hike

As an organization, you have several options at your disposal, and as such, get to decide how to handle a wage hike. For the purpose of this blog, we will discuss two options:

  1. Decrease your workforce: As a company, you might decide that in order to remain viable the simplest solution is to decrease your number of employees. Another possibility is to simply hire employees on a part-time basis, in the hopes that this will help you decrease payroll costs.
  2. Raise prices: When payroll and other operational expenses go up, businesses can choose to pass them onto their customers. And, depending on the market and product offered, this can sometimes be a tough pill for customers to swallow, and some of them may end up speaking with their dollars by going elsewhere.

What if instead of loosing sleep (and with good reason) over the wage hike, your company automates manual business processes, thus, enabling employees to work smarter and more efficiently, while keeping your profits intact?

ATS Workforce Management HCM Solution can streamline payroll costs and improve workforce productivity. Some of these solutions include:

ATS Workforce Scheduling for retail, hospitality and healthcare is a robust and powerful solution designed specifically for organizations with hourly paid employees across multiple jurisdictions. ATS Workforce Scheduling uses data from your core business to create real-time analytic reporting and on demand-based schedules avoiding any over or under-staffing.

With ATS Scheduling you can:

  • Accurately report key performance indicators (KPIs) such as labour costs, employee attendance and absences, and workforce compliance.
  • Align employee schedules to financial budgets, payroll and labour to-sales ratios and the allocation of hours for a single entity or across the organization.
  • Improve employee productivity through optimized resourcing, employee and supervisor self-service. Managers can create schedules and send it to employees through interactive dashboards and workflows.

ATS Time and Attendance simplifies the tedious tasks involved with monitoring employee time and attendance, labour tracking, and data collection. That means, if you are using paper timesheets, outdated tracking and spreadsheets, you will likely not save much money unless your time tracking is fully automated. ATS Time and Attendance System — works in tandem with our best-in-class time clock/data collection devices — to help your organization control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

Manage overtime costs ATS Time and Attendance helps you account for hours accurately, and minimize overtime to protect your bottom-line. You will have immediate access to employee attendance and get reports, in real-time on overtime trends, tools to manage overtime requests and approvals, and time card review. In other words, this means less administrative burden and fewer errors.

Bottom-line:

The wage hike is coming and will be felt by organizations and employees alike. If you are looking to improve your employee efficiency, streamline payroll costs, and make better business decisions, ATS Time and Attendance could be the right tool for your organization.

To download a demonstration or learn more, go to our website. And to attend bi-weekly webinar or speak to time and attendance consultant, call 866.294.2467.

5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Biometric FaceScan | Biometric Time Clock | Employee Productivity | ERP | Payroll | TimeWork OnDemand - (Comments Off on 5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution)

Biometrics technology has gained in popularity in the last 10 years. Many of today’s technology companies including; Apple, Samsung and Google, have opted for biometric authentication with their hardware to prevent theft. ATS biometric time clocks are designed to recognize employees’ unique physiological characteristics-and these data collectors include; face shape, iris, fingerprint or hand shape. And, unlike card-based time and attendance systems, employees cannot punch in/out for each other.

When combined with ATS award-winning TimeWork OnDemand or On-premise solution for mid-to large enterprise; biometric facial recognition helps to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors associated with outdated manual data collection, reduce administrative time and eradicate employee time theft from tardiness and “buddy punching” (the practice of employees clock in and out for one another), and long  unexplained lunch breaks.

Here are the top 5 benefits of a biometric time and attendance facial recognition solution

Individual tracking: detect an employee based on their individual physiological characteristics

Eradicate time-theft: accurate tracking of employee time, by verifying the identity of those clocking in, thus creating a digital audit trail that cannot be altered. By automating the tracking of employee time an organization, has proof of hours worked.

Reliable and Accurate: Employee biometric templates cannot be duplicated. Managers can remain confident that they are tracking employee’s time and attendance accurately.

 Buddy Punching:  Since employees cannot use the face of their co-worker to punch in for them, you can now say good-bye to buddy punching!

Data Integration: Employee hours easily integrate with your Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Payroll and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), systems.

Today’s workforce is constantly evolving and keeping pace means using an advanced biometric technology solution to increase employee productivity. An ATS biometric face recognition solution will help to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors— associated with manual data collection thus, reducing administrative time and eradication of employee time theft.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, the wide array of biometric time clocks or to register for a bi-weekly webinar, go to our website. To reach an account executive, contact us by phone: 866.294.2467.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

April 25th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Business Software Automation | Cloud Computing | Employee Productivity | Labour Costs | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution)

In the world of business, increasing employee productivity tops the lists along with sales and return on investment. But how can an organization increase its workforce productivity, when its technology is outdated?

An article by Chris Stokel-Walker for Bloomberg based on a study of companies using older computers and outdated software solutions revealed that; Slow, outdated computers and intermittent internet connections demoralize workers, a survey of 6,000 European workers said. Half of U.K. employees said creaking computers were “restrictive and limiting,” and 38 percent said modern technology would make them more motivated, according to the survey, commissioned by electronics company Sharp.

Clinging on to old technology that’s aging towards obsolescence cannot be good for any business, regardless of its size or stature. If the argument is that you are still running important applications on older servers with old operating systems because “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, that will work for a short period. The continued use of outdated technology, especially, can have a negative long term effect on workforce productivity.  For example, if your employees are spending too much time with a faulty network connection, or your HR manager is spending an inordinate amount of time manually counting hours from a time sheet, then your technology is inflicting pain on labour costs and productivity.

Here is one of the most poignant piece of the article, and it reads in part;  Saurav Dutt, 35, was a member of a London-based IT firm that provides services to law firms. He was making a presentation to potential customers at an exhibition in Manchester. His speaking slot came right after a Google marketing executive—a prime opportunity, he thought. But the system ground to a half—due, Dutt said, to the outdated computers his company was using for its live demonstration.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

In closing, the continued use of an outdated technology will, eventually, get the best of you since it’s difficult to reverse the long-term damage caused by using it.

To learn about ATS cloud computing workforce management solutions, or to download a demonstration, or attend a bi-weekly webinar go to our website. And to reach an account executive call; 866.294.2467.

 

 

 

Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?

April 20th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?)

The easy answer to this question is a resounding yes!  Which company in their right mind would deny its employees a meal and break and expect them to be productive, let alone happy? If there are companies out there that exhibit this pattern of behaviour, they are likely in the minority however, sooner or later, they will be found out. Most smart business leaders know that corporate profits will not increase with a tired and unproductive workforce.

Below is a list of 5 good reasons why meal and rest breaks help employees. It can also be applied, to the do-gooder of an employee who refuses to take breaks and have to be nagged by their manager to do so.

This list of reasons to take a lunch break is from an article, published by Belle Beth Cooper, co-founder of Exist for the online magazine Fast Company. We have rearranged their order of appearance:

  1. Spend time in nature to refresh your attention span
    To come back refreshed after a lunch break, spend some time in nature. Studies have shown that a walk in a quiet park is sufficient to refresh our attention spans so we can return to work with renewed focus. (A walk down a city street, on the other hand, was found to require so much attention to complete that it didn’t let the brain relax fully.)
  1. Take a real break for greater concentration
    Of all the ways to use your lunch break to set yourself up for a great afternoon, the most important might be, well, actually taking a break. In many industries, lunch breaks are getting shorter and shorter, or even nonexistent. These days, only one in five office workers reports taking an actual lunch break away from their desk, according to a survey by workplace consulting group Right Management.Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?
  1. Move to a café after lunch for improved creativity
    There are a couple of reasons working from a café could be a good change for your afternoon work period. Firstly, the ambient sound of a café has been shown to be the most beneficial sound level for creativity. Moderate noise levels, unlike silence or a noisy environment, increase processing difficulty just enough to push us out of our comfort zones and into more creative thinking.
  1. Eat! (The right foods for better brain function)
    OK, this one might seem obvious. But even if you’re trying to lose weight or run errands on your lunch break, don’t skip on eating a midday meal, or at least a snack. Your nutrition–particularly your glucose intake–will decide your productivity for the rest of the day.Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?
  1. Work out–the afternoon is the best time for exercise
    Another thing determined by our body clocks is the best time to work out. You’ll want a late lunch break to fit this one in as well: physical performance is generally highest, and the risk of injury lowest, from 3-6 p.m. Plus, from 2-6 p.m., muscle strength is at its peak, and even your lungs perform better in the late afternoon than at midday.

Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?

As illustrated by the above mentioned reasons, the benefits of taking meal breaks are both healthy and productive. In fact, studies show that just getting away from the desk and hanging out with coworkers during your lunch break can boost your mood.

ATS Time and Attendance solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of different industries and are available in the cloud, hosted, or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

To learn more call; 866.294.2467 or go to our website to download a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand.