Best-in-Class Workforce Management Software from Industry Experts
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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.

Keep current with ATS:

By 2025 consumer attitudes towards retail will have dramatically changed. The rapid growth of robotics, cloud and artificial intelligence will permeate the retail and hospitality experience for both consumer and stakeholders. Anticipating consumer trends and deploying innovations that enhance employee and consumer experience and, simplify business operations will be vital to the long-term health and sustainability of retail and hospitality.

ATS Workforce Management for Retail & Hospitality provides these industries with an open, integrated, and best-of-breed application in the cloud, with state-of-art data collectors engineered to empower commerce. With ATS Workforce Management, organizations can streamline payroll costs and increase productivity, such as with a best-of-breed time and attendance, that’s demand-driven scheduling, and absence management software tools. Grocery operations, pharmaceutical, hospitality chains and retailers use ATS Workforce Management solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify businesses operations, and boost their bottom-line.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

Solution Benefits Include:

Employee Scheduling- ATS Workforce Scheduling, allows managers to easily leverage workforce data through an intuitive cloud-based interface, thus streamlining the scheduling process of their employees with roles-based self-service tools.

Workforce Analytics and Business Intelligence- ATS Intelligence (BI) analysis covers the macro picture down to the operating, financial and valuation information-and provides in-depth and economic factors that can impact decision-making.

Digital API Platform and Data Integration- ATS data integration tool, enables users to transfer data from one data source (such as text file, API, CSV or other data files) to an output destination. That output destination can be a text file, database, XML document, or another suite application. The key component of ATS Integration Manager is the interface that contains a set of steps, for the data transfer. By utilizing ATS data integration platform, companies can integrate to existing, ERP, Talent Management, HR, Payroll and CRM applications.

Budgeting and Forecasting- ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, helps you eliminate costs, time, and errors with proper budgeting and forecasting on both short and long-term projections. The budgeting and forecasting module, allow you to integrate annual and periodic forecasting with weekly workforce management execution.

Next-Generation Data Collection- With ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, you automate employee time and attendance processes to reduce payroll costs, comply with collective bargaining agreements and adhered to regulatory compliance. Some of ATS employee data collection include: face recognition time clocks, biometric hand punch, proximity and barcode time clocks and computer-based time clocks. ATS Workforce Management validates the collection of employee data, with up-to-the-minute reporting, to reduce overpayments.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

 

Keep current with ATS:

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

 

Today’s smartphones are probably far more superior and advanced, than desktop computers of 17 years ago. Technology, including cloud computing, has removed the barriers of time and distance, with lightning speed.

What Does 21st Century Workforce Management Solution Look Like?

Automation has also helped increase the accuracy in the workplace as roles that require physical and mental concentration have a lower likelihood of human error. This however, has not eradicated the need for human engagement to scrutinize the results of automated business processes. However, automating something like employee time and attendance will significantly reduce the amount of routine work so resources can be allocated to perform other important tasks within the organization.

ATS Workforce Management Solution encompasses all the trappings of a Human Capital Management suite with embedded analytics, easy-to-use management dashboards-that are designed to help companies reduce administrative tasks, and remain compliant.

So, what are the benefits? We’ll keep it simple. With ATS Workforce Management Solution, your company will have the ability to:

  • Improve insight into what’s driving your human capital costs and optimize employee scheduling.
  • Gain access to analytics and reporting to review and measure.
  • Streamline your processes and lower your total cost of ownership with a unified system.

To learn why so many companies choose ATS Workforce Management Solution, you can download a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webcasts. And, to speak to a representative call; 866.294-2467.

Since business runs on talent, growing companies need effective workforce management solutions that work, and work well. Manual calculation of employee hours and spreadsheets can result in costly over or under-staffing and unpaid overtime hours, which in turn, can lead to low staff morale. As a business grows, it demands more effective business automation tools—without adding unnecessary maintenance, deployment time, and cost. Organizations need solutions that speeds up HR processes and systems so they are strong enough to meet workforce needs today, but innovative enough to adapt in the future.

What Modern Workforce Management Means For Your Business

If you have already made workforce adjustments to proactively prepare for the upcoming labour changes by lawmakers across the North American, you might be fine. But, what if you haven’t and you are still scrambling to deploy a time and attendance that can adapt to upcoming employment standards act and other workforce regulations?

Here’s what you can expect from an ATS TimeWork OnDemand Solution

  • Simplify scheduling tasks with ATS Workforce Planning tool — to create and manage schedules anywhere, from any web-enabled device
  • Improve staff accountability – easily assign and track job costing projects
  • Enable employees to request time-off, check vacation balances and banked time, from anytime, anywhere  — clock-in/out, and view messages left by management on any mobile device
  • Reduce labour costs through utilization of ATS Forecasting & Budgeting module so you can gain better control over your business by knowing, at any time if you are running over or under budget
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements through automated alerts— to managers, when overtime or other thresholds are at risk

ATS TimeWork OnDemand gives growing businesses the critical information they need to optimize their workforce. ATS TimeWork OnDemand delivers science infused workforce management— that results in real-time business intelligence designed to— inform decisions and provide a high return on investment.

To learn more, go to our website and download a demonstration, or call 866.294.2467.

So what exactly is predictive scheduling? Here is a brief synopsis from a blog written by Diane Saunders, titled; Predictive Scheduling: A Primer for Retail and Hospitality Employers. “Predictive Scheduling requires that employers pay employees for cancelled on call shifts, provide notice to employees of their biweekly schedules, give new workers good faith written estimates of their expected hours and schedules, and uphold the requirement that employers offer extra hours to current part-time employees before hiring new employees or using staffing agency employees.”

So why has this become such a headache for some organizations in healthcare, retail and the food service industry? Some labour groups have bemoaned the fact that since the recession of 2008 there has been a steady increase in the number of low-wage and part jobs in those sectors. Labour advocates have also lamented that unpredictable, back-to-back shifts and last minute changes to employee schedules have made it difficult for these employees and their families to cope. In other words, when employee schedules are constantly changing and/or if they are being called in at the last minute, for a shift that makes it difficult for these workers, especially the ones who are parents, to take their kids to school, or to a doctor’s appointment.

Can Predictive Scheduling And A Workforce That’s Based On Demand Co exist?

Recently some states have begun to enact laws designed to protect workers rights, regarding scheduling. A recent article by Kate Torone, for HR Dive titled Oregon becomes first state to require predictive scheduling reads, in part;

  • Oregon’s governor signed a predictive scheduling bill into law on Aug. 8 that applies to employers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries that have at least 500 employees.
  • The law, which took effect immediately, requires that employers provide workers with a “good-faith” estimate of their work schedule when they’re hired and, after that, written schedules seven days in advance. Beginning July 1, 2020, that increases to 14 days. Employers also must pay workers a fee when their schedules change on short notice.
  • While some cities have adopted predictive scheduling laws, too, Oregon appears to be the first state to do so.

But what if your business is in a province or state where this does not impact you? Because it is not your region today, does not necessarily mean it won’t be enacted by government officials a year or two from now. The minimum wage hike debate for example, appeared to be going nowhere at first, until, government officials starting feeling pressure from their local constituents, and was forced to do something about it for fear of either alienating their base or accused of being on the wrong side of history. The tide began to shift in the workers favour and then slowly, at first, some states and provinces began enacting laws to hike the minimum wage. At the very least, you should be proactive and take the time to review a workforce management solution that has predictive scheduling capabilities, and is also able to calculate and manage employee hours so, you don’t have to.

With ATS Time and Attendance Workforce Scheduling Application you can:

  • Get historical and real-time data are leveraged to generate schedules.
  • Avoid schedule conflicts with up-to-date staff availability information and immediately see and correct any conflicts due to overlapping shifts and overtime.
  • Schedule employees based on business demand, and avoid shift overlaps and conflicts.
  • Incorporate collective bargaining agreements, user qualifications, seniority, skill level and shift preference.
  • Manage employee-related attendance excuses and send instant alerts to team members

To learn about ATS Time and Attendance Workforce Scheduling, go to our website, and to reach an account executive call: 866.294.2467. You can also download a demonstration or register to attend one our bi-monthly webinars as well.

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.

Whether you are in retail, hospitality, healthcare or an industry, generating a weekly or bi-schedule with Excel spreadsheets, it can be time consuming. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to tracking employee hours, including overtime. And, while Excel spreadsheets can be useful in some areas of business, using it for the purpose of scheduling employees especially in companies with complex and rotation shifts can be headache for supervisors.

Scheduling With Spreadsheets, Really? Who Does That Anymore?

One of the better investments an organization can make is to deploy an ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution that will help with better workforce planning, and improve overall employee productivity, and satisfaction.

ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution is purpose-built for the managers and supervisors alike, and utilizes employee working patterns and shift preferences —as a best fit, with statutory holidays and absences automatically applied. The manager is immediately notified through an alert, of schedule gaps caused by absences, holidays or workload demand, so that the appropriate action can be taken.

ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution benefits include:

  • Minimize compliance risk with consistent rules and policies
  • Accurately anticipate demand to help reduce under-staffing
  • Employees are allocated to a shift based on preference and seniority
  • Statutory holidays and absences are automatically applied
  • Actual vs. budget schedule report can be generated thus, reducing the possibility of over-staffing
  • Minimize compliance risks, while adhering to local, regional and cross continental rules and policies
  • Accurately anticipate demand based on forecast, to help reduce under-staffing

Now, can your Excel spreadsheet do all that?  Trying to guess the right number of employees you need to cover a shift or the best worker to fill an open one, commonly causes errors and complications. With Workforce Scheduling the guesswork and manual scheduling is taken out of the equation.

To download a copy of ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution or to register for one of our bi-weekly webinars, go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call: 866.294.2467.

 

Your Focus For The New Year Should Be, Improving Productivity And Streamlining Costs

January 11th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | ERP | HRIS | Labour Costs | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance Canada | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Your Focus For The New Year Should Be, Improving Productivity And Streamlining Costs)

At the end of the year, it’s helpful to look back and review all that has been accomplished throughout the last 12 months.  You review what you have done well and analyze what could go better.  Making plans for the New Year is always the easy part. However, if your plan is to continue using the same outdated technology and yet achieve maximum productivity, you should rethink those plans.

The benefits of a workforce management solution can have lasting effect on a company’s bottom-line. With ATS Workforce Management solution, access to real-time data is literally at your fingertips and you can monitor payroll and attendance metrics in ways, no spreadsheet can.

Your Focus For The New Year Should Be, Improving Productivity And Streamlining Costs

ATS Workforce Management Solution will make it easier for you to track absences, determine how to schedule employees, accurately manage personal time-off and give you access to up-to-the-minute analytics so, you can measure productivity.  And, with ATS Workforce Management Solution, you can integrate to any ERP, CRM, Payroll, Recruitment or HR Management application —and monitor, specific parts of your business from this single solution.

If your business is committed to dumping the spreadsheets and outdated workforce management sins of the past, then it can resolve to keep its New Year’s resolution, by investing in a solution that will streamline payroll and increase workforce productivity. ATS Workforce Management Solution is an award-winning, innovative suite of Time and Attendance solutions deployed as an on-premise or in the cloud to optimize your workforce across the entire employee life cycle. ATS gives corporate executives, payroll, and HR management leaders the right information at the right time in order to make better business decisions and develop a more productive workforce—ultimately impacting business outcomes.

To learn more, call 866.294.2467 and to view a demonstration, go to our website.

Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary

January 9th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Workforce Management Solutions - (Comments Off on Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary)

In business there are some buzzwords that are used which makes sense to some degree. After all, some of them are used in everyday life as well and we all get that. Where it becomes a problem is when these same buzzwords or a variety of them are used incessantly when a more simple explanation will do. In short, it becomes annoying after while hearing buzzwords that should have been banned years ago.

Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary

 

Scott Gerber published an article for Mashable about ten annoying buzzwords. He asked some business leaders to unravel the meaning these words and why some people use them. We changed their order of appearance and added our reasons why we think they should be done with forever.

    1. Pivot- It seems for some bizarre reason this word is being used at every meeting and on every newscast. Next time someone says this word at a meeting, just roll your eyes, hopefully they will get the point.
    2. Paradigm Shift-pleasantly surprised this word is still around. Thought it was buried some 10 years ago?
    3. Think Outside The Box-Which box exactly? It’s amazing how this term has become. After a while, and similar to other buzzwords, people begin to turn a deaf eye when they hear them.
    4. Game Changer-There has to be other words that can replace this and make people pay attention.
    5. Hit The Ground Running-Yes, point taken. But how about you’ve the skill and are ready to handle the project instead of this outdated, hit the ground running stuff?

Not everyone is impressed with buzzwords. In fact, the people using them are probably attempting to come off as being intelligent. Who knows? What’s clear is that these buzzwords have become irritating for co-workers who hear them constantly and even roll their eyes when no one is looking.

How about slowly doing away with these buzzwords as a New Year’s resolution in 2017?

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

January 3rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Forecasting | Overtime | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance On-Demand - (Comments Off on Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software)

If you are in the service industry that includes: retail, healthcare, emergency service response, call centres and hospitality- you know that scheduling employees can be a tall order. When you consider things like shift swapping, replacing absences, and the most egregious of them all; back-to-back and on—call shifts having the right scheduling system is paramount to health and well being of your employees and your company’s balance sheet.

Employees who are constantly working different shifts every day or week will most likely be tired and unproductive. In a recent article by USA Today by Kevin McCoy regarding the issue of on-call shifts by some employers, the New York Attorney General was quoted saying the following: “On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who characterized the procedure as unfair. “People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time.”

Using an effective scheduling system that ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling module will help your company reduce labour costs and provides additional insights to help you budget and forecast and improve the operational aspects of your business.

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling will:

  • Adjust staffing levels by linking position-specific labor standards to changes in business demand
  • Enhance employee participation by providing them with the ability to swap shifts with their colleagues through the self-service portal
  • Quickly fill vacant shifts thus, enforcing complex canvassing requirements and collective bargaining rules when applicable

The key to business success today starts with recruiting and retaining great people. And, if your company is using an outdated scheduling system, it will not help. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling solution takes the guesswork out of aligning the right talent, in the right place, at the right time. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling eliminates manual scheduling processes to help ensure optimal staffing coverage for every shift, every day.

To download a demonstration, go to our website. And to speak to a representative, call 866.294.2467.