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Some have argued that the annual performance review should have been ditched ages ago. After all performance reviews are taking into account what employees did 12 months ago and it’s a process that most managers and employees alike detest. According to a recent Washington Post article, consulting firm Accenture along with several other fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft and Adobe have decided, to do away with performance reviews and/or replace it with a easier process.

Has The Annual Performance Review Past It’s Best Before Date?

But how did a process that was so beloved by so many companies, and used as a barometer to; gauge performance, enhance benefits and employee pay premiums and bonuses elicit so much hate in recent years? Times have changed and, in most cases, the annual performance process has not. And, according to an article by Ratan Tavawala for Eremedia here are three reasons why:

Work is different-Work moves at a much faster pace today, with goals and projects measured in days and weeks instead of months and quarters. Performance reviews traditionally occur on a twelve-month cycle — which means they’re not keeping pace with production. In addition, companies are putting greater focus on team success over individual outcomes. At an organization where global teams are connected by virtual technology and work outcomes are a shared experience, individual yearly performance appraisals do not reflect the reality of how work is accomplished.

Ties to compensation– Historically, pay raises and bonuses have been directly tied to performance appraisals. This sets up a skewed power dynamic that can hinder the type of candid conversation that leads to real improvement. Separating employee performance discussions from raises allows for more focused, coaching conversation about day-to-day job performance, areas for improvement, professional development resources, and opportunities for growth.

Lack of honest dialogue-The power dynamic at play in traditional performance appraisals is top-down, with few companies focusing on assessing the supervisory and leadership skills of managers. Allowing employees to provide feedback to (or even formally evaluate) their managers not only improves efficacy, but leads to better employee engagement and empowerment.”

Traditional performance reviews have been, for many years, anxiety inducing, and have been reduced to an awkward for managers. Employees, in turn, cringe at the notion of having to sit in front of their manager to go through this process, which from their viewpoint is an exercise filled with criticism.

So, what’s the answer? Why not look at changing it. As some have suggested, instead of doing an annual review, reduce it to once a month or better yet, spend a day with your employee while they are performing their tasks and offer feedback. Whichever method you choose, one thing is for certain the old way of doing performance reviews are out of step with today’s workforce.

Managing paid time off can be a difficult undertaking, for companies who are tracking it the old fashion way through; a variety of spreadsheets and disparate systems used by different supervisors who each have their own method of tracking time off.

But this type of tracking can only take you so far. Because when it comes to proper compliance of labour laws in many jurisdictions, those spreadsheets and the archaic methods of tracking paid time off (PTO) won’t help. Why? Because many provinces and states throughout Canada and the US have stepped up their compliance investigations and, as such, many organizations have found themselves facing increased risk of scrutiny and financial fallout.

how-to-effectively-manage-paid-time-off-and-increase-employee-morale

Here are three ways to effectively track and manage your workforce paid time off policies:

 Automate the Process
Instead of manually tracking employee time off requests through spreadsheets and other outdated processes, you should think about deploying a time and attendance solution. ATS time and attendance will become an important part of protecting your business from penalties. ATS TimeWork will help your company stay on track, and stores the documentation you will need in case of a payroll or attendance audit.

Intuitive Absence Tracking
ATS Absence Request is fully configurable tool accompanied by full complement of analytic reporting that can be assigned to any type of absence including; family leave, (maternity and paternity) long and short term disability, jury duty, sick days, vacation and unlimited flexibility and code options that can be tailored to any company regardless of industry. And best of all your employees can punch in and out through a mobile device, kiosk/touch screens and/or biometric time clocks.

 Integrate to Payroll, Human Resources or Enterprise Resource Planning
ATS Absence Request can be easily exported and imported into many existing management systems. Data can be imported into payroll to ensure proper payroll tracking for personal time off (PTO) days are taken in accordance with correct payouts for those days. By deploying ATS Time and Attendance and taking advantage of the Absence Request module, you immediately eliminate human error that comes with tracking employee absence manually.

With ATS Absence Request you can transform tedious, time consuming everyday tasks into intelligent, efficient processes that drive business insight.

To learn more go to our website and download a demonstration. To reach an account executive by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

It’s that time of year when you can safely pull out that ugly Christmas sweater and not have to worry about wearing it since there will be others like you, who will be wearing one. And, like years past, you and your colleagues have been invited to the company’s annual office Christmas party. And, according to many experts, unless you have a legitimate excuse you had better attend, because not only will your absence be noticed but you could be also limiting your career prospects.

You Better Watch Out, Useful Tips For The Annual Office Christmas Party

Here are a few common sense tips from Dr. Patty Ann Tublin from an article written for The Huffington Post titled ‘Do’s and Don’ts for the Office Holiday Party’ and in no particular order here are a few of these tips.

Tip Number One

“GO! Don’t even think about blowing this party off. Love em or hate em, it will serve you well to be seen at them. Even if this party is touted as being optional – that doesn’t really mean it is. Your absence may very well be noticed. Worse – it may be prone to misinterpretation (he/she is not a team player, is aloof, is a snob, etc.).

Tip Number Two

It’s not good enough to just show up. Since you’re already there – you might as well make the most of it. This is a great opportunity to network with the movers and shakers of your company (i.e., upper management and executives) whom you would normally not have access to. If you’ve never met them before, make it your business to introduce yourself with a brief introduction and non-work related conversation.

Tip Number Three

Dress Appropriately. The office holiday party is not the time to come slinking in with a way too high mini-skirt or stained T-shirt. Rule of thumb: the venue dictates the dress code. If you are in doubt as to how formal or casual the party will be, ask someone whom you believe will know. Every office has that someone who seems to know this stuff!”

These annual Christmas office parties should be seen as fun event and a chance to celebrate, and get to know your co-workers and boss on a personal level. They are not created so, you can “Party like it’s 1999.” After all, who wants to end up being (well, maybe some people) tagged in photos and videos; Snap Chat, Face Book or YouTube, dancing, while seeming incoherent of their surroundings? It could end up being a painful conversation with HR department days later, perhaps resulting in a permanent leave of absence for the party-goer/s.

 

Feeling nervous before starting that new job is common. It happens to people of all ages. But how do you combat this anxiety that’s eating away at you, and is rendering you seemingly helpless, before your big day? In addition, to making sure you get sufficient sleep the night before your event, psychologists Jamie Long, suggests some strategies to “Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety.”  Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes penned a wonderful piece titled ‘7 Tips For Young Professionals Starting A New Job’ In no particular order here are some excerpts from the article.

You Are About To Start That New Job, But Those Jitters Just Won’t Go Away

Dress for success
Start by recreating your wardrobe and sprucing up your appearance. Dress appropriately for the job you’ve landed. Remember that first impressions can be lasting. If you’re dressed to impress, you probably will.

Be confident
Don’t be narcissistic, but show your colleagues that you deserve to be there. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, and believe in your ability to succeed in your new position. One way to exhibit confidence: invite your colleagues to lunch.

 Separate your personal and professional lives
Once you’re settled in, avoid making personal calls, sending personal emails or taking long lunch breaks. Show that you are dedicated to your new job and that you want to be there. If you have nothing to do, offer to take on another task or help a colleague who looks overloaded. Not only will you impress the boss, but the days will fly by.

Wheter you are a young person, entering the workforce for the first time, or just moving from one job to another, we all experience jitters. Moving to a new job or travelling to a new country are both unknowns, and is partly the cause of those jitters.

 

Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful If We All Had Great Bosses?

November 28th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service - (Comments Off on Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful If We All Had Great Bosses?)

Since the world is not perfect and that includes human beings, it is highly unlikely we are all going to have great bosses. After all, bosses human and like us, have their own share of flaws. There is no denying there are some individuals who serve, in a role as a boss and are horrible at it. The flip side to that are bosses, who are compassionate, take care of their employees and can be a dream to work with.

Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful If We All Had Great Bosses?

In a recent blog post titled ‘5 Traits Employees Want In a Boss’ and based on a study by the Dale Carnegie Training  Business News Daily Senior Writer Chad Brooks lays out five qualities that employees look for in a boss:

  1. “Encourages improvement: Nearly 80 percent of the employees surveyed said inspiring leaders encourage and help employees improve.
  2. Gives praise and appreciation: Nearly three-quarters of the workers surveyed said great bosses praise and express appreciation for employees’ work.
  3. Recognizes improvement: More than 70 percent of employees said one of the most important traits of a boss is acknowledging when workers’ performance has improved.
  4. Acknowledges own shortfalls before criticizing: The study found that 68 percent of employees are motivated by bosses who, rather than criticizing others, recognize their own shortcomings.
  5. Allow employees to save face: 60 percent of workers said they appreciate a boss who gives them a chance to make up for their errors, instead of embarrassing employees when they have made mistakes.”

We all know that not every boss posses these five qualities. Sometimes, we might find a boss with some or more of these qualities either in our first job or several jobs later in life. But for many people, having a great boss is the exception, and not the rule.

To learn about ATS product offerings including our time and attendance solutions, go to our website.

The retail industry has had to adapt to numerous changes in the past several decades. And, with shrinking market-share, retailers now have to grapple with tight margins, technological innovation, constant changes in consumer habits and unprecedented growth in global markets.  These changes, along with cost containment and  increasingly fierce competition, have fueled the need for continuous improvement, flexible operations, and availability of information on demand.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand empowers retail organizations to modernize their approach to employee time and attendance. ATS TimeWork offers a robust, up-to-the-minute responsive cloud infrastructure, a sophisticated development platform and a rich portfolio of workforce analytics, and 21st century mobile services. With ATS TimeWork OnDemand, retail operations from; Food Manufacturing, Fashion and Apparel, Pharmacy, Department Stores and Home Goods, Grocery, Hospitality, Food and Beverage to drive sales and optimize business operations through analytics insights that fuel personalized merchandising for their customers.

Retailers Are Embracing ATS TimeWork OnDemand To Improve Operational Excellence

Here are three examples of how retailers are using ATS TimeWork OnDemand to improve productivity, streamline payroll costs and, at the same time, stay ahead of the competition:

Deployment Platform-With TimeWork OnDemand, organizations can choose from integrated always-on, dedicated and local deployment model that complements, and includes Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile-ready services.

Analytics and Data Science-By using proven cognitive analytic solutions from ATS TimeWork OnDemand to tap into cutting-edge employee data to spur decision making capabilities with an advanced time and attendance retail application that’s readily accessible, and provides powerful and insightful intelligence like never before.

Flexible and easy Access to the Cloud-ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a modern API-based, open-source, and collaborative web application—that quickly scales to meet seasonal or event demands through an easy-to-use customer portal or auto-scaling capabilities. The advantages of retail operations using ATS TimeWork OnDemand includes; upgrades with minimal downtime and interruption, and the ability to access supercomputing—on demand on a massive scale that transforms business intelligence and up-to-the-minute business decision making.

Want to learn how ATS TimeWork OnDemand can help your business realize the value of cloud time and attendance solution? Go to our website or call us at 866.294.2467.

 

 

While the era of digitization, the gig economy and flextime have done away with some traditional jobs especially in manufacturing, many have remained. Every job has its own type of stress regardless and what may seem stressful for one person may not affect another person.

Here is a list of the 10 most and least stressful jobs compiled by CareerCast.com:

Want To Know Which Jobs Are The Most and Least Stressful? Here Is A List

10 Most Stressful Jobs

  1. Enlisted military personnel
    2. Military general
    3. Firefighter
    4. Airline pilot
    5. Event coordinator
    6. Public relations executive
    7. Senior corporate executive
    8. Newspaper reporter
    9. Police officer
    10. Taxi Driver

10 Least Stressful Jobs

  1. Audiologist
    2. Hair stylist
    3. Jeweler
    4. Tenured university professor
    5. Seamstress/tailor
    6. Dietitian
    7. Medical records tech
    8. Librarian
    9. Multimedia artist
    10. Drill press operator

Want To Know Which Jobs Are The Most and Least Stressful? Here Is A ListIf you have an outgoing personality and love working in large groups then go seek a job that matches personality trait. On the other hand, if you are shy and soft-spoken there are jobs are also jobs that matches those traits. Regardless of the job you choose, be mindful that they may require specific education, experience and the necessary qualifications to help you succeed.

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If prodded a smart business executive might admit the importance of their HR managers. Let’s face it, no company can succeed without its employees but who does the hiring, training, employee satisfaction surveys, retaining of said employees and exit interviews? That’s right, it’s HR.

In Dr. John Sullivan’s article titled ‘Here’s What HR Must Do to Have the Business Impact CEOs Want’ he states, in part; “You shouldn’t need a survey to realize the importance of talent to a business. We have a high impact for a variety of reasons. The first is cost, because employee and HR costs are often the largest single corporate variable cost item (as much as 60% of all corporate variable costs). Second, the talent function has a further major impact because all ideas and innovations come from well-managed employees. And obviously you can’t have great customer service and smooth operations and production without an excellent workforce. He concludes this statement by quoting Jack Welsh who said “HR should be “the most important department of a company.”

In the digital era of big data and analytics smart HR departments are turning to those tools to help them; indentify recruits, predict attrition rates, measure performance, and track employee data with a robust application to improve workforce productivity.

 

In the end, there is no denying the important role that HR plays within an organization- but they also need the tools to propel their decision making.  And, if HR is going to become a more data-driven department, (as they should) senior executives should do everything in their power to ensure, this important department has the necessary automated tools at their disposal.

About ATS:
ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance solutions that streamlines the collection, calculation, and reporting of employee hours for workforce management. ATS time and attendance solution eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, thus- increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate HR and payroll departments.

To learn more, call 866.294.2467. And to view a demonstration or attend a weekly webinar go to our website.

The Immeasurable Importance Of HR

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

August 9th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Employee Self Service | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?)

The recruitment practices of 20 years ago, no longer work and many of today’s companies are acutely aware of this and, as a result, offer rewards programs to recruit and retain talent. And, let’s face it, how many people are actually going to turn down; playing pool once a week, a one year yoga or gym membership or having lunch once or twice a week, all paid for by their employer?

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

A recent article titled ‘The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America’ by Abigale Thorpe for Greatist, describes in detail, some of the perks that several companies offer their employees. In no particular order, here is a list of 5 companies from the article:

Honest Tea
In addition to sipping delicious tea, all 40 employees are invited to stock up their pantries and fridges with quarterly Whole Foods gift certificates. Weekly organic fresh fruit delivery makes reaching for an apple or banana a natural habit. While you’re munching, take in one of the wellness seminars, ranging in topics from stress management to sleep habits. Boot camp is offered two times per week in-office after work, and a flexible schedule and commitment to company-wide volunteer days keeps employees feeling uplifted.

ALOHA
You might feel like you’re on vacation while taking full advantage of weekly yoga and meditation classes in the ALOHA office. The kitchen is always fully stocked with organic snacks, ALOHA’s healthy products are available to all 47 employees, and lunch is catered every Friday.

Pro Althe Inc.
Unlimited flex PTO, an on-site gym with a full-time personal trainer, access to yoga classes, and grocery store tours with a registered dietician are just a few of the perks this company’s 50 employees find on the job. Free laundry services, haircuts, massages, and cab and Uber rides are others—provided to make each employee’s home away from home as stress-free as possible. And when it comes to stress, you’d be hard-pressed to find it at the office, which has racquetball and basketball courts, a swimming pool, a bar and lounge, a game room, and a coffee shop.

inVentiv Health Public Relations Group
This PR company knows how to keep its 251 employees satisfied, with free daily lunch, chair massages, and yoga classes. And don’t forget the company-wide Thanksgiving potluck that reminds you coworkers are family too. Unlimited personal and sick days and three weeks paid vacation to start provide the downtime you need to keep living life, and the company’s VitaminC3 health program offers nutritional assistance, like cooking classes as well as physical fitness activities at the office, to keep you active between screen-staring stints.

Google
Google’s got you covered—and we’re not just referring to answering your every query. It provides on-site physicians and nurses for its 57,148 employees, as well as free legal advice and discounted legal services. In addition to a gourmet cafeteria, physical fitness programs, and on-site gyms, the company supplies a free shuttle service to employees in the Bay Area, and offers new parents paid time off and extra spending money to celebrate their little one. Headed out on vacay? No worries, Google provides travel insurance and emergency assistance (even for personal trips). Employees can also donate vacation days to coworkers who may need the extra days to take care of family emergencies.

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

These perks, by these above mentioned companies gives the impression that you are in some sunny destination at all inclusive resort, and so, who would not jump at an opportunity work for a company that offered such great perks? One thing is certain, recruiting and retaining today’s employee, requires more than just a pay cheque, employee incentives are a good way to attract and retain talent.

And in conclusion, the old attitude that an employee is lucky to have a job and should not expect anything else, won’t sit well with the next generation of workers (millennials) who are going to replace many of today’s baby boomers.

Keep current with ATS:

To learn about ATS solutions go to our website.

 

Change is often difficult for some organizations, in part, because fear of the unknown is at the heart of the decision making process of some businesses. By now, cloud software solutions should be no stranger businesses especially, when you consider how ubiquitous it has become. Yet, despite that, a small percentage of businesses still stick to their pen, paper and desktop software.

A Leap Of Faith Can Help Your Business Leverage The Benefits Of The Cloud

Here are some of the things you can look forward to, if you decide to take the leap, and embrace a cloud computing technology.

Say good-bye to that filing cabinet
Storing employee reports in a filing cabinet?  Just think about the amount of time, your payroll practitioner spends manually editing employee hours, chasing down department managers to confirm employees’ time- and then having to store that information in filing cabinet for future reference. Why bother? The cloud gives you the power to get up-to-the-minute reports all of which can be accessed, anytime, anywhere, 365 days a year.

Employee time-off requests
The days of employees walking to the HR office to submit a vacation request is quickly becoming a thing of the past and with good reason. With the surge of cloud computing apps that employees can access through their mobile device or workstations, requesting a day off makes the cloud an attractive proposition.

Vacation pay, overtime and accrual benefits
Spreadsheets can be a good tool for other tasks, but using it to track vacation, over time and accruals? With a cloud time and attendance, there is no need for spreadsheets. An ATS Time and Attendance Leave Management module automates the enforcement and tracking of provincial, federal, state, and employer-specific leave polices and requirements for a variety of qualified leave types, including family medical leave, and other related absences and provide notifications for managers and employees provide real-time updates on eligibility and case activities.

It should be noted, that resistance to change is inherent in all of us, even the ones who claim to be agents of change. If you are interested in learning how you can take a leap of faith and leverage the benefits of the cloud, you can register for one of our webinars, download a demonstration or contact ATS at 866.294.2467.

A Leap Of Faith Can Help Your Business Leverage The Benefits Of The Cloud