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Managing overtime is not an easy task, especially if your company is using manual time cards and spreadsheets — an archaic practice at best, although, several companies still track employee hours, overtime and leave policies using these tools

Tracking overtime does not have to be that hard, especially if you are using a modern time and attendance solutions. Here are excerpts from an article, on how to manage overtime, by Rob Press for online magazine TLNT titled; 6 Ways to Minimize the Impact of the New US Overtime Rules

Simplify complex policies: Review your overtime policy, reading it through the eyes of the employees. You may find that by simplifying your policy, you could actually minimize the amount of work that you need to do to approve each request.

Complex policies were actually at the root of a recent class action in California. At some company facilities, there was a flat “no overtime” policy. At others, the policy stated that prior approval for overtime must be given by two relevant managers; something that the employees stated was an “impossible task” when they were under pressure to get the job done. Ultimately, the company agreed to settle the case for $20 million.

This really shows just how many complex stages can often be involved in overtime policies, and begs the question: Could making policies more straightforward – and consistent — not only help businesses to achieve their goals, but also help to make HR and manager workloads more manageable?

Focus on organization: To manage overtime like a boss, we need to focus on overtime specifically, right? Well, maybe not. To properly manage overtime, it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

There was a very interesting study undertaken by the US Postal Service across the Northeastern states which found that managers who failed to effectively manage unscheduled leave ended up having to deal with more overtime. According to the report, “management did not effectively manage unscheduled leave, which contributed to overtime hours.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Track employee hours: It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been working in HR for years or you’re just starting out in your career, you know, or will quickly discover, that employees are bad — very bad — at tracking their time. With so many other tasks that need to be prioritized, filling in timesheets often ends up at the bottom of the list.

And the problem doesn’t end there. Even when employees do try to track their time, they’re often doing it days later, which means the hours they’re putting down probably aren’t all that accurate. According to studies of memory, people quickly forget what they learn. What did you have for lunch three days ago?

Analyze: One of the most vital aspects of good overtime management is what it can tell us about workforce practices. As an HR professional, you’re not only responsible for supporting employees, but also for supporting the business, and for raising concerns that can help it improve.

One of the other advantages that an automated tracking system offers is the ability to analyze time and attendance. You can do this with paper timesheets, but it’s much harder.

Minimize overtime: Of course, the absolute best way to manage overtime is to have less of it. Ha! Easier said than done right? Well, being able to reduce overtime isn’t something that’s guaranteed, but there are a few methods that can minimize the need for extra hours.

Although there are any number of reasons for overtime, when it becomes endemic that’s often a sign there are not enough resources to complete the necessary tasks within the time given.

Managing change: Understanding how to better manage overtime is a significant part of handling the big changes that are taking place within the HR industry right now. With HR professionals expected to receive more requests for overtime payments than ever before under the new rules, now is the perfect time to look at improving internal processes and honing management skills for efficient and effective working”.

So, to summarize; proactively managing your employees’ overtime, avoiding surprises and preparing for the future can reduce your expense, protect your organization from unwanted legal action, and improve morale across the company.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand is a best-of-best 21st century human capital management (HCM) software provides an end-to-end employee lifecycle management solution. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand Workforce Management solutions help meet your workforce needs regardless of your industry or where you do business.

Interested in learning how you can curb overtime with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand? Go to our website and take a test drive. You can also reach an account executive at 866.294.2467.


Tracking employee time with biometrics is nothing new. In fact, it has becoming ubiquitous with many companies adopting the technology as a way to streamline payroll costs and increase workforce productive. And since biometric technology, can be used for different purposes, Amazon will soon add it to their Whole Foods grocery chain as a way for customers to pay.

In a recent article by Courtney Linder for Popular Mechanics titled Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands’. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Amazon is testing out a new payment method at its New York offices: hand scanning.

Here’s how it works: Users hold their hands over a special scanner that uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify each hand’s unique shape and size, per the report. Amazon Prime customers must go into stores for their hands to be captured and linked to their account before they can begin using the payment method.

The new payment method will also help to process transactions more quickly. While a typical card transaction takes three or four seconds, Amazon’s new tech can process the charge in less than 300 milliseconds, says the report.

It’s not a new concept by any means. Hand geometry, as the biometric is called, was used to protect access to the residential Olympic Village at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The concept of hand geometry was developed and patented in 1985, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first commercial product using the tech came out the following year, but it wasn’t widely adopted. However, many companies do use hand geometry for time and attendance purposes. Walt Disney World has used “finger geometry” for years to expedite entrance to parks, for example.

Systems that measure hand geometry use a digital camera and light to take a scan. When you use one, you simply place your hand on a flat surface and line your fingers up for an accurate reading. A camera takes several photos of your hand and the shadows that it casts. That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Then, it’s translated into a numerical template through an algorithm.”

ATS biometric clocks are used in a variety of companies and industries from healthcare to food manufacturing, grocery retail, shipping & logistics, government entities and construction.  With ATS biometric time clocks, employees can clock in with a quick scan of their hand, and are instantly verified for accuracy. And, with biometric identification capabilities, “buddy punching” can be prevented to help control labour costs associated with inflated payroll.

To view a demonstration of ATS biometric time clocks or cloud computing time and attendance application, go to our website.

It wasn’t too long ago that asking your boss to work from home would likely stunt your career aspirations. And, while some companies still frown on the idea of employees working from home, there is no stopping this shift towards working remotely, a shift that has been taking place for the last several years.

Want further proof that remote work is on the rise, despite reluctance from some companies? Here are excerpts from an article, written by Valerie Bolden-Barrette for HRDive titled, Working remotely is now the norm for developers, new study shows

  • Eighty-six percent of IT developers work remotely, with almost one-third working from home full time, according to a study by DigitalOcean, a cloud-based platform. Of the more than 4,500 respondents to the study, Currents: A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Remote Work Edition, 43% said that the ability to work remotely is “a must-have” when considering a job offer.
  • Contrary to the belief that remote workers are isolated and disengaged from the workforce, 71% of respondents who work remotely said they feel connected to their organization’s community. However, the 29% of remote workers who feel isolated said they’re disengaged from their company’s culture and excluded from offline conversations with team members when working offsite. Seventy-six percent of respondents expected remote work to offer more work-life balance, but many reported working longer hours and that their work-life balance was only slightly better than their onsite colleagues.
  • Although remote work is considered the norm for developers, a plurality (47%) started working offsite between one and four years ago. The study also found that on a scale of 1-5, a flexible work schedule was “very important” to many of the respondents (44%).

Despite the above-mentioned stats that shows an upward trajectory, that more companies are adopting a remote workforce mentality-you will have to build a compelling case on the benefits of remote work if your employer does not believe it in.

Here’s some additional stats from the article; “Remote work has swiftly become a norm, especially in a tight labor market with more specialized jobs. Since 2005, the number of U.S. employees who work from home at least half the time has more than doubled, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But employers have been comparably slow in outlining how such arrangements work for their companies; a majority of employers surveyed in a 2018 Upwork study lacked any official remote work policy”.

Bottomline: There are certain jobs like payroll and HR and in some industries  that require employees to be in the office or on a job site. On the other hand, other jobs like software programing or sales can be done remotely.  In the end, if you have presented a strong business case on the reasons why you should work remotely, and it does not match with your employers’ corporate culture, it might be best, in the end, to start looking elsewhere.

To learn more about ATS and our Cloud-Based HCM Workforce Management application for mid-enterprise size organizations, go to our website.

You can also request a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach an account executive by phone call: 866.294.2467.

Your company made it through another year together,and it’s time to let your employees relax, have some fun and enjoy themselves.And, when it’s done right, the annual Christmas party can be great opportunity for managers to get to know their employees on a personal level.

In writing for the Silicon Republic, David Bell’s article, titled How to avoid the Christmas party HR hangover  offers some, advice to HR practitioners and senior executives. Here are three takeaways from the article:

Don’t encourage binge drinking
To avoid behavioural issues, don’t encourage mass consumption of alcohol intake and don’t offer employees a free bar. This will decrease the chances of accidents, fights or issues that usually happen as a result of drinking. If needed, be prepared to tell individuals to stop drinking if they start to appear too drunk or rowdy.

Social media is a powerful tool, used for many different aspects of both personal and business life. However, it is important to remember that when your employees are posting selfies and other various photos at the office party, they are still representing your company, so brand awareness is vital.

Ensure employees use social media in a positive way
It could be a good idea to have one person act as a photographer for the night and only take appropriate photos. The next working day, everyone can choose certain photos they prefer and you could even choose a couple for company social media.

 It is highly recommended that you create a general social media policy in your workplace. Informing staff of this new disciplinary policy will make them aware of the rules and hopefully avoid any possible problems.

Be considerate to all employees
Be sensitive to the fact that some employees may not celebrate the Christmas holiday. There are some religions that don’t consume alcohol, so it’s very important to make sure there are options to cater to them. This will show your awareness and consideration of your employees, making them feel valued.

 Don’t make any promises that you can’t keep and avoid discussions about salary, promotions etc at the party. The reason for this isthat words of encouragement are sometimes misinterpreted and may cause issues in the workplace.

For most, unless the party is on a Friday night, the working week will continue the next day as normal. Despite guidance on what is considered acceptable and what is not, unfortunate events may occur or certain things may be said. In such situations, it’s important that any information given to you by employees stay anonymous, unless said otherwise.

Happy Holidays!

Keep current with ATS:

The rise of the minimum wage, new employment laws and predictive scheduling are just a few of the most recent workplace compliance that many of today’s organizations are struggling to manage. An effective time and attendance solution can be significant a time saver, while also allowing operational managers to access data in

real-time—thus, providing them with a complete picture of employee overtime and hours worked at their fingertips. Here is a quick synopsis of what you can expect from an ATS Time and Attendance solution.

How Can A Time And Attendance Solution Help Your Company With Employment Laws?

Robust and Purpose-Built
At the core of ATS Time and Attendance is a database engine that designed to handle the business requirements of every industry. With ATS time and attendance solution, employee can perform different job tasks, review overtime and shifts from by accessing the employee self-service or through one of the ATS data collectors. The Workforce Analytics dashboard is a treasure trove of data that — when mined carefully — reveals important information on forecasting and actual versus hours scheduled. It’s the difference between making decisions on gut feeling and making them based on facts.

Improved Productivity
scheduling and personal time-off requests are an important part of retaining a productive workforce. The companies that offer employees flexible work hours and also accommodate time-off requests for personal and professional needs are generally desired companies to work for.

Workforce Compliance
Does your company or industry have to deal with collective bargaining agreements, have different locations across several jurisdictions with separate labour laws? For example, unionized employees may have a maximum number of hours that they are allowed work per week or month. In other cases, corporate policy may dictate that employees cannot work more than a maximum number of hours per pay period. Whatever exceptions that are unique to your organization, ATS time and attendance solution can be configured to meet those requirements and ensure that you are in compliance. The system will accurately calculate premium hours, statutory holidays and job tracking and manage overtime.

If you are looking for ways to improve productivity in the face of rising labour costs, tight margins and competition, tracking employee time and attendance by paper, will drive costs up, not the other way around.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars or download a demonstration. To reach ATS by phone, 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.

 

The Christmas Holiday season is here, which often means, your employees are fully engaged in preparing and maybe dreading for their family and other social events with friends. This is also the time of year when many companies take time to assess their sales figures of the past year and also prepare their budgets and financial goals for the New Year.

While employers expect their employees to be fully engaged at work, this can be difficult during the Holiday season since many are likely lost in the business of their lives outside of work, and will perhaps, lack proper motivation and energy to perform their best work. This is a natural and happens in many other organizations and thus, should not, however, be cause for alarm but rather seen as a way to keep your employees motivated.

3 Tips To Keep Your Employees Engaged During The Holiday Season

Here are 3 tips to help you keep your employees motivated during the holiday season:

Create a wow factor in the office– Bring some Holiday cheer to the office! Once a week during the holiday season, setup a table in the company’s cafeteria with free hot beverages and some light snacks. Everyone loves cookies and other holiday treats this time of the year. Hang up some garlands around the office and tune your radio/stereo system to a station that plays holiday music. In short, create a festive environment that your employees will look forward to each day.

Don’t be a scrooge- This is a time to embody compassion. Be cognizant that your employees will understandably be stressed during the holiday season and, for various reasons. To that end, make your employees schedules a bit friendlier, by offering flextime or and giving them an opportunity to work from home for a couple of days during the week. You will be viewed a wonderful boss and your company will reap the benefits of a happier workforce place and productive employees.

 Highlight your company’s year-end results and New Years goals- Did your company meet or exceed its financial goals of the past twelve months? If so, share the news with the employees whether your met those goals or not. Do not use this time to point out under-performers at your company. If you have an underachieving sales person, have a private conversation with them. You should however, focus on what the company’s goals were for the past year and where you fell short if, in fact, you did. Conversely share the good news if you beat expectations and discuss the targets for the New Year.

Bottom-line- This holiday, aim to create an atmosphere of acceptance, camaraderie and unity, and you can bet your employees will feel more motivated to complete their work. Remember, your employees are your greatest asset and no company can be viable without a happy and productive workforce.

 

We’ve heard it all before, today’s young people are idealistic, and don’t like listening to their elders, well, the same was said of generations of past. How quickly the older generations tend to forget, that they too, were young not too long ago. Today’s millennial group is by far the most diverse, highly educated and well informed demographic to come of age. You have likely heard how they are disrupting everything that comes in their path with technology and plan on eradicating the once coveted industrial revolution with its corporate culture and rules with their advanced and collaborative approach. And, for those who love clinging to everything of yesteryear, they won’t stand a chance, if they do not embrace these changes. In other words, it is going to happen whether we like them it not.

An excerpt from an article written by Chad Brooks for Business News Daily titled ‘Work-Life Balance, Not Income, Defines Success for Millennial Entrepreneurs’ reads, in part;

“Young business owners don’t define success by how much money they make. Instead, 79 percent of millennial small business owners measure the success of their business on whether they have a flexible work environment and a healthy balance between their personal and professional worlds, found a study from Xero.

Additionally, 67 percent of those surveyed said being able to maintain a schedule that allows them to travel and pursue personal interests is the second most important benchmark of a successful business.

Being in charge of their careers is why most young entrepreneurs wanted to become business owners. More than half of millennials surveyed said being their own boss was one of the biggest motivators for starting their own business.”

Yes, it’s true many millennials have their own set of challenges like everyone else. For example, mounting university debts are forcing these cohorts to come up with innovative ways to address their challenges. And, starting their own business, while immensely stressful, affords them an opportunity to tap into their creative juices and work, how and when they want to.

The article continues “the research shows that millennial small business owners are taking the lead on using the cloud and social media to run their operation. More than one-third of millennial entrepreneurs run the majority of their business functions in the cloud, compared with only one-fifth of baby boomers.”

According to Pew research more than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

So what do with millennials? They have given notice to the world that, among other things, they not going to work for hours on end without purpose, like some baby boomers and are determined to chart their own course in an unconventional fashion. And, why not? they are the future leaders.

 Don’t Think Millennials Have The Ambition And Drive? Well, Think Again

Most employers understand that employees will be late on occasion and won’t penalize them when this happens. However, some employees use their imagination to come up with some of the most outlandish excuses.

According to CareerBuilder annual survey, these incredulous late-to-work excuses include:

  • I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
  • My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
  • I was detained by Homeland Security.
  • I had to chase my cows back into the field.
  • A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
  • My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
  • There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
  • There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
  • I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
  • All of my clothes were stolen.
  • I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
  • A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.

Many of these excuses are a little extreme and may have more to do with the creative imagination of these employees. However, you can bet employers are going to hearing more late-to-work excuses, because of; Daylight Savings Time, US Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday parties.

Many employers have taken the necessary steps and deployed a time and attendance system so, they can observe tardiness patterns and figure which days in particular, certain employees are absent from work. And, in the case of the employee who occasionally has his friend punch in for him when he is not at work, these employers have replaced the punch cards with a biometric time clock so, buddy-punching is out of the equation.

To learn more about ATS go to our website. You can also view a demonstration or attend one of our weekly webinars or call; 866.294.2467.

Colourful and Ridiculous Excuses Employees Give For Being Late To Work

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