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Every executive knows that talent is a company’s most important asset. And, managing that talent effectively can help improve company performance. Giving employees more autonomy around benefits, time-off requests, and other essential employment information can help accomplish this goal. When you offer a broad range of HR self-service options, your employees are more likely to develop a sense of ownership, and your HR department can stay focus on more strategic issues, rather than manual administrative details.

Want to eliminate your company’s use of paper for requesting time-off?  Here are 5 benefits of employee self-service with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand:

  1. Reduce administrative time and ease compliance: Rapidly request, review, and approve time off, shifting your time from administrative tasks to more productive ones. Time-Off requests are checked against company policies in real time to enforce rules like minimum balances or black-out periods.
  2. Empower people: Employees can manage their absence requests any time, anywhere, using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  3. Accurate, consistent leave management: Accurate and consistent leave of absence management minimizes the risk of employee grievances. Automated electronic administration of leave eligibility and requirements ensures cases are managed accurately, consistently, and thoroughly — every time.
  4. Time and attendance: Employees can update their own availability, request time off, view schedules, clock in and out, and trade shifts – letting them better manage their work-life balance.
  5. Automatic updates: Any update made to an employee’s HR record seamlessly flows across the application in real-time. There is no need for any duplicate data entry.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand employee self-service automates the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, and employer-specific leave policies and can be configured to match the needs of your organization to maintain balances, reduce manual process errors, and control absence costs. And, by removing manual tasks from the traditional leave management process, ATS employee self-service ensures accurate data and full visibility, is enabled when tracking and managing employee leave.

To download a demonstration, or to register for one of our bi-monthly webinars go to our website. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call; 866.294.2467.

Do you work for a company that expects you to respond to emails at all hours of the night? or worse, while you are on vacation with your family? Several studies, including one from Modern Family Index have uncovered that these long and unnecessary hours, that you are being asked to work is damaging to family life, with several employees feeling obliged to work longer hours to meet expectations. In other words, constantly sacrificing family time, all in the name of work.

6 ways to support working parents is an insightful article written by Sharon Florentine for CIO.com and reads, in part:

“Be flexible

One of the simplest strategies Levin recommends is flexibility. Whether through remote or flexible work arrangements, job-sharing, staggered hours or otherwise, working parents need flexibility. “Parents need to be able to go to doctor’s appointments, their kids’ baseball games, school conferences or to work from home if their child is sick. We say around here, ‘if it’s working at home, it’s working at work,’ so you have to make sure you’re doing what you can to make it work for parents at home,” Levin says.

Dependent care assistance

You don’t have to offer an on-site daycare, though many progressive businesses do, but you should consider offering some type of subsidy for child care assistance, Levin says. If you have child-free workers, consider offering elder care or another comparable benefit. Not only do these kinds of benefits, inspire loyalty, but they’re a great perk to mention when you’re trying to attract and hire talent.

Paid parental leave

Modern dads are more engaged than ever in all aspects of caregiving. As of 2010, fathers are the primary caregivers for about 25 percent of preschool-aged kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the federal government mandates parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, that time is unpaid, leaving many two-parent working families trying to make ends meet without one income. It’s even more difficult for single parents.

Create affinity groups

Another simple way to support working parents that is gaining traction is through the creation of support and/or affinity groups. “We are seeing informal, casual affinity groups working really well in the business world. For instance, a group for new moms to help them integrate back into the workplace, or a group for working dads to connect with each other,” Levin says. It can be a great way for employees to share information about perks and benefits, and to connect more closely with others at their company who are facing the same challenges.

Offer on-site perks

One of the major challenges faced by working parents is time, says Levin. Between work, household responsibilities and the demands of everyday life, it can seem impossible to get it all done.

Set an example for all parents

Companies are motivated by financial incentives, and you can’t afford for people to jump ship. Family benefits enhance productivity, keep people much more focused and they’re appreciative. Your turnover is reduced. It helps with recruiting talent, too, because while candidates might not ask out loud about these benefits, they go to Glassdoor and read about them, and that helps them want to work for you,” Levin says.

Some of today’s progressive-thinking companies offers several incentives to entice talent that include; games night, free snacks, coffee and tea. But, if your company wants to attract really good talent, and your list of perks does not include support for working parents, it’s time to redo that list. In the end, it is not only the right thing to do, it will also increase workforce productivity.

For many Canadian business leaders and decision-makers who want to improve their business performance and employee experience, ATS HCM Workforce Management Suite was designed to handle that task and power full-service HR offered by our Workforce Optimization workflow solution. ATS HCM Workforce Management cloud computing application helps companies to reap the full benefits of these tools and —supports people-driven business objectives. So, whether your business has 50 or 3000 employees, here is what you can expect of ATS HCM Workforce Management Suite:

Employee Onboarding and Administration-An integrated and robust cloud application built from the ground-up that enables workflow into a single source, solution that will increase efficiency and productivity.

Online HR Tools- With HR tools like benefits administration and employee self-service, employee no longer have to hand in manual time-off requests, instead they can go online and submit their vacation, requests, view their working hours and overtime.

Management Dashboard-The management dashboard provides unparallel visibility into critical workforce management intelligence, allowing you to stay on top of workforce trends and make informed decisions. You are too busy to waste time with manual processes — now you can instantly view your data without the need to build reports or export data.

Time and Attendance- Just about had enough of these spreadsheets? We get it. With ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, you get employee data in real-time, using anyone of our data collectors that include: Face Recognition, Biometric Time Clock, Web Punch or through any mobile device 24/7 365 days a year.

ATS HCM Workforce Management Suite has bevy of new and enhanced features, functionality, and user experience that’s based on today’s most innovative technology.

Want to know more? You can download a demo and see it in action for yourself, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

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

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

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

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

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

With ATS TimeWork OnDemand you can:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy and productive employees, is at the heart of an organization’s success. So, it goes without saying that using your employee’s time wisely is likely to help you reap favourable results. For instance, using an effective time and attendance application to track employee time will improve accurately boost morale and help you keep pace with regulatory compliance.

Using Time Wisely Is Critical To The Success Of Your Organization

For example, an ATS time and attendance tracking application analyzes employee work hours and provides you with real-time reporting. And, in addition to assisting payroll and HR personnel streamline labour costs, ATS time and attendance tracking application captures and reports on, the number of; sick, vacation, and paid-time-off days for each employee by week, quarter or per year and provides your company with the with tools to facilitate a smooth transition to payroll.

Additional benefits to ATS Time and Attendance includes:

Enhanced Efficiency: ATS time and attendance reduces the amount of time needed to perform routine tasks. For example, instead of asking payroll or HR personnel to manually input employee data into your payroll or ERP application, they can now submit that information electronically.

Reduction in Compliance Risk: ATS time and attendance eliminates the traditional and clucky time clock and welcomes best-of-breed manager and employee self-service dashboards, delivered in the cloud, complete with 21st HR and payroll functionality.

Control Attendance and Streamline Payroll Costs in the Cloud: ATS cloud computing time and attendance helps you reduce payroll costs with an intuitive and easy-to-use workflow processes- eliminates the burden of manual processes, thus improving operational processes.

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

How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview

March 28th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Leave Management | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview)

Odd ball questions at interviews have become the norm over the last several years, so much so, that job candidates almost expect them at some interviews. Of course no two companies are alike and while some recruiters like to think up clever ways to trip up candidates, other companies might simply have a set of questions (that’s devoid of trickery) that randomly use to help them determine if job candidates are a fit.

How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview

Now just imagine as a job candidate, you have aced an interview by proving your technical and educational proficiency, and have effectively (or so, you thought) answered how you can make an individual contribution to the company as a valued member of the team if you were hired. Then, all of a sudden the recruiter ask; “so where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The recruiter is likely trying to assess how serious you are about your career and how your ambitions fit within the scope of their plans. To some job candidates, this might seem like a natural question. Now image the same question being asked of a second year, university student who is interviewing for a job at a fast food restaurant. The university student know that they are the job in question is simply to help pay for tuition and so, this question might seem downright idiotic and would likely be followed by rolling their eyes, once the recruiter turns their back.

Here is a list of odd ball questions, written by Peter Jones for the Job Network that’s designed with the express purpose of catching an unsuspecting candidate off guard. Job hunters should be careful, not to come off as being snarky with their response, if they are faced with those questions during a job interview.

  1. “Why do you want this job?”

It is possible to have a good answer to this that talks about your passion for the company and the position and the field, but it’s also a pretty stupid way to phrase it—and not particularly nuanced. Get your revenge by quickly explaining your keen interest and then deflecting by ending your answer with another question. Such as: “I’d really love to hear more about what you’re currently working on here…”

  1. “Tell me a little bit about yourself”

Keep your response here short and sweet. Don’t actually talk about your life story. Instead, have an elevator pitch ready to encapsulate your career story—where you’re coming from and why you’re a perfect fit. Focus on the professional and finish it off painlessly and quickly.

  1. “Why should we hire you over all our other applicants?”

You can’t compare yourself to the other qualified applicants. You have no idea who they are or what their resumes look like. All you can do with this question is sell yourself. I.e. “I don’t know about the others, but I can tell you why you should hire me.” And then just pivot to your talents and value.

  1. “What should we know that isn’t on your resume?”

This is a curveball, and there are a lot of stupid ways to answer it, but it can also be a gift. Here’s your opportunity to explain gaps in employment, or to emphasize skills or experiences that would be relevant to this job but maybe didn’t make the cut on your documents. Frame your answer to show how you’d be great at this job.

  1. “How honest are you?”

This one is a real doozy. Who in their right mind would say: “Not at all; I’m a total liar.”? Get out of this one by giving a short and straightforward statement about your high ethical standards and remind your interviewer about your available references.

You can read the read the rest of the questions and answers from the blog Smart Answers to 10 Stupid Interview Questions

Bottom Line:
There is an art and the science to a job interview, try not to let (and be very delicate with that approach) the interviewer get carried away and become too artistic during the job interview process.

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Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes

February 13th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Employee Productivity | HR | Leave Management | Productivity | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes)

Some companies extolled the virtues of their corporate philosophy in print and through the recruitment stages as an organization that cherish talent. It’s one thing to brag about how wonderful you are as a company, but it’s something entirely different if those things you talked about during the interview process, to lure good talent, do not materialize, once these candidates, become employees of your organization.

Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes

In writing for The HR Digest, Diana Coker dispenses some advice that you should heed in an article titled Dumb HR Policies That Demotivate Employees. Here are some of the things to avoid:

Merging Sick Leave and Vacation
This is one of the stupid rules most offices are still upholding till date, despite deep sensitization on this policy. Forcing your employees to take their vacations because they are sick is the dumbest thing any manager would do. As a manager, would you personally like to have your precious vacation because you are sick? The answer is NO if you want to be sincere. We all plan our vacations and deserve the best moment from it. Offices that merge sick leave and vacation will not only demotivate but encourage their employees to come to work sick, which means low productivity as well as exposing the healthy workers to the sickness if it’s contagious. At the tail end, the sickness goes round to everyone susceptible to it – going round to individuals that would still bring them to the office for more decrease in productivity. If an employee is sick and cannot go home because it would take away his or her vacation, they’ll force themselves to work demotivated.

 Banning Social Media
Recognizing social media as a channel for pleasures and distraction is already offensive and deprives your employees of a social life. Freedom to social media like Facebook or LinkedIn can help your employees to gain access to information that would help improve their performances. You can put it that banning social media limits your employee. Even if the employees are not being very professional as you want, getting their job done should be a criterion. Some employees go worst by banning internet use, that’s completely outrageous and a fight to force down productivity. Instead, keep your employee’s attention focused but don’t take away the trust.

 Crushing self-expression
I still can’t believe that some offices still keep up with this policy. Can employees not display personal belongings on their desk? That’s one of the dumb HR policies that shouldn’t have made it to the 20th century. It’s true that work environments deserve some level of sanity, but at the same time, people deserve to be who they are. This policy creates anxiety at work; it increases stress and renders break times invalid. Allow your employees to create a homey atmosphere. That helps them to be happier at work which improves productivity.

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Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?

December 13th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?)

Yes, there really are Christmas holiday gifts that you can give and ones you should definitely avoid giving to your colleagues. There is nothing worse than giving a gift to a colleague at work, only to be met, with complete silence or a bewildered look on their face.

Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?

Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts extrapolated from an article titled Holiday Office Gift Giving Do’s and Don’ts: A Guide for Workers to Surviving the Season by Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers. And, if you are participating in your company’s annual Secret Santa gift giving these tips will help get you on the right track.

Some of the Don’ts include:
“Don’t assume the people in your office share your tastes.
Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a gift for the boss if he or she gives you one. But do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude.
Don’t assume the people in your office share your tastes”.

And some Do’s:
“Do spend time and effort to choose thoughtful gifts for each on your office list. And it’s best to stick to people’s hobbies or favorite activities when thinking of gifts. Another safe category would be a gift for the office, such as a gadget, paperweight, calendar, picture frame, pen and pencil set, etc. A last resort would be a gift card to a favorite retailer.

Do examine the company’s corporate culture for the types of gifts that might be acceptable. A gift for a co-worker at Google may not be the same thing you get for a co-worker at IBM. Rule of thumb: the more relaxed the corporate culture, the wider latitude you have in gift choices.

Do stay within your (and the office) budget for the gifts, and don’t go overboard on the gifts, especially for the boss”.

Unless you are working for a new start-up chances are you probably don’t know everyone in your company; especially those who are in different departments. Even at work, purchasing a gift is a personal gesture.  For example, don’t feel obligated to buy the female sales rep whose name you barely know a holiday gift.

Most of this information is just common sense. If you happen to be a new employee ask your colleagues who have been at the company longer than you have. They will likely steer you in the right direction.

Happy Holidays!

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The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers

December 7th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in HR | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance Canada | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers)

The annual boisterous and sometimes, boozy office Christmas party means HR has to be on high alert. This staple of corporate culture year-end party is usually seen by some, as a way to unwind, get to know our co-workers a bit better, boost our social capital or win the next promotion. Some employees might even use this time of the year to request a vacation day or two so, they can relax or use it to spend time with their family.

The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers

 

And, while you might be waiting with great anticipation for your company’s annual office party take heed from this list of ‘The Do’s And Don’ts Of Any Office Christmas Party’ by Lynda O’Neal in a recent Yahoo publication.

“Don’t: Enflame The Office Drama
The Etiquette School of New York, which offers training to large companies, universities and individuals, provides a long list of optimal behaviors for workplace holiday parties and devotes a large portion of text to small talk.

Do: Expand Your Network
Mingling outside of the team you interact with on a day-to-day basis could help you take away something positive from the event — a longer-lasting benefit, at least, than free drinks and hors d’oeuvres, Susan Bryant, a contributor to job search engine Monster’s career advice section, opined.

Don’t: Try To ‘Keep Up’ With The Heavy Drinkers
No one likes a hangover, but it can be easy to go overboard at office parties, especially if an open bar is involved. Stick to one drink per hour, and two in total if you can help it, manners blogger and author Maralee McKee advised in a post”.

 Bottom-line, use common sense before you attend your company’s office Christmas party, or you can always seek the advice of someone with the HR department or a trust colleague.

And remember, to relax and have fun. ‘Tis the season to be merry.

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