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Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?

November 24th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Forecasting | Overtime | Retail | Scheduling | Telecommuting Employees - (Comments Off on Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?)

Every boss appreciates a hard working employee, especially one who will volunteer to stay at work longer to complete that project and meet a deadline. And, in the world of retail and hospitality it’s almost become the norm that employees are expected to work long hours and some split shifts-especially during busy periods Christmas holidays included. But, if all your company’s projects have tight deadlines, does that mean you have to work overtime every week? As an employee in retail, does your schedule include a lot of spilt-shifts? Sooner or later, working these long hours will eventually take its toll.

We all understand that from time to time extra hours are required to get the job done. But, when does all this extra hours you are putting in start to affect your health and, more importantly starts alienating you from your loved ones?

Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?

In an article Minda Zetlin for Inc.com titled ‘10 Reasons to Stop Working So Hard’ she eloquently describes some of the drawbacks of working crazy hours. In no particular order, we selected five reasons out her list that clearly makes a case for why should not be working long hours every time:

“Most of the work is less important than you think-A few years ago, hospice worker Bronnie Ware famously published the top five regrets she heard from her dying patients. Those who’d had careers all regretted the number of hours they spent at work. But many of her patients also spoke of dreams they wished they’d fulfilled.

Your mood is a buzzkill-The kind of irritability and impatience that goes with being overworked and behind schedule will cast a black cloud over the people around you both at work and at home. If you’re an employee, it will damage your career. If you’re a small business owner, it will harm your business.

Sleep matters-“The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep,” Arianna Huffington said in a 2011 TED talk. She would know. She fainted from exhaustion and broke her cheekbone and is now something of a sleep evangelist. “I was recently having dinner with a guy who bragged that he’d gotten only four hours’ sleep the night before,” she continued. She considered retorting: “If you had gotten five, this dinner would have been a lot more interesting.”

Your judgment is impaired-The research is conclusive: sleep deprivation impairs decision-making. As a leader, poor judgment is something you can’t afford. Crossing some tasks off your to-do list, handing them to someone else, or finishing some things late is well worth it if it means you bring your full concentration and intelligence to the tough decisions your job requires

You suck when it counts-I can tell you from experience that going into a meeting tired and distracted means you will suck in that meeting. You’ll be bad at generating new ideas, finding creative solutions to problems, and worst of all you’ll suck at listening attentively to the people around you. That disrespects them and wastes their time as well as yours.”

Bottom line: Spending long hours at work might help you meet deadlines, but those long hours, especially when they are done over a long period of time, can affect both your physical and, yes mental state. When you spend a significant part of your day working, there is not enough time to rest and recharge.

 

 

Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement

April 26th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Employee Scheduling | Forecasting | Hospitality Industry | Labour cost | Overtime | Retail | Scheduling | Workforce Analytics | Workforce Scheduling Software - (Comments Off on Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement)

The latest brouhaha over employees being scheduled for on-call shifts hit a crescendo, a few days ago, revealing a practice that is frowned upon my many workers, many of whom, have cited the effects these on-call shifts are having on workers ability to plan activities outside of work. It’s possible that some of these companies are using a variety of spreadsheets and other manual methods to schedule employees.

If your organization is using an outdated scheduling system, chances are, you could be wasting valuable time and money. ATS Workforce Scheduling system is powerful and robust software that provides broad-based capabilities to help companies better manage their business and their labour force. The ATS Workforce Employee Scheduling targets small, mid-size and large-scale operations in retail, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and services.

Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement

ATS Workforce Scheduler Includes:

Budgeting and Forecasting
ATS budgeting and forecasting module features an independent, definable structure that supports the creation, editing and reporting of business volume and workforce forecasts. With a wide variety of options for defining productivity tasks, standards, drivers and parameters, ATS Budgeting and Forecasting tool provides unprecedented detail and accuracy of workforce requirements.

Eradication of Scheduling Conflicts
ATS Workforce Scheduler allows managers to see details of how a team of workers is scheduled through the day, coupled by the use of an advanced heuristic algorithm that enables companies to meet forecast needs by developing an optimized schedule of employee work assignments. ATS Workforce Scheduler has the distinction of being able to build individual employee shift and job preferences into weekly work schedules. ATS Workforce Scheduler provides real-time employee availability, thus, allowing managers to immediately correct any necessary conflicts, due to overlapping shifts, and overtime. With this unique feature, the software will reduce workforce turnover and increase employee satisfaction.

Ability to Schedule Employees in Real-Time
ATS Workforce Scheduler provides updates in real-time. For example, once a manager has completed their staff schedulers they can send it to their employees through mass updates. Employees, in turn, can view their schedules online from any device that’s connected to the Internet.

Easy to Use Tools
Get the peace of mind you deserve by making sure you have the right people scheduled at the right time and place. With ATS Workforce Scheduler, you can schedule employees by department, shift, or multiple sites. ATS Workforce Scheduler automatically calculates the number of hours each employee is scheduled to work and compares it to the number of hours they wish to work each week.

Reporting Capabilities
ATS Workforce Scheduler creates intuitive analytics that are based on your business and workforce requirements, relevant work and shift rules, and individual employee information.

In conclusion, with a growing number of regional, state and provincial governments clamping down on on-calls shifts, manual spreadsheets will not help your organization. What you need is a robust solution that will reduce time spent on scheduling, save costs, increase productivity and employee engagement.

To see a demonstration of ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution, go to our website. You can also join the conversation on: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

 

Some Recent reports are shedding positive light on the manufacturing sector and its possible comeback. While many manufacturing companies disappeared during the 2008 crisis, some remained and had adapted to the changes like cloud-computing technologies around them to remain relevant.

An article written by Bill Cornely for Forbes.com reads in part;

“The U.S. manufacturing sector is coming back, we learn from the Federal Reserve’s industrial production report. Last month’s gain was 0.9 percent, more than making up all the ground lost in the early months of this year. Looking forward, production will continue to expand, but don’t expect a lot more factory jobs.

Manufacturing is the largest component of industrial production. The overall industrial numbers are pushed around by utility production, which rises or fall as weather is unusually warm or cold. Manufacturing is thus a better gauge of underlying economic activity than industrial production.”

The article concludes with the following; “It’s not going to be easy sailing for factories. The world is a very competitive place. But look for further gains by American manufacturers in the year to come.”

For many years manufacturing in Canada and the US outperformed other industries by leaps and bounds and created well paying jobs for thousands of workers. And, while the number of manufacturing companies today is, probably half the size of what it use to be, the ones still standing have had to endure a great deal to survive. And to that, we say Kudos to them!

To learn about ATS go to our website. You can also register for a live demonstration of our intuitive manufacturing time and attendance solution. To reach us by phone, call; (866) 294.2467.

Is Manufacturing Really Making a Comeback?

 

Practitioners in the field of psychiatry have been saying for years that most us are overworked and too stressed to enjoy life. The answer to this has been a proliferation of companies offering recognition and loyalty programs designed to help executives and employees better deal with the rigorous work schedules and achieve the much sort after, work-life-balance.

If you happen to be in a job that requires 11 hour (perhaps more) work days, here are some suggested books on meditation by David G Allan in an article, titled “Is this the answer to office stress.”

The list of recommended readings include:

Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan. In his book on mindfulness and happiness, Meng offers meditation techniques he introduced at Google that range from basic to one (my personal favourite) that asks you to visualise yourself as a force multiplier for goodness, as if you are (my words) some kind of Buddhist superhero.

Stop, Breathe & Think. This app has a growing library of meditations. These all start the same, which is repetitive, and the narrator’s voice so soothing it threatened to put me to sleep. But guided meditations can be useful for beginners and the app tracks your progress, as if you were going to a transcendental gym.

The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hahn. The renowned pacifist Buddhist monk has written many volumes, but this classic has a whole chapter of meditations, some as little as 10 breaths long. The narration contains others, so it’s worth reading the entire short book.

Whether the countless hours we spend working overtime at the office is by choice, or the subtle pressure we feel when we see our colleagues do it, the experts all agree, it takes a toll on our health. Hopefully, at some point, we will the take time to smell the roses.

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 and eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate payroll departments.

To learn more, download a demonstration and you can see why today’s leading organizations choose ATS.

Who Doesn’t Need A Little Relief From Work?

Reviewing The Annual Employee Performance Review

June 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Cloud Time and Attendance | Overtime | Scheduling | Time and Attendance Solution - (Comments Off on Reviewing The Annual Employee Performance Review)

It’s hard to believe that the employee annual performance review still exist in many companies. Since the realities of today’s workforce is so different from say, 1995 it’s hard to imagine why some companies cannot align their performance reviews to the 21st century. And while many employees feel that this is nail-biting event have passed its best before date, there are probably a few supervisors with an axe to grind with their employees who look forward to this antiquated practice with some zeal.

In the meantime, there growing list of studies that support either eliminating the practice or at least changing the way in which is conducted — but the question remains, why are so many companies still holding on to a practice that’s counterproductive?

In an article by Anne Fischer, titled “Are annual performance reviews necessary?” for Forbes magazine. A couple of paragraphs from the article read in part:

“If you’ve ever been frustrated, annoyed, or otherwise perturbed by annual performance reviews — whether giving them, getting them, or both — here’s something that may surprise you: Not even the HR people in charge of overseeing yearly appraisals really think they’re worth doing.

One of the many strange quirks in the current labor market is that, although unemployment is high, people who have jobs are not hesitating to ditch them for a better offer. A new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers says voluntary turnover has increased by 14% since 2010 and is still rising. The No. 1 reason people give for quitting, according to the U.S. Department of Labor: They don’t feel that their efforts are recognized or appreciated by their direct bosses.”

Bottom-line: the hope is that the few remaining companies that still hold on to their annual employee performance review concept, will one day see the light and ditch them. It should be noted that corporate cultures do not change overnight— companies, after all are run by people and its being well documented, human beings adapt to chance slowly.

Reviewing The Annual Employee Performance Review

 

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 and eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate payroll departments.

To see a live demonstration of our cloud-based time and attendance application, go to our website. You can also contact one of account executives by calling; 1.866.294.2467.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now the rearview mirror, and retailers are now focusing their attention on one of the world’s biggest shopping season. Yes this bonanza of a holiday season always lives up to its shopping hype. So, cue the credit cards and upcoming mad dash to the malls and, with retailers rubbing their hands in glee-you know the Christmas season is upon us.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we chose three separate top 10 holiday tips from different websites that geared towards businesses and consumers:

From Holiday Best.Com “Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Kids 2014”

Books
You cannot go wrong with books, and that’s one of the definite facts of live. You can get your kids educational books such as history books, encyclopedia, classical fictions, literature, you name it.

You can get them paperback editions of their favourite graphic novels, a biography of their favourite music artist, or even inspirational books such as the “Chicken Soup” series.” The entire list can be found on their website.

From Kate Taylor, Staff Writer at Entreprener.com

Collect data
“If you collected information on your staffing, hours and sales last year, this holiday season is going to be much easier. If you didn’t – a common small business mistake – now’s the time to play catch up. You might learn the hard way when you overstaff or understaff, but at least next year, you won’t have to deal with the unknown… again.” You can read the top ten list in its entirety on entrepreneur.com

Using a robust time and attendance solution to collect, manage and assimilate data will leave you worry free this holiday season.

From Harvard Business Review, The Top 7 Management Tips

Pretend You Have What You Want:

Your mind is often your greatest tool, but as anyone who has been taken over by fear, frustration, or worry knows, it can also be your greatest enemy. Whether you’re concerned that you don’t have the respect of your peers or that a customer isn’t calling you back because she’s gone to a competitor, overthinking the issue only serves to compound the worry. Instead, pretend you have what you want. Act as if your peers respect you or as if the customer is loyal. These may be fantasies, but what you’re worrying about may be as well. It’s better to stop the worry and act confidently; chances are better that you’ll get what you want.

If you happen to be a payroll or HR manager and a new time and attendance system is on your list of things for this holiday season, ask your manager to download a demonstration from our website. It comes complete with an ROI tool kit, finance options and a variety of bells and whistles.

Top Ten Christmas Holiday Season Tips, Lists and Gifts

It is well documented that labour costs is one the highest expense of any company and, the companies who automate their business processes stand a better chance of obtaining financial health with their organization. When costs are inaccurate, senior management cannot make the best business decisions, and that can leave an organization in disarray. For example, when the gap between forecasting, labour costs and production is difficult to predict this leaves everyone guessing about efficiencies and true costs.

Depending on the size of the organization, manufacturers have to deal with collective bargaining agreements, comply with government agencies, and customers, and at the same time meet, challenging production schedules. To do this profitably, you have to keep labour costs low, while at the same time increase productivity.

With ATS TimeWork for job tracking and labour allocation you can:

  • Provide faster response- to customers and efficient release of work to the shop floor.
  • Automate workforce scheduling- Schedule the best available employees to meet forecasted demand.
  • Track labour costs -associated with specific jobs, departments, or production-based activities.
  • Obtain real-time information on employee attendance and job costing activities.
  • on production issues and actual costing data.
  • Remain in compliance with collective bargaining agreements (CBA) and government requirements.
  • Track employee activities- on production lines with a variety of employee time clocks and barcode scanners.
  • View real-time reports sent directly to your mobile device so you know who is working at which station, at any given time.

Controlling labour costs in a dynamic manufacturing environment is a challenge onto itself, leaving that task to chance or worse, through manual data collection can create even more headaches. ATS TimeWork is built to handle the constant changes in cost- conscious manufacturing environments. ATS TimeWork Workforce Management Software encompasses broad flexibility, scalability and user-friendly dashboards for production personnel, payroll, and finance and HR personnel.

To view a customized demonstration, go our website or call 1.866.294.2467.

ATS Time And Attendance For Manufacturing Improves Profitability

Are You Keeping Accurate Data To Handle Potential Issues Of Back-Wages?

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Employee Time Clock | Leave Management | Scheduling | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are You Keeping Accurate Data To Handle Potential Issues Of Back-Wages?)

The issue of back-wages rears its ugly head from time to time when an employee either leaves a company voluntarily or otherwise. If that employee leaves unceremoniously said employee may seek back wages a few weeks or several months afterwards. The companies who have solid record keeping, in the form of a robust time and attendance system can access records of employment (ROE) at the click of a mouse. Those who rely on paper time cards or antiquated time tracking methods can find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time trying to locate those same records. And because, manual time tracking can be fraught with errors, it’s more likely that those records will not be accurate.

In Canada and the US, the amount of years that employers are required to keep records of employment (ROE) differs across provinces and jurisdictions. In the US  under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and in Canada under Canada Labour Code employers are required to have proof of overtime wages paid, straight-time and overtime hours worked, payroll deductions and other wage-related materials. By deploying a time and attendance system, companies reduce the risk of missing work related data that is required by law in the event of a dispute.

Related Benefits Include:

Scheduling- Companies can assign shifts to their employees with our powerful and easy-to-use scheduling software. The application can create conflict-free schedules copy shifts and allows you to import schedules.

Track Absences- Keep track of attendance with a variety of employee time clocks. ATS has up to-the-minute reporting tools to let you easily track who is coming in late and/or who is missing shifts.

Leave Management- ATS TimeWork allows for automated calculation of benefit accruals and balances. The application provides unlimited attendance history and online viewing of real-time employee leave requests. Employees can register their time-off requests through any device (smart phone, tablet or workstation) that has Internet access. Managers get instant notification through an e-mail and can approve the requests online.

TimeWork On-Demand- eliminates need for paper time sheets and error prone manual processes and helps control overtime.  The ATS time and attendance solution takes the guess—work out of employee scheduling and payroll calculation.

Work and Pay Policies- ATS can configure user-defined business policies of an organization and grants you access to best-in-class workforce management reports. The database allows for policies such as; overtime, job costing, forecasting and budgeting, overtime equalization, lunch and break periods, rounding, holiday pay, shift differentials and weekend premiums.

Using an ATS time and attendance will help you stay in compliance, increase productivity and best of all, streamline payroll costs. As for those records of employment, you now have those at your fingertips from anywhere and at anytime.

To learn more about how ATS TimeWork can help you reduce payroll costs, contact us. You can also join us on Friday, May 23rd at 1:00pm for a free time and attendance webinar.

Are You Keeping Accurate Data To Handle Potential Issues Of Back-Wages

Sharpen Your Competitive Edge With ATS Time & Attendance

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Employee Self Service | Hosted Time and Attendance Solution | Payroll | Scheduling | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Sharpen Your Competitive Edge With ATS Time & Attendance)

With customers in every industry, ATS market-leading workforce management (WFM) software is a proven solution – built to support North America’s small, mid and largest organizations. Customers utilizing ATS time and attendance solution have access to on-demand data and workforce analytical tools-that helps streamline business processes within their organization.

Leverage ATS Workforce Management Solutions through:

Employee Time and Attendance
Provide your workforce with multiple ways to record and access the data, applications, and analytical tools they need to perform their work as efficiently as possible.

  • Eradicate paper timesheets and increase productivity with ATS automated time management solution for both HR and Payroll Practitioners
  • Enable employees to request time-off and see their schedules and accumulated over-time for any given period
  • Bring your distributed workforce together in an employee interaction center
  • Provide managers with a self-service portal to track vacation and other time-off requests
  • Streamline time clock data gathering management to boost resource effectiveness and control labor costs

Payroll and Human Resources Enablers
ATS solutions support business growth with a robust and single system for single and multi-site locations.

  • Gain instant access to attendance trends with analytic reporting tools
  • Automate and manage employee accrual benefits
  • Consolidate manual based process into one automated single platform
  • Manage payroll processes and compliance in every major country

 Analytics and Workforce Planning
Gain up-to-the-minute insight into your workforce with ATS TimeWork On-Demand or our On-Premises application. Plan and forecast better with predictive analytics and improve key performance indicators (KPIs).

  • Harness Finance, Payroll and HR  reporting analytics for informed forecasting workforce planning
  • Improve decision making with deeper insight into attendance management
  • Monitor and quantify how human resources strategy aligns with your company’s  time and attendance business goals

You can run your business on a foundational workforce management solution that large enterprises and midsize companies trust to manage their business. You can streamline benefits management and simplify the data integration processes. ATS time and attendance solution supports the most complex payroll calculations and HR tasks — from premiums to overtime, job costing and employee scheduling.

With ATS time and attendance businesses can achieve real-time insight and enable operational excellence and innovation for the business processes you need – today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future.

To learn more connect with us on LinkedIn or our Twitter Feed. You can also download a demonstration or attend one of our webinars.

Sharpen Your Competitive End With ATS Time and Attendance

Anatomy of an Ideal Workforce Management Solution: Just Keep It Simple

April 8th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Scheduling | TimeWork | Web-Based Time and Attendance Software | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Anatomy of an Ideal Workforce Management Solution: Just Keep It Simple)

The key to an employee attendance solution should be one borne out of simplicity and flexibility. At the heart of the product should be its ability to track attendance. To some companies, all that matters are the “bells and whistles”. However, being able to activate different modules within your system and its ability to manage your company core requirements should be top of mind.ATS Time & Attendance helps mid and large organizations automate attendance by replacing manual time sheets.

Solution Benefits to an ATS Time and Attendance includes:

Flexibilibity
ATS time and attendance is offered as both cloud-based an on-premises powered by a robust platform with a plethora of modules designed to grow with your business. ATS time and attendance is rapid to implement, adaptable to your business’ needs and simple to use. ATS time and attendance On-Premises application uses industry best practices and business intelligence process flows designed to help accelerate the deployment of the solution. ATS deployment strategies help to dramatically shorten the learning curve for both administrative and operational users.

Simplicity at its core
ATS employs a consistent implementation methodology complete, with project roadmaps all designed to stay on time and on budget.  Replacing paper timesheets with an ATS solution allows you to leverage your time and attendance data to enhance the productivity of your workforce.

Solution designed for the needs of different industries

ATS time and attendance integrates to third-party applications and, at the same time streamlines business processes to include; job costing, scheduling, overtime, holiday calculations and time-off requests—within one single software system.

ATS delivers workforce management software process efficiency across a variety of verticals, complemented by the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Our next-generation time and attendance software will help you optimize business performance across your entire enterprise.

To test drive ATS TimeWork On-Demand, go to our website. You can also follow us on Google Plus, LinkedIn or Twitter. You can also register for our live and informative webinar“Maximize Business Value with a Workforce Management Software”  on April 25th.

Anatomy of an Ideal Workforce Management Solution, Just Keep It Simple