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Ease-of-use, intuitive and simple are the buzzwords applied to many of today’s applications by vendors in the; time and attendance, to enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources information systems (HRIS), payroll and/or human capital management applications (HCM) space. However, with the pace of technology and all that it encompasses including; machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud analytics–some of today’s software solutions are far from simple.

An Application That’s Easy To Use, Will Increase User Adoption

Is it possible to have a solution that has the best of what’s today’s advanced technology offers, and at the same time, is easy to use? Well, if you are using an ATS time and attendance solution, the simple answer is yes, you can get both. Whether you are an advanced user or a novice, ATS time and attendance solutions gives you the best of both worlds.

Benefits Include:

  1. Features: Are very important in order to make a solution easy to use without heavy customizations that create unwanted barriers to further innovation. ATS time and attendance is powerful, yet user-friendly, with real-time automated tasks, and gives you access to your workforce – wherever you are in the world.
  2. Cloud Computing: Built on a solid cloud platform, ATS time and attendance enables HR and payroll practitioners to streamline labour costs and enhance visibility, accuracy, and control over workforce costs. ATS time and attendance cloud updates, and intuitive compliance dashboards, makes it easy to comply with federal, provincial and state work-rules. And, the added flexibility, of the ATS cloud computing platform enables enterprises of all size to handle the most rigorous requirements around collective bargaining agreements.
  3. Analytics and Business Intelligence: ATS time and attendance supports the full HR and time tracking journey, from on boarding, to data migration, and

on-boarding, to analytics that will turn the tide of your business and will boost growth and productivity– all derived, from a modern user interface.

Want to know more? Go to our website and to get access to bi-monthly webinars, download a demonstration or contact us at 866.294.2467.

Today, companies face rapid and unprecedented technological changes whose velocity and breadth will impact every area of their business. And, emerging technologies, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, means even your customers, are more connected than ever before- thus, staying with the status quo is no longer an option.

5 Tips For Launching ATS Time And Attendance

The cost of a poor time and attendance implementation isn’t just about underutilized investments and missed business goals. It’s about not being able to access meaningful data when you need it and figuring out if your people are being utilized properly. So, what are the ramifications of not having a successful implementation? Here are 5 tips:

Plan: Set out a reasonable implementation timeline and scope. Do you have a project leader? If not, assign one and give the person the requisite amount of time to see the project through completion. If, on the other hand, the project is another task on the ‘to do’ list, competing with other priorities, expect that your implementation may take more time. Make good use of the ATS Implementation Steps which encompasses; process – plan, education, testing, validate, deploy. Don’t underestimate the time and resources it will take to complete the project successfully.

Obtain Management Project Support: Identify an executive within your management ranks who can meets regularly with your internal project team. What are the team challenges? Your management executive may not need to know every minute detail, but they need to be aware of the challenges (if there are any) that are causing unnecessary delays to the project, and they need to help prioritize competing tasks.

Accurate Data: Are you coming from old data gathering processes? For example: spreadsheets, an antiquated punch clock and/or manual time sheets? If so, you may need to clean up your data and understand the importance of setup in your new system with your implementation analyst. Your time and attendance system is only as good as the data in it. Use this opportunity to decide what data conversions or interfaces you will need: ERP, CRM, HRIS, Payroll or two-way interfaces.

Customize Only If It’s Required: Customizations equates to higher costs. ATS TimeWork OnDemand contains a plethora of analytic reporting and business intelligence tools, and in most cases, does not require customizations. If you feel that you need the system to be customized, just remember that it needs to be scoped and tested prior to implementation.

Validate And Go-Live: Upon completing your validation and testing, you should conduct a ‘User Acceptance Test’ of the data configuration. Users (HR, Payroll and Operational Managers) should be able to demonstrate their system knowledge prior to system implementation. As soon as you go live, allow time for the system to ‘settle out,’ then tackle the important items that surface to continue your business process improvements.

At the beginning of every ATS time and attendance implementation, organizations typically start with a vision of how they see their organization utilizing ATS TimeWork OnDemand to its fullest potential. The vision is often focused on streamlining processes, ease of use and providing strategic value to increase employee engagement. During a time and attendance implementation, it is important to remain focused on the vision; however, many other key factors contribute to a successful implementation.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance, or to download a demonstration or attend a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website. To reach an account executive, call; 866.294.2467.

Benefits Of Working At A Standing Desk

May 9th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Careers | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Benefits Of Working At A Standing Desk)

Despite numerous published reports (including ones from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) about the health hazards of sitting for long stretches at a time each day, in front of computer screens with without taking occasional breaks, the practice continues in organizations, small and large alike. If there are no changes to these behaviours, experts predict, healthcare costs will continue to rise.

In his article, for Smithsonianmag.com, titled ‘Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks’ Joseph Stromberg, offers some suggestions that, could help curb this issue, They include:

“Reduced Risk of Obesity
Levine’s research began as an investigation into an age-old health question: why some people gain weight and others don’t. He and colleagues recruited a group of office workers who engaged in little routine exercise, put them all on an identical diet that contained about 1000 more calories than they’d been consuming previously and forbid them from changing their exercise habits. But despite the standardized diet and exercise regimens, some participants gained weight, while others stayed slim.

Benefits Of Working At A Standing Desk

Lower Long-Term Mortality Risk
Because of the reduced chance of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, a number of studies have found strong correlations between the amount of time a person spends sitting and his or her chance of dying within a given period of time.A 2010 Australian study, for instance, found that for each extra hour participants spent sitting daily, their overall risk of dying during the study period (seven years) increased by 11 percent. A 2012 study found that if the average American reduced his or her sitting time to three hours per day, life expectancy would climb by two years.

Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Scientific evidence that sitting is bad for the cardiovascular system goes all the way back to the 1950s, when British researchers compared rates of heart disease in London bus drivers (who sit) and bus conductors (who stand) and found that the former group experienced far more heart attacks and other problems than the latter.

Since, scientists have found that adults who spend two more hours per day sitting have a 125 percent increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks. Other work has found that men who spend more than five hours per day sitting outside of work and get limited exercise were at twice the risk of heart failure as those who exercise often and sit fewer than two hours daily outside of the office. Even when the researchers controlled for the amount of exercise, excessive sitters were still 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure than those who were standing or moving”.

Bottom Line:
Too much sitting for long periods is bad for your health and can result in a variety of ailments. And if you happen to be in a job that requires a lot sitting through the day, it does not help. The good news- as attitudes shift, consumer demand emerges, companies will take heed. And for those companies who do not have standing desks, yet, hopefully, they will encourage employees to take more breaks and/or stand after 20 or 30 minutes of sitting. Change always moves slowly.

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Here is an example of the how the future of work has changed. Cold calling used to be the way to reach new customers. Try that in 2018 and you are likely to get lots of voice mails. In fact, cold calling has been dead for many years and some companies have acknowledged this and made changes in how their reps reach new customers. There are however, a small minority of companies, who refuse to accept this practice is passé and so, they stubbornly ask their sales people to dialing those numbers in the hope that they might reach some customers, who are waiting by their phone to get a call from a sales rep. Change, sometimes has to be disruptive, for it to be accepted and the use of robotics and the pace of automation will continue to increase, despite resistance to it, by those in the minority who hang on to past practices.

Are You Ready For The Future Of Work?

Christy Petty’s article for Gartner 6 Future Work Trends sheds some light on the how the way in which we approach work has and will continue to change

Some of these work trends include:

“Digital dexterity is monitored and measured: The growing recognition of the importance of digital dexterity creates a demand for measurement, which aligns with analytics becoming more pervasive in the enterprise. f Social science-based surveys and observations are increasingly accepted to collect relevant digital dexterity data, which can be combined with machine-generated IT, HR and business data to measure workforce digital dexterity.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will prevail: The conversion of rich input patterns into data that can be readily processed by conventional software is at the heart of today’s AI hype. AI will have a profound impact on how work is assigned, completed and evaluated. Cain suggests that although AI will provide a number of workplace trends in the coming years, workers are experiencing the impact of robobosses and smart workplaces right now.

Robobosses on the rise: While employees will not report to an AI construct, the implementation of robobosses will lead to more automated management duties and more online worker activities. There is opportunity for greater tracking of worker activities and performance. This data can be run against a series of algorithms that can programmatically offer assistance in improving performance or meeting goals.

The gig economy will thrive: Organizations will increasingly learn and borrow from freelance management and gig economy platforms, which dynamically match short-term work requirements directly with workers who have the relevant knowledge, experience, skills, competencies and availability. This will mean moving away from traditional structures to more fluid arrangements.

Employees get work through employment marketplaces: Freelancer marketplaces make it easier for employers to tap into a set of contractors for short-term work commitments. In parallel, professional social networking platforms and recruiting technology providers have been investing heavily in matching algorithms to pair up talent supply and demand.

Jobs get deconstructed: Traditionally, organizations have invested in mapping out clear career paths for employees. While workers need a purpose-focused direction, a portfolio of experiences builds knowledge and skills and allows for the practice and improvement of competencies. Employees will increasingly find the accumulation of experiences to be more realistic than a carefully plotted-out career path”.

Some things were somewhat predictable like cloud computing as it slowly began to edge onsite Server installed applications. But who could predict Apple’s dominance in mobility computing or Google’s search engine literally taking over the world, leaving competitors in its dust? The future of work and its trends will not affect all organizations equally, so it’s important for senior executives to understand where their organization is right now, where it’s going, and how they plan to embrace change as it happens.

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The right workforce management technology will streamline HR and payroll processes and, as result, this will improve operational goals. Yet, despite the availability of Workforce Management Cloud solutions, many businesses have not made the move to adopt them or are unaware of the benefits to their business.  For some organizations, the incentive to make changes is simply not part of their corporate policy, unless their current legacy dies- and for others, they do not feel it is worth the time and effort to implement a new system. Before deciding against a cloud-based workforce management solution, it is helpful to be aware of some of the benefits and significant return on investment (ROI) that comes with implementing such a system.

5 Reasons To Use Workforce Management Technology

Here are 5 reasons to use Workforce Management Technology:

Workforce Management technology is Cost-Effective
ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud reduces the need for IT support, Server upgrades or the purchase of software licenses, while providing access from any location, with any device 24/7. ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud allows multiple users to access the same application simultaneously.

Decreased Learning Curve for Managers and Employees
Navigating through ATS easy-to-use, Workforce Management in the Cloud dashboards consolidates numerous tasks, leaving more time to focus on vital HR and other business-related issues.  With ATS Workforce Management in the cloud, employees can access personal data to review; benefits information, requests time-off, review hours worked, thereby relieving HR from time-consuming data management.

Increased Performance
The intuitiveness, performance and flexibility of ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud is a vital tool for HR and payroll managers. Accessing the ATS cloud infrastructure allows each user to have the flexibility to work from any smart-phone, tablet or workstation.

Flexible Data Integration and Compatibility
ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud offers the ability to integrate different applications seamlessly and with minimal effort, which can save both time and money. And, whether its; payroll, ERP, or HRIS this compatibility allows the two systems to integrate with small increments, so users can use the new system without being overloaded with entirely new information.

Automatic Upgrades
With ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud, upgrades happen automatically. There are no additional costs associated with the upgrades, thus there is minimal employee involvement as upgrades or updates become available. ATS cloud architecture assures you of always working with the latest version. No more down time while updates are processing.

Switching to ATS Workforce Management in the cloud immediately will transform and increase the operational efficiency of the HR department of any organization. ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud allows your organization to streamline payroll costs, while improving workforce productivity.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management in the Cloud or to view a demonstration, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach us by phone, call 866.294.2467.

Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work

April 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work)

Employee stress comes in variety of forms and it can create an impact on themselves, their colleagues and your company. As a leader, managing employee stress is also part of your responsibility and to ignoring it shows a lack of regard for the well-being of your workforce. Stress in the workplace can have a negative impact on productivity and will eventually lead to company turnover, absenteeism, employee burnout as well as an increase in medical benefits and insurance claims.

Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work

In no particular order, here are three tips on how you can help your employees deal with stress from an article titled ‘Help Your Team Manage, Stress Anxiety, And Burnout’ by  Rich Fernandez for Harvard Business Review

  1. Exercise empathy and compassion:It doesn’t cost anything to be kind, and the benefits for managers are great. Empathy and compassion significantly improve employee performance, engagement, and profitability. A seminal research project at the University of New South Wales, which looked at 5,600 people across 77 organizations, found that “the single greatest influence on profitability and productivity within an organization…is the ability of leaders to spend more time and effort developing and recognizing their people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering co-operation among staff.” Additionally, the research found that the ability of a leader to be compassionate – “to understand people’s motivators, hopes, and difficulties and to create the right support mechanism to allow people to be as good as they can be” – has the greatest correlation with profitability and productivity. Empathy and compassion are good for people and good for business.
  2. Allow time to disconnect outside of work: According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, workers around the world spend 34 to 48 hours at work each week on average, and many engage in work or related activities after business hours. McKinsey Quarterly suggests that “always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.” And one of the most significant findings in employee pulse surveys that I’ve seen in companies large and small is that employees have an exceptionally hard time disconnecting from work.

3.Model and encourage well-being practices:  Worker stress levels are rising, with over half of the global workforce (53%) reporting that they are closer to burnout than they were just five years ago, according to a Regus Group survey of over 22,000 business people across 100 countries. And while stress can be contagious, the converse is also true: when any member of a team experiences well-being, the effect seems to spread across the entire team. According to a recent Gallup research report that surveyed 105 teams over six three-month periods, individual team members who reported experiencing well-being were 20% more likely to have other team members who also reported thriving six months later. Takeaway: understand and prioritize activities that promote well-being for yourself and your team. They could include such things as offering personal development tools, like mindfulness and resilience training; explicitly encouraging people to take time for exercise or other renewal activities, such as walking meetings; or building buffer time into deliverables calendars so that people can work flexibly and at a manageable pace.

Bottom Line:

Every job, regardless of the industry has a certain level of stress that every employee will encounter and while it’s up employees how they deal with the stress, it’s also up to you and will say a lot about your leadership.  The days of saying ‘leave your personal problems at home’ are gone. Always make time for your employees, especially when they approach you with problems, regardless if the issue is work related or a personal one.

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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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Millennials sometimes get a raw deal by some people. However, what that small minority of people who keep bashing them, fail to realize is that millennials are the future – and will someday control the levels of; government, private businesses and academia to name a few.

7 Tips To Help Your Company Understand Millennials

Here a poignant list of things your company should know about this next generation of bright and ambitious individuals. This list is extrapolated from an article titled Seven Things CEOs Need to Know About Millennials by Meghan M. Biro of Talent Culture.

  1. Benefits: It’s not all about the “Benjamins.” When Millennial employees were asked what they value most from an employer, you may be surprised to learn that money wasn’t most important. In fact, cash bonuses came in third with training and development and flexible work hours taking first and second place respectively. What’s more revealing is that almost three quarters (73 percent) of millennials favor the notion of being able to customize their benefits packages to better suit their individual needs.
  2. They want to be challenged: This generation wants to know that their job offers personal learning and development opportunities above everything else. They also want to feel confident that when accepting a new position, there will be opportunities for advancement within the organization. In fact, 52 percent said it would make a prospective employer more attractive.
  3. A pat on the back goes a long way: One of the strongest traits of many millennials is the desire of frequent feedback from their superiors, especially praise for a job well done. As the survey indicated, 51 percent said feedback should be given very frequently or continually.
  4. They aren’t impressed with your diversity: Generally speaking, millennials think you can do better when it comes to promoting equal opportunity in the workplace. More than half (55 percent) of respondents agreed that even though organizations discuss diversity, not everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
  5. They think you’re stuck in your ways: Millennials are continually calling out company leaders for their “old-school,” and outdated management styles. More than 40 percent of millennials surveyed felt their use of technology was not always understood or appreciated.
  6. They’re sensitive about what older workers think of them: Millennials sometimes get a bum rap and at work, 38 percent think it might have something to do with the inability of older senior management to relate to them. Whether it’s rigid hierarchies and outdated management styles (cited by 65 percent of survey respondents,) or not understanding the way millennials use technology (46 percent,) they feel misunderstood by older colleagues.
  7. They’re loyal, but only to a point: Many millennials (38 percent) admit that they are keeping an eye out for new opportunities even when they are not actively seeking a new position. In other words, if they feel their talents are being wasted or that their needs are not being met, they won’t hesitate to move on to other opportunities.

Millenials are not as bad as they are made out to be. Let’s remember that it was not too long ago that today’s, 50 year plus cohorts, who blame today’s millennials for everything that’s wrong with the workforce environment — was also criticized by the generation that came before them. Some might call this merely the cycle of life.

To learn about ATS and it’s Workforce Management Suite, go to our website. You can also register for a bi-monthly webinar or demonstration and gain access to a variety of time and attendance and attendance brochures.To reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

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The traditional way of work is on its way out and is not coming back, much to angst of some. Many North Americans, in particular, millennials are ditching the traditional approach to work which usually involves driving one or two hours to an office. Today’s workers and are instead looking for companies that offer flexible work options and if yours does not, good luck in attracting a range of talent.

Here Are Three Ways To Keep Your Remote Workers Engaged

If your company has embraced the new way of work and has a remote workforce, you probably know it can sometimes be hard to make sure they feel part of the team.  Here are three ways to keep your remote workforce engaged:

  1. Consistently Communicate

A consistent line of communication between you and your remote team members is vital to ensuring workers are engaged, getting the work done are motivated. Occasionally e-mail your remote workers during the day or schedule one or two phone call during the course of the day. Not only does this help them to feel part of the team, it also means you are always accessible and this can help to avoid problems.

  1. Made Good Use of Technology

The latest workforce management solutions and HR applications can help with remote employee engagement.  In addition, cloud-based tools like Skype can provide your company and its remote workers to access a variety of presentations, or obtain important HR and data related information-thus, ensuring team members can remain up to date with the latest and most critical information wherever they are.

  1. Share Feedback

Include your remote workers in important decisions that are part of your company’s overall strategy and/or growth plans. When remote workers are not included in the decisions then can quickly become disengage, and begin to can feel unsupported and unsure of how much their efforts are appreciated by the company. As an organization, you should have faith that your remote staff can work independently and meet operational objectives.

If you work in the white-collar world, you will undoubtedly end up working with or supervising a telecommuting workforce at some point. How you handle remote workers will vary according to whether they work from home in the suburbs a dozen miles away, a few provinces or states away, or in another country.

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As a corporate executive, you can book your business travel and request your preferred seat-from the comfort of your kitchen table or from anywhere in the world by using through your smartphone or tablet. So, why it is that your employees have to call their supervisor or someone in HR to request time-off?

With ATS Employee Self-Service (ESS) employees can request time off by using their smart phone, workstations or tablets from anywhere.

Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Need Employee Self-Service

Here are 5 reasons to use ATS Employee Self-Service:

Good-Bye Spreadsheets- Your employees really hate filling out paper work each time they need time off. ATS Employee Self-Service simplifies and automates employee requests for time off. When a request for time off is made, an email alert is sent directly to the employee’s supervisor to begin the request review process. HR, payroll and managers have decision-making information at their fingertips.

No More Using Emails To Request Leave-With ATS Employee Self-Service your managers no longer have to waste time trying to find that email that was sent some time ago by the employee requesting leave.

Time and Attendance Update Review-Employees can update their availability for shifts, request time off, view schedules, overtime, and trade shifts – letting them better manage their work-life balance.

Your Company’s Communication Tool Of The Future- Engage your entire workforce with a user experience that’s easy to navigate, wherever they are. Let all employees communicate and collaborate, even without a corporate email address.

Approval And Message Centre-You can tailor approval processes to your organization and, authorized users can view and audit the progress and approval status of a workflow to make sure it stays on track. Send personal messages or create and save distribution lists to message multiple employees at once. Notifications, reports and actions requiring an employee’s attention will also be delivered to the ATS Employee Self-Service Message Center.

ATS Self-Service is a powerful tool that will empower your employees and make them feel more engaged, increase their workforce productivity and free up valuable resource within your Payroll and HR departments.

To learn about ATS Employee Self-Service go to our website and download the demo. To reach an account executive by phone, call 866.294.2467.