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The benefit of moving business applications to the cloud is no longer up for the debate. And while, there are some companies who still cling to the belief that having software installed on their server is part of a corporate policy, that they are not willing to abandon. However, this attitude towards the cloud, is dwindling as more companies realize that the cloud has become part of everything we do in this digital era.

Cloud Computing Predictions For 2018 According To Forrester Research

In a recently published article titled ‘Predictions 2018: Cloud Computing Accelerates Enterprise Transformation Everywhere’ by Dave Bartoletti for Forrester Research, he writes in part;

“Cloud now permeates all company sizes, industries, and geographies. And all of this innovation isn’t only happening in the big public clouds; exciting new private cloud technology stacks and fresh partnerships between infrastructure vendor stalwarts and upstart cloud-native companies bring the power and energy of elastic, on-demand cloud services to the enterprise data center as well.

In 2018, we’ll pass that magic threshold: Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least on public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers. As highlighted in our 2018 cloud predictions, cloud is truly business critical and is now a mainstream enterprise core technology”.

Many of the companies who have migrated to the cloud are reaping several benefits, including: a reduction in IT operating costs, more simplified user workflows across multiple applications, improved employee mobility, having access to real-time workforce analytics, and an increased ability to innovate business operations.

So what if your company happens to part of the few holdouts, who remain unconvinced about the benefits of migrating to the cloud? Our suggestion is to start small and/or ask other businesses who are using the cloud about their experience. Chances are you might be surprised to find out that some of today’s companies who are using cloud-based solutions held similar views to that of your organization.

To learn about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, our best-in-class cloud computing application, go our website, where you can view a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach an account representative, call; 866.294.2467.

 

Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?

January 16th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?)

The happiness of employees at their workplace depends, on many factors, including; the actual jobs they are performing, and to a large degree the type relationship they have with their boss and colleagues among others. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.

 

In his article, Happy Employees Is Good For Business Damon Burton lays out 5 benefits of a happy workforce. They include:

  1. Better decision-making abilitiesPeople are better equipped to make decisions when they are cheerful. On-the-job difficulties engender some degree of fear and nervousness in most of humanity, but satisfied people can return to their original mood faster after being faced with adversity.
  2. Happy people sell more– A simple search on Google of “happy people, productivity, success, business” are better at business” returns countless articles and several studies showing happy workers are more productive.   The expression of positive emotions can be an effective bargaining tool.
  3. Greater innovation– There’s strong evidence showing a correlation between happiness and creativity. Some studies have shown that happy employees have higher levels of creativity than unhappy ones. Being happy can free up the brain, allowing for increased mental flexibility and imagination.
  4. Reduction in lost productivityHappy people are healthier. When employees take less sick leave, they are more productive, thus improving the bottom line.
  5. Better customer service– This is a no-brainer. People like happy people. And when it comes to customer service, businesses need to be cheery. When employees’ morale is high, customer interactions reflect it. Happy people are the perfect people pleasers for customer service-based roles.

And, of course there is the conventional wisdom that purports to the fact that if employees are paid well enough they will be happy. While paying employees well should not be discounted, that’s only one component of an engaged, productive and happy workforce.

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There was a time when biometrics was seen as futuristic and, too intrusive to ever be accepted by the general public. Many of today’s smart phones, tablets and laptops are equipped with biometrics. As part of its security protocols airports around the world, have installed fingerprint readers and voice recognition technologies and Disney World have installed biometrics that enables its visitors to gain access to theme parks.

Biometric Technology Is Shaping The Future Of Time And Attendance

If your company is an early adopter of biometric time and attendance, you are likely the beneficiary of a productive workforce, and at the same time are saving hundreds of dollars on payroll costs.

If you are considering a biometric time and attendance system to enhance your company’s HR process and workflows, here are three types of the most common biometric technologies for recording and tracking employee time.

Hand Geometry: Hand recognition is the most common employee biometric time clock technology. The method uses 3D analysis of the hand for tracking and identification purposes. An individual places their hand (palm down) onto a special plate. A camera takes a picture of it and analyzes the length, width, thickness and surface area of the hand. This recorded biostatistics information is then stored for future use. Companies have used this type of biometrics for attendance tracking and accessing secure entrances.

Facial Recognition: ATS FaceScan Time Clocks, uses algorithms to analyze features. These include the position/size/shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw line. Initially, this process was known as 2D facial recognition. The 2D images were typically taken from security cameras that have integrated facial recognition technology. For the best results, face images needed to be looking directly at the camera with enough lighting. After analysis, they could be compared to other face images for identification purposes. Employee Time clocks that use facial recognition are growing in popularity— it’s as simple as snapping a photo; the time clocks are equipped with HD cameras. This type of technology is now readily available on ATS TimeWork OnDemand mobile time tracking apps as well.

Fingerprint Identification:This type of biometrics compares either one or two fingerprints (depending on the type of time clock selected) to determine identification. It analyzes the ridges and valleys patterns on the fingertip for differences. The process involves measuring and comparing employee fingerprints against data stored in the time and attendance system. It is fast and easy to use— the employee simply presses a fingertip against the time clock screen for a moment as part of the clock in/out process. Some laptop computers and smart phones, utilize fingerprint biometrics for authorizations purposes such as logging in and entering website passwords.

Other biometrics include voice authentication, which is the analysis of vocal behavior by matching it to a voice model template (that was previously recorded). Since every voice is unique, the physical characteristics of the speaker’s voice can be measured. Retinal and iris scanning is employed by different industries.

Bottom-line:

Companies deploy biometric time and attendance systems to ensure the person/s clocking in, are who they say they are. Biometric time clocks helps prevent employee time theft, ensures workforce compliance, and helps employers collect accurate time and attendance information. In short, it makes life easier for payroll and HR practitioners.

To arrange a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand and our array of biometric time clocks, go to our website or call, 866.294.2467.

The burden of proof for hours worked by its employees is the responsibility of an employer especially in organizations that do not have an automated system. However, many companies might have employee hand books that contain language, which states, in part, that employees are required to record and report time work, and submit their time cards, to their respective supervisors for review and approval.

How Ontario’s Bill 148: Employment Standards Act Reform Could Affect Employers

 

On June 1, 2017 Bill 148, was introduced. If you operate a business in the province of Ontario, here is summary of some of the changes you should prepare for in 2018.

Benefit Accruals, Vacation, Statutory Holiday and Overtime Pay

  • Personal Emergency Leave: Rather than limiting this leave to organizations with more than 50 employees, all workers will be given 10 personal emergency leave days per year – and a minimum of two days would be paid. Further, employees will not have to provide employers with a sick leave note when requesting personal leave.
  • Overtime: The Mixed Hourly Rate (a weighted average established for employees with multiple rates) would be eliminated in favour of paying overtime at the rate of the work performed after the weekly threshold is reached
  • Vacation Entitlement Increase: Minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise from two to three weeks per year (after five years with the same employer)
  • Public Holiday Pay: Calculation changes for public holiday pay that refer to regular wages in the pay period before the holiday divided by the days worked (rather than a four-week period of regular wages divided by 20)

Employee Workforce Scheduling

  • Three-Hour Rule: Broader application – The rule would extend to unworked on-call situations and when shifts are cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled start time.
  • Advance notice: Employers must offer employees advance notice of 96 hours or be subject to refusal.
  • Three-Hour Rule: Removal of minimum wage component – Rather than topping up shifts less than three hours to three times the minimum wage, as proposed, eligible employees would be entitled to three times the regular rate.

The reforms to the Bill148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 will work in concert with the rise of the minimum wage that was also enacted into law as well. If your organization is still using an antiquated time tracking system or one that is no longer meeting your needs, it might be time to think about upgrading to a modern time and attendance solution- one that’s specifically, designed to comply with today’s ever changing regulatory and work-rule policies.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance Solution, go to our website, where you can download a pre-recorded demonstration, brochures or register for one of our upcoming live webinars.

To reach a representative, call 866.294.2467.

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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Small and mid-size companies that use the cloud spend 40 percent less on the need for a fulltime IT person. Deploying a time and attendance solution to the cloud is much faster and don’t need as much of an investment in upgrading infrastructure and as a result, this frees up expenses that would otherwise, be used for upgrading server licenses-thus making more capital available to support business growth.

3 Great Reasons To Move Your Employee Time Tracking To The Cloud

So, if you happen to be one of those companies that are still sitting on the fence, when it comes to embracing the cloud, here are some compelling reasons to take note.

  1. The Cloud is simple to use: A cloud-based time and attendance is easier to implement, and use when compared to the traditional on-premise solutions. With a cloud-based time and attendance– commonly referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) – you only pay for what you use. For example, a large hotel chain will have a high number of employees during the summer months, as this tends to be the busiest time of the year for that industry – but during the fall and winter months, those numbers will decrease. A company using ATS TimeWork OnDemand can scale easily, thus paying for only the employees who are working during this slow period.
  1. Mobile: With a application like ATS TimeWork OnDemand employee self-service (ESS),  a company can now give its employees the ability to request time-off, switch shifts and review hours worked at anytime, from anywhere instead of using paper time cards or spreadsheets. In the cloud, employees only need an Internet connection and they can tap into the power of mobility.
  1. Efficient and compliant: A growing body of evidence highlights the efficiencies and return on investment (ROI) that many businesses are experiencing by moving to the cloud.  Companies are required to comply with ever changing payroll and other workforce related rules- a cloud-based time and attendance like ATS TimeWork OnDemand can help businesses keep with these rules and other compliance matters, while driving business growth.

To learn about ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance, go to our website. You can download brochures, pre-recorded demonstrations or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

Whether you are implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Workforce Management, Payroll or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), you need a plan and someone project manager to lead it. And with the advent of cloud-based solutions gaining momentum in the world of business, deploying a software solution has becoming easier for companies.

If You Follow These Implementation Tips Your Rate Of Success Will Improve

If you are considering automating your business process this article, 6 Tips for Full HR Automation That Will Dramatically Increase Efficiency written by Carlie Bush, for HR Daily Advisor, is a useful guide for any business.

  1. Step into employees’ shoes. It is important to consider the transition from the perspective of the employees.  Too often, we discuss the potential changes with the leaders of the various departments, but to do the transition right, employee input should be prioritized and included in the discussion.  Employees are often resistant to change, so including them in the discussions, answering their questions, and using their ideas will go a long way in reassuring them throughout the transition.
  2. Consider a consultant. From start to finish, a third-party expert can help companies transition to automation.  As an external consultant, they can provide unbiased advice including how to get support from the top-level executives, what to look for in a provider, how to help employees through the transition, and many other critical parts of the transition process.
  3. Collaborate with Information Technology (IT). IT plays an invaluable role in the transition to automation.  From the beginning, collaborate and plan alongside IT.  Their knowledge and vision for how things should work will help HR departments consider the options available to them as well as provide a backdrop for a well thought out transition.
  4. Have a robust communications plan. Before starting the transition, have a formal communication plan in place that outlines for employees what to expect, a timeline of when things are going to change, and information on training and where they can get help.  Remember to give them adequate time to prepare.  The more transparent you are with employees the higher the chances of a smooth transition.
  5. Get executive support and buy-in. From the top down, there needs to be support for the transition.  Employees need to know the leaders of the company understand and fully support the change.  By being part of the change and talking openly about the benefits to employees, company executives can have a huge impact on how the transition is received.
  6. Help employees along the way. Employees will need help throughout the transition.  It is important that they feel supported through training and communication.

It’s also useful to note, that every implementation is different and some will go smoother than others. However, the best implementations are the ones where both sides (vendor and customer) are flexible in their approach and have contingency plans, should the implementation not go as planned. In other words, a contingency plan should be part of any implementation.

To learn more about ATS Workforce Management Solution and our implementation methodology or to download a pre-recorded demonstration go, to our website, where you can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call; 866.294.2467.

Where you are a CEO, HR executive or small-midsize business owner, the world of work as you know it is rapidly changing. And, if you are in a management role, you should make sure you are prepared for these changes. Here is small sample size of what’s being considered and some of them will likely come to fruition:

Minimum wage hike, addition of paid sick leave, overtime, vacation pay, minimum wage

  • Employers will be required to pay employees for sick days taken
  • Overtime pay will kick in at 40 hours, from the current 44 hours.
  • Paid vacation will change to three weeks per year from the current two weeks
  • Employers will be required to pay their part-time workers the same as full-time workers, doing jobs that are similar in nature
  • Student and people under 18 who server alcohol will no longer be subjected to the lower minimum wage

While these changes are in Ontario, virtually every province and territory of Canada and across several US states, have changes that are similar in nature are going to be enacted by policy makers. And, the regions who have not updated their workplace laws recently, will be using Ontario as a case study. If you are still using paper time sheets to handle current work rule policies, it might be time to starting thinking about implementing a time and attendance solution to help you handle and adapt to these new laws.

The World Of Work Is Changing: Is Your Company Prepared?

In this blog,  7 Smart Reasons for Your Payroll Clients to Use Time Clocks authored by Louie Calvin for Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting, a clear case is made for deploying a time clock solution:

“Collect employee data faster — There’s nothing more frustrating to a payroll preparer than waiting for, or chasing down, clients to get what’s needed to process payroll. Time clock applications manage employee changes and hours/time data throughout the pay period in electronic format — much easier than fielding phone calls or emails.

Correct and accurate payroll calculation and reporting — Anytime your team can reduce human error, you’ll spend less time correcting or delaying payroll. Time clocks today are smart devices — they can automatically log out or deduct for meal periods for people who forget to punch in or out, — and technology like data-sharing and use of APIs eliminates double data entry. An automated time system also makes recording hours easier for remote workers, or when employees travel. Depending on the system, reports upload directly into your payroll software, reducing the need for manual entries. The payroll preparer has the benefit of documented client sign-off on the data they submit, and direct import into your payroll application. This eliminates manual data entry and payroll checks are automatically ready for your review.

Ensure employees are accurately reporting time — With a time clock system, you can set up security parameters to make sure the employee is the one reporting their own hours — and that they’re reporting them accurately. You also have the ability to monitor time in and out, meals, breaks and more. Remember, wages that are overpaid or underpaid can result in liabilities that put your business clients at risk for fraud, with the statute of limitations up to three years.”

The proposed employment laws have not taken effect yet, but soon they will and you want to make sure you are prepared.

To learn about ATS time and attendance solution or to register for a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website. To speak to an account executive; call; 866.294.2467.

Speak to any HR manager about the list of challenges they face each day and, hiring and retaining talent is likely to top that list. As an HR manager, have you thought of about introducing fingerprint technology as a tool to help with the recruiting process?

If your organization is interested in deploying a fingerprint solution to streamline the process of hiring, here are some suggestions from an article titled New Fingerprinting Tech Gives Hiring a Hand by Meghan M. Biro of Talent Culture:

“Check the requirements for your field. Depending on industry and state, you may be required to fingerprint your new hires. This includes a number of licenses, public, and private agencies.

For instance, fingerprints are required for those working with pari-mutuel betting and racing. Indian tribal governments may require fingerprinting for anyone who is going to have regular contact or control over Indian children. Private security officers, criminal transporters, adoption or foster-parent evaluators, and school employees may all be subject to fingerprinting. (Fingerprints are processed for a reduced fee for a number of organizations or firms whose employees will work with children.) Other common industries that may require fingerprinting include healthcare, insurance and financial services. Other dependencies include whether or not applicants are located in or out of state.

If You Are An HR Manager Add This Solution To Your Hiring Tool Kit

Don’t expect fingerprinting to do all the heavy lifting. If you think one fingerprint can magically produce everything you need to know about an applicant, think again. For example, a fingerprint may disclose an arrest record, but not a conviction. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it’s ill-advised to deny someone a position solely on the grounds of an arrest record. A summary of the EEOC’s guidance with regard to conviction record screening policies is provided in HireRight’s white paper, Checking in on Employment Background Checks: Are You in Compliance with the EEOC, FCRA, Federal and Local Requirements?

Keep in mind, the FBI database may not receive a record of all outcomes of all arrests, and in some cases, a state may have chosen not to fingerprint. Certain issues may not even appear on the database, which could cause problems later — including possible litigation.

Use fingerprinting to confirm the identity of your hire. Fingerprinting is the best way to confirm identity. It’s been called the gold standard of identity confirmation — and for a background check, this is the straight line between your potential hire and the FBI database. In terms of employee experience, there are plenty of complications involved in the hiring process already. You can eliminate one by making sure your new hires understand the purpose of fingerprinting. Now that identity confirmation is becoming a new normal, and technologies like biometrics are commonplace, you may be pleasantly surprised by younger generations who are comfortable with fingerprinting — many already protect their smartphones with their fingerprints, for example.”

Fingerprint technologies have been around for a while and are used across many industries to track and report on employee time and attendance. That being said, no two fingerprint technologies are the same-for example, biometric fingerprint technology used to track employee time is different from the ones used by law enforcement.

If you decide you want to use fingerprint technology for hiring employees, make sure you are using a reputable company. And, if your company is unionized, also be prepared to get challenged by either your shop steward or the local President of the union. When selecting a vendor, make sure you choose one that has deep industry expertise, and who is able to clearly espouse the virtues of fingerprint technology, discuss the pros and cons and ally the fears of all stakeholders.

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