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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations

November 14th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations)

Have you ever being in a meeting and feel like you have been transported to another universe when you hear useless business jargon being used by some of the attendees? We’ve all being there! Yes, even some folks, here at ATS are guilty of using jargon.

Below is a list of business jargons or crap speak (as it’s referred to in some quarters) that were extracted from a Forbes.com article titled ‘The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon’ They are listed in no particular order. Here goes:

Leverage
Meet the granddaddy of nouns converted to verbs. ‘Leverage’ is mercilessly used to describe how a situation or environment can be manipulated or controlled. Leverage should remain a noun, as in “to apply leverage,” not as a pseudo-verb, as in “we are leveraging our assets.”

Think Outside the Box
This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Kudos to a Forbes.com reader who suggested: “Forget the box, just think.”

Lots of Moving Parts
Pinball machines have lots of moving parts. Many of them buzz and clank and induce migraine headaches. Do you want your business to run, or even appear to run, like a pinball machine? Then do not say it involves lots of moving parts.

Corporate Values
This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Make Hay
This is jargon for being productive or successful in a short period of time. The phrase ‘to make hay’ is short for ‘make hay while the sun shines’, which can be traced to John Heyward’s The Proverbs, Epigrams and Miscellanies of John Heywood (circa 1562). A handy nugget for cocktail conversation, but that’s it.

Buy-In
This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business: “Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team
In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

Of course, not everyone loves using these nonsensical words. But for the ones who simply cannot get enough of it during the day, check out Lucy Kelleway’s columns on business jargon or “business guff” as she calls it, and her compelling reasons why saying what we really mean, can go a long way.

Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?

November 8th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Leave Management | Recruitment | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?)

Seasoned HR executives will never attest to having a perfect hiring record. Why? Because no company has this record and if they claim that they do, they likely have a long nose.

Sharlyn Lauby is a highly regarded and well sought-after HR consultant and leads the HR bartender site. In one of her latest blogs what’s your Hiring Nightmare Story offers five tips that can be used by new and seasoned and HR managers alike.

Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?

Those five tips include:

  1. Establish selection criteria. It’s so much easier to take a few moments on the front end to discuss selection criteria than to find out after a whole bunch of interviews that the hiring manager isn’t on the same page. When an opening occurs, buy your hiring manager a cup of coffee and discuss the KSAs for the job and a sourcing strategy.
  2. Ask good interview questions. This applies to everyone in the process. Interviewing is hard. Managers who haven’t interviewed for a while might want a refresher (and they could be reluctant to ask for one). Have some pre-designed interview questions ready to help managers out.
  3. Get multiple people involved. I believe it doesn’t help employees if the only two people they know on Day One is HR and their manager. Yes, more interviews take extra time but they also allow employees to start building relationships. Exactly what they need to be successful.
  4. Don’t rush the process. The hiring process can’t drag along either. But I’ve seen plenty of managers speed up the process and make bad hiring decisions because they felt that they were racing the clock. Adding a couple of days to get the right candidate makes sense for all.
  5. And conduct a comprehensive background screening. Once you find a great candidate, verify their background. Instead of thinking that background checks are to catch deception, consider it as confirming what’s already been discussed.

Those are all useful tips and while they are not perfect (nothing ever is) following them could help your hiring averages of candidates within your company. And, the best part is that these hiring tips are free of charge.

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Here is the drill: Daylight saving time (DST) ended on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 at 2 a.m. ET. Most north Americans would have set their clocks back an hour. This makes for darker days, and for some people, it will take a few days to get used to, while for some others, it might take them a week or two to adjust to the time change.

The spring brings the arrival of daylight saving time in March 2018 and requires clocks to be moved forward one hour at 2 a.m. Employees who are shift workers and who are on duty at that time and who normally work an eight-hour shift will actually work only seven hours, unless of course, your company is using an automated time and attendance system that automatically adjusts with daylights savings time.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Is Designed To Handle Daylight Savings Time

A blog titled As the clocks turn back this weekend, don’t forget FLSA rules authored by Pamela Deloacth for HRDive offers the following advice for companies:

“That extra hour of work can present several unanticipated challenges, in addition to an unpaid hour:

Overtime: If that additional hour puts an employee at more than 40 hours during that workweek, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the employee be paid overtime. Employees who fall under the “8 and 80” system — or in states that require daily overtime — may be eligible for overtime for that day.

Collective Bargaining Agreements: Employers should ensure that they are following any provisions in a collective bargaining agreement that addresses wage and hour provisions for time change”.

If your company has in excess of 30 employees handling daylight savings time (DST) manually can be a challenge. Automating your time tracking system, instead of doing it manually, will make your payroll and HR managers happy and more productive, especially if they have to deal with sleep deprived employees, still adjusting to the daylight savings time.  ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a cloud-based time and attendance designed for; Payroll, Accrual Benefits, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Talent Management, and Analytics integration. ATS TimeWork OnDemand provides organizations with access to real-time data of Workforce Management (WFM) capabilities, across all domains.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand or to attend a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website where you  can also download a demonstration from our website or contact us by phone at: 866.294.2467 to discuss your business requirements.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a best-of-breed time and attendance solution that helps small, mid-size and large enterprises streamline payroll costs, tackle complex workforce challenges and improve compliance.

Tracking And Managing Workforce Compliance Is Easier Than You Think

A recent article by Kate Tornone for HRDive titled Docking pay for bathroom breaks exceeding 90 seconds ‘absolutely contrary’ to FLSA states in part;

  • Employers must pay workers for breaks lasting 20 minutes or less, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled (Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., No. 16-2685 (3rd Cir., Oct. 13, 2017)). The opinion came in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit filed by sales representatives at American Future Systems, doing business as Progressive Business Publications (PBP). The reps were paid only for time spent logged into their computers; any time away that lasted longer than 90 seconds became unpaid.
  • Federal regulations say that breaks of 20 minutes or less are compensable (see 29 CFR 785.18) but PBP argued that it didn’t provide “breaks;” rather, it maintained an arrangement called “flex time” that allowed workers to go off the clock whenever they wanted, for any reason. The court, however, was not persuaded; that’s an arrangement that “forces employees to choose between such basic necessities as going to the bathroom or getting paid unless the employee can sprint from computer to bathroom, relieve him or herself while there, and then sprint back to his or her computer in less than ninety seconds.” Docking the pay of employees who can’t manage to do that is “absolutely contrary to the FLSA,” the court said.
  • Ruling in the employees’ favor, the 3rd Circuit upheld a lower court’s summary judgment for them. That court had previously found the employer liable for least $1.75 million in back wages and damages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The ruling applies in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.

There is likely more than meets the eye to this issue which prompted the DOL to intervene, if you are using the honour system and/or some paper-based time sheets to track employee time.

Managing employee schedules, overtime and work hours should not be a complex issue, if you using a solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand.

Some of the benefits include:

  • The automation of time tracking and reporting capabilities, while giving employees self-service access to Internet-enabled devices like smartphones and tables.
  • Transforming human resources tasks from an administrative function to a strategic asset with powerful integration tools to; HRIS, Payroll and ERP.
  • Improved accrual benefits management- this embedded module gives you the tools to track and monitor employee vacation and other absences, thus eliminating the types of errors that occur in a manual-based environment.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand application is designed to help you grow your business by automating routine tasks and providing power analytic tools to better manage your workforce.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, go to our website. You can also register for a bi-weekly webinar or download a demonstration. To reach an account representative by phone, call: 866.294.2467.