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Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR

October 4th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Artificial Intelligence | Cloud Computing | ERP | Google | HR | Labour Analytics | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR)

If you are in HR, you are likely familiar with a variety of buzz words, especially, when it comes to technology and the many applications that are available in the market, to complement your business processes.

Below is a list of such buzz words that most if not all in HR, is familiar with by now. This list was first compiled by Sharlyn Lauby, of HR Bartender and regenerated by HumanResources Online.

Artificial intelligence (AI): From google maps to spam fillers, AI brings convenience and helps people fulfill their career ambitions. The future trend is to scale their efforts and bring consistency to their activities. Programming is out of the question, but HR leaders need to know enough to guide the conversation within employees and make the best decisions for the company.

Embracing Tech Buzz Words In The World Of HR

Boolean Search: This is a method for searching websites to limit the results by defining the relationships between key words. With all the new fancy search engines, fundamental tools such as Boolean Search can not be ignored by HR professionals. Google search is focused on recent results. Refining Boolean Search skills can quickly access information from any database of software. The must-know Boolean operators are SITE, INURL, AND, OR, NOT.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is quickly becoming an important data tool for HR professionals. What is it and how does it differ from artificial intelligence?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) ERP is the successor of materials resource planning which is described as a combination of manufacturing, financial and materials management software functionality. Human resources, professional services and customer relationship management functions are added to ERP. ERP can go beyond the common benefits. It can use analytics to reduce workforce attrition, and therefore better target talent.

The Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things – or IoT – is the latest technology term for HR pros. It’s all about connectivity but it’s much more than that.

Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is a practice of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in the search engine. It is no longer only useful for marketing professionals. It is also crucial for HR professionals to minimise their talent acquisition efforts since more and more candidates are using major search engines for job searches. Mobile-optimised career microsites are becoming an important part of companies’ SEO strategies.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): SaaS is any software paid for through a subscription or licence rental that does not require one to download it onto a computer. SaaS is easily confused with the term “cloud”, which refers only to computing resources such as data storage, virtual servers or networks which are only accessible for the information technology departments.

In the end, some buzz words simply go out of fashion or are so over-used, that we get tired of them, and so just stop using them altogether.

Is The Traditional 9-5 Workday Sliding Towards Irrelevance?

August 29th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | Google | HR | Millennials | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Is The Traditional 9-5 Workday Sliding Towards Irrelevance?)

Defenders of the good ole’ days will have a counter argument that the traditional 9-5 workday is thriving and will never go away. Maybe so but, that remains to be seen. Employees increasingly want to untethered themselves from the 24/7 work culture and instead are searching for jobs that let them better balance their careers and personal lives. And, while the shift in attitude about the new way of working can be attributed to Millenialls and GenerationZ, even some older workers are beginning to seek for flexible work arrangements from their employers —in other words, the work-life-balance is becoming infectious.

Is The Traditional 9-5 Workday Sliding Towards Irrelevance?

Meghan M.Biro article Did Millennials Kill the 9-to-5 Workday, or Just Point Out That It’s Dead? is wonderful read on topic and reads in part;

“Millennials are mostly comfortable with change. If they take a job at one company, and start to feel overworked or undervalued, they’ll just move on to another company. They certainly don’t want to be chained to a desk for 40-plus hours a week.

Millennials are not lazy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If they have an employer that enables them to do so, they’ll skillfully blend their work and personal lives to get the balance they’re looking for. 

If your organization can offer amenities like advanced training, remote or flexible work schedules, the latest and greatest when it come stop technology, and some regular encouragement and appreciation, this generation is much more likely to stay with your company for the long haul.

I think it’s good that we’re redesigning the concept of the 9-to-5 workday. Technology allows us to work where we want when we want. For progressive organizations, it makes sense to harness that potential.

So how can businesses tap into what this generation wants and keep them interested in their careers? Encouraging a culture that embraces flexible schedules and mobile work environments is the best place to start. As a business owner, think about how you can offer more flexibility in your workplace.

  • What duties or roles can be performed online or remotely, either on a full or part-time basis? Some typical examples include writing and research, marketing, sales and development.
  • How will different teams communicate effectively? Explore collaborative platforms designed for creative roles, or perhaps a solution that combines file sharing and workplace communication (like Dropbox or Google Messenger). 
  • If you can’t provide a fully remote-based work schedule, maybe you can offer a few hours of flex time or one day each week where people have the option to work from home.”

Bottom-line- It’s a movement that should not be ignored and business and HR leaders should be ready to adapt their hiring practices to reflect modern-day employee preference that includes, working for organizations that offer flexible work arrangements. In the end, every company wants a happy and productive workforce, which usually translates to increase profits.

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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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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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In many respects formal business attire has become almost passé. The world of tech, in and particular, Silicon Valley CEOS regularly wears hoodies, jeans and sneakers to shareholders meetings.  There are of course some exceptions, like politicians, foreign diplomats, some corporate boardrooms and select industries. According to the recent study by OfficeTeam 50% of the senior managers interviewed “said employees wear less formal clothing than they did five years ago. In addition, nearly one-third (31 percent) of office workers stated they would prefer to be at a company with a business casual dress code; 27 percent favor a casual dress code or no dress code at all”.

Is The Formal Business Attire Out Of Fashion?

The trend to less formal business attire has shown no signs of abating and all indications are that this will continue for the foreseeable future. And according to several studies, technology companies are at the forefront of casual office attire.

Here is partial list of some of today’s leading companies that have made casual attire for its employees part of their DNA. This list is derived from a blog titled ‘10 Big Businesses With Incredibly Casual Offices’ and names the following companies:

  1. Google

Google was one of the first companies to adopt the laid-back corporate culture that emphasized creativity and achievements on an individual basis that add to the team’s overall success. One of the company’s 10 principle philosophies is “you can be serious without a suit.” This philosophy speaks volumes for the casual culture of Google. Not only is the dress code casual, but the overall look and feel of the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., is also laid back and fun. Google employees can enjoy ping pong, snacks in the break rooms, video games, and “huddle” rooms for everyone to take a break. Some additional office amenities include massage chairs, foosball and ping pong tables, an onsite gym, haircuts, and complimentary car washes.

2. Zappos

Zappos has put a lot of emphasis on its company culture and takes pride in being a casual yet successful business. Even though it was acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos has managed to hold on to the same values and company missions that it was founded on. Zappos’ casual work environment takes after the Internet marketing and e-commerce industries, which emphasize comfort over formality to help employees produce their very best work.

3.FaceBook

Facebook also adopted a Google-like office culture that consists of casually-dressed, but hardworking youngsters. Facebook has offices in more than 15 countries, some of which have bean bag lounges, kegs, on-site chefs, and plenty of places to kick up your feet and relax. At the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., employees have several unique amenities that fit the laid-back online culture. Workers can break a sweat on the outdoor skate park, play some tunes on the office turn tables, and take care of their laundry or leather repairs without leaving work.

  1. Electronic Arts

EA is one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, with an estimated 8,000 employees worldwide. Although most of the EA studios and subsidiaries have embraced a informal office culture, the EA campus in Vancouver is one of the most casual and decked-out facilities within the company. The campus has a state-of-the-art building featuring a theater, restaurants, coffee bars, a complete fitness room, and a full-size soccer field. EA Canada is also the company’s largest and oldest studio, so, naturally, it houses the world’s largest video game test operation and many employees take advantage of this cool feature.

5.Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that knows how to have fun. The Twitter offices are located in San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston and New York City, and are chock-full of awesome amenities to keep their employees relaxed and satisfied. Twitter employees get to enjoy everything from free gym memberships, complimentary yoga/Pilates and rock climbing classes, as well as on-site laundry and dry cleaning services.

Today, more than ever companies from healthcare, to retail and in some corporate environments, businesses have replaced the formal attire for men and women, and are instead, encouraging their employees to dress casually for work. Hard dress codes, it appears, have all but disappeared.

 

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Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry

July 20th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Google | Machine Learning | Recruitment Software - (Comments Off on Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry)

When Google announced it was entering the recruitment space, some wondered why? A behemoth like Google would have done its due diligence before deciding to use its power to offer job seekers and employers alike a difference choice.

 

Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry

In her article,  for HR Dive, titled Google for Jobs now open to site owners and job seekers Valerie Bolden-Barrett writes in part;

“Google for Jobs is a potential game-changer for employers and job seekers that stands to revolutionize recruiting. Right now, the new search largely pulls from major recruiting websites to formulate search results — but this new behavior could change how the big job boards work. They were already keeping an eye on changing behaviors from applicants that opted for mobile capabilities. Google could further disrupt the marketplace.

Much like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, which forced employers to reconsider external channels of input, Google for Jobs could herald changes in recruitment strategy. Google’s use of AI and machine-learning in the process is nothing less than what’s expected of an innovative high-tech company, and is largely in-line with what experts predicted for online recruiting going forward.”

It has also been reported that the new job search engine will have filters to narrow down jobs. For example, a candidate can sort by full-time or part-time, the job titles, category and posting date. And, that Google will also add a filter for commute times, so candidates do not have to apply for dream positions that require sitting in traffic for two hours.

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5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Biometric FaceScan | Biometric Time Clock | Employee Productivity | ERP | Payroll | TimeWork OnDemand - (Comments Off on 5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution)

Biometrics technology has gained in popularity in the last 10 years. Many of today’s technology companies including; Apple, Samsung and Google, have opted for biometric authentication with their hardware to prevent theft. ATS biometric time clocks are designed to recognize employees’ unique physiological characteristics-and these data collectors include; face shape, iris, fingerprint or hand shape. And, unlike card-based time and attendance systems, employees cannot punch in/out for each other.

When combined with ATS award-winning TimeWork OnDemand or On-premise solution for mid-to large enterprise; biometric facial recognition helps to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors associated with outdated manual data collection, reduce administrative time and eradicate employee time theft from tardiness and “buddy punching” (the practice of employees clock in and out for one another), and long  unexplained lunch breaks.

Here are the top 5 benefits of a biometric time and attendance facial recognition solution

Individual tracking: detect an employee based on their individual physiological characteristics

Eradicate time-theft: accurate tracking of employee time, by verifying the identity of those clocking in, thus creating a digital audit trail that cannot be altered. By automating the tracking of employee time an organization, has proof of hours worked.

Reliable and Accurate: Employee biometric templates cannot be duplicated. Managers can remain confident that they are tracking employee’s time and attendance accurately.

 Buddy Punching:  Since employees cannot use the face of their co-worker to punch in for them, you can now say good-bye to buddy punching!

Data Integration: Employee hours easily integrate with your Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Payroll and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), systems.

Today’s workforce is constantly evolving and keeping pace means using an advanced biometric technology solution to increase employee productivity. An ATS biometric face recognition solution will help to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors— associated with manual data collection thus, reducing administrative time and eradication of employee time theft.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, the wide array of biometric time clocks or to register for a bi-weekly webinar, go to our website. To reach an account executive, contact us by phone: 866.294.2467.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

April 25th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Business Software Automation | Cloud Computing | Employee Productivity | Labour Costs | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution)

In the world of business, increasing employee productivity tops the lists along with sales and return on investment. But how can an organization increase its workforce productivity, when its technology is outdated?

An article by Chris Stokel-Walker for Bloomberg based on a study of companies using older computers and outdated software solutions revealed that; Slow, outdated computers and intermittent internet connections demoralize workers, a survey of 6,000 European workers said. Half of U.K. employees said creaking computers were “restrictive and limiting,” and 38 percent said modern technology would make them more motivated, according to the survey, commissioned by electronics company Sharp.

Clinging on to old technology that’s aging towards obsolescence cannot be good for any business, regardless of its size or stature. If the argument is that you are still running important applications on older servers with old operating systems because “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, that will work for a short period. The continued use of outdated technology, especially, can have a negative long term effect on workforce productivity.  For example, if your employees are spending too much time with a faulty network connection, or your HR manager is spending an inordinate amount of time manually counting hours from a time sheet, then your technology is inflicting pain on labour costs and productivity.

Here is one of the most poignant piece of the article, and it reads in part;  Saurav Dutt, 35, was a member of a London-based IT firm that provides services to law firms. He was making a presentation to potential customers at an exhibition in Manchester. His speaking slot came right after a Google marketing executive—a prime opportunity, he thought. But the system ground to a half—due, Dutt said, to the outdated computers his company was using for its live demonstration.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

In closing, the continued use of an outdated technology will, eventually, get the best of you since it’s difficult to reverse the long-term damage caused by using it.

To learn about ATS cloud computing workforce management solutions, or to download a demonstration, or attend a bi-weekly webinar go to our website. And to reach an account executive call; 866.294.2467.

 

 

 

Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do

April 4th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Business Software Automation | Cloud Computing | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do)

There is no denying it, breaking up with a solution that you have become use to is hard to do. You may have spent years working with it and although, you know  that it’s not working, you keep using it while clinging on to the old adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.  As technology continues to evolve so should businesses especially if new tools can help improve productivity of your staff.

So, whether you are tracking employee time, providing service to your customers or purchasing a product, using an outdated system experience, especially, when you know there is a faster-better-easier way.

Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do

An article written by Marc Posser for Small Biz Technology titled ‘5 Outdated Office Supplies and Their Alternatives’ can be used as a guide for some businesses who still cling to old technology for dear life, hoping, they will prevail in the world of IoT, cloud computing and the digital wave that has sidelined video rental companies, CD music stores and dial up Internet to name a few.

The list of office supplies in the article include:

Fax Machines

“Ever heard of emails? Sending files nowadays is ideally done virtually. Not only are emails more reliable, you are also able to retain the quality of the files that you are sending. However, some clients still prefer to receive documents through a fax machine. If you need to do so, you might want to consider using fax cover sheet templates to make your document more presentable and send it through an online fax service instead so you won’t need to use an actual machine.

CDS and USBs
Apart from occupying physical space and having a high chance of getting lost in your sea of other CDs and USBs, these two storage devices are not the most reliable when it comes to storing large files for a long period of time. Ever opened your USB after a long time and found out that it is corrupted with no way of retrieving your important files? Nowadays, there’s a lot of storage solutions available online such as Google Drive and Dropbox – and they provide a pretty large virtual space, too! The next time you want to store something or share files with someone else, try uploading your files online and just send the link to your colleague. It makes retrieving your files in the future easier as well.

Post-its
Still using actual post-its for reminders and task lists? Why not try online sticky notes that you can access online anytime, anywhere? You can easily cross out tasks done after accomplishing them even when you are using a different computer or device. The best thing? You’ll help save a lot of trees in the process!

Landlines
In today’s evolving business landscape, accomplishing daily tasks sometimes require you to pick up the phone and get in touch with someone from the other side of the globe. While you can still do this using old school landlines, it is sometimes unreliable and can cost you a lot of money.

Manual Clock-In Machine
Do you still use manual clock-in attendance machines that require your employees to put in an actual time card for it to stamp their time-in and time-out? We hope not. This is a tedious method of taking note of your employees’ attendance records as you have to go through each attendance card one by one at the end of each month. As an alternative, you can use time and attendance software which can give you better insight into your team and help you track the days and hours they are working.”

In conclusion;
Many companies have updated parts of their business to the cloud and/or are using cutting-end technologies to help them streamline payroll costs and improve workforce productivity.  If you are part of the small minority that likes to hang on to old technology look around and you might be pleasantly surprise to find out that many of your competitors have already upgraded to more advanced technology platforms to help them increase business performance.

 

You have been charged with the responsibility of purchasing a new time and attendance system for your organization. Naturally, you are immensely excited and you can’t wait to call every vendor in for demonstrations and go through every conceivable feature of the software. But wait a minute? Why do you need to go through a myriad of features that you might never use? This is a common occurrence with many companies especially ones who are in the market for a time and attendance for the first time.

Below is a list of three straightforward strategies and tips that will help you find the right solution for your business:

In The Market For A New Time And Attendance? Don’t Forget To Focus On The Fundamentals

Make a list of your requirements: Making a list will help you define the scope of your project. Also be very specific about your company’s business requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their demonstrations and proposals.  Chances are, you will likely be awed by the latest technology advancements, during product demonstrations but it is important to keep in mind your corporate culture and how easy the solution is going to be for your users. Very often an IT person is invited, but the very people who are going to be using the system are nowhere to be found.

Think Cloud: Even if your company has no desire to deploy a cloud solution, be open minded and discuss it with your colleagues and senior management. Every company is using a cloud solution today in some way or another. Whether you are using Face Book, Drop Box, or Google these solutions are all in the cloud. And, if your company has mobile workers, a time and attendance that’s based in the cloud, with self-service portals, should be given stronger consideration. Also do not forget about data integration- any time and attendance solution that does not have the ability to integrate with your payroll, HRIS, or ERP is not a solution but another expensive piece of unusable software. In short, move on and do not waste your time with a solution that’s does not fit your business requirements.

Obtain References: This might seem all too obvious, but don’t forget to ask your potential vendor for references. If your potential vendor cannot provide at least three happy customers, they may not have the experience you need. Go to the next vendor on the list.

Too often, people select a time and attendance solution based on price, fancy features, and the latest technology. A solution that’s comprehensive, scalable, and easy-to-use should top your list. In the end, what you need is to find the company that understands your company’s requirements, and whose solution can be designed to fit your specific needs. And, once you find right solution, you will be well on achieving the ROI and long term benefits.

To download a white paper on ‘how to select a time and attendance solution’, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration or register for one our bi-weekly webcasts.