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A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This

October 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Career | HR | Recruitment | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This)

No HR professional or company executive wants to hire the wrong person yet every company has done exactly that at one point or another. And if your company is a very successful one do you have time to use the proper metrics to help you avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire?

A Bad Hire Can Be Costly, Here Are Some Tips That Can Help You Avoid This

In her article 3 Common Hiring Mistakes New Managers Should Avoid for the Harvard Business Review Whitney Johnson offers some solid tips on how companies can avoid bad hires. They include:

“If only I could clone myself.” Lauren Rivera, a researcher from Northwestern, told me via email, “what most people are looking for is ‘me.’” Her studies concluded that “interviewers who lacked systematic measures of what their company was looking for tended to fall back on themselves and defining merit in “their own image,” meaning that the most qualified interviewees were those who best resembled their interviewers.” It’s easy to want to make this kind of hire — a carbon copy of yourself. But they will be bored and frustrated quickly because there’s no headroom for them to grow and advance. You already have you and don’t need another you.

“If only I could find someone to do all the annoying stuff that I don’t want to do.” This impulse, while understandable, is an even more dangerous one. Sure, it is tempting to avoid the responsibilities you find tedious or challenging. But you’ll have trouble attracting talented people to a job that’s mostly boring work. If you want to off-load everything that you detest doing, mostly junk work, it’s likely you’ll disrespect the person you’ve hired to be your dumping ground (a sentiment they will be inclined to return).

“If only I knew how to do that.” There may be tasks that demand attention but you don’t personally have the expertise to complete them. You value this skill in other people, and it’s what you’re looking for in a new hire. But there can be a couple of pitfalls with thinking this way. Sometimes, there’s an undercurrent of envy — you may feel threatened because they have talents you lack. Or you may put them on a pedestal — we do this all the time when we say we want to hire a “unicorn” or a “ninja.” Either way, you risk overpaying financially — and emotionally. Not only that, if you don’t understand the work they are doing, you may not have a clear sense of what path this person needs to be on to maximize their talent and overall productivity.

Bottom-line-every company will or have had an occasional bad hire or two, the trick is to make sure it’s not a consistent pattern.

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To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a demonstration. And, to speak to a representative, call; 866.294.2468.

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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The Herculean Tasks Of Removing Biases From Hiring Decisions

July 6th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on The Herculean Tasks Of Removing Biases From Hiring Decisions)

A great deal has been written about removing biases when interviewing candidates for jobs, but to some degree it’s easier said than done. All human beings have their own set of biases on a range of things that include; gender, race, religion, class and it’s influenced when hiring employees or simply offering a promotion. The fact that this is being discussed in many online forums is good first step, but, this type of paradigm shift will take perhaps a generation or two for significant change to take effect. Change, after all, is always a difficult proposition for humans.

The Herculean Tasks Of Removing Biases From Hiring Decisions

Will Yakowicz, Staff writer for Inc, article titled How to Remove Gender Bias From the Hiring Process offers three tips. These tips are derived from a posting in Harvard Business Review by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox.

The gender bias tips are as follows:

“Make gender bias a business issue.
If the results of the test don’t bother you initially, think about the fact that under- qualified men were hired over more talented women. Wittenberg-Cox says you should reframe gender bias as a business issue, not a women’s issue. “If managers are choosing less qualified men over more qualified women, the company is clearly losing valuable talent,” she writes. “Even if hiring managers are choosing equally qualified men, if they’re doing it in dramatically greater numbers (as the study above shows they do), the company is still missing an opportunity to build the kind of balanced workforce that we know produces more creative results.”

Change people’s minds
Wittenberg-Cox says leaders need to start educating themselves and managers about the issue of gender bias instead of putting the burden on women to change themselves. “You can expect all your women to suddenly change their behavior and start overselling their skills, as the men in the study above did–but frankly, do you really want them to?” she writes. Research shows when women boast about their skills they are perceived negatively, instead of as confident and ambitious. You need to teach your staff, male and female, about the different behaviors men and women exhibit and how to effectively and accurately perceive them.”

Change your hiring systems
If gender bias runs deep in the corporate world that means HR policies are often rife with bias too. Wittenberg-Cox writes that many large companies consider “ambition” to be an important character trait for their leadership candidates. When candidates are seen as “ambitious,” they’re usually boasting, or overselling their talents–a trait studies have shown to be predominately male, she writes. Hiring managers typically believe erroneously that the most self-promotional candidates are objectively the best. “This does not make room to develop the majority of today’s talent for tomorrow’s world. Nor allow a variety of leadership styles to co-exist,” she adds.”

Social media and online career job boards, while all great tools can also hurt prospective candidates. Many of today’s hiring managers will scan sites like LinkedIn to view a candidates profile and formed an opinion about the person before they walk through the door for an interview. And in some cases, based on what they see online, these hiring managers might cut candidates from consideration. Thus, asking people to eliminate or at least, separate their biases from the hiring decision is not as easy as it sounds.

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Are You Required To Answer Emails After Working Hours? If so Why?

January 31st, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are You Required To Answer Emails After Working Hours? If so Why?)

Some jobs require its employees to always be on call through phone or email. But for the vast majority of the workforce, you are required to work a certain amount of hours, perhaps some overtime and then go home. That could be considered the norm. In supervisory and senior management circles, these individuals take on bigger roles and so, it’s not unusual to see your boss work ungodly hours. But that mean that employees should go to sleep with their phones beside their beds in anticipation of emails or phone calls from their boss?

Well French lawmakers are having none of this and have proposed a law called ‘Right to Disconnect’ whereby employees should not be required to respond to emails after they have completed their shift and left their place of work. Some might argue, and with good reason, that it’s reasonable if a boss sends an e-mail after work, especially if it’s important. The flip-side to this argument is, by responding to an occasional email once a week, will this open the floodgates to the boss expecting you to respond to emails at 2:00am in the morning?

Are You Required To Answer Emails After Working Hours? If so Why?

An article written by Maura Thomas for Harvard Business Review, titled ‘Your-Late Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team’ offers some poignant advice to leaders who expect their employees to always be available. She writes in part;

“A frantic environment that includes answering emails at all hours doesn’t make your staff more productive. It just makes them busy and distracted. You base your staff hiring decisions on their knowledge, experience, and unique talents, not how many tasks they can seemingly do at once, or how many emails they can answer in a day.”

The article also offers the following:

  • “Ditch the phrase “time management” for the more relevant “attention management,” and make training on this crucial skill part of your staff development plan.
  • Refrain from after-hours communication.
  • Model and discuss the benefits of presence, by putting away your devices when speaking with your staff, and implementing a “no device” policy in meetings to promote single-tasking and full engagement.”

Of course not all companies subscribe to this notion that their employees have to be available at all times. In fact, many companies expect their employees to have a healthy work-life-balance. However, the ones who expect employees to constantly respond to emails after hours, perpetuate an ‘always-on’ culture, that essentially prevent employees from fully disengaging from work, which in turn, can lead to chronic stress.

Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth

January 25th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Cloud Based Time Management Solution | Cloud Computing | SaaS Time and Attendance | TimeWork OnDemand - (Comments Off on Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth)

To grow an organization has to be willing to adapt to change. And, sometimes change is forced upon businesses who believing in charting the same course, regardless of what’s going on around them. In today’s rapidly changing and technology driven world-those who believe in doing what they have always done, can become extinct quickly.

Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth

In a recent article titled, ‘Why Innovators Should Study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian Empire’ written for Harvard Business Review, by Piero Formica he succinctly states “The stronger the assumption that the future will function as today does, the greater the gravitational force of the status quo. Organizations set in their ways slow down and never strive for new horizons. They are doomed to wither.”

The power of cloud computing, for example, allows businesses to gain easy access to their company’s data, and at the same time, save them money. And, for the naysayers who are worried that they will end up paying for features that they neither need nor want, ATS cloud time and attendance solution is based on pay-as-you-go.

In fact, most companies already use a variety of cloud computing services without even realizing it—Google Drive, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all cloud-based applications. For all of these services, users are sending their personal data to a cloud-hosted server that stores the information for later access. And as useful as these applications are for personal use, they’re even more valuable for businesses that need to be able to access large amounts of data over a secure, online network connection.

So, if we are so open to sending our personal information through the cloud whether it’s through online banking transactions or using Google every day, why the hesitation when it comes to adopting a time and attendance that’s in the cloud? Here is the most poignant paragraph from Piero Formica’s article and it reads in part;

“If you don’t want to be caught by surprise, you have to recognize that the future will be different from the past. The future is unfathomable, ambiguous, and open to every option. One major move by a competitor, or one new technology, is sometimes all it takes to end an empire. If your current business is like a carefully tended garden, with neat beds and high walls, that’s not enough. The next opportunity (or threat) may lie outside those walls, at the messy intersection of sectors and markets.”

If your current IT resources are forcing you to give all of your attention to software installed on a computer and constant slow network issues when, trying to obtain relevant data then you are not going to be able to concentrate on achieving your business goals. And, that’s no way to run a business.  However, by deploying a cloud time and attendance like ATS, you will have more time to devote towards the aspects of your business that directly affect your bottom line and be able to care of your customers.

To learn more about ATS Cloud Time and Attendance, go to our website. To reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

 

We’ve all had bosses at some point in our working lives and there are plethora of advice (including books and articles on the Internet) on how to deal with these bad bosses. It’s easy to dispense advice and strategies about dealing with a bad boss but it’s entirely different for the person who has to go to work each day and deal with the situation.

The following paragraphs are from articles that offer strategies on to deal with a bad boss.

John Beeson, for Harvard Business Review ‘Dealing with a Bad Boss’:

“Your starting point in dealing with a bad boss is confronting some important realities. First, your boss, regardless of whether she is effective or not, is a major factor in your ability to perform well in your job, and she plays a key role in shaping senior executives’ perceptions of your performance and career potential. Second, in most organizations it’s difficult if not impossible for a subordinate to dislodge a boss in the short term. Frequently, if you do some digging, you’ll find that your manager has some special ability his manager values — for example, a close relationship with a key customer or specific expertise that the boss lacks. As a result, rather than get demoralized or seek comfort from peers in your misery, it’s better to take steps to try to address the situation proactively”.

Ronald E Riggio Ph.D. article in Psychology Today titled ‘How to Deal with a Difficult or Bullying Boss’ In which he details four strategies for dealing with a difficult boss. Here is one of these strategies:

“It isn’t likely that your difficult boss situation will change overnight, so be prepared for the long haul. Moreover, be persistent in calling out your boss’s bad behavior, and putting your plan into action. Your coworkers might follow your lead and start to stand up to the difficult boss as well (although you should be prepared for the boss to try to turn them against you, or for your coworkers’ possible lack of support). The key is to not let your boss get away with continuing his/her bad behavior”.

Rebecca Shannonhouse for the Washington Post ‘Is your boss making you sick’?

“Research has linked having a lousy boss to an increased risk of heart attack, Quick said. Chronic stress that can result when someone must deal daily with a bad boss has been linked to high blood pressure, sleep problems and anxiety and is also associated with several unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive use of alcohol and overeating.

Difficult bosses can come in many forms, including hypercritical micromanagers, inept managers, bosses who push blame for problems onto others or hurl obscenities, and those who make unwanted sexual advances. But researchers say that whatever the type, when employees deal with a bad boss day in and day out, negative health effects often begin to pop up”.

Bottom-Line-We spend an enormous amount of our time at work and the psychological climate in which one works has a lot to do with their health and happiness. If that climate, is a toxic one it can have a negative impact on their personal relationships with their spouse and other loved ones.

No company, job or boss is worth losing your health, sanity, or self-esteem. If after several attempts, you cannot resolve the conflicts with your boss, you can either ask for a leave of absence to deal with the emotional strain, or start tapping into your network and begin looking for a new job.

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How To Handle A Bad Boss, Quit Or Deal With It?

What’s The Best Way To Deal With An Employee Who’s Wrecking Office Morale?

October 11th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Time and Attendance On-Demand | Time and Attendance System | Workforce Management Solutions - (Comments Off on What’s The Best Way To Deal With An Employee Who’s Wrecking Office Morale?)

In a perfect world all employees are great to deal with i.e. arrive on time for work, takes the initiative and goes over and beyond the call of duty. Of course, we do not live in a perfect world. So, what are the strategies for dealing with difficult employee?  Experts suggest dealing with the bad behaviour of employees as soon as possible so, it does not permeate through the organization thus, affecting the morale of your workforce. There is no dodging from dealing with a difficult employee and this burden of responsibility should be shared between HR, the manager who that employee reports to and senior management.

Here are some tips from Amy Gallo contributing editor at Harvard Business Review from an article titled “How to Deal with a Toxic Employee”

Do:

  • Talk to the person to try to understand what’s causing the behavior.
  • Give concrete, specific feedback and offer the opportunity to change.
  • Look for ways to minimize interactions between the toxic employee and the rest of your team.

Don’t:

  • Bring the situation up with your other team members. Allow them to mention it first and then provide suggestions.
  • Try to fire the person unless you’ve documented the behavior, its impact, and your response.
  • Get so wrapped up in handling the issue that you ignore more important work and responsibilities.

Employees do not automatically become bad apples overnight; something had to have happen for their behaviour to change. The trick then is to dig deeper, and figure why this is happening and how your organization can resolve it so, it does not become a determent to the health of your workforce. Some might argue and they will be right, that the employee did not exhibit this type of behaviour during the interview process. That’s also true, but how many employees are going to show his or her lest than pleasant side during the interview process, let alone five months into their new job? It is also naïve and unrealistic to expect that all co-workers will truly like and appreciate each other. It’s not, however, unrealistic to expect a respectful, courteous and productive work environment.

In closing, a change in behaviour of employee from good to bad could stem from a personal situation in her life. It could also be that the manager he reports to is horrible to deal with, or perhaps, they are being shunned by co workers etc. However, you decide to deal with a difficult employee, diplomacy should prevail, because your other employees will be watching how you deal with it.

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What’s The Best Way To Deal With An Employee Who’s Wrecking Office Morale?

Don’t Think A Healthy Compensation Will Retain Good Talent? Think Again

June 23rd, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Employee Scheduling | Overtime | TimeWork - (Comments Off on Don’t Think A Healthy Compensation Will Retain Good Talent? Think Again)

It has been said that the financial crisis of 2008 has been used, by some companies to keep wages low. Some of have compared the 2008 financial crisis to the depression of the 1930s as being the same or worse. And, while the economy has somewhat gotten better, many workers are still fighting to get a decent wage. The companies who consistently choose to pay employees low wages are, for the most part, out of touch with reality and, the protests in the streets over the years, is an indication of how strongly many of these low-wage earners feel.

The issue of stagnant pay increase is also an issue for middle managers and an article by Christie Hunter Arscott for Harvard Business Review says as much. The title of the article “Why So Many Thirtysomething Women Are Leaving Your Company” focuses on the reasons why men and women alike leave a company. And, when you sift through the reasons, it pretty much boils down to regardless of the title we hold and whether it’s a man or a woman, everybody wants to be paid a decent wage, one that he/she is able to survive on.

Here are 3 tips from Christie Hunter Arscott article that companies can use to assess the wage structure as it pertains to its employees:

“Ask, don’t assume: Women in their thirties should play an integral role in developing talent retention strategies. Instead of talking about them, talk with them. Want to know why women are leaving your organization? Don’t assume. Ask them and then develop data-driven strategies based on these findings.

Address challenges beyond family and flexibility: While options for flexibility and work-life balance are important, the bottom line is that motherhood is not the primary reason why talented women are leaving organizations.

Propose women’s strategies as broader talent strategies: Gender appears to have little impact on an individual’s reasons for leaving an organization. This is good news for organizational leaders. There is less of a need to segment and complicate talent strategies by gender. Instead, there is the opportunity to create broad impact through strategies that address the desires of both mid-career women and men.”

Don’t Think A Healthy Compensation Will Retain Good Talent? Think Again

In conclusion, choosing to pay employees at the bottom-end of the scale will only lead to them leaving your company. And because the job market is tight, it’s very likely that the vacation position can be fill very quickly. However, sooner or later, companies who are known to have a high turnover rate, because of excessively low pay, will be avoided, even by those who are desperate for work. The good news is that the companies who pay their employees the poverty wages are in the minority-so, there is hope.

 

The Industrial Age brought with it among other things, mass production of goods and manufacturing and also the introduction of the 9 to 5 work day. And with several decades gone, the Industrial Age has slowly become a thing of the past. And with the changes in the working world, one of the new norms have now become the 12 or 13/14 hour shift, which begs the question, can humans actually work that long and still productivity?

A recent article titled “12-Hour Shifts — Are They the Best Fit for Your Organization”? by Jason Gogel for Industry Week, an online manufacturing publication, wrote in part;

“After the Great Recession, many manufacturers had to find new ways to increase productivity and efficiency. Some changed their shift schedules from eight to 12 hours so they lost less production time on shift changes each day.”

Numerous studies including, one for Harvard Business Review, concludes that an individual’s health eventually suffers by working too many hours, with the end result being less productivity. Of course, we have all at one point or another, worked overtime for extended periods, in order to complete or implement a project and that means putting in extra hours but, that’s the exception and not the rule.

Working Long Hours, Does It Improve Or Hinder Productivity?

The Industry Week article continues by stating that; “The biggest concern with 12-hour shifts is lack of sleep and fatigue, which can negatively impact performance, productivity, and safety- on the job and at home. Health professionals typically agree that quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal functioning; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30% of the nation’s workers are sleeping less than six hours per day.

In addition to fatigue, not getting enough sleep can result in shortened attention spans, memory lapses, and irrational decision-making. According to sleep experts, other sleep-related problems are diminished psychomotor skills, slower reaction times, poor communication, and periods of micro-sleeping.”

You can read the entire article by going to Industry Week web page. Unless you are working for a company like Google and others of its kind, who provides nap rooms for employees who work long hours each week, your productivity will go down, if you continue working extended hours each day.

Another article you might find useful on this topic is called; “Whatever happened to 9 to 5? “ by Rex Huppke for the Chicago Tribune.

To learn more about ATS and how our time and attendance solutions can help your company manage pay policies and overtime hours, go to our website or call; (866) 294.2467.

Working Long Hours, Does It Improve Or Hinder Productivity?

In an era of increased work stress some have argued that for some companies, their balance sheet is more important than the well being of the people who help them achieve their profits. But, is it really possible to have a happy workforce and at the same time, have a healthy balance sheet? There are numerous companies who have attained both goals and for them it’s a no-brainer. One such company is called G Adventures and reading this story about them is like being on one of the rides at Disneyland.

The question remains why do some companies insist on making their workforce miserable while others understand the value in a happy workforce? In an article titled “Being Happy at Work Matters” written by Annie McKee, for Harvard Business Review, we extrapolated two paragraphs that lends powerful credence to importance of a happy workforce. It reads in part;

“Disengaged, unhappy people aren’t any fun to work with, don’t add much value, and impact our organizations (and our economy) in profoundly negative ways. It’s even worse when leaders are disengaged because they infect others with their attitude. Their emotions and mindset impact others’ moods and performance tremendously. After all, how we feel is linked to what and how we think. In other words, thought influences emotion, and emotion influences thinking.

It’s time to finally blow up the myth that feelings don’t matter at work. Science is on our side: there are clear neurological links between feelings, thoughts, and actions. When we are in the grip of strong negative emotions, it’s like having blinders on. We focus mostly — sometimes only — on the source of the pain. We don’t process information as well, think creatively, or make good decisions. Frustration, anger, and stress cause an important part of us to shut down —the thinking, engaged part. Disengagement is a natural neurological and psychological response to pervasive negative emotions.”

So with such solid science behind the importance of a happy workforce, are you one of the lucky employees who got hired by a great company? After all, not all companies espouse the virtues of having a wonderful workforce. And, the same can be said that not all employees are the best to work with either.

To learn more about ATS Workforce Management Solutions, go to our website and download a demonstration. You can also sign up for one of our monthly webinars and to reach an account executive, call: 1.866.294.2467.

Can A Happy Workforce And Healthy Balance Sheet Co-Exist?