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

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

 

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

Benefit Accruals, Vacation, Statutory Holiday and Overtime Pay

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

Employee Workforce Scheduling

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

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

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

To reach a representative, call 866.294.2467.

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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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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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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Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | HR | Telecommuting Employees | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Building A Business Case For Telecommuting)

Want to convince your boss that you should work from home? Make sure you have a compelling case, including facts to prove that working remotely will not impact your productivity. In other words, do your due diligence, talk to your HR personnel, other work colleagues, and be sure to take time to learn about your company’s history as it pertains to telecommuting, otherwise, it could backfire on you.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

Here are some tips from Melanie Pinola’s blog on LifeWire titled What You Should Know Before You Ask to Work from Home

“The first thing you should know, if you’ve never worked from home before, is that telecommuting has awesome benefits but it’s not for everyone.

There are many pros and cons to telecommuting. That said, if you want to give it a try, start with the basics below.

Find out what the current policy is

  • Check the employee manual. If there’s an existing remote work policy, then your chances of success are good. You can use the information provided to make your case in your remote work proposal.
  • If there’s no written information but some of your co-workers currently have flexible work arrangements, ask them for advice on proceeding. They’ll have the inside scoop on how easy it was to negotiate the work arrangement and how it’s working out for them.
  • Don’t worry if no one ever has established a flexible work schedule or remote work agreement at the company, though. You can be the first! (In my former job, I was the first person to start working from home regularly as a telecommuter as I was able to prove I could get my job done at home. See below for more details.)

Use your experience to your advantage

  • Because your supervisor’s support and approval will be key to getting your request granted, you’ve got a leg up if you are an established employee whom your supervisor trusts and values. Make sure you maintain that respect and continue to make yourself invaluable to the company.
  • Gather past employee evaluations that had positive comments related to critical telecommuting traits, such as: initiative, ability to work without supervision, and communication skills.
  • If you are a new hire, think about past experience at other companies that prove your ability to telecommute productively, such as occasionally working while traveling for work or working from home when needed on the weekends. If you don’t have past remote work experience, perhaps delay the request, however, until you’ve developed a strong rapport with your supervisor and proven yourself invaluable to the company.

 Be sensitive to your employer’s needs and goals
Look at the company’s mission statements, website description, and other materials to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about their employees’ well-being or are innovative/progressive companies of today, you can use these “branding statements” in your proposal.”

If you are still unable to convince your boss about the benefits of telecommuting, don’t be dishearten, simply try again in a few months. However, if your company has a no telecommuting policy, you should also be respectful of it by either abiding by the company’s policy, or find a company that offers telecommuting to its employees.

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Today’s HR practitioners have a symbiotic relationship with technology. And why shouldn’t they? When you consider the old ways of calculating and managing employee time and attendance was relegated to paper time sheets. In other words, a time-consuming task, that resulted in numerous errors, it’s no wonder many in HR are giving a warm embrace to technology.

Technology Has Become A Great Resource For HR Departments

A brief summary of an article titled World-class HR departments do more but spend less, thanks to technology written by Valerie Bolden-Barrett, for HR Dive reads, in part:

  • World-class HR organizations spend 25% less than average HR organizations and function with 30% less staff, but are more effective, according to a report from The Hackett Group. The consulting firm’s benchmark analysis​ also found that, should an average company with $10 billion in revenue gain world-class HR status, it could save up to $15 million a year. The Hackett Group defines world-class HR operations as those which maintain a level of performance in the top quartile in effectiveness and efficiency.
  • The analysis also showed that world-class HR operations spend more of their budgets on cloud-based technology and selective outsourcing compared to other HR staffs. Top-ranked departments have also reduced the amount of staff performing transactional tasks with error rates for those tasks two to fives times lower that of traditional HR operations.
  • The Hackett Group’s research also found that, through digital technology, HR organizations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services, boost customer experience, place additional resources on high-value activities and use sophisticated analytics for better decision-making.

Bottom line: Technology has created remarkable new opportunities to eliminate administrative overhead and, at the same time, give HR departments access to advanced technology tools like, workforce analytics, real-time employee dashboard review, employee self-self service and hosts of other workforce management tools available 24/7 365 days a year.

Do you think your HR department will want to turn their backs on tools that helps them streamline payroll costs and improve productivity? We are guessing the answer is no.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management Solutions go to our website. You can also register for a bi-monthly webinar or call us at 866.294.2467 to arrange a demonstration.

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

October 2nd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in HR | Recruitment | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on What Is The Right Fit Anyway?)

That’s a tough one to wrap around one’s head when a company says they are looking for the ‘right fit’? What’s the hidden meaning behind these words and will your company know the ‘right fit’ when you see it and if so, what does it represent? Some have argued that these words mean some companies are only interested in hiring candidates who attended the same schools or have the same circle of friends and/or associates as their current employees. If that’s the case, why not say so, on these job applications?

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

In her article, Hiring Fit vs. Hiring for Inclusion: Which Route Should You Take?

Lin Grensing-Pophal writes, “HR professionals are talking a lot about “hiring for fit,” and the concept seems sound. After all, to create and maintain a strong corporate culture, companies would seem well-served to ensure that new hires will fit into that culture. But is there a flip side to this commonly held wisdom? Could building a culture based on “fit” keep out those who are different in some way? Does it create equal employment opportunity risks? Are innovators being excluded? How can HR leaders help their companies find the right balance?”

The importance of preserving culture within an organization is at times, nothing more than a load of baloney. Progressive organizations are that the ones who are who are diverse in thought and people. The words ‘right fit’ are embraced by some companies, thereby limiting their own growth prospects simply to attract candidates who think like them.

In closing, Lin Grensing-Pophal’s article, in SHRM, contains 6 tips for companies who hire based on ‘fit’:

  • Hire from the broadest pool of applicants. Go beyond recruiting from the same education programs. Go beyond word-of-mouth hires.
  • Use neutral job descriptions focusing on the essential job requirements and the requisite merit, education and skills needed for each position.
  • Identify the company’s core values and how a person who is a strong cultural fit best represents these values.
  • Have a wide panel of interviewers from a variety of backgrounds interview job candidates.
  • Focus on what the individual will be able to bring to the company based on his or her experience and how that will advance the company’s goals, mission, sales and success.
  • Make inclusion a goal during the onboarding process.

Apex Time Solutions (ATS) is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Thousands of organizations that spans Canada, South America, US and Europe— including Fortune 500® — companies use ATS TimeWork OnDemand to control payroll costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

To learn about ATS best-in-class time and attendance solutions, job costing, employee scheduling, forecasting, payroll and workforce analytics management go to www.atimesolutions.com

 

Since business runs on talent, growing companies need effective workforce management solutions that work, and work well. Manual calculation of employee hours and spreadsheets can result in costly over or under-staffing and unpaid overtime hours, which in turn, can lead to low staff morale. As a business grows, it demands more effective business automation tools—without adding unnecessary maintenance, deployment time, and cost. Organizations need solutions that speeds up HR processes and systems so they are strong enough to meet workforce needs today, but innovative enough to adapt in the future.

What Modern Workforce Management Means For Your Business

If you have already made workforce adjustments to proactively prepare for the upcoming labour changes by lawmakers across the North American, you might be fine. But, what if you haven’t and you are still scrambling to deploy a time and attendance that can adapt to upcoming employment standards act and other workforce regulations?

Here’s what you can expect from an ATS TimeWork OnDemand Solution

  • Simplify scheduling tasks with ATS Workforce Planning tool — to create and manage schedules anywhere, from any web-enabled device
  • Improve staff accountability – easily assign and track job costing projects
  • Enable employees to request time-off, check vacation balances and banked time, from anytime, anywhere  — clock-in/out, and view messages left by management on any mobile device
  • Reduce labour costs through utilization of ATS Forecasting & Budgeting module so you can gain better control over your business by knowing, at any time if you are running over or under budget
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements through automated alerts— to managers, when overtime or other thresholds are at risk

ATS TimeWork OnDemand gives growing businesses the critical information they need to optimize their workforce. ATS TimeWork OnDemand delivers science infused workforce management— that results in real-time business intelligence designed to— inform decisions and provide a high return on investment.

To learn more, go to our website and download a demonstration, or call 866.294.2467.

When biometrics was introduced as a way to avoid buddy punching, and thus, replace time and attendance swipe card technology, many thought these data collectors were part of a futurist Star Trek movie. Fast forward to some decades later and recent news that a company was about to microchip its entire workforce has privacy advocates scratching their heads in frustration.

Will Microchipping Employees Be The Biometrics Of The Future?

Here is a description from the company, who has decided to deploy the technology to throughout its workforce;

“Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.  This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped.  32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.

RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.”

The reaction to employees being microchipped has been swift with labour experts and lawmakers citing privacy concerns and appealing to HR professionals to proceed with caution. One lawmaker in the state of Nevada has introduced legislation to prevent companies forcing employees to get microchipped as condition of their employment.

So will the idea of microchipping employees gain widespread acceptance? Only time will tell.

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The acceptance of the cloud has been growing steadily and that’s in large part to its many benefits, including; flexibility, low financial outlay and scalability. Some companies dip their toe in the water by simply moving core elements of their time and attendance into the cloud, while others are choosing the middle ground of a hybrid cloud environment, which keeps core time and attendance functions on-premise while also utilizing a variety of multi-tenant public cloud systems to manage certain parts of their business.

Some C-suite executives including finance and HR, at times, need convincing when it comes to the cloud, and if their past experiences with a cloud solution, have been less than stellar — asking them to give a cloud-base solution another chance might be an uphill battle.

In a published article for CFO.com titled The Cloud: A Better Expense Model Roy Golding, does a masterful job in espousing the virtues of the cloud and its inherent benefits.

“Cloud asks businesses and their finance leaders to reevaluate some long-held approaches to IT and how it is accounted for. Traditionally, any time an organization wanted to make a significant technology change, the CFO needed to ensure the long-term business model supported the investment. Making heavy capex investments up front — think expensive data-center hardware — always brought with it the risk that the hardware wouldn’t be fully utilized down the road.

The Benefits Of The Cloud Is Undeniable So, Don’t Get Left Behind

In contrast, cloud offers the flexibility to move technology resources and to not be tied into one big investment at the beginning of a new project or business. Software-as-a-service (SaaS), for example, removes the need for businesses to install and run software and applications on their own hardware within their own physical infrastructure, which also removes the associated expenses. In this operating expense model, instead of taking a large cash hit on the P&L statement right away, the company can pay for the service over time as it gradually grows the investment.

In the past, if IT teams needed additional hardware, software, or connectivity resources at certain times of the year — for seasonal reasons, perhaps — the investment to cover that requirement may have resulted in over-provisioning after the busy period ended. And a double hit resulted — the company subsequently owned depreciating technology assets that weren’t being used most of the time. This approach has never been popular with CFOs, but before the arrival of the cloud there was little alternative.”

If your organization is still on the fence about the cloud, you can always start small and grow with it. For example, with ATS TimeWork OnDemand Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) you can easily increase or decrease capacity to cost-effectively handle peak demand.  And, because the configuration with ATS TimeWork OnDemand configuration is less complex, you don’t high-value implementation team members thus– helping keep deployment costs down.

The power of the cloud is undeniable so, don’t leave your organization behind. Still not convinced? Find out how ATS TimeWork OnDemand Enterprise Cloud Solutions can deliver the speed and resources necessary to quickly validate and realize solid ROI.

To learn more go to our website. You can register and join the ATS Workforce Analytics team for this week’s webinar, How Businesses Can Use Analytics To Achieve Profitability. And, to speak to an account executive, call: 866.294.2467.

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