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This current pandemic has forced many employees to work from home. And, for those employees who are not used to working from home, they could get easily get distracted, feel lonely and unproductive. Moreover, this might be especially true for employees who crave the social interaction of their colleagues and also feel exiled from the office environment.

If you happen to be one of these employees who, like many of us, are having a hard time juggling working from home and managing house-hold chores while helping your school-age kids with online learning, here are few tips from an article titled, Four Self-Care Practices You Can Do at Your Desk by Mandy Gilbert for Inc.com

Wind down with a five-minute meditation: I probably don’t have to remind you of all the studies that have been done that link daily meditation to improved mental and physical health. We all know meditation is good for us. However, finding the ability to pull away from your pressing tasks and give into a quick mindfulness session can seem downright selfish when dealing with all the urgent matters stacking up on your plate. 

Turn off your digital devices and focus on the tangible: Screen fatigue is a huge problem and can become a very real hindrance on your mental health. As many of us transition to working from home, the problem is only becoming amplified. I know, personally, I cringe a little every time I hear the ping of my weekly screen report. 

Practice workplace gratitude and celebrate your accomplishments: Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You’re working away on a big project, caught up in the day-to-day hustle, when a colleague congratulates you on a recent achievement that you almost entirely forgot about. 

Throw out the rules and text your family and friends: Our family and friends are our greatest support systems, so it can be hard keeping them at arm’s length throughout the day when you are going through a particularly difficult time. 

That’s why it’s time to throw away the rule made up in the boardrooms of yesteryear that you shouldn’t be on your personal phone during work hours. Speaking from firsthand experience, it can be so rejuvenating to take a moment and check in with your loved ones once or twice a day. It lifts your spirits, satisfies your need for socialization, and can even make you more productive. 

Bottomline: No one knows with absolute certainty, when many employees might return to offices. However, several tech companies including Salesforce, Twitter, IBM, Oracle and Google to name a few, has already said employees can work at home for the rest of the year, even after they have reopened their offices.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar Embracing The Future of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

During this ever-evolving challenging time, organizations should be prepared for additional leave requests from their employees. Federal, provincial and local governments, are quickly amending or passing laws in response to COVID-19 outbreak, to protect workers who need time off. And, as this pandemic drags on, with no end in sight, organizations can expect, from workers —additional stress, feelings of fear and uncertainty.

If you are using paper and pen to track your employee time-off requests, during this pandemic, there is a better way.

With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, employees and supervisors can:

Employee Self-Service Portal

  • Employees can request time-off, view hours worked for the week or period.
  • Find out if their request for time-off was granted or denied by their supervisors
  • Key in their start and end time from any computer or mobile device

Supervisor Portal

  • HR, supervisors and operational managers can review time-off requests in real-time and respond accordingly.
  • Supervisors can enter time-off for themselves directly, without an approval process. However, if you want supervisors to submit their time-off, for approval, to the managers they report to, you can simply change their access rights.

Notifications

Supervisors, managers and super-users can push notifications from the dashboard to their mobile device. They can also select their preferred notification from their ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Dashboard.

Vacation and leave management Balances

  • Leave management balance are hours from existing edit time card that have been deducted.
  • Future benefit accruals have notbeen added.
  • Time-off hours in the edit time card that have not been deducted.

Available Benefit Accrual Balance

  • Time-off hours accrued between now and when the time-off occurs have been added. 
  • All future time-off hours that have been deducted. 
  • Any hours from existing time-off dashboard that have been deducted.

ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Payroll Ready

  • With ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR ESS, you can integrate, automate, and streamline your entire payroll process while providing in-depth reporting options and ensuring accuracy.
  • Integrated payroll engine interface that simplifies your entire payroll process while providing in-depth reporting options.
  • Access and make amendments to compensation and Benefit Accruals

Companies that implement ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR will be positioned to maximize efficiency and cost savings by —streamlining processes and freeing up the HR department from manually tracking and managing employee requests. The Employee Self-Service features of an ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR can positively impact employee engagement by actively involving them in their own vacation planning, overtime requests and benefits decisions.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar Embracing The Future of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

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Time and Attendance to Manage Your Remote Workforce

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How To Maintain Employee Engagement During COVID-19

While many provinces in Canada and states, in the US are making plans to reopen, many of its citizens, don’t feel quite ready to go back — to work or business. As employers make plans to return to the workplace, they will need to carefully gauge how employees feel and what would make them comfortable.

Here are 7 steps to take to protect employees and your business:

1.Encourage employees to stay home if they’re sick and don’t ask them to produce a doctor’s note. Doctors have got their hands full, trying to deal with COVID-19. They don’t have time to write a sick note to confirm that an employee is sick. Also, avoid pressuring sick employees to return to work too soon, instead, encourage them to utilize your company’s leave policies or paid sick time.

2. Check the updates from government and health officials. Provinces, municipalities, Government of Canada the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have added useful information regarding COVID-19 on their respective websites.

3.Communicate with your customers. No one is immune to this crisis so, be transparent to customers about your business operations. Perhaps, hours of operation have changed or product offerings are now exclusively online.

4. Offer a remote work option. It wasn’t too long ago that some companies would balk at the suggestion of having employees telecommute for a day or two a week. Today, COVID-19 has made working from home the new normal. Offering employees an opportunity to work from home, even if its for a few days a week—can help prevent the spread of the illness, without exposing themselves or others to the virus.

5. Reduce onsite meetings and travel and instead, hold them virtually. If an employee gets sick because of business travel, you could see a spike in requests for time-off and low employee morale.

6. Institute and communicate workplace policies. Develop hygiene policies that are aligned with public health recommendations and that of your local, regional and federal laws. Post information for employees with on how viruses are transmitted and help employees practice healthy habits by providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap and sanitizer, and disposable towels. These practices will show employees that their employer cares about their well-being.

7. Maintain employee privacy. Treat all medical-related information about an employee’s illness with the strict confidence. If you plan on informing your workforce about a possible case of the virus in their midst, do not reveal the name of the employee.

There will be some uneasiness with the employees who return to work and for employees, while it is great that they are returning to a job, you can expect them to feel uneasy for some time. These employees will likely be keen see what health and safety practices are being employed to ease their fears.

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To learn more about ATS you can register for one of our bi-monthly webinars, download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone at; 866.294.2467.

With stay-at-home orders reshaping the business landscape, the workforce has become fluid and remote. To manage in this new world of work, you need new strategies. Your employees can use ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HR application on their laptops or mobile devices to sign in for work and avoid congregating in the area where they usually clock in and out.

Here are 3 benefits to ATS Time and Attendance and HR App for the remote workforce:

Attendance Management: Labour costs is one of the largest expenses for a business. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand gives you instant insight into time and attendance across your local, regional and global workforce, helping to ensure you maintain control and drive productivity. Employees can log in/out of their timesheets and use the on-demand dashboards to keep track of all payroll, compensation and benefits data

Manager and Employee Self-Service Portal: Employees can navigate the dashboard to; view hours worked, request time-off, view their scheduled shifts, vacation balance and see their leave requests was approved. Managers gets an instant notification for requests that meet pre-defined standards, and real-time visibility into pay calculations and also see employees who are approaching overtime pay.

HR Management and People Analytics: With ATS HR, you get instant and complete visibility of your remote workforce from a single source of truth. Keep your leaders informed with up-to-the-minute insights and make informed decisions with smarter analytics. You have access to on-demand reports, dashboards and analytics to keep track of all payroll, compensation and benefits data. And, instead of using paper-issued approvals, you can leave the busy work behind and focus on important issues like employee engagement, all through the interactive ATS TimeWorkOnDemand.

So, there you have it. No more trying to figure out what time your employee started working, what project they are working on or using manual time-off requests written on paper. You can do all that in ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HR with a few clicks.

At ATS we know the value of your HR data. Built and hosted by ATS this powerful cloud computing app, offers unparalleled reliability, secure access, privacy and availability 24/7, 365 days a year.

To take a test drive of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HR go to our website. To reach an account executive, call; 866.294.2467.

A toxic work environment cannot be created, unless, it’s tolerated by the company’s leaders and is allowed to continue.

In addition to recruiting, retaining talent, managing business management software, and mirage of other duties, HR also has to be vigilant and look for instances of hostile leadership styles, retaliation and bullying in the workplace. When a toxic environment is left unchecked, it can lead to employee stress (physical and mental), and high turnover. And, the era of social media, word will spread fast, about the working conditions of a particular company who allow toxic people to remain, while wreaking havoc on the rest of the team.

Not sure if you are working in a toxic environment? In his article, 7 Sure Signs Your Workplace Is Toxic, Marcel Schwantes lays out the signals one should look for. They are as follows:

“1. All sticks and no carrots-Management focuses solely on what employees are doing wrong or correcting problems, and rarely give positive feedback for what is going right. Or mostly carrots for the best performers, sticks for the rest.

2. The creeping bureaucracy-There are too many levels of approval and management to get things done and a singular focus on micromanaging employees.

3. The gigantic bottom line-Profits, beating the competition, and cost cutting are solely focused on without consideration of other bottom lines.

4. Bullies rule the roost-Management bullies employees, or tolerates bullying when it occurs among employees.

5. Loss of the human touch-People are considered to be objects or expenses rather than assets, and there is little concern for their happiness or well-being. There’s also little evidence of leaders’ compassion and empathy for employees. As a result, you’ll encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.

6. Internal Competition-Employees must compete internally, which is enforced by a performance assessment system that focuses on individual performance rather than team performance.

7. Little or no concern for work-life balance-People’s personal or family lives must be sacrificed for the job; overwork or workaholism is commonly evidenced by 50-hour-plus workweeks, little or no vacation time, and 24/7 availability for work communication. There is little or no commitment to making contributions to the community, worthy causes, or making the world a better place”.

Bottomline: If those 7 signs are not a wake-up call to the leaders of an organization, that’s likely the problem.  In addition, to these signs are many other telltale signs of a toxic work environment, including ones that see new recruits leave after a very short time with an organization.

About ATS

ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance solutions that streamlines the collection, calculation, and reporting of employee hours for workforce management and eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate payroll departments.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce.

In addition, ATS provides modular analytic solutions that includes; workforce planning, benefits management, employee self-service, business intelligence, human resources, payroll, and advanced analytics based on a robust cloud computing platform for information and data needs. It also offers design, rapid deployment, support services, software updates, and enhancements; and consulting and training services.

To download a demonstration of ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, or to register for a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website. And, to reach a sales rep, call; 866.294.2467.

Every executive knows that talent is a company’s most important asset. And, managing that talent effectively can help improve company performance. Giving employees more autonomy around benefits, time-off requests, and other essential employment information can help accomplish this goal. When you offer a broad range of HR self-service options, your employees are more likely to develop a sense of ownership, and your HR department can stay focus on more strategic issues, rather than manual administrative details.

Want to eliminate your company’s use of paper for requesting time-off?  Here are 5 benefits of employee self-service with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand:

  1. Reduce administrative time and ease compliance: Rapidly request, review, and approve time off, shifting your time from administrative tasks to more productive ones. Time-Off requests are checked against company policies in real time to enforce rules like minimum balances or black-out periods.
  2. Empower people: Employees can manage their absence requests any time, anywhere, using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  3. Accurate, consistent leave management: Accurate and consistent leave of absence management minimizes the risk of employee grievances. Automated electronic administration of leave eligibility and requirements ensures cases are managed accurately, consistently, and thoroughly — every time.
  4. Time and attendance: Employees can update their own availability, request time off, view schedules, clock in and out, and trade shifts – letting them better manage their work-life balance.
  5. Automatic updates: Any update made to an employee’s HR record seamlessly flows across the application in real-time. There is no need for any duplicate data entry.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand employee self-service automates the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, and employer-specific leave policies and can be configured to match the needs of your organization to maintain balances, reduce manual process errors, and control absence costs. And, by removing manual tasks from the traditional leave management process, ATS employee self-service ensures accurate data and full visibility, is enabled when tracking and managing employee leave.

To download a demonstration, or to register for one of our bi-monthly webinars go to our website. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call; 866.294.2467.

Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Career | Employee Productivity | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?)

Some of us really love our jobs to the point of being passionate about it and that’s ok. However, it’s when our job becomes an obsession and everything else in our lives becomes secondary to it, that’s when you know, or at least should know, there is a problem. You can still love your job and make time for family and friends and request time-off.  

Here are some useful tips from an article titled, (5 Signs You’re Addicted To Work) by Priyansha Mistry that can help you determine if you are a workaholic.

1) “When you always spend much more time than allocated working.

It’s understandable that some days will require extra time to beat deadlines. This is a different case when you always spend time not allocated to working with a fear of failing. Doing so means you are allowing your work to cheaply override other important things in your life, that’s a sign of work addiction.

2) If you have neglected advise from others to cut down working hours.

A behavior noticed by more than two persons independently is not likely a false recognition. The individuals asking you to cut down working hours are seeing your attitude at work than you do.

3) You hate being prohibited at work

If you can’t have a moment without thinking about how to contribute at work, taking your work materials to vacations, feel you are missing out each time you have to spend a day or hours of work doing something else, you are probably addicted to work. It’s becoming a drug that makes you function.

4) You think of how you can free up more time to work

This means you are willing to de-prioritize your hobbies, cut down time you should spend with your family or anything else to give you extra time for work. Something is not normal; you may be dealing with work addiction.

5) You work too much that it has affected your health

This is a terrible situation difficult to realize and gradually take the victims down. It could be psychological or even physical health. If you’re the type that will sit for too long knowing it’s not good for your spine and still wish to sacrifice it to get so much done regularly, there’s a red flag. If you can observe a little change in your health as a result of extra contributions you’re making at work, there’s a big chance you’re a workaholic”.

Some of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it goes without saying, that it should be a factor in our happiness. That said, work should not be the only place where we derive all our happiness.

Do you identify with any of above-mentioned signs? If so, it might be time to book that vacation that you have been putting off for a couple of years.  

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Many of today’s mid and small size businesses understand the benefits of using modern-day business applications to drive productivity. And, while some of these businesses see a return on investment, because they start using the systems right away, others either delay their implementations, due in part, to unforeseen circumstances or simply because they do not have the sufficient personnel on staff to take steer the project. In reality, these delays in using the applications are no fault of these companies.

A recent article by Sarah Fister Gale for workforce.com Why SMBs Are Buying — But Not Using — HR Tech provides some insight into the reasons why this tends to happen.

“Small and midsized businesses may be investing in more HR technology, but they aren’t making good use of it, and that’s a shame. A new survey from HRIS provider BerniePortal found that while 64 percent of small and midsized businesses use HR software, few are using technology to manage the full scope of HR”.

Here are some immediate benefits that can be derived by using the business productivity solution that your company recently purchased:

Gain a single view of your workforce by: Leveraging data and HR analytics with greater speed and ease when making business decisions. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HR analytics solutions for small and mid-size businesses, provide data-driven insight across the entire companyand simplifies workforce planning to help eliminate errors that impede business success.

Reduce business complexity with: 21st century data collectors that captures and reports information in real-time through payroll, thus providing user-friendly tools that help your employees work more efficiently and support your business as it grows.

Eradicate stress by maximizing workforce visibility: with ATS HCM cloud-based workforce management software. Consolidate all employee information into a single system, automate employee intuitive dashboards and manager workflows, facilitate, and develop, data-driven HR strategies.

The article goes on to say; “For very small companies just beginning the HR software journey, LaRocque encouraged them to start with core HR solutions. “You want to get payroll, benefits, time and attendance, and paid time off in order, and there are a lot of platforms designed to help small companies do all that,” he said. “Then you can start looking at purpose-built solutions to meet your specific workforce needs.”

The HR problems a company faces will determine the kinds of tools they should deploy — but they shouldn’t delay. “If you think you don’t have time for technology you’ve got your head in the sand,” he said. The time savings that HR leaders achieve by automating laborious HR tasks make these tools immediately worth the investment, especially for small companies with under-staffed HR teams”.

Bottomline-if you have taken the time to invest in the technology, your company will realize a return on investment (ROI) if you are engaged from inception to completion.

To learn more about ATS HCM Workforce Management Solution, go to our website. You can also download a demo, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Careers | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife)

Eliminating stress from your work entirely is a nice goal, but of course, we all know that’s not really possible. Some stress is good because, it propels us to complete projects that might otherwise, go unfinished.

There are also a number of ways one can decrease stress at work, some of which might include; taking the occasional break, not working 10 hours or more a day, taking vacation time, and not responding to work emails after hours or on weekends.

Vikki Ledbetter article, article titled 3 steps to a work detoxoffers some tips on the importance of taking a break from the everyday grind. These steps include:

“1. Prepare: Look at your calendar and move meetings. Think about commitments the week following your time out and alert relevant people that you’ll be unavailable. And, of course, communicate your time off as early as possible so your team isn’t caught off guard.

Planning can also illuminate opportunities to train others and give them a chance to try something new, as well as highlight holes in documentation for how you do what you do. Developing tutorials or even one-pagers on your work processes can serve you and your team well long term.

2. Set boundaries: With a physical detox, there are some strict no-nos to your diet, right? Likewise, with a work detox you’ll have to ensure you’re not welcoming stimulants that cause you unrest. There aren’t a lot of occasions where you truly can’t be reached, despite what your out of office message may say. But that doesn’t mean you should be available at all times.

3. Take in the good stuff: Now it’s time to focus on what you can do during your break to kickstart your work detox and leave you feeling refreshed. Make time for hobbies and people that make you happy, and the earlier the better. If you love hiking, schedule it for the first half of your day so you are, in some ways, forced to disconnect from work. If you enjoy writing, set aside time to take yourself on a coffee date for just you and your journal.”

If you have included things like working less and not taking on too many projects as part your New Year goals, good for you. And, if not perhaps this might be something you can add to your list of goals. Hopefully, we still have not abandoned those New Year resolutions yet?

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Your company made it through another year together,and it’s time to let your employees relax, have some fun and enjoy themselves.And, when it’s done right, the annual Christmas party can be great opportunity for managers to get to know their employees on a personal level.

In writing for the Silicon Republic, David Bell’s article, titled How to avoid the Christmas party HR hangover  offers some, advice to HR practitioners and senior executives. Here are three takeaways from the article:

Don’t encourage binge drinking
To avoid behavioural issues, don’t encourage mass consumption of alcohol intake and don’t offer employees a free bar. This will decrease the chances of accidents, fights or issues that usually happen as a result of drinking. If needed, be prepared to tell individuals to stop drinking if they start to appear too drunk or rowdy.

Social media is a powerful tool, used for many different aspects of both personal and business life. However, it is important to remember that when your employees are posting selfies and other various photos at the office party, they are still representing your company, so brand awareness is vital.

Ensure employees use social media in a positive way
It could be a good idea to have one person act as a photographer for the night and only take appropriate photos. The next working day, everyone can choose certain photos they prefer and you could even choose a couple for company social media.

 It is highly recommended that you create a general social media policy in your workplace. Informing staff of this new disciplinary policy will make them aware of the rules and hopefully avoid any possible problems.

Be considerate to all employees
Be sensitive to the fact that some employees may not celebrate the Christmas holiday. There are some religions that don’t consume alcohol, so it’s very important to make sure there are options to cater to them. This will show your awareness and consideration of your employees, making them feel valued.

 Don’t make any promises that you can’t keep and avoid discussions about salary, promotions etc at the party. The reason for this isthat words of encouragement are sometimes misinterpreted and may cause issues in the workplace.

For most, unless the party is on a Friday night, the working week will continue the next day as normal. Despite guidance on what is considered acceptable and what is not, unfortunate events may occur or certain things may be said. In such situations, it’s important that any information given to you by employees stay anonymous, unless said otherwise.

Happy Holidays!

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