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It’s a risky proposition yet, companies far and wide, are struggling with the decision of how, to bring employees back while making sure their health and safety remains intact. The economic fallout from COVID-19 have an economic blow to many businesses-and, unlike, other disasters (natural or otherwise,) such as IT outage or an extreme weather event, this global pandemic does not have a definitive end in sight.

If, like many businesses, you are in the processing of bringing some or all of your employees back to the office, here are some tips from an article titled Ready to Bring Employees Back to the Workplace? Here Are 12 Things to Consider from Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender

Before employees return
Organizations will want to consider these activities before the first employee comes back to the work environment. It’s possible that some of them are already in motion, especially if you’ve had employees occasionally visiting the office space while most employees are working remotely.

  • Put together an “opening team.The team’s first task should be to understand what the requirements are for your geographic area and industry in terms of safety requirements (i.e. numbers of employees allowed onsite, customer capacity, distancing requirements, etc.)
  • Look at the work layout. Discuss what should be done with workspaces to permit proper distancing. This includes individual desks, conference rooms, employee break areas, as well as customer areas.
  • Talk with legal and risk management. Find out the answers to questions about bringing back employees from furlough or terminated status. Be prepared to address onsite testing as well as contact tracing policies and procedures.
  • Ask managers to begin talking with employees about returning to work. Find out if managers have any questions that will need to be addressed. Consider giving employees who are apprehensive about returning some additional time working remotely. 

During the employees’ return
I’m sure there will be a phase-in period where employees start showing up to the office. It’s also possible that employees might work in a transition phase where they spend a couple of days working remotely and then a couple of days in the office. Workplaces will have to be flexible during this time.

  • Establish a monitoring committee. This group will have a different task from the opening team and could be in place longer. This committee will be responsible for monitoring local updates and communicating to employees any changes in protocols
  • Create a welcome letter. This correspondence can be done via email or video and it’s designed to tell employees what to expect in the new office environment. In fact, it could make sense to have a general message from the CEO and another one from the employee’s direct manager. 
  • Give managers flexibility. Speaking of managers, it might be helpful to give them more flexibility than usual in offering employees staggered shifts, flexible work hours, and the ability to approve remote work. 
  • Put a procedure in place for employees to express their concerns. No one wants employees to choose between their safety and their job. Let employees know if they see something that makes them uncomfortable, how they should address it. The goal here isn’t to get people into trouble. It’s to keep everyone safe

After most employees have returned
As more employees return to the office, the organization will want to figure out how to get back to “normal”. Frankly, employees will be looking for that as well. It helps everyone stay focused and productive. 

  • At this point, organizations might be thinking about business travel. It might be necessary to redefine what’s considered essential and non-essential business travel. Some of this might tie into a revised budget.
  • Evaluate technology needs. Hopefully, we won’t face another pandemic, but employees might need better technology that gives them the ability to be productive while working remotely. Make sure they have the right technology to support their work.
  • Conduct a debrief. Organizations will hear that the government is permitting them to do something but that “something” may/may not be best for the organizations’ business model and employees. Companies will have to start deciding how – as restrictions are relaxed – they will make decisions.
  • Finally, put together an emergency plan for next time. Again, hopefully you’ll never have to use it. While all of these thoughts are fresh in everyone’s mind, put a plan on paper.

Bottomline: The COVID-19 pandemic “new normal” has forced business leaders and their HR departments into some of the most challenging times on record-whether its adapting to new workforce demands, managing dispersed teams or maintaining employee engagement in a time of volatility.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

While governments are taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, working remotely, will be the new normal for tens of thousands of office workers across Canada, the US and around the world. In short, this means, many office-based employees are now predominantly, if not 100% will be working remotely for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will therefore, be up to the companies – and in particular, their HR departments – to ensure that employees feel supported through this unprecedented situation. And, while the transition of working remotely, might be easy for some (especially those who may have been working from home, pre-COVID-19) employees – for others, it can be particularly daunting.

Here are 5 steps, business leaders and their HR teams can use to ensure the effectiveness of their remote workforce:

1.Be open to flexible work policies: Employee value flexible work schedules. Some of them may have their children at home and are balancing helping their kids with online learning while also working. If employees have the flexibility to take a reasonable amount of time to look after their kids, when it’s convenient, could mean that your employees will be happier, less stressed and more productive.

Resist the urge to install keystroke tracking devices on the laptop of employees. This will only create mistrust and resentment from your workforce. Instead deploy a flexible online timesheet that employees can use to input their time and request time-off. And, if an employee is not able to start promptly at 9:00am, because of some unforeseen circumstances at home show some empathy. The manager and the employee, can perhaps arrange another day when the employee can make up the time.

2.Figure out the best way to boost productivity for employees: Sometimes daily calls and emails while good, might not always work. Change it up, by encouraging employees to look up some free online learning courses.  For example, LinkedIn, has a list of online courses designed to boost productivity while working from home.

3.Establish regular manager check-ins: The daily call-ins, could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls, or a team call to instill collaborative team effort. Make sure that the calls are regular and predictable, and that they are a forum in which employees know that they can consult with you, and that their concerns and questions will be heard.

4. Create Social Interaction Channels: As a species, we are social beings and enjoy fellow human interaction.  Managers, should therefore, structure ways, for employees to interact socially on a variety of topics. In other words, ‘water-cooler’ type of conversations. An example, might be to devote some time at the beginning of team calls to discuss non work-related items (e.g., ‘How was your weekend’? And, ‘are you watching any new shows on Netflix’?

5. Share wellness tips, offer encouragement and emotional support: Encourage employees to take their full lunch break and perhaps go outside for a walk. Some employees may not take a lunch break, fearful of what their manager might think.

In the wake of Covid-19, many employees have gone from working in an office to being 100% remote-and that, in and of itself, could raise employees’ anxieties and concerns. Managers should offer encouragement during one and one or team chats to employees. With remote workers not getting any face-to-face communication with their teams, mental health wellness becomes even more important.

COVID-19 is arguably one of the biggest changes, the modern world of work has had to navigate through so, this has been a challenge for many business leaders and their HR teams across the world.

To learn more about ATS you can register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To download a demo of our work from home time and attendance application, go to our website. And, to reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

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Tracking Leave Management During A Pandemic

Time And Attendance HR App To Manage Your Remote Workforce

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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Here are a few Contactless Punching Options for your Organization

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.

The world is different today than it was a few weeks ago. COVID-19 is sweeping across the world. Uncertainty, without question, is at an all-time high, as we experience an utter disruption in our workplaces and homes. And, above all, there’s no quick fix. The best thing employers can do is take time to listen to their employees. This means, being proactive with your employees by way of showing empathy towards their concerns, communicating frequently, while also being flexible and supportive of their needs.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Stress during outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

This current pandemic has many employees working remotely, and as a result, it has made it next to impossible, for companies to maintain an engaged workforce. However, it does not have to be that way.

Here are three ways, companies can maintain employee engagement during this COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. We are social creatures, and whether it’s talking about our favourite hockey team, the latest movie with a work colleague, getting together for birthday celebrations or just casual conversations around the office-these activities include some of the reasons why we enjoy our jobs. All of a sudden, covid-19 has put a stop to all of this. So, as an employer, when checking in with your staff, something as simple as; how was your weekend? can make all the difference to them.
  2. Several provinces and states across Canada and the US are slowly opening up parts of the economy. But does this mean all employees should be asked to start driving to the office? A better approach might be to extend flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, and staggered schedules that can help prevent the spread of the illness by allowing employees to work without exposing themselves or others to the virus. Greater use of teleconferences and e-mail versus face-to-face meetings are additional social distancing strategies that can help prevent the spread of illness.
  3. When checking in with their employees, managers should remind them how important their work is. Whether your industry is in telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, or the front-lines providing healthcare or in the supply chain keeping the economy going, every company’s work is important. Your employee should be told that the work they perform is important and they should be made to feel that way not only now, but beyond COVID-19.

Bottomline: Your employees are anxious. Not only are they worried about getting sick and having enough food and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also weathering financial uncertainty, canceled social plans, and a completely new way of working.

To learn more about ATS, go to our website to download a demonstration of software or you can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

The COVID-19 pandemic, led many businesses to make challenging decisions most of which, necessitated the evaluation of staffing needs after provinces and states across Canada and the United States issued various orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. And, in some instances, these decisions have resulted in businesses reducing employee hours or laying-off employees. 

As officials slowly evaluate easing restrictions, some businesses are considering rehiring laid-off employees or returning furloughed employees to their previously held positions. And, for some of these businesses that have hourly employees who previously punched in/out at a time clock, the question becomes, how can this done in a way that does not expose employees to contracting the coronavirus.

ATS offers a variety of employee time clocks that your staff does not need to make direct contact with, to record their hours.

Backed by ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, cloud computing solution, here are a few options to choose to choose from:

MIFARE cards: With a MIFARE Card employees simply put the card up to time clock and it automatically records their time. The time clock will emit an audible beep to confirm that the employee successfully punched in or out. MIFARE cards encryption keys prevent data from being emitted until the MIFARE card and card reader mutually authenticate each other.

Face Recognition Terminals: With these terminals, employees only have to put their point their face towards the unit and it automatically records their start and end time. ATS Face Recognition contactless biometrics supports three modes of identification, including Face, card or face and card and– simply authenticates digital identity through facial recognition, thereby worker health and safety. ATS Face Recognition time clocks have proven to be one of the best biometrics because employees time can be recorded without touching or interacting with the unit.

Proximity cards, RFID cards and Keyfobs: Similar to MIFARE,proximity cards, RFID cards and keyfobs feature also feature encrypted, embedded metallic antenna coil that stores cardholder data. Data stored on a proximity card, key fob or tag can be detected by an ATS time clock, when the proximity card is passed within range.

As businesses slowly bring employees back to their offices with new health and safety measures, in place and whether you are in healthcare, manufacturing or grocery– ATS contactless biometric technologies can help you introduce a hygienic and safe time tracking experience.

To download a demonstration, or to learn more, go to our website. And, to reach an account representative, call 866.294.2467.

Enhancing the profitability of your organizational challenges gets more difficult every year—thanks in part to aging legacy applications and manual time tracking solutions that can’t keep up with today’s technology. Case in point, disconnected systems can hinder decision-making and lead to wasted resources and high payroll costs.

ATSTimeWorkOnDemand automates time tracking for hourly and salaried workforce and provides senior management with on-the-spot analytic reporting. With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand you can run your entire business in a single system of record, including: Talent Management, Time and Attendance, Payroll, ERP and HR and— receive updates on, production control, supply chain management, and more so you can be more competitive, efficient, and responsive to your customers’ needs.

Here are 5 reasons to deploy ATSTimeWorkOnDemand:

Scalable- Your organization will not have to worry again about database capacity, user license needs, adding another location, or how much storage or computing power you will need as your employee capacity and/or the size of your company increases. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Cloud Computing application is infinitely scalable — expanding as needed.

Cost-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand lowers your cost of installing, maintaining and supporting your Human Capital Management (HCM) system – year after year. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand significantly cuts the cost of installing, maintaining, supporting and upgrading your system not just in year one, but throughout the lifetime of your relationship with ATS.

Secure-With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, you get enterprise-class security at a low, predictable cost. You can trust that your data is safe—from ironclad firewalls and automated security sniffers to concrete walls and biometric control systems, ATSTimeWorkOnDemand solution is designed to provide the highest level of security.

State-Of-The-Art Technology-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is built from the ground up with HR, finance and payroll practitioners in mind, and takes maximum advantage of cloud computing.  ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is designed for a “single instance, multi-tenant” implementation or across multiple sites across Canada, the US, Latin America or Europe. And, while the platform is shared among users and sites, security controls provide each tenant with sole access to its own data, in real-time, as well as full control over user and security administration.

Always-On-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is available 24/7, 365 days a year— and promises to exceed the service levels and response time. Afterall, today’s businesses, simply cannot afford unscheduled downtime.

Tired of struggling with outdated and disparate software solutions?  Discover the many benefits of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand by downloading a demonstration of the application and you can see how this cloud application delivers a single solution that streamlines payroll costs, improve productivity and efficiently runs your business.

To learn more, you can contact us by phone at 866.294.2467 and/or also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

Many of us worry about artificial intelligence (AI) taking our jobs and basically, turning the world upside down. And, while there are some legitimate worries about its use, there are a lot of positives with the use of AI.

HRD recently published an article, titled Five ways artificial intelligence changed the workplace in 2019. And, they include:

1. Facial recognition and AI in video interviews: A number of video interview platforms available on the market today focus on scheduling a Q&A with a candidate, recording a clip of the exchange, and forwarding it to the HR team for assessment.

The software behind the platform purportedly relies on 25,000 data points taken from the facial expressions, movements and tone of voice of past successful candidates then uses them as a benchmark for screening new applicants. These subtle clues from their interaction with the AI reportedly help determine their suitability to the role.

2. Reducing unconscious bias in candidate interviews: Unlike human recruiters, the robot skips the small talk and goes through the questions in the same manner, tone and order. The developers hope this approach leads to a fairer recruitment process.

3. AI and ‘smartphone psychiatry’: Can AI and analytics detect burnout among employees? This is the question behavioral and I/O psychologists are trying to answer with a new wave of AI-powered apps.

Installed in wristbands, badges and mobile phones, these tools are designed to pick up signals or biomarkers such as a person’s heart rate, breathing pattern and – in the case of mobile phone users – typing speed to assess their likelihood of experiencing burnout and other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

4. AI and decision making: HR leaders who want to take a pulse of employee sentiment typically rely on surveys with a quick Yes or No question. But what happens when the questions revolve around complex issues such as workplace policy?

5. AI-powered robots that ‘learn’ from mistakes: Workplace robots are built to perform the same tasks over and over. But throw them into a new – and more challenging – situation and they might not always know which direction to take. Unless they’re built to learn from every mistake, of course.

This is the premise behind a new robot being developed at the University of Leeds. It uses AI to map out its surroundings then remembers a specific path or course of action it has taken each time it maneuvers its way and completes a task successfully.

Bottomline: There are benefits to AI if and when it is used as it was intended, which was for good. For example, ATS time and attendance is a cloud computing solution that lays the foundation for fast, modular use, and will grow with your business. As a best-of-breed cloud application solution, ATS Time and Attendance, streamlines end-to-end workflows with a single software solution for business intelligence and workforce planning.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance cloud computing AI solution, go to our website and register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. You can also download a demo to see this revolutionary application in action. And, to reach us by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables a system to learn from data rather than through explicit programming. Artificial intelligence is a broad term that refers to systems or machines that mimic human intelligence. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are often discussed and used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. An important distinction is that although all machine learning is AI, not all AI is machine learning.

Today, machine learning is at work all around us. When we bank and shop online, or use social media platforms, the algorithms of machine learning comes into play to make the user experience efficient, seamless and secure. Machine learning and the technology around it are developing rapidly, and thus, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of its broad-based capabilities.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite is robust, intuitive and built with future-forward simplicity of machine learning, allowing your organization to work smarter and work seamlessly in the modern cloud. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite experience empowers your employees to perform at their full potential and work inspired, helping them accomplish daily tasks — anything from requesting time-off and benefits enrollment to scheduling and managing time and attendance. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand machine learning capabilities, employs rich analytics to predict what will happen — to help organizations make forward-looking, proactive decisions instead of relying on past data.

Here are 3 ways ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM technology suite can help your business thrive:

Work in today’s modern cloud
With ATS TimeWorkOnDemand you can automate the employee life cycle and streamline workforce compliance including collective bargaining agreements (CBA) so your people can focus on strategic initiatives that support business goals.

Streamline payroll and other operational costs
ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite allows your company to streamline tasks and empower your people to get things done in the fewest steps possible — from any place and on any device 24/7, 365 days a year. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite automates, employee self-service, time and attendance, benefit accruals, employee scheduling and integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources information system (HRIS), payroll and talent management.

Instant data-driven insights
Gather key metrics, visualize insights, and predict workforce trends with HR-based people analytics embedded right into your ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite experience.

To learn more, about ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite go to our website and download a demonstration. To reach an account executive, you can request more information by going online or contact us by phone at 866.294.2467.