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Family-friendly employers do exist, however, with competition for talent at an all- time high, some companies are offering; nap rooms, in-house entertainment and laundry service, minimizing the need to ever leave the office. While those are all nice perks, many working parents, don’t necessarily want to be working 60 hours a week while trying to manage a family. And, so in the talent-perk field of today’s landscape, how hard is it to find a company that embodies the family friendly workplace?

Alice Gomstyn article How to tell whether a prospective employer is actually ‘family-friendly’ illuminates the age-old argument about what constitutes a family-friendly workplace. It reads, in part;

“Fewer hours. Less travel. More flexibility. Minimal stress.

The promise of having it all led Al, a father in suburban New Jersey, to leave a high-pressure career at a New York City talent management agency to work as a marketing director at a theater just a few miles from his home. Al (who asked that his last name not be used so he could speak candidly about his employers) wanted to devote more time to his son, who has special needs, and be available to visit the boy’s elementary school when necessary.But things didn’t work out as expected. Al’s hours grew longer and his boss began calling him on weekends. Occasional requests to leave work to deal with issues at his son’s school were met with disdain.

“What was presented to me at the interview,” Al says, “was very different from what the reality was at the workplace.”

Sometimes the quest for work-life balance can lead parents to change jobs. Those who believe they’re moving to a more family-friendly company or industry may face a rude awakening, though, when hiring managers don’t keep their promises, or when personnel changes transform a once laid-back department into a high-pressure environment.

The family-friendliness of a workplace often depends on who’s running it at the moment, says Samantha Ettus, a work-life balance expert and author. People commonly “leave companies for the grass-is-greener mentality of ‘maybe that other company is going to afford me a better lifestyle,’” she says. “But if they’re working for a boss who doesn’t have any boundaries with their own personal life … [that boss] is certainly not going to care about protecting yours.”

Rachel, a Memphis-based accountant who asked to be identified by her first name only to speak candidly, felt like no one was protecting her when she faced a dramatic increase in her workload. She had traded 60-hour-plus weeks at a public accounting firm for what was supposed to be a better quality of life at an in-house corporate tax department. For a few years, Rachel was satisfied with her move. That changed quickly, however, after several members of the department left. When their positions went unfilled, much more work was heaped onto Rachel’s plate.

She still managed to get out of the office in time to pick up her young son from day care, but it meant spending hours catching up on work each night. The stress took its toll and affected her home life. “I was leaving every day from work in tears,” she says. “I was on edge most of the time. My poor husband probably got my sharp tongue way more than he deserved.” Exhausted and distraught, Rachel reached out to supervisors asking if she could get more support, but she says her pleas were ignored.

Companies today are often quick to tout family-friendly benefits such as parental leave and remote-work options, but the hard truth is that employers are generally under no obligation to deliver on those promises and accommodate parents struggling to balance their duties at work with their responsibilities at home”.

Bottom-line: Employers shape their workplace policies and culture and so, working- parents should be prudent in asking as much information as possible about a prospective company’s expectations before signing on the dotted line of a work contract.

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To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance Solutions, go to our website. You can download a free demonstration or register for one of our bi-weekly webinars.

Managing overtime is not an easy task, especially if your company is using manual time cards and spreadsheets — an archaic practice at best, although, several companies still track employee hours, overtime and leave policies using these tools

Tracking overtime does not have to be that hard, especially if you are using a modern time and attendance solutions. Here are excerpts from an article, on how to manage overtime, by Rob Press for online magazine TLNT titled; 6 Ways to Minimize the Impact of the New US Overtime Rules

Simplify complex policies: Review your overtime policy, reading it through the eyes of the employees. You may find that by simplifying your policy, you could actually minimize the amount of work that you need to do to approve each request.

Complex policies were actually at the root of a recent class action in California. At some company facilities, there was a flat “no overtime” policy. At others, the policy stated that prior approval for overtime must be given by two relevant managers; something that the employees stated was an “impossible task” when they were under pressure to get the job done. Ultimately, the company agreed to settle the case for $20 million.

This really shows just how many complex stages can often be involved in overtime policies, and begs the question: Could making policies more straightforward – and consistent — not only help businesses to achieve their goals, but also help to make HR and manager workloads more manageable?

Focus on organization: To manage overtime like a boss, we need to focus on overtime specifically, right? Well, maybe not. To properly manage overtime, it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

There was a very interesting study undertaken by the US Postal Service across the Northeastern states which found that managers who failed to effectively manage unscheduled leave ended up having to deal with more overtime. According to the report, “management did not effectively manage unscheduled leave, which contributed to overtime hours.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Track employee hours: It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been working in HR for years or you’re just starting out in your career, you know, or will quickly discover, that employees are bad — very bad — at tracking their time. With so many other tasks that need to be prioritized, filling in timesheets often ends up at the bottom of the list.

And the problem doesn’t end there. Even when employees do try to track their time, they’re often doing it days later, which means the hours they’re putting down probably aren’t all that accurate. According to studies of memory, people quickly forget what they learn. What did you have for lunch three days ago?

Analyze: One of the most vital aspects of good overtime management is what it can tell us about workforce practices. As an HR professional, you’re not only responsible for supporting employees, but also for supporting the business, and for raising concerns that can help it improve.

One of the other advantages that an automated tracking system offers is the ability to analyze time and attendance. You can do this with paper timesheets, but it’s much harder.

Minimize overtime: Of course, the absolute best way to manage overtime is to have less of it. Ha! Easier said than done right? Well, being able to reduce overtime isn’t something that’s guaranteed, but there are a few methods that can minimize the need for extra hours.

Although there are any number of reasons for overtime, when it becomes endemic that’s often a sign there are not enough resources to complete the necessary tasks within the time given.

Managing change: Understanding how to better manage overtime is a significant part of handling the big changes that are taking place within the HR industry right now. With HR professionals expected to receive more requests for overtime payments than ever before under the new rules, now is the perfect time to look at improving internal processes and honing management skills for efficient and effective working”.

So, to summarize; proactively managing your employees’ overtime, avoiding surprises and preparing for the future can reduce your expense, protect your organization from unwanted legal action, and improve morale across the company.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand is a best-of-best 21st century human capital management (HCM) software provides an end-to-end employee lifecycle management solution. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand Workforce Management solutions help meet your workforce needs regardless of your industry or where you do business.

Interested in learning how you can curb overtime with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand? Go to our website and take a test drive. You can also reach an account executive at 866.294.2467.

Accurate HR data delivered with up-to-the-minute analytics is vital to the success of an organization. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand cloud computing analytics application can help you make the right business decisions by providing a invaluable information and deep insights, using intuitive tools like automated real-time reports and easy to configure dashboards.

Here are 3 reasons why HR managers love ATS TimeWorkOnDemand:

Intuitive Dashboards

  • Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) for the entire workforce through a set of intuitive dashboards
  • Create, update, and print reports in various formats and through the dashboards
  • Keep the executive suite and departmental managers informed across the organization, with scheduled up-to-the-minute reports and dashboards

Real-Time Insights

  • Enable rapid identification of trends using graphics with easy-to-use data visualization tools
  • Gain up to the minute management insights of workforce through comprehensive analytics. Drill down for more detail and utilize what-if analysis
  • Spot potential business problems before they occur, by gaining instant visibility with early warning systems reporting-so you can make better, informed people decisions.

Payroll and HR Compliance

  • Supports Canadian and US compliance and regulatory payroll, HR and collective bargaining reporting requirements.
  • Permission-based features designed to enable executives, managers, supervisors and employees to support both themselves and their teams, through self-service portals while ensuring that sensitive HR data is visible only to those who need to see it
  • Integrate HR, CRM, talent management, ERP and payroll applications with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, giving one source of truth for your people data. Use on demand reports, dashboards and analytics to keep track of all payroll, compensation and employee benefits data

To view a demonstration of ATS TimeWorkOnDemand analytics, go to our website. And to reach an account executive by phone, 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.


Tracking employee time with biometrics is nothing new. In fact, it has becoming ubiquitous with many companies adopting the technology as a way to streamline payroll costs and increase workforce productive. And since biometric technology, can be used for different purposes, Amazon will soon add it to their Whole Foods grocery chain as a way for customers to pay.

In a recent article by Courtney Linder for Popular Mechanics titled Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands’. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Amazon is testing out a new payment method at its New York offices: hand scanning.

Here’s how it works: Users hold their hands over a special scanner that uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify each hand’s unique shape and size, per the report. Amazon Prime customers must go into stores for their hands to be captured and linked to their account before they can begin using the payment method.

The new payment method will also help to process transactions more quickly. While a typical card transaction takes three or four seconds, Amazon’s new tech can process the charge in less than 300 milliseconds, says the report.

It’s not a new concept by any means. Hand geometry, as the biometric is called, was used to protect access to the residential Olympic Village at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The concept of hand geometry was developed and patented in 1985, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first commercial product using the tech came out the following year, but it wasn’t widely adopted. However, many companies do use hand geometry for time and attendance purposes. Walt Disney World has used “finger geometry” for years to expedite entrance to parks, for example.

Systems that measure hand geometry use a digital camera and light to take a scan. When you use one, you simply place your hand on a flat surface and line your fingers up for an accurate reading. A camera takes several photos of your hand and the shadows that it casts. That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Then, it’s translated into a numerical template through an algorithm.”

ATS biometric clocks are used in a variety of companies and industries from healthcare to food manufacturing, grocery retail, shipping & logistics, government entities and construction.  With ATS biometric time clocks, employees can clock in with a quick scan of their hand, and are instantly verified for accuracy. And, with biometric identification capabilities, “buddy punching” can be prevented to help control labour costs associated with inflated payroll.

To view a demonstration of ATS biometric time clocks or cloud computing time and attendance application, go to our website.

Many healthcare organizations are growing rapidly, against a backdrop of exceptional regulatory changes. As your organization tries to achieve scale, it’s challenging to monitor performance and control costs and, at the same time keep processes running smoothly—especially across multiple locations. ATS Workforce Management for Healthcare enables you to automate with greater efficiency, and provides the visibility you need to make operational improvements, now and for the foreseeable future.

ATS Workforce Management for Healthcare will help you build integrate and manage all your healthcare data cloud applications more efficiently with a comprehensive, standards-based combination of ATS open source technologies.

In this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Improve workforce planning, forecasting and budgeting.
  • Improve Payroll and HR processes.
  • Save time, improve accuracy, and achieve operation excellence.

You can register here for this webinar. To download a demonstration of ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, go to our website. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call 866.294.2467.

Whether you are the CEO, CFO, Chief Information or Chief People Officer running a busy company comes with many challenges including your health.  Afterall, if you don’t take care of your health, how can you lead a productive workforce? In fact, more often than not, a company’s employees tend to model the behaviours of their leader. So, for instance, if the boss habitually works 50-60 hours a week, employees will feel compelled to follow this pattern or risk being seen as not working hard enough.

Sue Pridham’s article written for the Globe and Mail titled Seven tips for busy executives to stay healthy is the perfect antidote for busy executives who overwork themselves and, as a result, struggle to find time for selfcare.

Those seven tips are as follows:

1. Get 7 to 8 hours sleep. If you are low on energy, gaining weight and grumpy, chances are you aren’t getting enough sleep. One night without sleep, or several nights with too few hours of sleep, leaves you driving as if you are legally drunk at a blood alcohol content of 0.08.

2. Eat breakfast daily. The purpose of eating breakfast is to give your body some much needed energy after a long night of sleep.

3. Manage stress. Take wellness breaks throughout the day to recharge and encourage your team to do the same. Leave work at a reasonable hour and let others know you have a life beyond work. They will take note and do the same. Take your well-deserved vacation and try to stay unplugged as much as possible.

4. Exercise daily. If your team sees you making fitness a priority, they will follow suit. That could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk or run midday, encouraging your department to take a stretch break. Another way is to walk and talk. Get out of the boardroom and host a walking meeting. This will stimulate blood flow and get the creative juices flowing. Keep a pair of running shoes under your desk and walk after lunch or at break times. Go for a walk with the family after dinner to reduce screen time.

5. Eat 7 to 8 fruits and vegetables each day. People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a significantly lower risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

6. Practise gratitude. We can get so caught up in the thrill of the next deal and achieving targets that we forget to recognize the efforts of our team along the way. Take time to show thanks. No one has ever faulted their employer for giving too much praise.

7. Stay connected. Social connections can strengthen our immune systems, lower rates of anxiety and depression and improve our self-esteem. Connecting with people makes us happy, which in turn keeps us healthy. Get out from behind your desk and give your employees some face time.

Bottomline: In today’s ‘always on’ digital era, as an executive, you have information coming at you from every angle. And, after a long day of mind consuming tasks, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted. But you won’t be doing a good job at anything if you are not giving your brain a break, and at the same time, risking your health in the process.

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You want to make your HR department more meaningful, with automation but lack the necessary tools. So, how do you replace outdated methods like spreadsheets and paper time cards? You can start by exploring ATS TimeWorkOnDemand cloud-computing HCM software that encompasses, AI and time and attendance dashboards all designed, to help you reduce costs, boosts HR productivity and propel business growth.

Here are 5 ways to rock your HR department with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand:

1.Replace Spreadsheets and Paper-Based Time Cards: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand combines all your HR essentials together into one modern system. Through intuitive dashboards, you can find and edit employee records, review and authorize employee time-off requests, track attendance, store and visualize all your employee information in one system. A standard, user friendly layout means it’s easy to find information at a glance.

2.Real-Time Analytics: Accurate HR data is vital to an organization’s success.  With ATS TimeWorkOnDemand You can use these impressive reports to highlight areas of focus for business growth, or even for demonstrating the year-on-year improvements you’re making for your company.

3.Bring more meaning to HR: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand will help transform HR business practices with a comprehensive set of processes that covers the end-to-end time and attendance, talent management and payroll journey. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand offers a rapid deployment through simple data configuration, is easy-to-use and – delivers quick adoption and quick ROI.

4.Make Life Easier, by Automating Mundane Tasks: Do you really want to perform repetitive manual processes? We think not. You can energize your team and other managers with intuitive dashboards and give them access to their own set of workflows.

5.Build a Great Workforce Experience and Improve Performance: With a single click you can increase team efficiency and productivity through automation, and get visibility of your workforce with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand robust performance metrics system designed around techniques proven to boost employee performance.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand modern cloud HCM solution helps accelerate innovation, improve the user experience, and lower IT costs —while also getting you ready for tomorrow’s business challenges.

If you are ready to explore all that ATS TimeWorkOnDemand has to offer, you can register for one of our bi-monthly webinars, download a demonstration or contact us at 866.294.2467 to discuss your business requirements.

Do you work for a company that expects you to respond to emails at all hours of the night? or worse, while you are on vacation with your family? Several studies, including one from Modern Family Index have uncovered that these long and unnecessary hours, that you are being asked to work is damaging to family life, with several employees feeling obliged to work longer hours to meet expectations. In other words, constantly sacrificing family time, all in the name of work.

6 ways to support working parents is an insightful article written by Sharon Florentine for CIO.com and reads, in part:

“Be flexible

One of the simplest strategies Levin recommends is flexibility. Whether through remote or flexible work arrangements, job-sharing, staggered hours or otherwise, working parents need flexibility. “Parents need to be able to go to doctor’s appointments, their kids’ baseball games, school conferences or to work from home if their child is sick. We say around here, ‘if it’s working at home, it’s working at work,’ so you have to make sure you’re doing what you can to make it work for parents at home,” Levin says.

Dependent care assistance

You don’t have to offer an on-site daycare, though many progressive businesses do, but you should consider offering some type of subsidy for child care assistance, Levin says. If you have child-free workers, consider offering elder care or another comparable benefit. Not only do these kinds of benefits, inspire loyalty, but they’re a great perk to mention when you’re trying to attract and hire talent.

Paid parental leave

Modern dads are more engaged than ever in all aspects of caregiving. As of 2010, fathers are the primary caregivers for about 25 percent of preschool-aged kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the federal government mandates parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, that time is unpaid, leaving many two-parent working families trying to make ends meet without one income. It’s even more difficult for single parents.

Create affinity groups

Another simple way to support working parents that is gaining traction is through the creation of support and/or affinity groups. “We are seeing informal, casual affinity groups working really well in the business world. For instance, a group for new moms to help them integrate back into the workplace, or a group for working dads to connect with each other,” Levin says. It can be a great way for employees to share information about perks and benefits, and to connect more closely with others at their company who are facing the same challenges.

Offer on-site perks

One of the major challenges faced by working parents is time, says Levin. Between work, household responsibilities and the demands of everyday life, it can seem impossible to get it all done.

Set an example for all parents

Companies are motivated by financial incentives, and you can’t afford for people to jump ship. Family benefits enhance productivity, keep people much more focused and they’re appreciative. Your turnover is reduced. It helps with recruiting talent, too, because while candidates might not ask out loud about these benefits, they go to Glassdoor and read about them, and that helps them want to work for you,” Levin says.

Some of today’s progressive-thinking companies offers several incentives to entice talent that include; games night, free snacks, coffee and tea. But, if your company wants to attract really good talent, and your list of perks does not include support for working parents, it’s time to redo that list. In the end, it is not only the right thing to do, it will also increase workforce productivity.

It wasn’t too long ago that asking your boss to work from home would likely stunt your career aspirations. And, while some companies still frown on the idea of employees working from home, there is no stopping this shift towards working remotely, a shift that has been taking place for the last several years.

Want further proof that remote work is on the rise, despite reluctance from some companies? Here are excerpts from an article, written by Valerie Bolden-Barrette for HRDive titled, Working remotely is now the norm for developers, new study shows

  • Eighty-six percent of IT developers work remotely, with almost one-third working from home full time, according to a study by DigitalOcean, a cloud-based platform. Of the more than 4,500 respondents to the study, Currents: A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Remote Work Edition, 43% said that the ability to work remotely is “a must-have” when considering a job offer.
  • Contrary to the belief that remote workers are isolated and disengaged from the workforce, 71% of respondents who work remotely said they feel connected to their organization’s community. However, the 29% of remote workers who feel isolated said they’re disengaged from their company’s culture and excluded from offline conversations with team members when working offsite. Seventy-six percent of respondents expected remote work to offer more work-life balance, but many reported working longer hours and that their work-life balance was only slightly better than their onsite colleagues.
  • Although remote work is considered the norm for developers, a plurality (47%) started working offsite between one and four years ago. The study also found that on a scale of 1-5, a flexible work schedule was “very important” to many of the respondents (44%).

Despite the above-mentioned stats that shows an upward trajectory, that more companies are adopting a remote workforce mentality-you will have to build a compelling case on the benefits of remote work if your employer does not believe it in.

Here’s some additional stats from the article; “Remote work has swiftly become a norm, especially in a tight labor market with more specialized jobs. Since 2005, the number of U.S. employees who work from home at least half the time has more than doubled, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But employers have been comparably slow in outlining how such arrangements work for their companies; a majority of employers surveyed in a 2018 Upwork study lacked any official remote work policy”.

Bottomline: There are certain jobs like payroll and HR and in some industries  that require employees to be in the office or on a job site. On the other hand, other jobs like software programing or sales can be done remotely.  In the end, if you have presented a strong business case on the reasons why you should work remotely, and it does not match with your employers’ corporate culture, it might be best, in the end, to start looking elsewhere.

To learn more about ATS and our Cloud-Based HCM Workforce Management application for mid-enterprise size organizations, go to our website.

You can also request a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach an account executive by phone call: 866.294.2467.