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Weekly Tips & Tricks

Weekly Tips & Tricks

Contact Us: 01908 265111

The Friday Tip - Page 6

Once a week we highlight some unique and useful functionality provided by the People Inc. system and send out a related 'tip'. Our aim is to help customers get more from using their People Inc. system.

Message in a bottle washed up on shingle beach with a grey sky in the background

Missing e-mail?

26th April 2019

The People Inc. system can be used to send e-mail. Messages may be created by the user, or by the system itself (for example a notification e-mail relating to a request that has been added to the system).

From time to time employees will miss a message, or perhaps a message is not sent successfully. When this happens there is always a reason. It may be that the connection to the e-mail server is 'down', but usually it will be because an e-mail address that has been used is not valid.

The system provides a tool to manage e-mail messages that need to be re-sent. This tool lists all of the un-sent e-mail and gives the user the opportunity to amend the message and re-send it.

Branding your Self-Service module

19th April 2019

It is possible to customise the styling used by the People Inc. Employee Self-Service module? This is usually done to reflect your corporate brand, or simply to give the ESS a clean fresh appearance.

In addition, the content and layout of the ESS home page can also be customised. Different sections can be added (or hidden) and the items displayed within each section can also be changed.

Access profiles are used to control the information available to employees or to managers; so these groups of users can be given a different ESS home page.

People Inc Employee Self Service module home screen showing customised branding and icons

Employee stands with back to blue lit glass fronted server cabinets

SQL Server

12th April 2019

The People Inc. system manages data using Microsoft’s SQL Server database management tools.

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 are currently in their ‘extended support’ phase; the ‘end-of-life’ date for these products is July 9th. If your system uses this version of SQL Server you need to look to update this product to a supported version.

Note that the ‘end-of-life’ date for Windows Server 2008 (and Windows Server 2008 R2) is January 14th 2020.

People Inc. upgrade

5th April 2019

People Inc. version 4 will be available in June. The upgrade includes a wealth of new features and benefits designed to help manage HR information.

All three People Inc. modules (People Inc. HR, People Inc. time, and the employee Self-Service module) have significant functional enhancements.

The upgrade is available free-of-charge. Please contact your account manager for details of the features and benefits (and to schedule your upgrade).

Opened package with quick start guide pamphlet resting on top

A page showing multiple types of graph and charts is placed on a dark colour desk next to a silver opened laptop

Generating Graphs

29th March 2019

You can of course export data from People Inc. screens and use this within MS Excel to produce graphs. It is also possible to create graphs using the People Inc. reporting tool, and once set up, this tends to be much quicker and easier to do.

It is possible to generate a variety of different graphs directly from the data held within the system (from simple line graphs to bar-charts and pie-charts). The in-built reporting tool includes a 'charting' feature. Once set up, a report template that contains a graph can be re-run to pick up the latest information. A number of good examples are available as free downloads from the People Inc. resources page (or via the Report Browser plug-in).

Many Happy Returns

22nd March 2019

It is always nice to receive a message on your birthday. A personal greeting from HR can be an unexpected pleasure.

As every employee's date of birth is held within the system, those with a birthday coming up can be listed using a simple filter, (perhaps selecting birthdays in the next 7, 14 or 30 days). Once you have this list, you can then send a birthday greeting via e-mail (even this can be done directly from People Inc. system).

This birthday reminder is something that can be set up quickly and easily; please call the helpdesk if you would like us to do this for you.

A green, pink and red present tied with bows stacked against a white background

A fan of three letters for an employee to read

Filing Employee Letters

15th March 2019

You probably already use the letter generation feature in People Inc. This creates employee letters based on a library of letter templates held within your system. But did you know that when you generate a letter, you can attach the documents to employee records for future reference?

By selecting 'Attach Generated Document' when you send a letter from People Inc. you can attach it as a Word document to the employee's record.

When you send a letter to a group of people, the system automatically attaches individual documents to each employee record, saving you time.

Hiding Unused Details

8th March 2019

The People Inc. screens enable you to record and manage comprehensive employee information, but there are often areas of the system that are not needed. Users can make their system easier to use (and nicer to look at) by hiding the parts of the People Inc. screens that they do not use.

Hiding areas of a screen is done using the Screen Designer. Using this tool it is possible to specify whether or not a particular element of a screen is visible when the user logs in.

Note that it is possible to specify those users who have access to the Screen Designer, and those who do not. This enables an organisation to control who can update the layout and content of screens.

Two spanners crossed against a white background

People Inc HR system showing a popup menu allowing the customisation of shortcuts

Customising the List of Links (short-cuts)

1st March 2019

Screens are usually selected using one of the short-cuts on the left-hand side of the screen. it is possible to change this list so that it only displays short-cuts for screens that you regularly use (and these can be presented in any order).

These links are grouped into sections (short-cut sheets). You can have any number of sections, and add links to screen as required to each of these. This is a user-preference; the entries you select will not affect the way other users see the list. Simply right-click to manage the list of short-cuts shown when you start People Inc.

Sending e-Mail from People Inc.

22nd February 2019

Did you know that it is possible to send e-mail directly from your People Inc. system? To do this, simply double-click on an employee's e-mail address. This is useful when you are working within the system and want to send a quick message to an employee.

Depending on your e-mail settings, the message will be sent via your desktop e-mail system (Outlook), or direct to the e-mail server.

Note that it is also possible to set up e-mail templates (designed for a specific purpose) and use these to send e-mail to individuals or groups of employees.

People Inc HR system email wizard showing with all details entered ready to send

Corner view of People Inc HR system Windows client showing multiple screens opened in tabs

Working with Multiple Screens

15th February 2019

Did you know that it is possible to open more than one screen within People Inc. simultaneously? For example you can have two employee records open at the same time.

By opening a new tab, you can refer to information in another screen or another record without having to close the record you are working on.

Furthermore, if you have a multi-user system, it is possible to log into People Inc. more than once (run two copies of the system at the same time). This provides you with even more flexibility.

Improving Productivity

8th February 2019

Individual users can specify the information they want to see when they start People Inc. This can be done by choosing which screen is displayed when the system starts. They can also selecting a default filter and sort order.

I recommend that users select the screen they use most frequently as their start-up screen. The most common choices are the Action List (displaying all their actions for this week) and the Employees screens (listing active employees).

If you manage training, why not auto-start the Courses screen? Recruiters could choose to auto-start the Vacancies screen.

People Inc. tree of data screens with popup menu open showing various options with Auto Start selected

Three stacked reports generated by the People Inc. HR system

Adding a personal touch to reports

1st February 2019

The People Inc. report writer enables users to change the look and feel of their reports. It is possible to adopt your house style and even add your company logo to report templates.

When People Inc. reports are used to generate regular monthly reporting (for example, an analysis of KPIs) it is important to ensure that the style is consistent with other documents that are provided as part of the reporting information.

It is quick and easy to import company logos, and where users manage HR information for more than one company, the logo can be stored within the system and automatically loaded into reports.

Never miss a key date

25th January 2019

The People Inc. action list can help to ensure that you never miss an important date, event or activity.

The action list provides a quick and easy way to manage reminders for HR-related activities. List entries can be added by the user, or automatically created by the system based on a date recorded within an employee's record. For example, the system can provide reminders when an employee reaches the end of their probation, or when a qualification expires.

Reminders are displayed automatically, when the user logs in to the system, and entries are saved in a full history (against individual employee record) once they have been actioned.

People Inc HR system Action List screen showing numerous reminders for employees and associated details

A listing of filters available in a screen in the People Inc HR system

Just the information you need...

18th January 2019

Sometimes you do not want to view everything at once, so users can limit the records they see on the screen using filters and searches.

Information displayed on the screens is automatically filtered when the screen is first opened; most users will just show current employees in the employee screen. But filters can do much more. For example, if a users is responsible for the employees who work at a particular location, a filter could be used to list just these people.

It is of course possible to change the filter. To view leavers, a user would select a different filter in the Employee screen, and to select all employees (current and those who have left) they would use yet another filter.

Once a filter is selected, it is possible to search for records within the list.

Hiding Confidential information.

11th January 2019

The access profiles within the system make it is possible to hide confidential information from People Inc. users. For example, if users should not be able to see employee salaries, it is possible to hide them. This is done by simply un-ticking the option for that piece of information within their access profile.

Note that access profiles can be assigned to a group of users. Making a change to the access profile will then update the access available to all the users in the group.

Security options available for fields in a data screen of the People Inc HR system

An integrated tool from the People Inc HR system allowing the recreation of holiday and absence allowances

2019 Holiday Allowances.

30th November 2018

Are your absence allowances set up ready for next year?

If you have not yet done so, you should now create your 2019 holiday allowances. How? Using the Recreate Absence Allowance wizard.

The Recreate Absence Allowance wizard looks at the holiday allowances for the current year and give you the opportunity to create similar entries for staff for the coming year. The whole exercise only takes a few moments. Click here for more information.

While I am on the topic of holidays and absence, before the end of the year you should also make sure you have added 2019 bank holidays.

Managing file Attachments.

23rd November 2018

When attaching documents, it is important to understand exactly how attachments are managed.

Files attached to historical records are not attached to the screen in question; they are added to individual history records. For example, a sick note will be attached to a particular sickness record, a training certificate will be attached to an individual training record. So simply clicking on a history screen and selecting 'Documents' will not show all of the attachments for all of the history records.

A record from the People Inc HR system with details of its attached documents overlaid

An open search box in the People Inc HR system showing wildcards being used

Wild-Card Searches.

16th November 2018

How often have you heard a child ask, how do I look up a word in a dictionary if I do not know how to spell it? Probably way too often...

Something similar comes up occasionally in helpdesk calls from users: how do I find some text when I am not 100% sure what I am looking for? The answer is, you use a wild-card search.

If you put a percentage symbol before and after a string of characters in a search, the system will look for records that have that string somewhere (anywhere) in the field you are searching. For example, if you were to search for: Job Title = %Manager% will list all the job titles that include the word 'Manager'.

You can specify list items for a screen.

9th November 2018

When you look at the employee screen you can view the entries individually, or display them in a list. It is possible to specify the columns in the list (and this is true on any screen).

To change the columns displayed within a screen (and choose the order of the columns), first view the records in a list, right-click and select 'Show Selection Window'. A dialogue is displayed that enables you to change the columns you have selected. Note that this is a personal setting (other users are unaffected)

To change the order of the records (or limit the records that you view in some way) you need to use the filters defined for the screen.

Integrated tool in the People Inc HR system allowing the selection of display columns

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