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Weekly Tips & Tricks

Weekly Tips & Tricks

Contact Us: 01908 265111

The Friday Tip - Page 5

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.

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Training Feedback Forms.

13th September 2019

Having a simple on-line form to enable individuals to provide feedback on the training they have done is an easy way to gather information about the effectiveness of training.

When a training evaluation form is added to the People Inc. ESS, the information collected can match an existing paper-based form. However, once employees start to use the form, users can analyse their answers, identify trends and focus in on issues, all without having to read through endless hand-written documents.

Each form can link to training courses within the People Inc. system, automatically building a comprehensive historical record of training for each employee, and for each training supplier.

Managing Holidays

6th September 2019

With Autumn approaching, we have two tips to help manage holidays:

Firstly, as we are now three-quarters of the way through the year; most employees should by now have taken some holiday. It is therefore a good time to contact employees who still have a significant amount of holiday left to take. This will help to avoid a rush to take un-used holiday at the end of the year.

Secondly, to enable you to manage holidays in 2020, you will need to set up holiday allowances for the year. This is easy to do. The Replicate Allowances wizard enables you to select all the absence rules that need to be re-assigned next year, and then at the click of the mouse, re-create these.

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Bespoke User Accounts.

30th August 2019

It is possible to set up user profiles within People Inc. to grant access to specific areas of the system to staff who perform a particular roll.

A good example of this is the management of equipment. Most organisations have somebody who issues phones, laptops, safety equipment employees. It is possible to record this against employee records (so that you can recover the equipment if the employee leaves). Setting up an access profile ensures that the user can only see basic employee details.

Some organisations ask the receptionist to update records within the system; most commonly, sickness and absence records. Once again, this is usually done via a custom access profile that stops the user from seeing information they are not supposed to have access to.

Hiding Old Records.

23rd August 2019

Some information held within People Inc. has a finite lifespan; as time passes it is no longer of interest. For example, a rule that the company used to use to manage holiday, or roles that employees used to fill. It is easy to hide this information within People Inc. so that details and options presented to the user just contain current items.

Hiding information you no longer need is done with filters. Most pieces of information have a status recorded against them, and filters can be used to show just the current items. If these filters are made default setting, old, unused information is retained within the system, but in normal day-to-day use, it is hidden from the user.

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When Leavers Return

16th August 2019

When a member of staff leaves, and then after a period of time they are re-employed, users have a choice when re-adding their details to the People Inc. system. They can re-use the existing records, or they can create a new record for the employee.

If the existing record is re-used, the employee's training history, qualifications, and any other historical records, and any attached documents will still be shown against the employee's record.

Where rules relating to payroll numbers apply, it may be necessary to create a new employee record (particularly when your People Inc. system is linked to your payroll system).

Keep a Copy of Your Work.

9th August 2019

When a report definition or a letter template are changed, it is possible to make sure that the original is preserved by creating a copy before you start work. This principle of having a back-up copy is extremely important.

It is essential that you have regular back-up copies of your People Inc. databases. Back-ups should be taken every night. There are lots of obvious reasons for doing this.

But taking back-ups is not the end of the story. It is just as important to make sure that, should you ever need to do so, your IT team are able to restore a People Inc. backup.

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A report with two charts and a document sit on a wooden desk in front of a laptop

Running Reports from a Screen.

2nd August 2019

It is possible to run reports when you are looking at a particular employee record. For example a summary of an employee's absence. There are two things that should be taken into consideration when you add a report to a screen:

  • The report should ALWAYS include a filter that selects the current employee record.
  • Make sure that you have checked that users with access to the system should be able to see the information the report provides.

If a report includes information from more than one employee, this should not be run from the data-screen. Reports that display information for more than one record should be kept in a folder in the Reports Library.

When a Manager Changes Job.

26th July 2019

When the manager of a team or department changes, the 'Reports To' details recorded in departmental employee records needs to be updated.

If the manager were to leave their job, then the “Register Employee As a Leaver” wizard has functionality to update the 'Reports To' field.

If the manager is changing jobs, the Advanced Organisation Chart plug-in enables users to update the 'Reports To' information.

Alternatively, a trigger can be added to the Department screen (under Companies) that updates all of the 'Reports To' information in employee records when the department manager is changed.

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Outstanding Absence Requests.

19th July 2019

I get quite a lot of calls asking for a way to check for holiday requests that have not yet been processed.

If you have a copy of the People Inc. ESS module, you will know that employees are able to request holidays using their web-browser. The employee’s line-manager needs to review and approve these requests.

The line-manager will get a notification e-mail when a request is made, but may not approve the request straight away. It is possible for HR to keep an eye on the list of requests (via a screen within People Inc. or using a report) and make sure requests are not left in the queue for too long.

Return to Work

12th July 2019

A number of things should happen when an employee returns to work following a period of sickness absence. There should be a return to work interview where (for example) changes to the employee's working environment or hours are discussed. Where sickness absence has been for a longer period of time, employees need to provide a note from their doctor.

The People Inc. ESS module provides a facility to enable staff to complete a return to work form and upload a copy of their doctor's note (if needed). Details of the return to work interview can also be recorded within the system.

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Deleting Employee Records

5th July 2019

When an employee record is deleted, the entry itself, together with any historical records and file attachment is gone forever and cannot be recovered. Users should therefore be protected from deleting employee records by mistake.

The People Inc. system will stop most users from deleting employee records. This is a setting in their access profile. System administrators should make sure that this is the case.

Having said this, to comply with GDPR, it must be possible to remove personal information from the system a number of years after an employee has left (and this is done with a People Inc. wizard). I suggest that just the system administrator is therefore allowed to delete employee records.

A Helping Hand.

28th June 2019

Attending a People Inc. training course provides users with a good understanding of the features and benefits provided by the system. Training also introduces the techniques and approaches that will ensure they gain maximum benefit from using People Inc.

There is of course comprehensive documentation available, and users have unlimited access to the help desk, but having attended the right training, users can confidently and quickly get straight to the features they need.

We realise that no single approach will work for everybody and therefore offer three different approaches to training: centrally-run training courses, on-site training courses, and on-line training sessions.

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Using the Action List.

21st June 2019

The Action List can be used to record and manage important activities relating to employees.

It is possible to get the People Inc. system to automatically add entries to the Action List, for example, when an employee approaches the end of their probationary period. This 'reminder' will then be displayed automatically a few days beforehand.

Using filters in conjunction with the Action List enables the user to see just the actions that are pending, and a list of these can be displayed automatically when the user logs in.

Letter Generation.

14th June 2019

Did you know that you can keep copies of letters you have sent to employees in a folder within their People Inc. record? And when you generate a letter from within the system, you can automatically attach a copy to each employee record?

It is possible to set up any number of letter templates within People Inc. itself. When you use one of these letter templates to create a letter that needs to be sent to a group of employees, the system will attach copies to employee records individually.

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May Bank Holiday 2020

7th June 2019

The early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day which takes place on 8 May, and enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history.

The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front. As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.

People Inc. users should update the Bank Holiday entry within their system.

Managing Recruitment.

31st May 2019

The People Inc. system enables users to manage recruitment. Details of vacancies can be recorded within the system, and applicant information added to these. As the applicants progress through the recruitment process, full records can be kept (enabling the organisation to demonstrate their compliance with equal opportunities policies) and once a suitable individual has been identified, the remaining applicants become a ‘talent pool’ for future recruitment.

Utilities are provided to enable users to delete applicant information once a pre-determined period of time has passed (in accordance with GDPR).

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When Courses Expire.

24th May 2019

People Inc. provides a number of features to monitor the expiry of training.

A simple Action List reminder based on the expiry date will remind users that the training needs to be re-taken. This can be automated so that an e-mail reminder is generated by the system, sent to the training manager, or perhaps the employee's line manager.

The system also creates a 'training need' entry automatically when a training record that relates to a course with an expiry date is added. The training need is usually for the same course, but when the system training Wizards are used, this can be updated so that a 'refresher' course is used instead.

Private Vehicles and Business Use

17th May 2019

When employees use their own vehicles for business use, it is important to make sure that the vehicles are taxed and insured, and that they are roadworthy. In some situations, the company is legally responsible for damages if an employee is involved in an incident when using their own car on business.

It is quick and easy to manage these details using the People Inc. system. Comprehensive information relating to company and private vehicles can be recorded within People Inc. It is also possible to attach scanned copies of documents relating to vehicles, and set alerts reminding the user of renewal dates.

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Kaba time and attendance clocking machine with employee presenting a card to clock out

Data-Collection Resilience

10th May 2019

From time-to-time there may be occasions when your employees are unable to clock-in using the People Inc. time clocks. This may be because there are network connection issues, or a power-outage has affected the clocks. When this happens, it is important to ensure that attendance information is not lost.

The People Inc. time software clock provides user with an alternative means of collecting employee clock times. The software clock can be set up with the same features as existing clocks and can be accessed from a PC or from a mobile phone.

Integrating People Inc. time and the ESS

3rd May 2019

The People Inc. time module is designed to manage staff rosters (shift-patterns), record clock-times, and calculate overtime information. It is possible to provide employees with secure access to People Inc. time information via the People Inc. Employee Self Service module.

Once logged in to the ESS, individuals can see details of the shifts assigned to them in the coming weeks. They can also see details of the hours they have worked each day, together with a pay-period summary (showing hours worked and overtime details).

Note that is it also possible to make electronic payslips available to individual employees via the People Inc. ESS module.

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