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Weekly Tips & Tricks

Weekly Tips & Tricks

Contact Us: 01908 265111

The Friday Tip - Page 4

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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Adding Forms to People Inc.

7th February 2020

Using electronic forms is an excellent way to speed up communication, help employees manage their own information, and minimise the use of paper.

The People Inc. Screen designer enables users to create request forms for a wide variety of purposes. These forms can then be published via the ESS so that they can be completed and submitted by employees. Using electronic forms means that a full audit trail is available when needed.

Examples of forms include: a return to work form (following a period of sickness), a clothing request form, a training evaluation form, a pension contribution change form, a bank details change form, an appraisal form, and an expenses claim form. Simple forms take less than an hour to add to the system.

No appraisal this year?

31st January 2020

Filters are a simple tool that can instantly identify missing information or activities that should have been scheduled. A filter could show all the passports or visas that expire in the near future, or the staff who have not yet taken all of their holiday allowance this year, or those who have not had an appraisal during the past 12 months.

People Inc. provides a number of different ways to help you to ensure that you never miss key dates such as appraisals. This includes the Action List and the Notifications and Reminders tools. Each approach works slightly differently; sometimes a combination of different approaches is the best way to go.

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Stacked filled green lever arch files on a desk

Minimising the use of Paper.

24th January 2020

People Inc. can help you minimise your use of paper.

Attaching documents to employee records ensures that you have electronic files rather than relying on paper-based records. And existing paper records can be scanned and filed within the system too.

The Employee Self-Service module can provide electronic forms to enable staff to request holidays, or register sickness, ask for replacement clothing or submit timesheets and expenses.

There is no need to print HR policies (and other documents) so that employees can acknowledge that they have read them; this can all be done electronically within People Inc. (via a PC or a mobile phone).

Closing Absence Allowances.

17th January 2020

Absence is awarded using annual allowances within People Inc. This works well for holidays as it provides a means to manage and reconcile the time taken by each employee each year. For this to work correctly, once all of the absence bookings are made, the annual allowances should always be closed.

When holiday allowances are closed, the system applies any carry-over rules that have been set up. It is therefore important to ensure that annual allowances are closed in the correct order (last year before this year, etc.).

Where reports are generated from absence allowances (for example the time lost to sickness in a financial year) these can be used for accounting. Closing allowances ensures that records cannot be changed at a later date.

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Long Service Awards.

10th January 2020

People Inc. can help you to make sure you never miss a long-service award.

The long service award report lists employees who will reach a landmark in their career (within the coming 6 months). If you do not have a copy of this report it can be downloaded from the People Inc Resources pages.

The system can be set up to flag long service milestones using the Action List (adding reminders to the system when an employee joins ). These will appear automatically in the Action List as they are reached, or an e-mail notification can be set up based on each entry.

Finally, filters can be used in the Employee screen to show just employees who are about to qualify for Long Service Awards.

Managing Carry Over.

3rd January 2020

People Inc. can be set up to manage carry-over automatically, or if staff are only allowed to carry-over unused holiday in exceptional circumstances, it can be managed manually using the Additional Leave screen. Or a combination of manual and automated approaches can be employed.

If carry over is always allowed this can be automated within the Allowance Rules. When this is done it is common that carry-over is allowed up to a maximum number of days; this can be specified in the settings.

The system can also manage the expiry of carry-over. In some organisations, leave can be carried-over into the following year, but it has to be used within a specified time-frame (often within the first 3 months).

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The corner of a laptop with Christmas themed People Inc. HR system open on an employee record

Some Festive Cheer...

20th December 2019

The People Inc. system enables users to select different themes (or 'skins'). Using a different theme changes the way the system looks. The theme is changed using one of the small buttons in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

There are themes designed for different times of the year. Loading the Christmas theme adds snowflakes to the screen background and adds snowmen and ribbons to items on the screen.

Wishing you a Merry Merry Christmas!

Ready for 2020.

13th December 2019

As the end of the year approaches, if you use the People Inc. time (time & attendance) module, you now need to make sure that the system is set up and ready for the coming year.

Pay Periods need to be defined for 2020 before information can be extracted and passed to payroll. These can be weekly, monthly, or of custom length (or a combination of these).

In addition, the Staff roster may need setting up for 2020. To save time, this can be done by copying roster entries from 2019.

All People Inc. system users need to make sure 2020 absence allowances and 2020 bank holidays are added to their system.

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Christmas shutdown.

6th December 2019

If your organisation closes over Christmas, or perhaps gives employees a 'Christmas shopping Day', there are two different ways to record this information using People Inc.

If the days the workplace is closed need to be deducted from employees' holiday allowances, then a Wizard is provided to enable users to block-book the absence.

If the time off is given over-and-above the employees holiday allowance, then it can be added as a statutory holiday (as you would for a Bank Holiday), or as regular absence bookings using a separate absence allowance.

Who is at work over Christmas?

29th November 2019

Most people will take some holiday over the festive period. Sometimes it is difficult to find out who is at work between Christmas and New Year (and who is not).

The People Inc. absence viewer enables users to select a range of dates and see a summary of holiday booked. All staff working at organisations who have the Employee Self-Service module will be able to see this absence viewer, but the plug-in is also available to users via the standard People Inc. HR module.

Organisations who use People Inc. time can use that systems Roster Planning screen or the Status Console to see if staff are available.

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Another way to check availability.

22nd November 2019

Another way to work out if staff are in work over the festive period is to check the People Inc. Employee Directory.

Not only does the Employee Directory make employee contact details available, this add-on also provides an indication of availability. This is based on an individual's work pattern and absence records as held within the system. Employees can update their availability information if necessary. Clicking on a row will display more information about that employee (and the information displayed can include most items of data from within the system, including their photograph.

Click here for more information.

Reminders for Key Dates.

15th November 2019

With responsibility for the welfare of the entire workforce, making sure that important deadlines and other key dates are not missed can become a task in itself. Good examples of this are end of probation dates, contract end dates, training expiry dates, etc.

The reminders and notifications generated by People Inc. ensures that users can ‘click and forget’ when recording this type of information, safe in the knowledge that the system will remind them (for example via e-mail) in time for them to make whatever arrangements are required.

Reminders can be sent to HR staff, or to line managers, and once updated, a full history of actions is retained.

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Making screen changes

8th November 2019

Making sure you start with the right items on the screen is a basic requirement of an HR system, but one that can be overlooked very easily.

None of the People Inc. screens have a fixed layout (or fixed content). This means that users can change the order of items on a screen, and even add new items. For example, you may wish to add a box to record ID Card Number on the employee screen in your system.

Furthermore, users can create new screens to use in their system. You may want a screen to record information about Check-In meetings with employees. This could contain basic information about the items discussed, about employee performance, and details of any goals agreed.

Induction Checklists.

1st November 2019

When an employee joins the organisation, there is a list of things that need to be done: the employee needs a contract, you may take up references, you need to organise induction training, the employee may need some equipment, IT may need to set up an e-mail account, etc.

Using an induction check-list will enable you to keep track of these activities and make sure that they are all done in a timely manner. The People Inc. system can automatically create a list for you when an employee joins.

If activities need to be scheduled after a few weeks (or months), the system can then notify you via e-mail when it is time to act.

Golden ring bound notepad with a list of today’s tasks begun but not complete

Apple computer sits on white desk with white accessories against a white wall with a silver table lamp peering over a toy Panda. The monitor displays a spreadsheet of data exported from the People Inc system

Exporting data

25th October 2019

When you export data from People Inc. there are a number of options on formatting. Data can be exported to MS Excel, to MS Word, as a PDF, or as one of many other file formats.

If you are exporting the data generated by a report, you can choose to export the data using the report layout (this includes any logos, fonts and formatting specified in the report), or you can export just the data in the report.

Exporting just the data ensures that the spreadsheet you produce has a simplified layout that is easy to manipulate with MS Excel.

Strong passwords.

18th October 2019

It is very easy to fall into one of two common pitfalls when setting your password: use something that is really easy to remember (your birthday, or your partner’s name), or re-use a password that you have set up for accounts you use elsewhere. Both of these should always be avoided.

There are a number of ways that you can protect users when they set their password: force them to include both lower-case and upper-case letters, force them to include a number or a special characters, set a minimum length for passwords.

If you need an extra level of security, you should consider forcing the expiry of passwords (after a period of time has passed), or 2-factor authentication.

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Your perspective on training

11th October 2019

A full training history for each employee can of course be recorded within the People Inc. system. This includes training that has been completed, booked training and training needs, and can be both formal training courses and ad-hoc training activities.

Where training records (and in particular, training needs) relate to a formal course, it is also possible to access and manage this information from the perspective of the course (rather than looking at an individual employee).

Users can then contact those booked on a particular course (and contact those running the course) using letters and e-mail.

2019 Holiday Allowances.

4th October 2019

Are your absence allowances set up ready for next year? If you have not yet done so, you should be thinking about creating 2020 holiday allowances. This is done using the Recreate Absence Allowance wizard.

The Recreate Absence Allowance wizard looks at the holiday allowances for the current year and gives 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.

On the topic of holidays and absence, before the end of the year you should also make sure you have added 2020 bank holidays (and remember that one of the May bank holidays has moved).

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Are your details correct?

27h September 2019

From time-to-time, users should get employees to verify the information recorded in their People Inc. record (check that their details are up-to-date). There are a number of ways to do this.

A copy of an employee’s record can be sent to them either using a letter-template, or a Record Card report. This is usually done via e-mail, and employees need to reply with details of any changes. Example reports are available via the People Inc. Report Browser.

For customers who have the Employee Self-Service module, a reminder e-mail can be sent to employees and individuals can check and update their contact details and emergency contact information themselves.

Online recruitment.

20th September 2019

The People Inc. online recruitment add-on provides a quick and easy way to publish details of vacancies and process the details of applicants. Fully integrated with the organisation’s existing website, the list of current vacancies can be browsed by applicants, and an applications can then be submitted via customisable application forms.

Styled to match your existing website, and available via your usual ‘Current Vacancies’ or ‘Working for us’ link, you can decide how much information is displayed to candidates.

Vacancies can be published at the click of a mouse (by adding a vacancy to the People Inc. system), and the details of applicants appear automatically within the system.

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More Friday Tips

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