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Nucleus Research Recognizes SumTotal as a Leader in Workforce Management

Managing an organization’s workforce is growing increasingly complex and challenging. From shrinking talent pools to figuring how to lower overtime costs yet schedule the appropriately skilled staff to ensure that employees time at work is properly tracked and sent to payroll for accurate processing, the roadblocks are diverse and numerous. […]

Nucleus Research Recognizes SumTotal as a Leader in Workforce Management

Managing an organization’s workforce is growing increasingly complex and challenging. From shrinking talent pools to figuring how to lower overtime costs yet schedule the appropriately skilled staff to ensure that employees time at work is properly tracked and sent to payroll for accurate processing, the roadblocks are diverse and numerous. Typically, organizations look to their workforce management (WFM) solutions to solve many of these issues.

There are many WFM vendors on the market and distinguishing one from another is not always easy, and of course, each vendor is going to see itself as the best. As a result, many organizations will turn to peer reviews or industry experts to determine who or what solution is best for them.

Nucleus Research is one of those experts that buyers look to and their most recent WFM Technology Value Matrix offers a comprehensive analysis of several vendors. Nucleus positions vendors on their delivery and overall value through the functionality and usability of their applications. Some of the key areas the research examines for WFM purposes include:

  • Scheduling
  • Self-service support
  • Overall usability
  • Deployment accelerators

SumTotal ranks as a Leader

According to the Nucleus research, here are several reasons why their analysts positioned SumTotal as a leader in WFM for the third year in a row.

  • SumTotal is a strong option for employers with complex needs in scheduling, particularly when it comes to complex union regulations.
  • Not only does SumTotal offer learning content from Skillsoft and other content providers, it has robust native capabilities that are not only unified but also embedded into workflows. These mesh with SumTotal Workforce Management to support complex rules in scheduling in the real world. This plays out something like this: a scheduling supervisor may try and schedule an employee for a specific job or position that they are not qualified to perform. When this happens the system will automatically prevent the supervisor from performing this function and they will need to find a qualified replacement.  In addition, the original employee can then be scheduled for the required training to ensure that they are qualified the next time they need to be scheduled to that position.  This alone has significant value to the organization by ensuring that the employee scheduled is as productive as possible through completion of the required training. It also reduces opportunities for workplace accidents.  Note that the lack of required training is one of the leading causes.
  • SumTotal Workforce Management is available via one of four deployment options – SaaS, SaaS EXT, SumTotal Private Cloud or on-premise. Not sure which one is best for you? Read my blog post 4 HCM Deployment Options That Provide Flexibility of Choice
  • 2019’s functionality updates which were called out in the Nucleus report include:
    • The ability to view and act on SumTotal Workforce Management data from areas like adherence to attendee policies in SumTotal’s Talent Management’s Performance Snapshots. For example, an employer now has access to objective data on the employee’s performance as it relates to no shows, arrived late, left early, and any other violations to the corporate attendance policy. In many cases, there is a clear correlation between adherence to attendance policies and the employee’s overall performance.  This provides the supervisor and employee with meaningful and objective data for a quick review through a Performance Snapshot.
    • An updated SumTotal Mobile application that now includes Workforce Management functionality in addition to Learning Management, Talent Management functionality for customers that use those SumTotal products.
    • Gamification support for organizations that want to award points and badges to employees for positive behavior as it relates to Workforce Management activities. With SumTotal, organizations can now award badges and points for positive employee behavior such as perfect attendance or improvements in attendance.
    • Expanded global presence with large deployments in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

And there is more to come…

SumTotal is always looking ahead. Whether we are reacting to customer requests or aligning to evolving technologies, we make it our business to provide a workforce management solution that meets the demands and expectations required by organizations for today’s agile economy.

This honor and recognition would not have been possible without the support of the full team at SumTotal including our development and quality assurance teams, product management, customer support, cloud operations (hosting), marketing, sales and more.  It takes a full team to deliver a world-class workforce management solution that ranks as a leader in the market.

Want to find out more how SumTotal Workforce Management can help your organization?

Worried About Workforce Management Compliance Issues? Read On.

Just before 2017 drew to a close, HR Dive conducted a reader poll, one particular result of which might surprise some of you. Turns out more than half of the respondents said that their top compliance concern for 2018 were state and local laws and not, as most believe, issues around family and medical leave, EEO-1 reporting or joint employer liability. […]

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Just before 2017 drew to a close, HR Dive conducted a reader poll, one particular result of which might surprise some of you. Turns out more than half of the respondents said that their top compliance concern for 2018 were state and local laws and not, as most believe, issues around family and medical leave, EEO-1 reporting or joint employer liability.

When I read this, I thought how interesting given that just recently my colleague, Mike Van Doren, wrote about the many ways workforce management solutions are underused as tools for ensuring compliance, particularly where it applies to assisting organizations address employee issues such as overtime notifications, certifications and whether employees possess the correct and relevant competency that complies with local/state or federal regulations, fatigue management and missed meals. All of which are issues that can and do vary from state to state and even within a state.

Recent news headlines demonstrate that this concern is justified.  There are many examples of lawsuits and settlements for legislative compliance violations, particularly for FLSA breaches. Only recently I read about a large settlement- just under $4m- paid out by a health care provider who had been sued by a number of employees alleging that the organization had automatically deducted meal breaks whether they were taken or not. This had the direct result of large numbers of employees being underpaid.

Whether it is over unpaid overtime, missed meals, off the clock work, “on-call” payments, unpaid work or a variety of other violations, lawsuits are costly for organizations. The monetary settlements alone when a company is found guilty of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violation are high and typically cover legal costs for the plaintive and may also involve punitive fines and damages.

Beyond the financial loss, organizations risk damaging their corporate credibility when not complying with FLSA requirements.  Typically most of these lawsuits are highly publicized and attract a lot of unwanted media attention, additionally they can cause problems with recruiting and retaining top talent.  Employees do not want to work for an organization that whether intentionally or unintentionally does not accurately pay them for their time worked.  Employees may fear retributions by not reporting inaccuracies that they uncover and simply will leave the organization rather than draw attention to the problem.

It is incumbent upon each employer to ensure compliance to FLSA and the myriad of local, state, federal and even international legislative, regulatory and union/contract requirements.  To find out the minimum meal period length required in your state, check here.

Organizations are not in it alone. A robust and integrated Workforce Management solution can assist in this pursuit, can provide payroll with the accurate time that an employee has worked and ensure that employees are accurately paid.

Find out how SumTotal’s Workforce Management can help your organization ensure compliance with FLSA and other legislative requirements.

Happy 2018!

Looking for a better way to manage employees who arrive late to work?

Consider the following scenarios…

Emily constantly shows up late for work.  She takes long lunches and frequently leaves work early on the days that she actually bothered to show up. However since Emily is a top performer when she is present, the supervisor neither tries to correct this behavior nor has the supervisor ever formally disciplined this employee. […]

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Consider the following scenarios…

Emily constantly shows up late for work.  She takes long lunches and frequently leaves work early on the days that she actually bothered to show up. However since Emily is a top performer when she is present, the supervisor neither tries to correct this behavior nor has the supervisor ever formally disciplined this employee.

Frank is the exact opposite. Always on time for work, Frank leaves only when his shift has ended and never takes long breaks or lunches.  One day, he gets a flat tire on the way to work and is 20 minutes late. His supervisor adheres to the company rules and writes up a formal disciplinary note for tardiness.

What went wrong? Or do you think nothing went wrong and the supervisor dealt with each employee in a fair and appropriate manner?

While it is true that the majority of organizations have established employee attendance policies that cover everything from expected arrival times, lunch and other break durations, when an employee may leave at the end of the day and perhaps some general guidelines for excused and unexcused absences, how these rules are interpreted and applied is a very different story.

It is an all too common story as almost every organization contends with this problematic issue. “Problematic” because employees want and need to be treated fairly and equally but human nature being what it is, this does not always happen.  When the gap is obvious it leads to employee disengagement, low morale and in some cases, legal action.

The complicated truth is that rule enforcement is complex and supervisors must take into account exceptions for the unexpected, whether that is anything from a flat tire to unexpectedly needing to look after a sick relative. Organizations therefore need to be realistic in their approach to the application of these policies, but this, this is the tricky part.

The question then is can you achieve fairness while adhering to the company rules?

Yes, with a Workforce Management system.

How will it solve this dilemma?

It achieves this by automatically managing attendance policies and by implementing systemized and streamlined processes regarding the management of employee attendance records, thereby taking the supervisor out of the equation. Now the supervisor is no longer viewed as “the enforcer” which fosters a more positive employee/supervisor work relationship.

Furthermore, we all know how inconsistent enforcement of policies takes a toll on employees’ morale and engagement, so any measures taken to remove the potential for disparity is beneficial to all. Low morale can lead to disengagement and disengagement comes with a hefty price tag. Studies show that that disengaged employees cost companies between $450 and $550 billion a year and with such high stakes, it makes sense to address such an important part of the employee experience.

Ready to make enforcing attendance policies a positive motivator for your workforce? Experience SumTotal Workforce Management as a Manager or as an Employee to start your journey.

Benefits in kinda

Perks. From gym membership to the company cars, it is these ‘extras’ that are perhaps more beloved and more lauded than our monetary remuneration. Okay so perhaps not more, but they are a starting point, a deal – breaker or maker – and given the current employment landscape and a certain predilection of some Millennials to switch jobs every few years, they play an ever increasing and important role in the draw and retention of desired talent. […]

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Perks. From gym membership to the company cars, it is these ‘extras’ that are perhaps more beloved and more lauded than our monetary remuneration. Okay so perhaps not more, but they are a starting point, a deal – breaker or maker – and given the current employment landscape and a certain predilection of some Millennials to switch jobs every few years, they play an ever increasing and important role in the draw and retention of desired talent.

While having free meals or massages at your desk are a great boon in the workplace, if as the employer, the provider of these ‘extras’, you do not ensure that where it applies, the tax on the ‘benefit’ as been paid, you are giving your employee a most unwelcome ‘perk’ and one that could potentially land them with a hefty tax bill.

Remember these extras, while considered part of a salary, are classified as benefits in kind and some are taxable and others not. This ‘are they or aren’t they?’ is confusing, but the situation gets even more confusing by the fact that if an error does occur, it can be the employee who is faced with an underpayment demand, not the employer.

The process for taxation of taxable benefits is quite straightforward really. Every country has their own rules and procedures, so it is the responsibility of the relevant department in each to know and follow the regulations. Here in the UK, once it is established whether tax is due on the benefit in kind, the employer then completes the relevant tax form, a P11D, with the details of the benefit values for the appropriate tax year, as well as working out the Class 1A National Insurance contributions on said benefits. If this does not happen, the employee could receive a P800 form declaring an underpayment of tax.

Obviously everyone involved would prefer not to have this happen, but is there something an employer can do to ensure it never happens?

Yes.

Include them with your payroll. How?

By including any benefits in kind as ‘tax not pay’ amounts, a payroll system will automatically produce P11Ds with all the calculations, including Class 1A National Insurance returns.  Additionally, and this adds even more benefits, if the solution includes self-service options, the employees can themselves view their current and/or historical P11D forms online. Now that’s a great perk!

What makes using a payroll system even more advantageous is that we are increasingly seeing the tax process change. Currently, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is encouraging benefits in kind to be taxed and reported via payroll which means as more organisations adopt this approach, it is likely the P11D form will gradually become obsolete. With the inclusion of taxable benefits as part of the normal payroll process, the tax is then calculated and deducted at source and the relevant information included on the statutory real time information (RTI) returns, therefore eliminating the need to produce the P11D form.

In short, with a payroll system, an organisation can streamline the payment process, adapt to tax regulations changes while providing employees with peace of mind with the knowledge that their ‘perks’ are not going to come with a price.

Check out SumTotal’s Payroll Solution.

 

 

How do you do Workforce Management when you are a Small and Medium-sized Business?

You might be tempted to think that all this talk about workforce management doesn’t apply to you because it really only benefits the big guys. And yes, it does present massive and significant benefits and savings for large organizations [...]

Startup Stock Photos

You might be tempted to think that all this talk about workforce management doesn’t apply to you because it really only benefits the big guys. And yes, it does present massive and significant benefits and savings for large organizations, and some workforce management systems are designed only for large enterprises and really don’t offer any scale or real value to smaller organizations.

But what might surprise you is that not all workforce management systems are the same; some are designed to offer smaller and mid-sized organizations the same advantages and benefits.

I’m talking about a workforce management model with modules for time and attendance, absence management and scheduling designed specifically for small and medium businesses with exactly the functionality needed—no more, no less. And it is to these models that smaller enterprises should look to when choosing a vendor. Models that not only work best for this size of organization, but also ones that offer a scalable deployment model ensuring that as your business grows and expands, the solution mirrors this; growing as you grow, building as you succeed.

Over my years in the industry, I’ve seen just how dramatically a workforce management system can reduce pain points like compliance or simplify many of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive HR tasks with very little managerial or administrative effort. And the financial rewards are huge; reportedly for every $1 invested in a workforce management solution, there is a return of up to $10.99.

I believe we are seeing not just employer expectations of talent, but talent and employee expectations of the workplace. And workforce management plays a crucial role in this which is why it is imperative that all organizations, irrespective of size, understand all aspects and benefits of this incredible tool.

Want more insight on the value and benefits of workforce management? Then start here.

How Absenteeism is Killing your Bottom Line

Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or roughly $1,685 per employee. Such figures are alarming and should be motivating for organizations to take measures or they’ll end up needing to impose damage control. […]

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Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or roughly $1,685 per employee. Such figures are alarming and should be motivating for organizations to take measures or they’ll end up needing to impose damage control.

But what I’m finding, is that opportunities to address this issue are often overlooked; that not everyone working in HR is aware that a system can be put into place that will look at the problem and automatically minimize both the occurrence and the consequence of an absent employee.

Vacations, bad weather, sick kids, jury duty, military leave, and so many more legitimate reasons for missing work are fully justified. Although, if you’re not properly tracking and adhering to legislation and policies, compliance failure and your reputation are at stake.

While we all need to miss work at times, there are some offenders or policy abusers who disrupt productivity with their abrupt absences. You’ll experience the premium cost for yourself with the administrative burden, and likely decreased morale stemming from the potentially higher workloads of those who do make it to work.

For example, how do you treat the following?

  • Tardiness: does it count against an employee’s allowed absences?
  • An employee facing a difficult personal situation: is your policy flexible? If it is, what measures have you taken to ensure against claims of favoritism or discrimination if employees feel that certain employees are treated differently?
  • Managers with differing expectations: some might be very strict and stick to the letter of the law, while others might be seen as more relaxed or understanding. Like my colleague has written about before, managers often have unintentional bias. Do you have a process that can highlight those employees who take advantage of your organization, or employees who are habitually late? Do you reward those who follow the rules?

Tracking occurrences will pinpoint problems and even positive behaviors. By establishing patterns like tardiness or the habitual ‘long weekend’ offenders, you can use the insight to identify those involved, estimate losses due to their behavior and have automatic notifications or warnings in place.

Don’t settle for the silent bottom-line killer of accepting absenteeism and make tracking occurrences part of your workforce management strategy. Schedule a discovery call to see how tracking occurrences can lead to positive employee behavior and protect your earnings and output.

Payroll Rocks the World! 10 Takeaways from APA Congress.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the American Payroll Association (APA) Congress in Orlando, Florida. It had been a couple of years since I last attended. It was great to see and interact with many old colleagues, industry analysts, partners, customers, [...]

Congress

I recently had the opportunity to attend the American Payroll Association (APA) Congress in Orlando, Florida. It had been a couple of years since I last attended. It was great to see and interact with many old colleagues, industry analysts, partners, customers, and enjoy four days of being the unabashed time & attendance geek I am.

Payroll Rocks the World was the theme of this year’s Congress and, in my opinion, was very appropriate as collecting time & attendance and paying your employees is the bedrock of an organization. At the end of the day, employees expect to have their time accurately recorded and paid correctly for the work they do. If it is not, then they have little-to-no motivation to be productive or even show up for work. So yeah, payroll is the rock star of any organization!

The agenda was chock-full of great presentations and keynote sessions.

So what did I take away from the Congress?

Lots.

So à la David Letterman, here is my Top 10 list of trends that all payroll professionals and organizations should have on their radar:

1.       Time & Attendance and Payroll are slow to the cloud.

Due to a number of factors, these business processes have been one of the slowest to make the move. However, this is changing as organizations start to realize the benefits of moving to the cloud, such as lower internal costs, access to the latest system releases, less dependency on IT and much more.

2.       Data security, data integration, and legislative changes are payroll’s biggest challenges.

Time and payroll data is highly sensitive by nature and payroll professionals need to ensure the security of the vendors and solutions that they select. With companies expanding through acquisitions and inheriting various systems, integrating these with the existing systems can be very complex. Payroll professionals today not only have to keep track of legislative changes in their home country, but also in every country that they do business. This is a daunting task for most organizations.

3.       Getting basic HR details in a global organization is hard.

“All I want is a Global Headcount Report!” was a common complaint heard many times in sessions or in speaking with attendees. With the challenges of growth through acquisition, country specific systems, and older platforms, getting basic data such as a global headcount or total wages and salaries report is no longer a simple task. Organizations are looking for one system to be the single source of record for this type of reporting. This is not a replacement for country specific payroll and HR, but rather a master system to handle consolidated reporting requirements.

4.       Fair labor Standards Act (FLSA) proposed changes for the salary threshold of exempt employees is still on hold.

A decision is expected towards late summer. However, there is a possibility that the Department of Labor may submit a new proposal with lower thresholds than in the original proposal. Stay tuned…

5.       Your workforce is changing.

The Millennial generation is not going to accept legacy and manual processes. In order to compete for top talent, organizations need to align their processes and systems to meet the challenges presented by this new generation.

6.       More and more organizations are starting to track location worked for mobile employees.

With increasing complexity in tax reporting for workforces that may work in multiple jurisdictions during the course of a year, more organizations are looking to improve their ability to track where both blue- and white-collar employees actually work.

7.       Standardize policies and systems.

Treat all employees fairly and equally. It is best to have the “system” enforce policies such as attendance. This removes the manager from the process and makes the system the “bad guy.”

8.       The rise of the contingent workforce.

Not only are we seeing more generations in the workforce now than ever before, but we are also seeing more contingent employees being embedded into daily activities. Employers are bringing in specific skill sets on a contingent base to fill gaps in their workforce either for a specific duration or on a project basis. The mix of full-time and contingent labor is causing challenges collecting time & attendance and ensuring that all are paid correctly.

9.       Comp Time for the private sector in the US may pass into legislation this year.

Comp Time allows an employee to bank overtime instead of having it paid out automatically. The legislation for the public sector in the US was passed a few years back, but it now looks like this will also become an option for the private sector. Assuming this does pass in the near future, it will add more tracking requirements for employers. Start planning now!

10.    Self-service is a must, especially for younger employees.

Self-service gives your employees the flexibility they need to better manage their work-life balance. For example, employers should avoid forcing employees to work overtime. Sometimes this is not avoidable but where it can be, a better approach is to put the overtime shifts out to bid allowing qualified and interested employees the opportunity to work rather than just forcing someone to. With the Millennial generation, self-service tools will be key to longer-term tenure.

If you are involved in managing time & attendance, scheduling and absence management or payroll for your organization, I highly encourage you to join the American Payroll Association or your country’s payroll organization such as the Canadian Payroll Association, Australian Payroll Association, South African Payroll Association, or The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (UK).

Summer: Not a Vacation for Workforce Scheduling

Let’s face it. When summer rolls around, most folks are looking to cash in on their PTO banks and take some well-earned time off. And good organizations know that giving their employees vacation time pays off.

A CCH Human Resources Management study demonstrated that more than 50% of employees feel more “rested, rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal life” and that nearly 40% of workers “feel more productive and better about their job” when returning from vacation. […]

Let’s face it. When summer rolls around, most folks are looking to cash in on their PTO banks and take some well-earned time off. And good organizations know that giving their employees vacation time pays off.

A CCH Human Resources Management study demonstrated that more than 50% of employees feel more “rested, rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal life” and that nearly 40% of workers “feel more productive and better about their job” when returning from vacation.Beach (more…)