12 Jul Improving Company Culture

Company culture can be described as the personality [i.e. prevailing behaviours, disposition and character] of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work and includes a variety of elements, such as work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations and goals.

It is simply the summation of how people within an organization interact with each other and work together. In other words, how things are done there.

Some benefits of good company culture

  • Satisfaction: this is one of the immediate benefits of a good work culture, as employees are happier working in positive work environments.
  • Increased Performance: workplace satisfaction engenders several motivators for an employee, as they are likely to be more confident in their work and strive to work harder and achieve more. 
  • Reduced Stress: a poor culture will cause stress at work, affecting a number of areas, including work performance and socializing with other employees. A good culture is likely to reduce stress, and consequently, poor performance and turnover.
  • Reduced Attrition: if an employee is happy and fits in well at a company, they are more likely continue working hard and remain committed to the company with less motivation to leave.
  • Commitment to Company: above all else, a good company culture will likely make an employee remain committed to the company because they fit so well.

As a human resource management solution, the TAMS solution is designed to improve productivity in the workplace. By helping to automate and track attendance and other records, it captures productive time, which has the effect of motivating employees that report to duty posts on time and contribute positively to company’s performance. 

On a larger scale, the most productive and punctual employees in Nigeria are celebrated at the TAMS Nigeria’s Employee of the Year Award (#NEYA) with fantastic prizes, including an all-expense paid trip to Dubai for the top three winners alongside their HR managers. 

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14 Jun Develop and Retain New Hires through Strategic Onboarding

New Hires through Strategic Onboarding

Develop & Retain New Hires through Strategic Onboarding

The first day on a new job can be overwhelming for most. Indeed, trying to learn the ropes of a new role while navigating company rules, policies and physical layouts, as well as meeting new colleagues is quite a handful for new hires. Indeed, an article on the world economic forum website notes that “The first day at your new job may be among the most memorable- and perhaps stressful- of your career.”

New hires know just how important it is to make a good first impression early in their tenure, but it’s also important for companies to put their best foot forward for their newest team members. The candidate wowed the organization at the interview. Now, it’s time for the organization to wow them with a perfect first day at work.

Applying the following points could put your organisation in good stead towards achieving this.

Make sure your expectations are reasonable
Have you had similar situations where new staff were able to meet or exceed your goals? If so, it is probably an indication that your expectations are reasonable. If not, you may need to adjust your them.

Ensure that the employee clearly understands your expectations
To ensure that there’s no misunderstanding between the employee and the manager, first, explain your expectations in detail. Then, ask your employee to describe to you how they will fulfill the requirements. This will help to eliminate miscommunication.

Remove all organizational roadblocks
You should remove all internal roadblocks. These speed bumps may include policies, procedures, internal politics or a lack of critical resources (such as the right equipment to do the job). Correct all of these issues. Of course, you can’t be responsible for removing employee-generated roadblocks (such as personal problems).

Train the employee and give him or her time to practice
While your employee professed experience, all organizations are unique. Different computer systems, policies, procedures and corporate culture can prevent good employees from being immediately successful. Make sure the employee is appropriately trained and has had sufficient time to practice the new skills.

Related Post: Most companies run an appraisal system of one sort or another. Appraisals assess employee performance against set objectives and guide employees on their future development. When appraisal systems are managed well, the employee continually progress and achieve more. In this way, employee… Read More

Ensure that the employee is motivated to perform
Most employees need both rewards and consequences to perform well. An environment that is skewed heavily to either one or the other will result in dysfunction. Giving employees praise for a job well done often results in them repeating the behavior. Catch employees doing something right and tell them about it. Likewise, employees must understand that poor performance may result in discipline and/or termination. Avoiding negative feedback may make things easier for the manager in the short term, but it’s unfair to the employee and will result in greater problems in the long term.

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25 Apr Improving Customer Experience With Cloud-based technology

improving customers experience with cloud-based technology
Improving Customer Experience With Cloud-based technology

Delivering exceptional customer creates a good perception about your products or services. Cloud computing ticks all the boxes in this regard by bringing people on one platform to access several documents and applications from anywhere.

So how is cloud technology improving Customer Experience? Here are 4 ways.

Providing access to data anywhere
Cloud storage systems remove limitations and increase productivity by making crucial data available anywhere, anytime. Cloud has gained momentum in ICT industry, not just for data storage and accessibility, but for improving the customer experience. Through cloud technology, service providers are able to interact with their clients in near real time, answering issue based questions, getting and responding to feedback, and ensuring that issues are well resolved real time.

Personalizing the customer experience
Through data stored in the cloud, customer behavior can be analyzed and segmented based on the interactions they have with a brand, whether in person or online. This allows key account managers to convert customers faster by automating personalized email experiences based on real-time interactions with campaigns such newsletters and more.

Enhancing disaster recovery capabilities
companies depend on their IT infrastructures in keeping up to date information about their clients. Without it, activity grinds to a halt. Business continuity is vital in this fast-paced world and the cloud’s scalability enables companies to have confidence in a recovery plan that minimises the impact of a disaster. History of clients information can always be recovered.

Enabling Team collaboration
Cloud functions allow for multiple team members to access the same information at once, as well as allow users in various locations and on varying devices to make updates in real time. Everyone can simultaneously work on documents via the cloud and see individual ideas and update real time. This brings about efficiency and time saving.

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22 Mar HOW NEW TECHNOLOGIES CAN FUEL BUSINESS GROWTH

Still Stuck in Yesterday?
If in a room full of CEOs and Senior managers you ask if their [individual company] processes are optimized for maximization of human resources, every one of them is likely to say yes!! But, really, are they?
Let me tell you an interesting story.
Before the 1400s in England, wars were just what they were—a conglomeration of medieval knights [some on foot and others on horseback] maiming and killing each other with swords, axes, and war hammers. It was a primarily a game of numbers and castles were impenetrable fortresses behind which all was safe and knights would spend decades perfecting their mastery of the sword.

But then, something interesting—that would forever change the course of warfare—happened.

Someone had figured out that instead of going about wars the way everybody else did, why can’t they just develop huge metallic balls that will be shot into breaking through the walls of castles so soldiers—who are much unlike the knights would go in and conquer. Warfare had become siege warfare and were now fought with projectile weapons such as crossbows, cannons, and muskets.

Unfortunately, medieval knights couldn’t keep up. The result was that Knights and castles that were once impenetrable were now vulnerable to armies of
barely-trained peasants with cannons and guns. The knights—their territories, expertise and all they stood for—had become obsolete as the grounds of
warfare shifted beneath their feet. The very things that once made them powerful were now their greatest handicaps.

So, I ask again, in the face of technological advancements and automation of human resources management [which has proven to raise efficiency by over 30%] are your processes optimized for the management of your human resources?

Are you using medieval HRM tools hoping to solve the problems of an ever-evolving, complex 21st century. We have simplified and automated staff
database management, appraisal system, leave and exemptions, time attendance management, workplace communications and payroll management
systems that help make your workforce efficient.

You can also nominate your best staff for an all-expense paid trip to Dubai, on our bill.

Till we come your way again. Keep soaring.

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BENEFITS OF USING TAMS SHIFT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

29 Jan BENEFITS OF USING TAMS SHIFT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

BENEFITS OF USING TAMS SHIFT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Shift management has always been a constant struggle for manufacturers. Poor shift management and scheduling on the factory or manufacturing floor can lead to increased operating costs, decreased sales, high worker turnover, and soaring grievances. Production managers often spend countless hours on shift scheduling, trying to get their shifts and work schedules just right – this is where the TAMS shift management solution comes in.

Overstaffing wastes payroll naira while understaffing results in late deliveries and lost sales. Manufacturing shift schedule presents many challenges. Most manufacturing production factories operate around the clock (24/7), having many job positions to schedule and multiple shifts to cover. Within each shift, factory workers must also be assigned to various tasks or work orders.

Labour laws and union rules may place restrictions on work hours, overtime compensation, and the types of shift rotation that can be implemented. The schedulers must also consider time-off requests, and worker availabilities when developing schedules for manufacturing facilities.

RELATED:

 

Using spreadsheets, documents, online calendars, or paper to schedule employees may be familiar. Perhaps it’s the way your company has always done employee shift scheduling. While these methods may be sliding by, they lack the capabilities and features needed to increase efficiency, reduce labor costs, and promote employee work-life balance.

To operate a seamless shift management system manufacturing companies like Fidson Health Care Plc and Expand Global Industry Limited has employed the use of an effective, efficient and renowned Shift Management solution known as TAMS Human Resource Solution.

WHAT TAMS SHIFT MANAGEMENT OFFERS

TAMS offers shift management solution to optimally plan and schedule the shifts of any workforce management team. It compiles a 360-degree view of each employee, allowing schedulers to define and schedule shifts whether distinctly to an employee, department, cadre or whichever way you plan on assigning shifts.

TAMS shift management solution allows for flexibility such that you can change shift of an employee at different time periods and still retain the set time without conflicts.

BENEFITS OF USING TAMS HUMAN RESOURCE SOLUTION TO SCHEDULE SHIFTS

  • Plan, Organize, Manage Shifts
  • Define shift rules based on employee’s cadre and scope of work.
  • Automatically integrated to our time attendance reporting solution to measure punctuality, lateness
  • Create Your Schedule Automatically
  • Integration with our all in one payroll system to automatically handle attendance

 

 

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5 SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TIPS TO BOOST YOUR NEW BUSINESS

08 Jan 5 BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TIPS TO BOOST YOUR NEW BUSINESS

5 Business Technology Tips to Boost Your New Business

We live in an advanced society where new ventures can start with little money and a big idea can carve out a successful business. While it is true that not every new business will survive, there are some simple techniques that can be utilized to make the most of your money, resources, and time.

When it comes to managing the technology side of your new business, you should definitely keep these tips for starting a small business in mind.

Store data in the cloud to reduce IT cost

When you’re starting out, you want to keep costs low. A great way to save money on IT costs is by using cloud storage instead of a physical server.

Cloud storage is particularly well suited to small businesses, and you can easily keep track of your spending as you will only ever be charged for the space you use. Best of all, cloud storage doesn’t require the same IT capacity or expertise, so you won’t need to hire an entire IT team. Just be aware that as you expand, you may need to spend more or make the switch to a dedicated server.

Get the best and cheapest Internet

Whether you work from home or sell physical goods in a store, a good business internet connectivity deal is essential.

The best bookkeeping apps and inventory management software are now cloud-based, so connectivity is very important. Most business packages offer priority service as a standard, meaning your providers are obliged to get your connection up and running immediately should something wrong. You will also want to look for a deal that offers optimum speeds for your area, as well as a comprehensive security package.

Be realistic about your social media presence

You may have big plans for the marketing side of your business, but just remember that less can be more when it comes to social media. If you don’t have the time or resources to commit to maintaining several accounts, just stick to one or two. A single Twitter account that is updated several times a day and has a healthy following is far more valuable than a trio of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts which were last updated six months ago.

You can hire someone to manage your communications in the later on. But when you are starting out, stick to one channel and do it justice. And do not forget that scheduling tools like Hootsuite, TweeDeck, and Postfity can seriously optimize your time.

Plan your website’s purpose and structure

To make the most of your website, think of it as an extension of your real-world business. It should use the same tone of voice and branding so that when any visitor ends up on your site, they can quickly grasp its purpose within seconds. It’s also important for the user journey to be clear and straightforward.

Try it out yourself — how many tabs or buttons do you have to click to engage with the service? Don’t forget that the average person only has an attention span of eight seconds, so you need to grab them quickly!

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

In 2015, Google made a big change to its algorithms, meaning they now prioritize mobile-friendly websites in the rankings. Give your website a real chance on the search engine results page by making changes that streamline it for mobile and tablet technology.

Key features of a mobile-friendly site are a simple design, fast loading speeds, and mobile-optimized features such as “call-to-action” buttons. If in doubt, opt for a mobile-responsive design when building your site.

Lastly, don’t forget that the specific needs of every business are different. Spend some time deciding which technology tip or tools will benefit your site the most and do not rush into anything you can not easily reverse.

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28 Dec Ways to Be More Productive in 2019 – Employee Productivity Manual

Ways to Be More Productive in 2019 – Employee Productivity Manual

Do you want to be more productive in 2019? Would you like to tune up your productivity skills? When it comes to getting things done, you can’t go wrong going back to basics. Mastering basic productivity skills can make a world of difference in your daily routines. In this post, we offer ways to be more productive in 2019. Whenever you need a productivity boost in the New Year, try one or more of these basic tips. You will be glad you did!

 

  1. Be more flexible ­- Have a contingency plan.

When things do not go as planned during your day, remember that flexibility can mean the difference between getting things done and not getting things done. Have contingency plans for when things go a bit haywire?

For instance, if the internet goes out at work, could you take care of some filing, or organize your receipts for your expense report? If an in-person meeting is suddenly not possible, how about holding an impromptu conference call?

When it comes to getting things done, think flexible thoughts, create contingency plans, and see what you can accomplish!

  1. Shorten your to-do list.

Have a mile-long to-do list? Take a moment to trim your daily list down to three to five tasks.

A smaller list will allow you to focus your energy and attention on what’s important which means you will more likely to complete items on your list. Begin by making a list of tasks, and then prioritize items, one by one. Need help identifying which tasks are urgent and important? You can evaluate each of your tasks using the Eisenhower Box method.

  1. Put your personal time first.

Your calendar doesn’t have to be completely filled with external activities in order for it to be important.

Your calendar is important because it is your calendar! That being said, take the proactive approach when it comes to your personal time.

Physically schedule your personal time, such as vacation or leave time, exercise, hobbies, recreation, and other activities into your calendar.

Treat your time just like you would any other appointment, meeting, or event; once your calendar is booked, it’s booked.

  1. Take time to track your progress.

Having trouble keeping track of your progress on a project or assignment? Why not use a visual aid?

Having a visual representation of all of your hard work can be incredibly motivating.

Try tracking your work sessions using a hanging wall calendar or calendar printable, jot down your progress in a notebook or journal, or create your very own productivity diary. Yes, things may seem like slow going at first, but you’ll see marked progress, day by day, which can be extremely exciting.

  1. Get adequate rest.

Here’s a quick question for you: are you getting enough rest during your daily routine? There are many ways to get adequate rest during the day. This tip, however, requires you to keep your eyes open…and to think creatively! Where in your day can you make sure you get adequate rest?

For starters, how about taking your full lunch break every day so you have time to recover from your work or studies? Or how about fully disconnecting from digital devices, social media, and email for a couple of hours so you can relax and unwind? Or how about keeping to a reasonable bedtime?

  1. Go offline every now and then.

We may live in the digital age, but it’s a good idea to take a mental break from technology once in a while. Try completing basic tasks by hand, such as making simple mathematic calculations on a piece of paper, writing out a to-do list, reading a physical book, or dialing a phone number manually.

And if you think you can’t be productive when you switch to analog mode, think again! Taking the time to complete a task manually will make you slow down and focus more on what you’re doing. You may even find an error or have a flash of insight that leads you to be more productive during your time online.

  1. Make solid decisions.

Life is full of gray areas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be firm in your day-to-day decisions. Just imagine for a moment: what if you could eliminate unnecessary stress and flip-flopping during your day?

Here’s an easy way to do so: answer questions using only a “yes” or “no” response (using words such as “maybe” and “might” can slow down the decision-making process). You’ll stop wasting valuable mental energy and can focus your attention on what really matters.

  1. Carry a small notebook and pen with you.

Be ready for those flashes of insight, fabulous ideas, and list, after list, after list!

A plain old notebook and a pen can be incredibly powerful productivity tools. Sure, digital devices are handy, but nothing compares to writing things down by hand (plus, there’s no need to worry about charging batteries or finding a signal!).

You can quickly jot down ideas and thoughts, write a story, take notes at a meeting, draw a map for a lost traveler, plan a party, draw or doodle in your spare time, leave a note for someone, write a shopping list, or brainstorm vacation travel plans.

  1. Expand your library of productivity books

There are plenty of books and monumental articles about productivity — what to choose?

When it comes to putting all of these books together, it is very difficult to choose between them, with so many good ones out there. You can check out these productivity books.

  1. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz.
  2. Getting Results the Agile Way by J.D. Meier & Michael Kropp
  3. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
  4. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  5. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  7. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Insightful posts and articles are also powerful. Here’re some great examples:

Top 27 Productivity Hacks for 2019

Top 10 Professional Life Hacks

 

  1. Always think positively

There is no best way to explain this other than to practice it daily – positive thoughts beget positive actions – like begets like.

How about you? Which of these tips resonates with you the most? Which of the above tips are you going to try out this year? How might you modify or interpret the above tips for your daily routines? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Productivity Using Technology

11 Dec 10 Ways to Effectively Increase Productivity Using Technology

10 Ways to Effectively Increase Productivity Using Technology

Productivity in workplaces has been a matter of concern for decades – it primarily centre’s on how employees can work towards the achievement of organizational goal effectively and efficiently. Although with the availability of modern technology, employee productivity is still a matter of concern and this brings the question of whether technology aids or bedevils employee productivity in the workplace. Below are how modern devices and applications can help employees work more efficiently, increase their productivity and ultimately achieve their business goals.

READ ASLOTop 10 Professional Life Hacks

  1. Make Sure You Use the Right Technology

Understand that technology can be a blessing or a curse for productivity depending on how it is utilized. Increasing productivity with technology is possible when the right tools are utilized. Determine where you need a productivity boost in your everyday life and research if there is a tech tool readily available to fill that gap — chances are, there is.

  1. Incorporate Automation Tools

Find the tools that automate everything, from scheduling and bill pay to email responses and contact update lists. Also, add as many apps as possible that provide a way to digitize any manual processes such as list making or gift giving.

  1. Manage Passwords Effectively

Passwords are being phased out in lieu of biometric authentication. Until most applications offer a seamless, intuitive UX such as a selfie for logging in or voice recognition for payment, management of passwords is essential. Password reissues and resets are costly both operationally and financially. It is recommended that you manage your credentials across devices with a tool such as 1Password.

  1. Only Use Technology Where You Need Help the Most

First, identify the areas where you’re regularly wasting time. Then, select mobile apps or services that directly meet those needs. My go-to’s are Evernote and Headspace. There is a technological solution for nearly every problem you’ll face, but if you engage in every app and service, you’ll actually decrease your productivity.

  1. Use Chrome Extensions

Let’s face it: Everyone wants to get more done in less time. The best way I’ve found to do this is to add all your tools to your Chrome browser, allowing you to access them much quicker. I recommend adding extensions such as Lastpass, which saves and remembers all of your passwords to every website you have to log into. This saves considerable amounts of time and increases productivity greatly.

  1. Organize Your Time with a Calendar App

Calendars are the most underutilized productivity tool by far. Reminders pair really well with good planning. Once you have the week entered into your calendar, your productivity has some rails to guide it.

  1. Take Advantage of Free Applications

Strictly from a consumer perspective, taking advantage of free applications can make everyday life more productive. Here are some examples that have had an impact on our life, which includes a family of five: mobile grocery ordering and pickup, mobile home electronics monitoring (HVAC, alarm, etc.) and application-based scheduling (bus, sports, etc.).

  1. Useless Technology Altogether

Obviously, automation of processes and workflows yields great efficiency returns, but we sometimes forget that most of our productivity is achieved by uninterrupted periods of time where we think and work hard and make breakthroughs, not through ever-decreasing incremental improvements on our to-do list app or finessing with our tools of the trade.

  1. Enhance What You Already Have

Employ an easy-to-use add-on or plug-in function to optimize your existing programs. For example, I use Boomerang for Outlook as an email filing/reminder system. I get so many emails, so it’s nice to have Boomerang clean up my inbox by archiving important messages and bringing them back when I need them.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Keep It Simple

There is power in setting goals, and common smartphone features are a simple way to stay focused and productive. Record goals and set reminders to keep them top of mind. Daily, weekly and monthly reminders force you to revisit the bigger picture frequently. I have found this to be the easiest way to stay on track with my goals, and it ultimately results in greater achievement and future success.

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TAMS - Time and Attendance Solution for the Banking Sector

05 Dec TAMS – Time and Attendance Solution for the Banking Sector

TAMS – Time and Attendance Solution for the Banking Sector

With distributed employees across locations and even states, banks need to be able to quickly summarize and analyze employee information to make staffing, scheduling and leave management decisions. Pay, Overtime and Holiday reports are also critical. No matter if it′s small retail branch or large corporate banking institute, safety and security is always a concern of any customer. To have satisfied clients, Banks look ahead for a technological Time & Attendance software product that is highly reliable, easy to use and capable to connect all their branches.

Clients participation becomes the key for Banking sector and TAMS Time & Attendance solutions for banking vertical comes in an effort to provide a unique client experience that focuses on improving the relationship with their bankers. Our solutions are tailor-made to meet the standards of the banking firm and to provide the best Time & Attendance system in practice.

TAMS can be used by any Banking organization that requires a streamlined system that saves supervisors the time of gathering, collating and sending this information using less efficient methods like paper timesheets. TAMS offers a comprehensive Time & Attendance solution that will meet the challenges of every bank.

TAMS advanced Time & Attendance solutions are a range of intelligently designed services to meet all the critical requirements of the Banking industry. TAMS offer Time & Attendance solutions for retail, corporate banks and financial institutes. TAMS supports Banking sector to meet their demand of access control, time management, multi-site connectivity, centralized report, leave management, and holiday management.

TAMS TIME AND ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

Managing your workforce in an efficient, fast and smart way can significantly improve your business in terms of profit and productivity. One way to ensure you’re getting the most from your staff – and to discover better ways to manage your team’s working hours – is to integrate an employee time and attendance system into your business

We understand the importance of simplified and automated Time and Attendance software. As the pioneers of web-based computerized clocking-in systems, our Time Attendance Management System (TAMS) is used by some of the country’s leading organizations, across a wide range of industries; including manufacturing, transport, retail, health and service centres.

Our reporting solutions empower you with informed real-time decision-making capabilities so you can easily convert data into actionable, valuable information.

WHY TAMS? – CONTROL LABOR COST & INCREASE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

According to research, companies without an automated time and attendance solution tend to overpay employees by 1.5% to 10% of gross payroll due to time theft and error driven calculations, costing businesses billions of naira each year. For a company with 10 employees, that can amount to more than $10,000 a year. TAMS time and attendance solution helps you eliminate calculation errors by helping you accurately calculate hourly totals and automatically applying overtime policies accordingly, and maintaining you in compliance with labour laws

POWERFUL REPORTING AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Gain complete visibility with TAMS Enterprise reporting/statistical analytical features which empower you with informed real-time decision-making capabilities so you can easily convert data into actionable, valuable information. Instant access for managers and executives to reporting, query, and analysis tools enables your organization to proactively manage business needs, instead of just reacting to them.

BENEFITS OF USING TAMS

  • Improve employee productivity.
  • Avoids the hassle of auditing paper-based employee time cards
  • Reduces costly manual payroll & data entry errors
  • Minimizes payroll processing time
  • Stay in compliance with labour laws by applying overtime policies accordingly
  • Reduce the time required to schedule employees
  • Eliminate the need to calculate vacation, sick and other paid time off
  • Enjoy up to the minute real-time visibility on your time & attendance data
  • With our cloud solution, no need to install or maintain software
  • Access anytime, and from anywhere using a web browser
  • Identify & eliminate time theft (early in, late out, & buddy punching)
  • Export time totals in minutes to all payroll providers and software
  • Holiday management is easy and simple
  • Lower overtime costs by proactively changing schedules quickly
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Microsoft Excel

04 Dec 10 Most Useful Microsoft Excel Tips for Employees

30 years since entering the market Microsoft Excel remains the most widely used software by businesses. Despite its wide use, the full capabilities of Excel are still poorly understood. You won’t be suprised that, of 100,000 workers less than half know what Conditional Formatting – an essential feature – even does.

For all those in need of a quick dose of tips to improve their Excel proficiency check out the top 10 tips below.

So let’s start!

 

1. Conditional Formatting

Graphical conditional formatting in Excel

Making sense of our data-rich, noisy world is hard but vital. Used well, Conditional Formatting brings out the patterns of the universe, as captured by your spreadsheet. That’s why Excel experts and Excel users alike vote this the #1 most important feature. This can be sophisticated. But even the simplest colour changes can be hugely beneficial. Suppose you have volumes sold by sales staff each month. Just three clicks can reveal the top 10% performing salespeople and tee up an important business conversation.

 

2. PivotTables

Mastering PivotTables in Excel

At 4 hours to get to proficiency, you may be put off learning PivotTables, but don’t be. Use them to sort, count, total or average data stored in one large spreadsheet and display them in a n1ew table, cut however you want. That’s the key thing here. If you want to look only at sales figures for certain countries, product lines or marketing channels, it’s trivial. Warning: Make sure your data is clean first!

 

3. Paste Special

How and why to use paste special in Excel

Grabbing (i.e. copying) some data from one cell and pasting it into another cell is one of the most common activities in Excel. But there’s a lot you might copy (formatting, value, formula, comments, etc.) and sometimes you won’t copy all of it. The most common example of this is where you want to lose the formatting. The place this data is going is your own spreadsheet with your own styling. It’s annoying and ugly to plonk in formatting from elsewhere. So just copy the values and all you’ll get is the text, number, whatever the value is. The shortcut after copying the cell (Ctrl C) is Alt E S V – easier to do than it sounds. The other big one is Transpose. This flips rows and columns around in seconds. Shortcut Alt E S E.

 

4. Add Multiple Rows

Adding multiple rows in Microsoft Excel

Probably one of the most frequently carried out activities in spreadsheeting. Ctrl Shift + is the shortcut, but actually it takes longer than just right-clicking on the row numbers on the left of the Excel display. So Right Click is our recommendation. And if you want to add more than one, select as many rows or columns as you’d like to add and then Right Click and add.

 

5. Absolute References

How to used fixed references in Excel

Indispensable! The dollar in front of the letter fixes the column, the dollar sign in front of number fixes the row, F4 toggles through the four possible combinations. Try it out with the following exercise. Type out three foods horizontally in cells B1, C1, D1 (Olives, Granola, Tomatoes) and three colours in cells A2, B2, C2 (Green, Blue, Yellow). Now type in cell B2 ‘=A2&” “&B1’. Congratulations: Green Olives! Now – and here’s the exercise – add dollar signs so that when you copy the formula across you get green everything. Or just Granola, but of different colours. Experiment!

 

6. Print Optimisation

How to optimise printing in Microsoft Excel

Everyone has problems printing from Excel. But imagine if what you printed were always just what you intended. It IS possible. But there are a few components to this: print preview, fit to one page, adjusting margins, print selection, printing headers, portrait vs landscape and spreadsheet design. Invest the time to get comfortable with it. You’ll be carrying out this task many, many times in your working life.

 

7. Extend Formula Across/Down

Using Excel's crosshair to extend formulas

The beauty of Excel is its easy scalability. Get the formula right once and Excel will churn out the right calculation a million times. The + cross hair is handy. Double clicking it will take it all the way down if you have continuous data. Sometimes a copy and paste (either regular paste or paste formulas) will be faster for you.

 

8. Flash Fill

Benefits of using Flash Fill in Excel

Excel developed a mind of its own in 2013. Say you have two columns of names and you need to construct email addresses from them all. Just do it for the first row and Excel will work out what you mean and do it for the rest. Pre-2013 this was possible but relied on a combination of functions (FIND, LEFT, &, etc). Now this is much faster and WILL impress people. If Flash Fill is turned on (File Options Advanced) it should just start working as you type. Or get it going manually by clicking Data > Flash Fill, or Ctrl E.

 

9. INDEX-MATCH

Combining INDEX and MATCH in Excel

This is one of the most powerful combinations of Excel functions. You can use it to look up a value in a big table of data and return a corresponding value in that table. Let’s say your company has 10,000 employees and there’s a spreadsheet with all of them in it with lots of information about them like salary, start date, line manager etc. But you have a team of 20 and you’re only really interested in them. INDEX-MATCH will look up the value of your team members (these need to be unique like email or employee number) in that table and return the desired information for your team. It is worth getting your head around this as it is more flexible and therefore more powerful than VLOOKUPs.

 

10. Filters

How to use Filters in Excel

Explore data in a table quickly. Filtering effectively hides data that is not of interest. Usually there’s a value (e.g. Blue cars) that you’re looking for and Filters will bring up those and hide the rest. But in more modern versions of Excel, you can now also filter on number values (e.g. is greater than, top 10%, etc), and cell colour. Filtering becomes more powerful when you need to filter more than one column in combination e.g. both colours and vehicles to find your blue car. Alt D F F is the shortcut (easier than it sounds – give it a go). Conditional Formatting and Sorting serve related purposes. Sorting involves rearranging your spreadsheet, which is intrusive and may not be desirable. Conditional formatting brings visualisation. Filtering is fast and effective. Choose well.

 

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