Payroll Software in Your Organisation

28 Nov 5 Reasons to Use Payroll Software in Your Organisation

5 Reasons to Use Payroll Software in Your Organisation

Any business that has more than one employee must have a payroll software. Paying employees consistently and with no delays not only impacts their morale, but it also reflects the company’s financial stability. Moreover, it is a requirement for compliance with federal and state laws. While this is a complex process, having an efficient payroll system helps streamline and centralize the payroll method. But first, let’s discuss what is payroll management process?

In essence, the payroll management process refers to the administration of an employee’s financial records which includes the salaries, wages, bonuses, deductions, and net pay. These records must be maintained and kept by the employer for federal requirements, especially when it pertains to payroll taxes such as Income Tax Withholding Records, and Federal Tax Records.

Establishing your payroll period is one of the fundamentals of managing your payroll system. This organizes the process and fosters consistency for your employees. It impacts your business with the following:


Morale of employees.

Late payrolls make employees question the business’ financial integrity. If they feel their job is not stable and secure, they may underperform which decreases the workforce productivity and quality of your organization. This factor also includes their net worth and total compensation with bonuses and benefits.


Lower tax bills.

Appropriately and consistently accomplished payroll minimizes state and federal taxes. On the other hand, doing it inaccurately can result in hefty fines. Hence, ensure the proper amount of taxes is withheld from each payroll and secure your employees fill out their forms correctly.

No matter the size of the organization, managing the payroll system is crucial. Those with fewer employees can use a one-write system. New business owners who are not knowledgeable in the process may find the procedure challenging because of the various federal and state laws requirements that must be complied with. Hence, some businesses outsource their payroll services to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Those who prefer to do it on their own, however, purchase an automated payroll system because it is cost-efficient and time-saving.

Find out why more than 1000 companies use the TAMS Payroll Management Solution

Payroll software is one of the first HR software solutions small business owners must implement for their growth as it covers the basics for future HR processes, according to a survey of software buyer interactions. Systems for “time and attendance” and “personal tracking” come next, respectively. Forty-two percent of payroll software buyers are SMEs with 1-50 employees as they understand the potential roadblocks it eliminates such as inaccurate paychecks and vexed tax authorities.

5 Reasons to Use a Payroll System

The following are reasons to consider having a payroll software for your business:

It is time-saving.

One in every three businesses spends 80 hours on managing federal taxes including employment taxes. This is equivalent to two weeks’ worth of full-time work. Calculating the payroll may seem as straightforward as adding up a number of hours worked with the employee’s rate. However, taking into account factors such as vacation leaves, overtime, and benefits makes it complicated. Moreover, the federal taxes with its own requirements have to be applied in every payroll. While you still have to input specific variables, a payroll software automates and optimizes the entire process that saves a significant amount of time compared to manually doing all the calculations. Repeating payroll tasks are also saved in the system so you won’t have to create a new format again and again manually.

It maintains payroll information.

Federal, state, and local laws must be implemented when paying employees along with their compensation and deductions. This information must be kept for each employee for accuracy in computation. Payroll packages like TAMS have customizable payroll modules that maintain these data. It eliminates the need for consulting various data sources because all information is compiled in one place.

It is cost-effective.

Most payroll systems are cloud-based solutions hence you will only have to subscribe to the service in order to use it. Additionally, its upgrades are provided automatically in most cases. There is no need for investing in hardware such as servers and physical software packages. Without outsourcing or hiring more employees to handle the payroll management, it can save you money in the long run.

It is secure.

The security standards of a payroll software are solid. Employee data is kept confidential which can be implemented by ensuring tight controls. This means specific access codes and administrative rights are only provided to the appropriate users to gain entry in the system. Meanwhile, employees can also log in and track their hours, leave allowances, payroll deductions, fringe balances, and other benefits in their payroll profile. This boosts their morale and reduces the work of payroll administrators.

It optimizes the process.

Repeating payroll tasks lead to boredom and can result in human errors. Computers mitigate this issue and guarantee payment information is accurate. Moreover, these data are archived in the online database. If your computer breaks down you won’t risk losing all your data because you can still access it on other platforms as long as you have your login details. Business owners and managers get a graph financial data to help them with forecasting payroll expenses. This includes calculating potential salary increase and determining how it can impact your company’s financial status to make necessary adjustments.

Key Features of a Payroll Software

Hereunder are some of the key features:

  • Automatic payrolls
  • Invoices and quotes
  • Tax forms
  • Reporting tools
  • Vendor and contractor payments
  • Integrations
  • Basic tax filing
  • Compliance
  • Employee access
  • Bank connections
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productivity hacks for 2019

27 Nov Top 27 Productivity Hacks for 2019

Top 27 Productivity Hacks for 2019

As 2019 gets closer, many professionals focus on what they can do better next year. Increasing productivity at work is a common New Year’s resolution, as there is almost always room to improve anyone’s practices. To help you get started, here are 27 productivity tips to begin 2019 right.

  1. Build up your energy.

Highly productive people seem to be brimming with enthusiasm, but that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. To help you get your energy levels up, take a moment every morning to write down your purpose, or the why behind your current pursuit. It serves as an excellent reminder as to why you’re giving your work your all and can function as its own source of motivation.

  1. Control your calendar.

While working in an environment where everyone can view your Google or Outlook calendar can be convenient, it can also set you up for problems if you don’t take control of your time. Others may view empty spaces as opportunities to schedule meetings, even if you intended to use the time for other tasks.

Instead of leaving your calendar in the hands of others, block out the time you need to handle critical tasks. That way you won’t be derailed by an unexpected meeting request.

  1. Create a mini crisis.

Some people thrive under pressure, allowing them to accomplish more than they originally thought possible in the time frame. You can recreate that sensation by blocking out less time than you actually think you need. Often, you’ll find your focus improves when you begin working and ultimately finish on time.

  1. Ditch your Smartphone notifications.

While completely shutting down your Smartphone isn’t always practical, managing your notifications is. Frequent pop-ups are distracting and almost guaranteed to pull your attention away from the task at hand.

When you need to complete detail-oriented work, shut noncritical notifications off so you can focus with greater ease.

  1. Schedule email time.

Email notifications are another notorious concentration-breaker, so giving in to every alert is guaranteed to make a heads-down task a challenge. Don’t let email take over your day. Instead, schedule time at the beginning and at the end of the day specifically for email. Then, unless something especially critical is coming in, feel free to ignore it the rest of the time.

  1. Put time-suck websites in time out.

If you find yourself losing time to sites that aren’t essential for work (and use a Mac), consider blacklisting them for periods using the SelfControl app. Websites you add to the list will be automatically blocked for the selected time, ensuring you can’t distract yourself with your hunt for a perfect unicorn meme to share with your friends.

Windows users can try similar applications, like StayFocusd for Chrome or Cold Turkey for additional controls.

  1. Avoid lyrics.

A lot of professionals enjoy ambient sound when they work, but music with lyrics (at least those in languages you speak) can actually be distracting. Choose either instrumentals for ambience or white noise to block out sound instead, and you won’t be as tempted to stop and sing along with the tune.

  1. Tackle must-dos first.

While it seems like common sense, many people forgo certain must-dos in favor of more straightforward, though less critical, tasks. But this can leave you scrambling if you don’t allow for enough time to get the work done.

To break the cycle, always start with essential projects first, no matter what. You’ll thank yourself for your diligence come the afternoon.

  1. Take on two-minute tasks second.

Small tasks can make your to-do list seem insurmountable. So, to pare things down, after handling your must-dos, head straight to your quick tasks. You’ll get to check items off your list, which is rewarding in its own right, and make the rest of your day feel less encumbered by minutiae.

  1. Get into a groove.

Whenever possible, group like tasks together. When your brain is already engaging in a particular way, use it to your benefit by focusing on similar activities in rapid succession.

  1. Cut meeting times by 25 percent.

While meetings can be vital to your business, they have a nasty habit of expanding to fit the available time slot, even if those extra conversations don’t provide value. To avoid the meeting version of scope creep, cut the time by 25 percent. You’ll still tackle the important topics but be less likely to have unnecessary discussions.

And, if getting together in person isn’t completely necessary, consider eliminating the meeting entirely. Your staff will thank you.

  1. Consider standup meetings.

When people settle into a chair, they’re more likely to get comfortable in the space. If you need things to progress quickly, embrace a standup format, forgoing chairs completely. This keeps people from settling in and encourages them to get to the point and move on with their day.

  1. Perfect is the enemy of good.

When it comes to your business, you probably want to make sure everything is perfect. But perfection can ultimately be the enemy, and is often an illusion, especially if you keep pushing to improve something that is already good. Don’t drill away at something that is in respectable shape. Instead, move on to other tasks and accept that good can be good enough for success.

  1. Know when to delegate and outsource.

Most business owners want to keep everything in their hands, but this can leave you overloaded. Learn which tasks truly require your input and which can be handled by properly skilled professionals. Once you split up the work, delegate or outsource quickly so people can get started on their to-do lists.

  1. Don’t neglect professional development.

Regardless of your position, there is always more to learn. Professional development helps you acquire new skills and perspectives, letting you be more effective. If a new competency allows for a higher level of productivity, then work to gain it.

You can take a class or explore free resources online, depending on your schedule, so make a commitment to learning something new today.

  1. Embrace automation.

In today’s technological world, there are many options for automating processes, such as emails and proposal or quote delivery. If there’s a task you can automate, look into it. It can shrink your to-do list significantly.

  1. Unsubscribe and unfollow.

If a newsletter or Twitter feed isn’t providing you with value anymore, then unsubscribe or unfollow immediately. This will clean up your inbox and feed, letting you find helpful information quickly and lessening the time you must dedicate to inbox maintenance.

Repeat the process weekly or monthly for optimal effect.

  1. Check in with yourself.

At least once a week, check in with yourself by assessing how you’re feeling, and then make plans to remedy any negative emotions that may be lingering. Self-care is important for productivity, so don’t continually neglect yourself in the name of getting more done at the office.

  1. Have a “no” strategy.

Saying yes to every task leaves you overwhelmed, but saying no can be its own source of stress. To make saying no easier, create a strategy in advance, including email templates or scripts, to simplify the conversation. This will decrease the amount of time you spend in the discussion while ensuring your point gets across effectively.

  1. Invest in dual screens.

Having two full-size computer screens is incredibly beneficial, especially if you have to refer to a report while creating a document, or any other resource plus activity combination. The larger screens make text easier to read, and the dual monitors prevent constant switching between pages or applications, making it worth the investment.

  1. Don’t fixate on where you start.

When people begin a project, they often default to starting at the beginning. But if you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to abandon the introduction and instead focus on another segment. Sometimes, it’s easier to start in the middle of a document, or even at the end, so don’t restrict yourself to a particular order if it just isn’t working.

  1. Use templates.

If you are repeatedly creating the same documents, you’re wasting time. Instead, create or download templates for your most commonly used formats and content types. Then you can simply start with a template instead of reinventing the wheel.

  1. Save, save, save.

If you’re working on a long document or report, hit the Save button as often as possible. While many programs have autosave features, the delays can be quite long. To preserve your work, make a habit of saving after every key point.

You can click the icon or use a keyboard shortcut to get the job done, either of which only takes a second. But, if it saves you from having to rewrite paragraphs of information, it’s worth it.

  1. Learn the keyboard shortcuts.

Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, make it a priority to learn them. They’re incredible timesavers and are available in almost every program. Start with those associated with your go-to applications and expand from there to get the most value.

  1. Ignore the news.

Trying to keep up with the news is essentially impossible, allowing it to generally function as a time sink. Plus, it can be trivial and even unreliable and isn’t necessarily great for your brain. Do yourself a favor and ditch the onslaught of news that can easily take over your life. It’s worth it.

  1. Stop multitasking.

Ultimately, multitasking is a myth that many of us fall for at some point. Instead of dividing your attention and rapidly switching between activities, commit your focus to the task at hand and you’ll see your productivity rise.

  1. Get everything you can out of Excel.

Microsoft Excel is everywhere, and most people encounter it regularly during their career. But few professionals are truly Excel power users. In as little as an hour, you can learn to use advanced features such as pivot tables, graphing, and vlookups, all of which give you access to business analytics capabilities that help you visualize data in just minutes, which are capabilities that shouldn’t be ignored.

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HR management

26 Nov 4 Tips for Human Resource Management Success – HR management

4 Tips for Human Resource Management Success – HR management

Human Resource Management or HR Management is important for any company with employees. If you are just a small company, you might manage HR yourself, while most large corporations have whole divisions dedicated to finding and retaining the right staff. It’s a job that requires tact, dedication and organisation. Like any sector of business, managing Human Resources has its ups and downs, but most problems can be solved fairly easily with the following tips:

Stay organised

When it comes to the management of HR, it’s imperative that everything has its place, because lost items and files can be of great importance down the track. For large corporations, it’s especially important to have HR intranet software in operation these days as very little is done without the Internet, or at least an intranet portal. Keep things neat and tidy and they can be found when needed.

Being organised also helps when there are lots of things to manage at once. Multitasking is the important word here, and it’s one of the main things that a HR manager should be good at. There are potentially lots of issues staff can have and very often they all need to be dealt with simultaneously.

Have as much clarity as possible

In many cases, HR managers have to deal with situations that are vague. Was it sexual harassment? Discrimination? There’s a lot of pressure to decide an outcome when there’s a grey area, and it’s important to know when to make an assertive decision yourself, and when to ask colleagues or managers for help. In these cases, it’s helpful to hone skills of negotiation and mediation and to learn how to manage conflict because not every case is easily resolved or accepted by all parties.

Obviously, the goal is to make both/all parties happy with the outcome, and it’s not always easily achieved. A good attitude and problem solving ability come with the need to negotiate – it’s important that everyone, while they may not (and probably won’t) all like each other, at least manage to be civil. That’s HR’s job, and it’s not always an easy one.

Be discrete, tactful and always ethical

Managing Human Resources can be a bit of a balancing act. At times it’s important to protect the individual while other times it’s essential to put the company first. HR Mangers are meant to listen to concerns of employees but are also required to enforce company policy.

Being a bit tough is the name of the game and when employees need boundaries, it’s important they are firmly encouraged to stay within the parameters of the company. Having said this, they need to know that their opinions are safe and what is said to HR is taken seriously.

Always be in communication

One of the most important skills to have in HR management is communication. HR managers need to report to higher up managers, other department heads, their own staff, other department staff, bosses and potential and even past employees because keeping everyone on the same page is vital in this area of business.

A constant juggling and balancing act, HR management is a demanding job but hopefully these tips will help bring you success in this ever changing and very important business role.

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Employee Security Awareness

23 Nov Five Tips for Building Employee Security Awareness

Five Tips for Building Employee Security Awareness

Five Tips for Building Employee Security Awareness – To err is human, but that’s cold comfort for the IT department at most firms. Security threats come in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most common forms is phishing attacks that target a company through employee mistake.

Phishing attacks are a leading cause of security breach for most companies, with 76 percent of businesses suffering a phishing attack last year, according to Wombat Security research.

The problem is that avoiding human error is hard. The average employee receives 16 malicious emails per month, according to Symantec security research, and wireless carrier Verizon has shown that one in 10 of these emails gets clicked.

This makes security awareness among employees an important component of enterprise security. While employees won’t stop making security mistakes, businesses can reduce the volume of human error through better education and awareness.

Here are five tips for boosting employee security awareness.

Tip #1: Surprise Employees with Live Security Tests

Arguably the best way to build security awareness among employees is through white-hat phishing exercises conducted by your company. These fake attacks test employees on whether or not they click on suspicious links or open file attachments, both drumming up awareness and highlighting the current state of employee education at your company.

These types of emails are benign in nature but will provide stats on how well education is going and will further enforce the message to the end user that they need to be more careful.


Tip #2: Gamify Reporting and Threat Readiness

Employees only report 17 percent of phishing attacks, according to Verizon. This is a missed opportunity both for employee awareness and for threat response, so a second tip is setting up an easy threat reporting system for employees.

Users who recognize and deny a phishing attack will tell their co-workers and can inform administrative staff, both of which make the organization smarter and more resilient to the next phishing campaign that shows up. Making security fun for employees is the key to security reporting adoption.

Tip #3: Offer Real-World Examples

A third way to boost awareness, ideally in conjunction with gamification, is security awareness campaigns that send out weekly or monthly flyers on tips for avoiding phishing-related emails.

This could also include real-world examples that may have been detected by the company so that employees know it could easily happen to them.

There are snapshots of campaigns, online examples of phishing templates, and terabytes of campaign descriptions that IT departments can share. Pass them around so users will recognize similar messages when they see them.

Tip #4: Train on a Simulator

Military schools use simulators before sending troops into combat. IT departments can do the same before sending employees to their inboxes.

Another tip for successfully building awareness among employees is offering phishing simulation software and rewarding employees for training up their skills. Simulations build an employee’s muscle for recognizing phishing emails, and they provide tools to report phishing attempts.

Computer-based training modules which train and test the end user’s knowledge on phishing-related topics can help. The key, as with employee reporting systems, is making these simulations fun and positive instead of boring and negative.

Tip #5: Make Security Training Look Like a Perk

The point of security education is a more informed employee who doesn’t take the bait when presented with phishing emails and other attempts at security invasion. It doesn’t really matter if the training is corporate or personal. The training is largely the same: be weary of malicious email.

Businesses can use this concept to their advantage by transforming security training into a perk. Instead of mandating a corporate-led security education program, promote and offer to subsidize third-party classes on personal digital security. This will make security awareness feel like an employee freebie, and help employees make the connection that security knowledge benefits them personally and not just their corporate master.

An employee who takes security seriously at home will be one who also takes it seriously in the office. So make it easy for employees to get security training, corporate or otherwise.

The security battle is never won, just managed. This is especially true when it comes to security attacks that target human error. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to boost employee security awareness beyond the traditional means. Businesses just need to take security awareness seriously — and not make it a one-off activity.

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safety tips for office workers

22 Nov Top Seven Safety Tips for Office Workers

Top Seven Safety Tips for Office Workers

With their climate control, soft chairs and armrests, office environments don’t conjure up thoughts of workplace hazards like, say, construction sites.

It’s true, office workers are at lower risk for workplace injuries than most, but it’s still important to talk about safety with office employees.

READ ALSO: 6 Basic Tech Tips You Should Train Your Employees

Here are seven safety tips for office workers to prevent workplace injuries:

  1. Make sure your desk setup is ergonomic

To maintain a neutral posture, your head should be centered over your neck and shoulders, wrists flat and elbows resting comfortably at your side. If your feet won’t touch the ground unless you lean forward, use a footrest. See our post on workplace ergonomics and neutral posture for more information on setting up an ergonomic workstation.

  1. Take regular breaks to get up and move around

Sitting all day puts office workers at risk for numerous health problems. Our warm-up and stretching guide gives you easy exercises you can do at work.

  1. When it’s slippery due to cleaning, walk like a penguin when entering and leaving your office

Slips and falls in offices are extremely common. To avoid them, walk like a penguin by walking flat footed taking short, slow steps. It’s also important to wear sensible footwear and carry only what you can handle.

  1. Use a headset for prolonged or frequent phone use

Cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear can cause neck and back pain.

  1. Keep your workplace tidy

Clean up spills immediately, keep aisles free of clutter, and tie up or secure cords so they don’t pose a trip hazard.

  1. Don’t let electrical cords create a fire risk

Avoid running electrical cords under carpet or through windows and doorways. Also, don’t fasten them with unapproved devices, such as staples.

  1. Know your office emergency procedures

Make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire, storm, violent intruder, medical problem or other emergencies.

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New Tech

21 Nov 8 Useful Tips for Implementing New Tech in Your Office

8 Useful Tips for Implementing New Tech in Your Office


8 Useful Tips for Implementing New Tech in Your Office – Workplace productivity has increased by 84% over the past 40 years because of advancements in digital tech. Of course, the increased level of panic when a new tech is announced is probably a direct correlation to that advancement. If there are one thing leaders can all agree on, it’s that introducing new processes or new tech is one of the most stressful and controversial parts of the job. While the products are eventually adopted, productivity and performance can suffer. These 8 tips will help employees afraid of change stay on track while you introduce new, time-saving tech.

  1. Be Realistic

The number one rule for all introductions to your organization, whether they are employees or processes, is to be realistic. Understand how your employees currently work and what seems to be the cause for frustration, then be very dedicated to either easing those frustrations or explaining why a change, no matter how difficult, is necessary. Often, people are opposed to changes that will affect their daily schedules, so coaching and support are absolutely necessary for every step made from this point on.

Rule of thumb: However long you think the transition will take; add a month to the tail end.

  1. Do Your Research

Before settling on a product, there should be a great deal of researching, demoing, budget conversing, etc. This is probably the biggest no-brainer, but there are essential research steps many overzealous and time strained organizations forget when looking for new tools and it’s during the implementation that people regret the oversights. To avoid this, record all research. When looking for a new tool, you’re often considering multiple choices which create the chance of confusing features of multiple platforms. Cut the noise by gathering as much information as possible and making notes in an organized place.

Record all your research to help your decision-making, like this: Pro Tip: Create a centralized location using DropBox, Google Drive or Evernote to allow everyone to contribute pricing sheets, recorded webinars, buyers’ guides and more so all the info is easy to access.

  1. Choose a Point of Contact

Decide on a key person or people to act as a resource during the implementation of a chosen product. If these individuals cannot be a part of the selection process, the recorded research and information you gather in the demo stages will be great briefing material. Have these key contacts be a part of the on-boarding process and train with the product’s team. If webinars or other learning classes are an option, ensure the implementation team can be present. This small team of core internal experts will be your employees’ solid resources to inquire from or troubleshoot with.

Choose the right person: Select someone organized (you know the person who LOVES making spreadsheets to collate information and create an email address that forwards to all the relevant team members so no one is dropped off the thread!

  1. Create Curriculum

With all the research and training time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information. This can be especially true when a product is consolidating numerous processes and departmental work. Instead of having all employees learn all parts, create curriculum with the core implementation team and separate the information out among the various departments. Of course, encourage questions or further exploration as long as goals and deadlines are met.

How are you implementing new technology in your organization? Give this a shot – Save time: Try having one person on a different webinar, demo or learning session and then inviting them to teach their colleagues. Not only will they learn their particular tool or skill better, but you’ll also have an SME in each area.

  1. Embrace Screencasting

You employ various learners, no matter the organization’s size. There are various opinions, but a simple approach is there are 4 different learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic. As titles suggest, some people retain information better when they see it in action, others when they hear it presented, others need the chance to write out the process while some need to perform a project for themselves. A screencast presentation calls for one person to record themselves completing a task, their approach to the completion then share it with the team. The information is always available and provides a visual representation with voiced, step-by-step guidance, great for all 4 learners to adapt.

Use this training and learning process that works great for all 4 types of learners – Build a library of guidance: Find a free tool like Screen-Cast-o-Matic or Jing and have each person record 5 minutes around the new proccess or challenge them to find the best process hack!

  1. Communicate Transparently

Everyone, from the core implementation team to employee should know exactly why a product was selected, what features swayed the purchasing decision, what features will not be included, who will be affected, how they will be affected and who can be contacted for help. Even small details may eventually become bigger ordeals later, especially if your organization is one that encourages internal growth.

Encourage FAQs: Just kidding. Questions are asked less frequently when you answer all of them in an open thread, forum or wiki.

  1. Compare to Established Tools

For particularly confusing features or processes, call on your team’s tech prowess or experience. Is there a current tool or social network with a similar interface? Making those comparisons allows team members to better grasp more foreign concepts and might help facilitate questions before they jump into the platform.

Introduce particularly confusing new tech to your teams like this – Try the movie pitch tactic: “It’s exactly like Jaws plus Twister.” Sharknado! You can use this when describing your new process or tool to your team. “It’s just like Excel but web-based and searchable from all vantage points.”

  1. Set Incremental Goals

If you want to progress in anything, set goals. Goal alignment helps employees stay on track and is a key driver in growth. Depending on the tool or department needs, goals may be numerically based or focused more on growth. Before setting those goals, allow employees to work within the tool for a week or two so they can familiarize themselves with dashboards, user interface, and features. Create baseline expectations from that discovery period.

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Employee Health

19 Nov 9 Ways Employees Can Stay Healthy at Work

9 Ways Employees Can Stay Healthy at Work

9 Ways Employees Can Stay Healthy at Work – It is said that health is wealth. The adage is true to a great extent. Without good health, we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Taking care of work, chores and kids would become impossible if we struggled with health conditions all of the time.

One of the most common excuses people cite for not being in good shape relates to not having the time or the energy to do what it takes to be healthy. This is particularly true of working professionals. Here are nine things employees can do regularly to ensure they stay healthy.

  1. Eat sensibly.

Most office goers complain that they find it difficult to eat healthily and sensibly and hold their waning willpower responsible for it. While it is true that we imperatively munch on junk food or sample calorific treats brought to the office by colleagues, it is important to exercise self-control. Moderation is key. You do not need to completely forget about junk food; just limit its consumption.

Furthermore, pay attention to what you eat for your main meals. Eat a good, filling breakfast in the morning. Lunch on salads and fruits, and avoid unhealthy, greasy food. As much as possible, avoid eating lunch at your office desk. Leaving the office for a while will prevent you from overeating and provide you with a short break. Stay away from indulging in afternoon snacks, such as chips and chocolates, as that will spell trouble. Also, maintain a healthy eating schedule in the evenings.

Snack on healthy alternatives, such as fruits, nuts, granola bars or healthy smoothies, which will keep you feeling satisfied without giving you the sluggish feeling that you get from eating junk food.

  1. Drink plenty of water.

Being immersed in work means losing track of how much water you’re drinking in a day. However, it’s crucial that you drink enough to stay hydrated and active.

Dehydration can cause ill effects, such as drowsiness and sluggishness. It is always a good idea for an adult to drink between six and eight glasses of water every day. Depending on your level of physical activity and the climate in your region, you may need to consume more. Eating fresh, juicy fruits is a great way to beat dehydration and hunger pangs.

  1. Restrict your caffeine intake.

Many office dwellers may find it absolutely impossible to get through their day without consuming caffeinated beverages.

This is okay as long as you practice moderation. Try to curb your caffeine consumption to one cup of coffee every morning to prevent a caffeine crash later in the day. Also, you can omit the use of sugar and cream in your coffee, and cut those calories.

  1. Maintain good posture.

Maintaining good posture all day requires conscious effort. Most employees, who use computers, stare into their screen for hours and slowly get drawn into it. This means they stretch their neck forward, which puts pressure on the neck and the spine. This can be avoided with the help of certain desk exercises. The most popular one entails chin retractions – or making a fake double chin — to support the neck and upper back.

  1. Take frequent breaks.

We always want to finish our work so we can get out of the office on time. However, this does not mean that you should sit at your workstation for hours at a stretch and not allow yourself a break. You may think that taking a break will waste your time, but taking a break can actually be productive.

Not taking a break from work can make you mentally lethargic, and reduce your creativity. Make it a point to get away from your desk every now and again for a few minutes. The idea is to take a break; rejuvenate, and be more productive.

  1. Keep your workstation clean.

It is extremely important to keep your workstation clean and orderly. Tidy it up five minutes before leaving for the day so that you return to a neat workspace the next morning. Keep sanitizing wipes handy, and use them to wipe the surface of your desk often.

  1. Be hygienic.

Being hygienic goes a long way in keeping you healthy. You can take the necessary steps at work too. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk. When at work, it may not always be possible to step away from your desk every time you want to wash your hands. But with your hand sanitizer close, you can deal with situations that involve you coughing or sneezing, and stay healthy and germ-free.

  1. Avoid mingling with sick employees.

This one is common sense but nonetheless important. Avoid close contact with employees, who may be sick or show symptoms of communicable disease. Wash your hands if you’ve been around their workstation. Also, let office management know about the sick employee if they aren’t already aware. If you’re sick, it’s best to stay home and recuperate so that you do not end up spreading the infection to others.

  1. Learn to manage stress.

Most of us lead hectic lives that can get to us from time to time. Juggling several roles and responsibilities on a daily basis can leave us exhausted, which is normal. After all, we’re only human. However, we can make it easier on ourselves by learning to manage stress. One great way to beat stress? Do enjoyable things. This can include spending time with family or friends, watching movies, reading books and going to the gym or the spa. The idea is to relax your mind by taking care of yourself and achieving a healthy balance.

Staying in good shape requires effort. Good health and fitness can’t be achieved overnight, which is why it is important to incorporate certain habits into your daily routine. This will need long-term commitment and discipline, but there will be a lot of benefits to earning in terms of mental and physical wellbeing. Include the above tips in your day-to-day routine to stay fit and fine.

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13 Nov 6 Basic Tech Tips You Should Train Your Employees

6 Basic Tech Tips You Should Train Your Employees       

6 Basic Tech Tips You Should Train Your Employees – It doesn’t matter. You can still train your staff to use your IT systems without a so-called “expert.” Here are six basic things you can pass onto your employees that will make them more tech-savvy in your workplace. They’ll soon call you a computer guru!

  1. Restart a computer by using the keyboard

Want to improve employee training? This one’s really straightforward. Pressing and holding down the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Delete” keys on a keyboard for a few seconds will restart a computer. If software suddenly malfunctions, this quick tip will let your staff reboot your computers and start fresh.

  1. Send emails from a mobile device

Staff can send emails from their smartphone or tablets in or out of the office — all they need is an internet connection. Depending on the make and model of their phone, employees can download email apps from the App or Google Play stores, sign up for a new account (or enter their login details) and send messages to clients and colleagues. Yes, it’s that simple! Share this tip in your employee training.

  1. Use Office 365

Office 365 is Microsoft’s suite of business productivity tools, which includes Office, OneNote and SharePoint. It’s an essential app for your small business — companies save about 30 minutes of lost productivity per user, per day, according to research. Your staff can use Office 365 on a desktop, laptop or mobile device to create presentations, write documents and share resources.

  1. Improve employee training by teaching staff to use a VoIP phone

VoIP phones allow your employees to interact over the internet. It functions just a regular phone, but it works out significantly cheaper and facilitates communication. Using one of these devices is simple. Your staff can make and transfer calls just like they would with a normal handset. A screen on the device lets employees check call histories and directories.

  1. Take a screenshot on a desktop or laptop

Your staff might need to take a screenshot when working on a desktop or laptop. They just need to hit the “Print Screen” key on a keyboard, open up an editing program like Microsoft Paint and click “Paste.” You can teach them this simple hack during employee training.

  1. Add a bookmark

Internet bookmarks let your employees save their favorite websites so they can access them at a later date. On Google Chrome, users can click the Star icon in the address bar at the top of the screen. They can then access their bookmarks from the “Settings” menu. Over on Internet Explorer, users should head over the website they want to save, click “Favorites” in the top menu bar and then click on “Add to Favorites.”

These six simple tips will help your staff become more tech-smart in the office. While some of them might seem obvious, it’s still worth sharing this information with your staff in your employee training program.

Research shows that 36% of 18-34-year-olds and 25% of those over 55 find workplace technology stressful. If a little bit of tech know-how brings those stress levels down, we’re all for it.

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hr challenges and solutions

06 Nov Top HR Challenges and Solutions For Organisations

Top HR Challenges and Solutions

HR challenges in today’s fluctuating global economies affect every aspect of business, and this includes meeting strategic organisational business imperatives that HR departments never faced in past decades. The following top HR challenges – while seemingly complex – actually have relatively simple solutions for companies with the right HR software and organisational cultures that emphasize leadership, engagement, diversity and flexibility:


1. Retaining Top Talent

Most companies view recruitment as the most important of their HR challenges, but retaining the talented people whom you already have certainly ranks higher than organic recruiting. Employee retention not only reduces the need to find new talent but also provides the raw materials for promoting people in-house to leadership positions.

Solution: Focusing on retention can strengthen staff loyalty over longer periods of employment and reduce recruiting, training, orientation and operating costs. Employee retention strategies include fostering an appealing company culture, engaging employees in two-way communications, offering incentives and recognition and showing respect for workers at all levels of the company’s operations. For example, many restaurants reserve their highest honours for popular front-of-the-house servers and acclaimed chefs, but no restaurant can operate without dishwashers and pot scrubbers in back-of-the-house operations. It’s important to provide motivational recognition throughout your organisation and not just to employees with the highest job profiles.


2. Attracting Top Talent

Attracting talent is certainly one of the most visible of HR challenges, and today’s mobile, digital culture often fails to generate the kind of corporate loyalty that helped companies retain staff in past generations. Millennials are especially susceptible to job turnover – often for reasons that don’t involve money – reasons like company culture, and business reputation.

Solution: By using effective & appropriate HR software and HR tools, companies can create attractive online presences that showcase each company’s culture, accomplishments and core values. HR departments can contribute by helping to develop strategic recruitment plans that take into account business goals and competitive recruiting efforts. Fostering high levels of employee engagement is the single strongest solution to many HR challenges including recruitment efforts. Those who are responsible for hiring can share information with targeted recruits even before they’re ready to change jobs. This includes publicising professional development opportunities, company-sponsored events and peer-to-peer sharing. Fostering a culture of diversity, transparency, support of social causes and inclusive hiring practices is an effective way to attract top talent.

3. Building Leaders From Within The Company

Top HR challenges include attracting and retaining top talent, and the easiest way to do this is to develop leaders from within the company. Leadership has been globally identified as one of HR departments’ most critical strategic initiatives, and company managers, senior executives and HR managers are in prime positions to instill leadership characteristics in existing workers.

Solution: Building teams create opportunities for workers to step up and take ownership of new ideas. Managers can build leadership values by demonstrating them, supporting them and encouraging team members to develop those leadership qualities through practical exercises. Senior executives can support the process by funding administrative support services, and HR departments largely administer these initiatives, which include training programs, cross-training, educational opportunities, certification programs and chances to lead special projects.


4. Creating A Healthy, Value-Driven Company Culture

Company culture takes an increasingly important role in every aspect of the business. Today’s competitive recruiting often focuses more on company culture than on salaries and benefits because millennials consider culture as a prime influence when changing jobs. One particularly powerful example of this trend is Google’s corporate operations, which dominate the search industry. The company fosters a unique culture where staff members enjoy benefits such as free meals, dog-friendly offices, on-site gyms and employee trips and parties.

Solution:  You don’t have to offer trips to outer space to build a value-driven culture. The process begins by fostering two-way communication and developing ways to engage employees. Depending on your industry, engagement might mean supporting community-based charities, political change or work diversity. Ask your employees about their outside interests, and develop company-sponsored programs to support them or allow workers to pursue these activities on company time. If you want to build a team-oriented culture, empower managers and teams with real-world incentives, recognition and power to influence and change company policies


5. Fostering Diversity

Fostering diversity should involve more than setting quotas for new hires. The process will seem hollow unless your HR department takes ownership of cultural diversity.

Solution: Apply strategic advertising and marketing, internal and external communications that highlight different cultural practices and efforts to target communities with campaigns designed to attract diverse candidates. Of course, you need to make sure that you’re not violating any local employment laws with unlawful trigger words, but your HR department should look beyond compliance to foster an inclusive workforce to meet diversity HR challenges. Encouraging empathy and curiosity about others is a strong way to foster diversity. Companies can publicise cultural differences by posting alternative lifestyle information, identifying new talent pools, networking with alternative enterprises and providing key training and learning programs that can bring those without certain skills up to standard proficiency levels


6. Managing Change

Change management might seem to align more closely with project management than HR, but HR departments and managers now provide many of the support services for managing change in agile businesses. HR challenges in regard to change management include providing the structure for change, administering changes in company policies and explaining the changes to skeptical managers and rank-and-file workers. HR departments are ideally situated to manage operational changes because they often field experts in organisational and personal behaviours.

Solution:  HR departments can ease the impact of changes by identifying formal and informal company leaders who can act as catalysts for change. These human resources are often leaders – but not always – who can influence and motivate other workers. Best practices for managing change include the following steps:

  • Address ‘human’ concerns quickly and systematically.
  • Explain why change is needed and what the benefits are.
  • Enlist the identified agents of change to support the changes in public pronouncements.
  • Begin at the top of the command chain, and work down to every affected area of operations.
  • Identify any cultural or diversity concerns that might arise, and manage them proactively.
  • Understand that change is personal, and reassure people about how the changes will affect performance assessments, hours, team assignments, pay and other work concerns.

Fostering a culture that embraces change simplifies the process of change management, which is a useful and worthwhile characteristic of today’s rapidly evolving and agile business operations. Encourage workers to adopt the attitude that change is essential for job security and market agility


7. Measuring HR Effectiveness

Measuring HR effectiveness might seem straightforward, so it’s not obvious that it ranks among the greatest HR challenges. However, it’s astonishing how many companies don’t measure their results objectively, and even fewer measure their results based on how HR policies affect people. CIPD research shows identifiable links between HR policies and people management.

Solution: Your HR software can often automate data collection for objective results, but measuring effectiveness involves a two-pronged approach that includes incorporating more subjective assessments into decision-making such as considering employee potential, identifying candidates for training and advancement and planning succession management strategy. When assessing HR challenges and potential solutions, it’s critical to consider whether existing workers have the necessary abilities, motivation to perform and opportunities to develop essential skills. It’s also critical to assess whether HR policies align with the company’s long-term business goals. That’s why measurement must include both objective facts and subjective assessments from managers, team leaders and senior executives


8. Encouraging Effective Learning

Effective learning increases employee skills, makes workers more versatile, fosters staff loyalty and provides transparent opportunities to earn skill-based promotions and salary increases. Performance management assessments should focus on recommending opportunities for skills training, earning industry certifications, participating in mentoring and coaching sessions and accessing educational opportunities.

Solution: Learning and development activities should be monitored and measured to determine the objective benefits of the programs, and some HR department effort should focus on subjective accomplishments that can be attributed to effective learning. HR departments should use these results to push for additional learning programs to foster stronger employee engagement.

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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 appraisal systems can make a significant contribution to the overall success of a business – Check TAMS Appraisal System

Types of Employee Appraisal System

There are varieties of employee appraisal systems. The best known is the annual review. It is a yearly review where manager and employee sit down and assess how well the employee has performed. Some systems rate employee according to various criteria using a scoring system. Other appraisals will consist of a narrative that describes the employee’s strengths and weaknesses and assesses their achievements (and shortcomings) against the objectives that were set in the previous review. Some systems combine both ranking and narrative methods.

1. 360 Degree Review

Appraisal also comes in other forms, like the 360 degree review which aims to collect feedback from all employee’s interactions and deliverables, so their managers, colleagues, subordinates and even customers can appraise them. This method is not dependant on just one person’s view of the employee and the extra feedback obtained about the employee gives a more balanced view of them in their day-to-day role.

2. Self-Evaluation Review Method

The self-evaluation method of review can be useful as an input in the appraisal process. Asking an employee to honestly appraise themselves can be enlightening for both the employee and the manager.

3. Key Performance Index Review Methods

This is one of the best appraisal systems. Using objectives and KPIs, both manager and employee can set and agree on goals and timelines that need to be met. Agreed and well-defined aims and goals provide an easy way of measuring success or failure. This can take the forms of Project Evaluation Reviews or Sales Performance Appraisal.


Why You should have an appraisal system as an HR

The biggest benefit of an appraisal system is that it gives feedback on how to improve a worker’s subsequent performance. It details how an employee can develop and add more value to the organisation. Appraisals give direction to the workforce based on the needs and wants of the customers of the organisation. In this way, employees are encouraged to be more customer-centric. And giving your customers what they want – profitably – is at the heart of business success.

Appraisal systems are also designed to identify the training needs of individuals. When aggregated, this gives HR a view of the training needs within the organisation as a whole, identifying skills gaps and possible training opportunities.

Some companies use appraisal systems to determine pay increases and promotion. Based on performance according to a graded scale, pay increases can be awarded, with those scoring the highest receiving the largest pay increases.

Appraisals systems form a sound basis for HR decision-making. If an employee is under-performing to the extent that disciplinary processes need to be initiated, then performance reviews can measure and identify whether improvements have been made. Where they haven’t, the review can help inform the next stage of the HR disciplinary process.

The TAMS Appraisal System

TAMS Performance appraisal systems solve the review process problem — normally a formidable and cumbersome task—by making it both efficient and effective for managers and employees. HR often gets bogged down with the process, and managers are often untrained in delivering effective reviews that actually impact workforce performance and help grow the business

TAMS Effective goal alignment and performance management lets you establish a true pay-for-performance culture at your company by providing the foundation for closely linking reward systems with individual and team performance, thereby allowing you to hold on to your high performing employees.

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