Category Archives: Management

Par Alice T. | 20 June 2022

A Digital Shift for the Health Care System With Timesphere

A Digital Shift for the Health Care System With Timesphere

Recently, the Quebec government announced it was undertaking the restructuring of our health care system. The government’s strategy involves 50 key components. We looked at the details and have some concerns, and thought we could share them with you.

But how can we play a role alongside hospitals to guide them on a healing path?

The Importance of the Application of the Collective Agreement

Obviously, improving work organization is of central importance in this demanding and exhausting sector of activity. Any improvements leading to a better work-life balance will require sound management of work schedules, in full compliance with the business rules of the collective agreement.

Take Sonia, for example, who can’t come to work today because her daughter has caught some type of virus and she has to keep her at home. Leonard, the secretary, has been informed of this and will immediately get to work to try to find a replacement. He will have to spend hours on the phone before finding the right person (equivalent skills) to replace her… What a pain!

So, if the hospital where Sonia and Leonard are employed worked with the assistance of an automated scheduling software, their mental load would be lightened, because a high-performance algorithm would be taking care of all this, while respecting the rules of their collective agreement. This affliction can be simply cured!

A Real Pain Reliever: Timesphere

We said it before, Timesphere is the perfect remedy to no longer live with the “burden” of arranging and managing employee schedules, because it is all automated. In short, our software:

• Optimizes employee schedules in real time and actively avoids scheduling errors in care units;
• Automates the task of scheduling and facilitates managing replacements, while respecting the rules of your collective agreement. No more mistakes!
• Allows auctioning off shifts while respecting all clauses, by permitting those who want to work to take the shift and others to be at home. This makes reconciling their personal life and their professional life possible. Schedules are done automatically following a query (and that, believe us, removes a huge administrative burden while adding to the happiness of employees);
• A perfect employee portal: effective communication between the employer and the staff, instant access to timesheets and schedules, special features including the possibility of submitting requests for vacation time, days off … all bundled in this easy-to-use software!

 
No more scheduling errors, no more stress of not being able to take time off, no more hassles over emergency replacements… To ensure the effective management of health care personnel, there is Timesphere — the schedule generator and automated scheduling software.

Par Esther Dominguez | 20 May 2022

Aiming for a serene and seamless management experience!

Aiming for a serene and seamless management experience!

Close your eyes … take a deep breath and let your conscience be your guide… Imagine a world where your business achieves synergy and where harmony and enthusiasm prevail thanks to an automated, 100% digital management tool… No need to snap out of it! This is not the fruit of your imagination. All this is possible thanks to Timesphere.

Time to Meditate on the Benefits of an Automated Scheduling System

It’s hard to keep both feet on the ground when you know that there is software that can juggle with jobs and arrange every employee’s schedule according to their availability. In addition to being able to compose with any type of industry where requirements often vary, Timesphere allows you to reduce the time spent on employee planning by 50%. And that’s not all, the software also ensures that schedules respect business rules and collective agreements. As a manager, one thing is for sure: with a system that simplifies some of your operations, while optimizing resources and achieving business objectives, the only thing you have left to do, it is to add a yoga session to your workday.

Be Proactive by Staying Pro-Relaxed

Timesphere offers a wide range of possibilities, all packaged within a unique employee portal. Think about Agatha who always feels anxiety when she needs to ask for some time off, or Fred who forgets (too often) that his shift has changed, or Sophie who is afraid that management will not take note quickly enough of important information on the status of an order. All these issues are solved thanks to Timesphere.

We can now enjoy some peace of mind and be conscious of our environment thanks to a collective effort and a portal that brings together the elements that are essential to cultivating happiness at work. So, Agatha can now send her requests for time off and advertise her availability without stress; Fred has always on hand access to his schedule and his timesheets and Sophie can communicate in real time with members of the staff. All this through a 100% personalized and seamless mobile access.

Timesphere ensures that employee requirements are met and fosters a serene and strong spirit of collaboration between all members of an organization. So, will you embark on this journey that begins with an innovative management system that elevates your professional development and your full potential?

Take your chance with Timesphere!

Par Alice T. | 7 April 2022

When technology is as effective as two years of therapy

When technology is as effective as two years of therapy

Stress… What an unpleasant feeling. It’s a bit like winter. We live with it, but we could all do without it, at least some of it, like when we’re subjected to the inconvenience that comes with cold weather! A stress-free work environment can only make employees happy, and consequently equate to a higher retention rate. But how? Sonia Lupien, a doctor in neuroscience and Director of the Centre of Studies on Human Stress (CSHS), which is affiliated with the University of Montréal, says that she has found several types of stress-related triggers that organizations can eliminate or at least reduce to a minimum.

Here are some of them.

 

Unpredictability

Many unforeseen events lead to last-minute schedule changes, and managers are well aware of that. Schedules need to be quickly rearranged and need to take into account the terms and conditions of any collective agreement that is in place. Between you and me, this can drive anyone mad, and let’s not forget the stress it creates. You’ve been hit with a double whammy! A mistake can prove costly, and no one wants to take responsibility for it. Fortunately, using an automated scheduling system, and its shift auction function, eliminates this unnecessary stress regardless of the reason given by the absentee… Whew!

 

Loss of control

We can’t deny that a lack of control over our decisions can be stressful. We all remember our first time skating, right? Well, our software provides employees and managers with powerful tools that give them full control: they can exchange shifts, request time off and the scheduling system ensures compliance with the terms of the collective agreement. If only these types of tools had existed to help us out the first time we stepped onto the ice with our skates, we wouldn’t have made such fools of ourselves!

 

The novelty factor

For employees, novelty often triggers a sense of apprehensiveness and, almost unavoidably, will lead to moments of stress. We are ourselves a part of this novelty, and we know what our scheduling software can do. We also know that support is important and can reduce the stress level associated with new technologies. That’s why we take care of software installation at our clients’ place of business and we can be contacted 24-7. We never leave our client before we know they’ve understood absolutely everything; it’s so important. No more unnecessary stress.

 

No more favouritism!

Some managers may have favourites, which can pose some issues of inequality. This situation can cause conflicts between the employees who are perceived as favourites and those who are not. Whether it’s when the system is drawing up a schedule or when someone has decided to take some time-off, our algorithms treat everyone in the organization fairly; it’s all about skills and availability and all the terms and conditions that apply. Goodbye favourites, hello fairness!

Stress can be reduced in a business environment with the most powerful employee scheduling software. And I name … [drum roll please]… Timesphere.

Par Alice T. | 21 March 2022

Be in Luck!

Be in Luck!

Yes! This month, we go green and chance our luck. We enjoy the company of our friends and family and we get in touch with our willing accomplices and we celebrate! Some Patricks or Patricias of this world may also need an extra day off, just so that they can come back to work well rested from the merrymaking.

And for those special occasions, Timesphere, or “TP” for those in the know, becomes your best friend. TP deals with the planning of employee schedules, because yes, you’re not dreaming, an automated scheduling system that takes into account collective agreements, does exist.

The Employee Portal: The Key to Happiness

Patrick and Patricia are in luck! On this festive day, Timesphere dons its shamrock covered hat and knots its four-leaf clover bow tie and quickly steps in and allows Patrick and Patricia to exchange their shifts with their colleagues Laurent and Laurence, who are not really fond of parades and bar crawling. And if you believe in luck, well, not only does the portal provide access to schedules and timesheets and facilitates communication with management, but employees can also send requests for time off, they can auction shifts or, in Patrick’s and Patricia’s case, exchange shifts with colleagues.

Sounds crazy? Timesphere does it all. All functions are gathered in one place and accessible directly from your mobile phone.

Everyone Wins With Timesphere

Whatever your line of business or the level of complexity of you structure, Timesphere is a 100% tailor-made lucky charm that will stand by your side to help you take up the task of managing your employees’ schedules.   And this, while respecting the provisions of all collective agreements. If that’s not a miracle, what is?! You have plenty of reasons to smile when you find such luck and your employees will be smiling too thanks to automated work schedules and a great work environment.

One last thing…

Timesphere is to be consumed without moderation and comes with a no hangover guarantee! The optimization of activities and the personal and professional growth of your employees is just like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

So let’s toast to that!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Resolution

Par efillion@katapub.com | 18 January 2022

Making Good Resolutions for 2022

Making Good Resolutions for 2022

These past months have disrupted the world of work. Our employees, however, have shown a remarkable adaptability to the greatest challenges and many employers went ahead and modernized their equipment to allow teleworking.

Digital tools have played an integral role in facilitating our day-to-day activities and in simplifying our work tasks. Let’s build on this momentum and improve the labour market in 2022.

Health

This year, more than ever, we must treat health as a priority. Now is the time to take measures towards the adoption of preventive practices which focus on the mental and physical health of our employees by giving them some time (even paying them although they are not on the production line).

 

Let’s focus on our employees by accommodating young families or by allowing them to incorporate sporting activities into their routine. In addition to being a great form of recognition, it’s a winning arrangement that fosters organizational culture, boosts productivity and builds a sense of loyalty among employees.

 

Happiness

We now know that happiness has an impact on health and on job performance. As a matter of fact, we talk about it in our article on happy employees. For 2022, let’s find the means to put in place systems to cultivate happiness among employees and improve staff retention:

 

  • Review benefit packages (insurance, RRSPs, etc.);
  • Offer the possibility to work flexible hours;
  • Consent to hybrid work arrangements (telework);
  • Simplify management processes;
  • Automate arduous and repetitive tasks.

 

If happiness lies in simple things, let’s bring our employees some happiness by making their lives easier. Why not look at using a scheduling software? In addition to conduce to the happiness of employees, it will simplify schedule management by automating administrative tasks.

 

Prosperity

The growth of our organization is closely associated with the sense of accomplishment of our employees. Let’s make sure they develop their full potential in a work environment that provides an ideal balance between professional and personal goals. The fulfillment of each employee should be at the heart of our decisions. Let’s:

 

  • Share our vision;
  • Offer challenging career plans that are in tune with the times;
  • Throw challenges that are interesting, exciting and meaningful;
  • Include employees in business development;
  • Modernize the way we do things and upgrade our equipment and our technological tools.

 

If it’s time for some new year resolutions, we must remember that health should be taken care of preventively, that the source of happiness lies in little everyday things, that prosperity rhymes with sustainability and that all these aspects help maintain balance.

 

Let’s look after each other and give ourselves the means to simplify our everyday life.

Par Alice T. | 29 September 2021

Let’s talk about “Happy employees.”

Let’s talk about “Happy employees.”

Today’s hot topic: Retention of staff. Worldwide, recruiting employees in the workforce is a real challenge for managers. To be able to keep on experiencing growth and ensure an organization’s sustainability, all managers must think about how to attract a skilled workforce and find ways to build its sense of loyalty to the business.

Now, let’s talk about the advantage of having happy employees working for you. As an employer, what can you do, because ultimately, you cannot be the master holding the key to the happiness of all your employees? Many factors remain beyond your reach. However, some responsibilities do rest on your shoulders every day.

Where do you start? There are many possible solutions. Let’s go with three principles an employer can adopt to promote happiness, productivity and loyalty among employees.

 

1. Respect rules and honour collective agreements

Respecting the provisions of a collective agreement is essential in maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship with your employees. In addition to contributing to the promotion of your organization’s values, it will create a pleasant and orderly work environment. Oh, STRUCTURE! The good old indication of a healthy company.

However, when it comes to orchestrating work schedules, the structure can become quite complex: collective agreement provisions, sick leave, last-minute replacements, call back lists, etc. The more variables there are, the higher the risk of error. And everyone knows that compliance with the collective agreement is a must.

The task is also a true headache for the human resources department. So, why not go digital and let a schedule generator figure out a way to make things work? And there you go! You avoid possible problems, and you bring your employees some happiness.

 

2. Establish effective and consistent working methods

In the long run, everyday irritants are the most damaging to the well-being of employees. Irritants annoy, stress and make employees unhappy. Between you and me, we must admit that administrative processes can sometimes be cumbersome, confusing and ineffective. It’s time to do something about it.

How do you get rid of these irritants? Let’s take a daily task such as manually creating and managing schedules. Imagine using a method that allows you to automate the process of managing schedules that radically simplifies this task… If simplicity rhymes with bliss (who needs a rhyme, really!), it is happiness assured.

Believe me, you can only achieve a positive outcome from making your employees happy. According to a study conducted by Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, employees who are happy in their job are 31% more productive, 9 times more loyal and 55% more creative.

 

3. Facilitate your employees’ work by providing effective tools

Delegate, delegate, and delegate! Delegation is part of a manager’s reality.

The task of managing can be quite demanding (more often than not). Why not give access rights to team members who can take on different tasks, such as approving requests for time off? Also, your employees will also benefit from shared responsibilities and will show their commitment to their colleagues. Among other things, employees will be able to fill in their own availability forms, or submit their requests for time off.

 

A Work Schedule Generator

An organization’s efficiency and performance evolve in line with the well-being of its employees. So why not put in place solutions that improve the work climate by reducing the level of stress, the risk of errors related to the collective agreement and the administrative burden.

A schedule generator like Timesphere allows you to tap your employees’ full potential and eliminate some of those daily irritants. The implementation of an automated scheduling system is a conceivable means by which you can improve your staff’s work environment and contribute to their happiness at work.

Of course, as you will have understood, who says happy employees says increased productivity, but above all, it says improved retention of staff!

Par Marilou Lachance | 7 September 2021

Creating automated schedules in 5 steps using Timesphere’s planning module

Creating automated schedules in 5 steps using Timesphere’s planning module

Do you wish to save time by using a scheduling automation software, but wonder about the complexity of the process of implementation when one is not a computer whiz?

 

If you are among those for whom algorithms are connected with a world of complex and somewhat magical formulas (incredibly complicated, really), it’s time to illuminate your world! At Timesphere, our automation software is developed BY computer science professionals FOR business managers like you.

 

Here is an overview of the 5 steps that need to be taken to easily and automatically create work schedules. You can even delegate some tasks to members of your team!

Step 1. Provide Employee Information

In order for the software to manage and set work schedules, you must enter into the system information on each employee such as their name, telephone number, address, position title, date of entry into service, etc.

For each employee record, you will also need to provide, for example, structured information related to an employee’s skills and abilities in order to ensure that any assignment is completed by the right employee at the right time.

PSST! This is also a great way to keep employee information on record (such as birth dates). Never again will you forget to wish an employee a happy birthday. Because this information is stored, the system will automatically send you a reminder (and you can take the credit!)

Step 2. Specify the Sets of Rules to Follow

In order for the system to be able to take into consideration your organization’s internal practices, and because each organization has its own collective agreement and business rules (yes, this applies to all your rules!), you need to feed those rules into the system.

To allow the system to apply the formulas based on the particularities of your collective agreement and internal policies, you will be required to input all the sets of rules that must be taken into consideration when, for example, assigning a work shift or when seeking a replacement for a shift. This information – or planning constraints – can relate to the number of hours of work in a day or shifts per week, to the limit of consecutive hours an employee can work or the minimum number of shifts or hours of work per week that need to be assigned to them, or to the minimum number of hours of time off between two shifts. Note that the set of rules you provide can apply to your entire organization, to a group of employees or to a particular employee. Imagine the endless possibilities.

From then on, you will save hours of frustrations that build when having to plan and manage work schedules while taking into account all the rules of your organization. The good news is that you will only need to set this up once, because Timesphere’s planning module has a superhuman memory. You can now simply rely on Timesphere!

Step 3. Share Your Access Rights

Delegate, delegate, and delegate! Delegation is part of a manager’s reality.

The task of managing can be quite demanding (more often than not). Why not give access rights to team members who can take on different tasks such as approving requests for time off? Also, your employees will also benefit from shared responsibilities and will show their commitment to their colleagues. Among other things, employees will be able to fill in their own availability forms, or submit their requests for time off.

Step 4. Define the Needs of Your Workforce

Now that you have inputted into your system the values that need to be considered (employee information, rules and access rights), put your system to the test: generate a schedule!

Simply select a time slot and define your staffing needs. You will be able to specify, among other things, the number of employees as well as the skills required for a given work period or shift. You will also be able to set the requirements by encapsulating them into commands or projects. That’s it!

Believe it or not, the system will do the work for you (and you are the one who gets paid).

Step 5. Watch the ‘magic’ happen!

Schedules are automatically generated according to the number of staff and skills required, while taking into account absentees and collective agreement rules and internal policies.

When a change occurs, each employee receives a notification on their portal. Also, automatic reminders are sent by email. Thus, all members of a given team have access to the latest version of the schedule through an app installed on their mobile device or from a computer connected to the Internet. There is no longer any reason for an employee to lose their schedule, to forget a shift, or not to be informed of changes (there is no need to play the broken telephone game, where information can be distorted).

Once all the information has been entered into the system (steps 1 and 2), all you need to do is repeat steps 3 to 5 to automatically generate work schedules (remember that the system has a superhuman memory). Also, you may change, at any given time, an employee’s personal and detailed information or the set of rules from your collective agreement or organization.

A scheduling automation software such as Timesphere has the power to save you time, to facilitate management activities while limiting the risk of errors, and to strengthen cooperation within the members of your team. And above all, the software is easy to use!

Go ahead and experience the magic of Timesphere!

Par Marilou Lachance | 27 August 2021

The Perfect Future for Automated Management

The Perfect Future for Automated Management

Are you an entrepreneur, a director or a human resources manager? Tell me, how should one manage employee work schedules in 2021? What if I told you that the days of Excel spreadsheets are over… that powerful algorithms have been developed and can easily and efficiently be used to save time and avoid costly errors? Would you breathe a sigh of relief?

I don’t know about you, but I have the strange impression that the older you get, the less hours there are in a day. It’s exponential really! Let’s paint a picture of the past to pinpoint the moment where Father Time started to play tricks on us, and see how the present and the future can provide solutions to address problems that relate to management methods in the workplace.

 

The Past

As age brings wisdom, if there are sufficient years behind you for you to have known paper scheduling, hats off to you. One must have great patience to rack one’s brain using handwritten notes and bringing changes to every shift, while taking into consideration holidays, time off or special requests while respecting collective agreement terms.

Since the popularization of the computer, sheets of paper have given way to electronic spreadsheets, but even then, the method of operation is still largely manual, not to mention all the papers still lying around. So much time is lost just entering and exporting data or managing specific requests to meet staff requirements. On top of this, you must make sure to inform all the members of your team of any changes while ensuring that the whole process was conducted in an orderly manner according to legal obligations and agreements.

 

The Present Nature of the Challenges

How many hours does your human resources team spend going through a list of names in search of possible replacements without success just to see their level of stress escalate? How many hours of overtime or errors related to the failure to respect the collective agreement have caused you a great deal of trouble or your employees evident dissatisfaction?

In 2021, the global pandemic has changed the overall face of our work environment and our use of computers and mobile devices has evolved significantly. Employers who offer flexibility are increasingly popular and employees have an active interest in the modernization of working processes given that they want to reclaim their valuable time. Labour retention has also become a major issue.

Consequently, one must know how to put in place the tools to use to simplify workplace management so time – yours and your employees’ – can be invested where it is required most.

 

A Perfect Progressive Future 

Imagine that all your personnel is in perfect synchronicity, having access on hand (literally through an app on their mobile phone or through their computer) to the latest updated version of their work schedule. An automated scheduling system is the key to free up your time while reducing the risk of error. Your employees will be delighted with the way the system facilitates communications, follow-ups and the search for replacements. No matter the size of your business, the system strictly follows the rules set out in your collective agreement and manages the list of possible replacements in a simplified way.

In addition to facilitating the processes your management and human resources team must complete, your employees will be delighted by the degree of autonomy they gain by using themselves the online portal to submit a request for time off, to announce their availability or to arrange a shift swap. Also, the platform is intuitive to use and employees get instant access to all their documents.

This is a time for progress. It’s time to put an end to errors caused by outdated management models and to welcome an automated scheduling system with all the flexibility and efficiency it ensures. This is a way to resolve many problems to the satisfaction of employees and managers alike! 

Some say time is money, but time is in fact more valuable than that. At the dawn of this post-pandemic era, your employees have realized this. How about you?

Par Alice T. | 8 June 2021

Vacation leave

Vacation leave

Did you say vacation? A time of absolute relaxation, a total break from daily routines. Don’t we all look forward to getting some time off?

For people in charge of managing schedules and replacements, any request for time off can be a source of stress. Finding replacements can be challenging; finding someone to supervise them even more. Will rules be strictly followed? Will everyone comply with overtime guidelines? Will the overtime log be properly maintained? For example, when David leaves for his holiday, and you need to shift around three employees at the same time based on competency and seniority, will all rules be followed?

Planning and reorganizing during this crucial period must often be done quickly, usually within the same time frame allotted for regular schedule planning.

So here is the solution: automatically generated employee schedules. It’s our little miracle! Our software automates the scheduling process while taking into account collective agreement terms and conditions, overtime, trading of shifts between employees, all requirements really.

So when David comes back to work, he won’t believe it, for his manager will also be relaxed since they too took some holidays because they had the time to do so.

It’s now your time to take a break from managing employee schedules!

 

Par Timesphere | 5 February 2021

Time Smarts

Time Smarts

As a young boy, whenever I found myself in the family living room, I used to love watching the long hand of our wall clock mark the passage of time. Sometimes, I would even witness the subtile movement of the hour hand. Geez, how slow and unhurried it was, I thought to myself. I was not aware at that time that the modest distance travelled by this little hand was in fact equal to the 3,600 rotations the long hyperactive sweep hand had valiantly completed. Without knowing, an extraordinary spectacle, that was going to change the rest of my life, was taking place right before my very eyes; for this concept of time has never left my side and has defined who I am today.

This notion of time, the time that I will save, but that I will also loose; the time that I will try to divide, that I will try to occupy … that I will try to forget. And the time, one day certainly, I will regret not having taken. What is time other than a nonrenewable resource necessary to our existence that money can’t buy? We cannot enslave it, nor tame it. Time knows how to play with us: we can get caught in its whirligig, but it can also be cut short. We can try to manage it, but always, we remain at its mercy. As Gregory Porter sings: ‘Does life just spin round like the hands of a clock? Are we just pushing time? Or is time pushing us?’

So, what do we do with this time? Firstly, we need to become aware of it. Live intensely as if we were that long sweeping hand, while savouring the present moment at the pace of the hour hand. One must take the time, and when one can, give it too, and even spend it with others. Since everything is relative, a minute can sometimes feel like an eternity, and time can fly when you’re having fun. Be vigilant, creative, live in the present and don’t get caught up in the traps of comfort and conformism.  

Why then, do our systems, businesses, and organizations seem reluctant to take simple actions that could be so beneficial to our collective well-being? We must provide ourselves with the means to achieve our most intrinsic ambitions and live freely. We must eliminate useless constraints by using, for example, an automated employee scheduling software.

Imagine a tool that allows you to respect your collective agreement terms and conditions while allowing the effective management of replacements, and periods of leave… Imagine being in your employees’ shoes, and being able to indicate, with a simple click, your availability and your preferred time-off for your holidays; or as a supervisor, being able to quickly take a look at the hours an employee has worked and control their time.

Imagine yourself enjoying the time that is given to you, feeling at peace. Now that is ‘time smarts’.