OrangeHRM Blog
Voice of Free & Open Source HR System
19
Jan

The importance of time management

“It’s only a 5-minute job”.

A sentence many have heard time and time again from either a client, or even internally from a colleague.  The one sentence you dread to hear. But how long really does it take to complete a certain task or project? It’s sometimes hard to explain how long something can take, especially when it’s creative or technical. It may look from the outset that it’s a simple task, but the process can be longwinded and time consuming. I recently saw a video (which I will share later, so keep your eyes peeled) on LinkedIn that demonstrated the importance of recording your time and it made me think of how we can manage it better.

Justifying time spent on tasks or projects can be a difficult. It’s imperative to record your time whether you work for a company of 5 or 5,000. Attending meetings when actions haven’t been completed can be a nightmare, especially when you end up feeling like you haven’t succeeded in what you were ‘supposed’ to have done because other priorities have taken over, but how do you justify this? Managing expectations is essential, but being able to provide a valid time line for a task is imperative so clients can understand the work involved. You must also remember, clients can come in all forms. A client isn’t just someone who is paying the organization you’re working for. A client is also a work colleague who is relying on you for a task to be completed.

What’s the solution?

There is never enough time. Time is money. You’re also judged on time as an employee, or business. Delivering on time is essential if you want to gain a positive reputation, and retain your clients. Clients pay for time. If you can’t record your time accurately when billing, you’ll either get under paid, or clients may be charged more, and invoices questioned.

To resolve disputes regarding time, organizations should use a time management tool to record how long a project takes. Not only this, but by recording how long certain projects take can help in projecting costs and resource for future workloads. It can also make organisations understand where and when resource is needed, and where resource is being underutilised.

You may already have a solution for recording your time, but is it something that others can view and access? OrangeHRM has something quite exciting that may help in managing time just that little bit better. If you’re interested, let us know by emailing us.

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9
Jan

How to stay motivated in 2018

The new year is already moving pretty fast, and many of us will have already thought of how we want to improve this year. But how do you stay motivated to achieve success, especially at work? Here are 4 ways to help to stay motivated…

1.) Make a realistic list – making a list will give you guidance on what you would like to achieve per week, but lets be realistic, there’s no point putting 10 million items on a weekly list. If not completed will make you feel like you haven’t achieved your goals, because you’re setting unrealistic expectations. You not only have to set clients and colleagues expectations, but also your own. In order to be able to manage your task list, it’s probably easier to write one each day as well, dividing them up into more manageable chunks. At the end of each day, you can tick your completed items off which is not only rewarding, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment each day, and week.

2.) Take breaks – it’s really easy to start a new year with heaps of positivity and motivation. You could be raring to go on a specific project, and end up not leaving your desk for the entire day. If you end up doing this for the entire week, or longer you will end up feeling lethargic, unmotivated which in turn will lead to a decrease in productivity. Try and take at least 20 minutes during the day to leave your desk – get some fresh air, or even talk to a colleague.

3.) Start a new hobby or activity – why not start a club at work? Or do an after work run club for example? Having activitives outside of work will boost your productivity when you sit down and do your work. If your organization has an HR Management Solution such as OrangeHRM, they will have a community page, where you can advertise for team members, or share your 2018 ideas with the rest of your organization. Communicating with colleagues in this way will help build relationships, and also encourage others to join in.

4.) Set yourself a challenge – Having a goal at work will boost your motivation. Whether it is a small task, to take part in training or gain a promotion – this will not only be positive for your own self motivation and confidence, but it will also show your organization you want to grow and progress. Setting yourself a career pathway is a great way of managing your own personal development. Within most HR Management Solutions, employees have the ability to do this. Using OrangeHRM you can explore your personal development plan, and look at your objectives to see what you can work towards in this new year.

Motivation is something that is easy to want, but a challenge to keep unless you have a plan. How do you keep yourself motivated? And do they think technology can help in doing so? We’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’d like to find out more on how we can help your organization stay motivated by using our HR Management solution, please get in touch.

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4
Jan

Make HR your new year’s resolution

Posted in General  by lucy No Comments

3 questions asked when looking at a new HR solution

2018 has now begun, and the majority are back at work thinking about how to improve in the new year of 2018. Organizations will be looking at how they can increase their profit, and how their resources can help with this target. To operate more efficiently, and to manage talent it’s vital to consider an HR Management solution that can meet your requirements. But where do you start? Most organizations don’t want to either change their HR solution, or start using one because they think it will break the bank and won’t fit their business needs. Here are 3 common questions we hear when talking about moving to an HR solution, and what you can do to ensure these questions are answered..

1. Won’t it cost us too much money?

Many organizations resist from investing in an HR Management solution because they think it’s going to break the purse strings. However, there are many options available for all budgets. Open Source has proven a worldwide popular choice, obviously because it is free. However, these are usually better for smaller companies who have 50 or less employees. If your organization is larger, your functionality might be limited. Software providers can offer great solutions for every budget, like OrangeHRM. They understand that budgets vary, as do requirements and it’s really important you seek guidance from an HR consultant on what your choices are, instead of looking at the ‘ general’ pricing plans and rule providers out because of this. It’s also worth noting, some providers offers discounts at specific times of the year, so keep your eyes peeled and do your research.

2. Our business is looking to grow in the next few years, a system won’t be able to expand to meet our requirements…

You need to look for a system that is flexible with growth, something that can grow with you, not against you. OrangeHRM provides a solution that doesn’t pigeon hole organizations into what they ‘ think’ customers need, but tailor a solution specifically for their growth. For example: in the early days, you may only need core HR, and not a multitude of additional modules. Once growth has occurred, it’s possible to add on extra modules when and where needed. You need to be aware that some providers won’t offer the possibility of picking and choosing certain modules, so you could be left with a very expensive, clunky and complicated system that you only use a quarter of it’s functionality.

3. Our industry is very niche, and we need someone who has expertise in our industry

When looking for a solution, you need to do your research into what the client base of your shortlisted providers. It’s also important to look at the testimonials, and see real life evidence of how certain solutions can help specific industries. OrangeHRM has a large array of clients, and has specialists dedicated to industries to ensure individual requirements are met. It’s also worth noting that some providers are against customizing modules for certain industries, so you must ask the question if these are possible, instead of just looking on the website. You can listen to what our clients have to say here.

Want to know more?

OrangeHRM understand that each organization is unique, as are their people. If you are thinking or looking for a new HR Solution, we have dedicated HR specialists that would love to talk to you, to see how we can help you. Get in touch here

7
Dec

Are you counting down the days until Christmas, or the number of empty desks in the office?

The countdown to the festive season start months in advance, and so does planning for it - and it’s now very close by! However, this can impact many organizations in terms of productivity. How can organizations still hit their targets and remain efficient with their workforce applying for leave left, right and centre? This can also give managers the extra workload of working out cover or resource for those individuals in the team who are on leave.

To manage employee leave requests quickly and easily, and at the same time ensure resource is allocated, organizations should take advantage of HR Management Software that can handle the workload for them. Solutions such as OrangeHRM are all about making people’s lives easier - removing administrative tasks and allowing organizations to focus on their people and talent.  OrangeHRM has a handy tool as part of their new product release to help with just that…

What is leave nominee and how can it help?

Employees can now utilize the ‘ Leave nominee’ tool, part of OrangeHRM’s Leave Management module - offering the possibility of nominating employees to handle the workload during an employee’s absence. Employees can assign up to 3 alternative colleagues to look after their work ( subject to approval of course!)

3 benefits of using Leave Nominee

Forward planning
The festive season is just one example of where organizations may struggle with juggling employee leave. Summer vacations or other religious celebrations may impact organizations differently, depending on their geographical location. Organizations can  now plan for the future easily, and allocate resource quickly using this intuitive tool. By allowing employees to assign colleagues to cover their workload means team can plan in advance priorities to ensure resource is covered.

Consistent productivity
When employees go on leave, team members are often left with picking up the pieces, and are in the dark when it comes to knowing what work needs to be completed, and by when. The possibility of assigning resource when employees are on leave in advance means that productivity levels will remain high and not impact an organizations performance.

Effective real-time Communication
Communication is key in order to remain productive. However, within a large organization sometimes this can be a difficult task, especially when teams are operating in different locations. When employees use the Leave Nominee tool by OrangeHRM, the assigned colleagues will be notified, along with the reporting line manager. They are able to reject or approve the nominations. The Leave Nominee feature also allows for notes to be included, for example deadlines or specific details for projects. This means that  everyone will be aware of who is responsible for certain tasks, and fully ‘ in the know’ in regards to project deadlines or priorities.

To learn more about how OrangeHRM can help you and your organization with Leave Management, talk to us today and we can show you the Leave Nominee tool and other features that could be beneficial. Or why not watch our 3 minute video tutorial on this tool here.

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17
Nov

GDPR Whitepaper – What’s it all about?

Posted in General, Legislation  by lucy No Comments

GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation comes into force in Europe from 25 May 2018. But what does it mean?

This is all about strengthening and unifying data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU, enforces penalties for breach and defines stronger conditions for consent. As a HR department, you’re storing personal data on your employees – and job vacancy candidates – so if you have staff in Europe, you have a legal responsibility for how you process this personal data.

The first steps are simple, but you need to be aware that what works for one organization might not necessarily be the same for you, but what is the same is that you need to ensure that you remain compliant. Without the necessary procedures in place can result in hefty fines.

What you need to ask yourself?
1. Have you correctly informed people why you are collecting data and what you are doing with it?
2. Do you have a process by which an individual can get access the personal data you store?
3. How do you provide employees with the right to be forgotten?
4. Are you using any automated tools for staff profiling and have you informed staff and provided them with a right to object?

When it comes to employee data, you need to balance the regulatory requirements to retain historical employee data for a period of time with the employee’s right to be forgotten. It’s important that you clearly define your policies and procedures, understand your regulatory requirements and select the technology solutions that best enable you to execute your policies.

To give you a helping hand, and to learn more about what the next steps are and some key pointers to take into consideration, download our whitepaper  ‘ GDPR – What’s it all about’.

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16
Nov

Happy employees = Happy clients = Successful organization

Why does it matter if your employees are happy?

Before even thinking about your clients who generate revenue for your organization, your first client is your employee. Employees when feel valued, are your biggest asset. They are the face of your business, the individuals that sell your product or service, and are the voice that can either make or break a deal. But how do you ensure they are happy? Monetary rewards are sometimes not enough. Having an HR Management solution in place that tracks employees progress, feedback and encourages employee engagement is a must if you wish to ensure your employees keep those smiles on their faces :)

Happy employees mean:

Loyalty to the business – promoting a positive working environment will follow through when dealing with prospects and clients. They are more likely to want to work with you if your employees portray a positive attitude towards the business and what they are selling.

Talent retention - talent is the most sought-after asset, and in an ever-increasing competitive market, organizations struggle to not only attract talent but keep them. By keeping your employees happy, will ultimately mean retaining that much needed talent your business needs to survive – leading to…

Profit and reaching business objectives – if you have a talented happy workforce, innovative ideas will exude especially in a positive working environment. If your employees are disengaged, or feel undervalued, creativity and motivation will lack – affecting business profit and reaching those much important business objectives.

How to do this?

Offer consistent and continual feedback – all employees need feedback, constructive and continual comments on their projects. Using trackers or feedback tools within your HR solution provides employees the chance to continually feedback on other colleagues work, and these can be viewed at any point – and are especially useful when it comes to  the performance review. Not only this, but receiving positive feedback on work can lead to…

Motivation – employees need to know they have room to grow. They need the reassurance that if they want to progress, there is a plan in place for this to happen and you value them as an individual employee. Offering a career pathway for each of your employees offers a roadmap of where their career can lead to. Having a goal to achieve within a job role such as a client project is short term, but having longer term goals within a business in regard to personal development will motivate your employees to work harder, and help business grow.

Employee engagement – make them feel valued – Did you know that most employees leave their workplace because of their managers? Most employees stay due to their relationships they have with their colleagues. Offering a forum where employees can engage with each other regularly about work, but also personal achievements allows employees to grow relationships with colleagues they may not deal with daily, or in a global company, may have never met. For example: within OrangeHRM, there is a ‘Buzz’ community within the OrangeHRM system– where employees share photos, successful projects, videos and even #throwbackthursday.

Although this blog is only a snapshot of why happy employees make a happy business, there are many ways organizations can achieve this. If you’re interested to find out more about how OrangeHRM’s solution can encourage employee engagement and overall workforce happiness, we would love to speak to you, get in contact with us today here! Or if you have other ideas on how you manage positivity within your organization, please comment below.

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1
Nov

How do you know that your message is being communicated and read?

Following on from my previous blog ‘The importance of communication and real time feedback in the workplace ’ it made me think how else OrangeHRM help organizations manage and encourage employee communication. It also made me ask the question ‘how do we know that our messages are being read?’.

The situation
A new company policy has come into force and you need all employees to understand what it is. Sending out an email may fall on deaf ears or just get lost in the 1 million other items an employee may have in their inbox. How do you know for sure, and accurately your message will be read? Or what happens when a new starter joins?  They need to understand company procedures – do they have to read a lengthy paper brochure, which – they never end up getting to because other priorities take over?

Now there’s an easier way. We continually listen to our clients and understand what their unique requirements are, and constantly look at how our HR Management solution can help make their lives easier. And here’s how…

We have learnt that it’s important for organizations to be able to not only communicate effectively with their employees, but also have a record of who has, and who hasn’t received and read messages. Tools that can help track this information, and record data is a must have if you want to remain not only efficient, but compliant (especially if you’re an EU organization and complying with GDPR in the forthcoming months).

OrangeHRM provide an ‘acknowledgments’ tool that organizations can use to help record who is and who isn’t reading their communication. It’s as simple as a tick box, and automatically records this data into the system for employers to login and access quickly and easily when they are notified.

The importance of acknowledgments

Remain compliant
For organizations with staff in the EU, GDPR will be coming into force in 2018 (starting from 25th May 2018 to be precise). GDPR draws particular attention to the need to have employee consent for various aspects of data protection policies. Acknowledgments allow a quick and easy method to keep track of when employees have provided their consent with organizational policies and procedures.

Consistent and accurate communication
Organizations will be able to ensure messages are being read and that their workforce is all ‘on the same page’. Employers are also able to send specific messages to defined groups, such as individual departments, or groups of employees like new starters.

Simple, yet insightful reporting
The ability to access data quickly and easily is a must in any organization. Using acknowledgments mean the HR team can now report, for example, on the number of new starters that month who have read the company handbook and accepted the policies. It means organizations can be rest assured when it comes to audit time because these reports are easily accessible and exported when required.

How do you manage your communication and know that your messages are being read? Do you have a specific process in place? If you’re interested in learning more on how OrangeHRM can help you communicate effectively and remain compliant, talk to us or why not watch our video here on the Acknowledgment tool?

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19
Oct

The importance of communication and real-time feedback in the workplace

I recently read an article on LinkedIn regarding emoji’s in the workplace for communication. It made me think about how we communicate with our colleagues and clients.  The article suggested that using emoji’s ‘de-valued’ an employee’s worth or expertise, and that they should be carefully considered before communicating either internally or externally.

My argument – whilst working in a geographically disperse team, where I have only met two of my colleagues, we use many tools to communicate globally. Group messages, online chat, and our online community page ( company intranet)  through our HR software solution allows our global company to share not only company achievements, but personal stories and activities. We also use emojis in these stories regularly as it’s great to express emotions without a multitude of words.  Without emoji’s, photos, or continual feedback we are mere machines. Our emails are meaningless, and messaging may not come across as planned, especially when talking to employees or clients who do not speak your first language.

Whether you work in an organization that is globally disperse, or if you’re sat in an office 40 hours a week together, communication is key. Sometimes, employees are afraid to voice their opinion in a meeting or via email in case their message is ‘incorrect’ or worded wrongly. The ability to communicate and give real time feedback on a daily or monthly basis allows employees to feel not only that they have a voice, but their work is valued.

What has this got to do with HR solutions?

The article made me realize that our HR Solution encourages communication and feedback within teams. Not only do we have a company intranet where employee’s can login and see updates, which helps to bring individuals closer as a team, we also use ‘ trackers’ in our performance module. This is a great tool which allows for continuous feedback all year round. We can set it so the whole company can comment on each other, or just each other’s teams. This means when appraisals happen, there is collective feedback from the previous term which the employee can also see accumulating throughout the year. Whilst the Trackers do not allow for emoji, they certainly help to give us a stronger picture of an employees performance throughout the year, and another example of continuous communication.

If you’re interested in talking more about how our HR Management Solution can help communication between  your teams, and offer real time feedback for employees, please visit www.orangehrm.com

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3
Oct

Does employee absence make your organization sick?

Posted in General  by lucy No Comments

The way an organization manages absence can be detrimental to long term productivity and profitability. When an employee calls in sick, do you have the resource to cover that individual? Or have the software to help with nominating resource? Short, unplanned absences can cause disruption within the workforce. What happens when a certain employee calls in sick on the same day monthly – would you notice? Or are you already struggling with day to day tasks that sometimes take priority?

Whether you’re a small or large organization, absenteeism can take its toll. It can also prove tricky to track and manage. There are many Leave Management Software tools now available to help organizations. The Bradford Factor, in simple terms, provides a solution to track leave management and can alert employers of regular, short unplanned absence patterns over a 12-month period.

Employers can explore their workforce absence statistics in a few simple clicks. These reporting capabilities are invaluable to any organization regardless of whether it is part of their current internal HR process. These reports allow employers to catch underlying issues employees might be facing early on, therefore ensuring productivity levels aren’t affected. It can also be used as a guide to the state of staff morale and a way to identify disengaged employees.

What’s your Leave Management Strategy?

Every organization is different, and how they measure absence can vary. However, to ensure your organization and employees are at their full potential, an HR solution that can track and manage absence easily and efficiently is strongly recommended.

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7
Jun

OrangeHRM Announces the release of Open Source 4.0

We are excited to announce the new version of OrangeHRM Open Source 4.0 is now available and is ready to be used for production.

One of the main highlights of this new version is the opening up of 40+ REST APIs. These REST APIs are for the Admin, PIM, Leave & Time modules respectively. This version is certified to work with PHP 7.1 & Maria DB 10.1 or MySQL 5.5.

What are the aims of 4.0?

Our primary objective for 4.0 is to empower our developer community to build applications that can enrich our ecosystem. We already have a couple of the beta testers who are creating applications that will interface with third party tools.

OrangeHRM app store was created for our community members who would like to monetize their applications”. Said Sujee Saparamadu CEO and Founder of OrangeHRM “ With a 3.5 Million user base we will be able to market these applications that will enhance the productivity of our clients.”

How can you learn more?

There have already been a number of sample applications created for our community. You can download the sample app today from here and try it out for yourself - if you have any feedback or questions, get in touch. These sample app’s show how to use the REST APIs.

OrangeHRM has also been made available for “api-client-PHP” which eases the use of these REST APIs.  You can download the User guide for the API’s here.

Kavitha Gurusamy

Open Source Project Lead

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