FAQs

Hints & Tips
We’ll be adding more hints and tips and introducing key and new features. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to ‘focus on’.
Updates 2016
A round-up of some of the key recent Workforce Management System updates:

Timesheet / Payroll Data Management

TOIL and Flexitime can be handled at the same time with hours cut off in flexi being set to rates to be paid.
Holidays – Option to set all employees minimum carry over of holiday at the same time.
Flex balance can now go to 9999:59 or -999:59.
Timesheets Force Reason – Force a reason to be chosen when editing the timesheet.
Force Cost Centre – Force edits to have cost centres selected.
Multiple Record Lock/Unlock – Lock and unlock timesheets by date range, globally or by group.
Shift button on Timesheet clocking edit screen – Allows users to force a second shift on a day where the Max Break setting hasn’t been invoked but the user wants to report hours as worked on a different shift for whatever reason.
Bonus Calculations – The numeric field can be used for showing if an employee has met the criteria for a bonus scheme on this day. At the end of the week or month an automatic calculation can be made to decide whether to indicate that a bonus should be paid that month or not and, if that bonus is based on hours, calculated automatically. If based on data outside Focus either an export from the system can be provided to enable easy entry of who is due a bonus into another system or the data can be read into the WFM system and the WFM system can carry out the calculation automatically prior to exporting to payroll.
Numeric Values on Timesheets – Set a column on the timesheet to show numbers instead of hours e.g. monetary values. This enables automation of standby and call-in payments and one-off expenses (with reason codes if required). Data can be exported to payroll along with the employee’s hours.

HR Module Employee Data Management

Employee Screen/Information – New field type for the HR module that allows documents, images, scans, any electronic document, to be stored directly into the database.
Employee Required Fields – Run a VB Script during save of an employee or changing their archive status so that fields can be checked to confirm that all data has been captured for that employee. Also run a VB Script during save so that a Work Schedule can only be set once certain criteria are set. Ensures that an employee cannot be scheduled to work unless all the required details for them are entered into the system.
Import – Read-in data from CSV files generated by other systems and read it in automatically on a timed basis. Transactional or employee data.
Auto PIN – generated when you add an employee.

Rotas and Scheduling

Rota – Weekly Maximum Hours Limit Alert (Rota Weekly Max) – lets you know if you’ve scheduled too many hours against an employee.
Multiple Rota Day Plan Template Application – Multiple templates can now be added to the Rota Day Plan on one day rather than the new one replacing the original.
Group Colours Option – Other group colours now show if required rather than showing grey. Makes scheduling who is doing what easier.
Mouse Wheel Rota Scroll – After group changes the mouse wheel scrolls the rota not the list of Groups, particularly useful if you have Rotas that stretch below the fold on-screen.
Warning on Clear – If a user tries to clear more than a few cells a warning is given to the user.
Group Filter – You can now choose if a group shows on the Rota drop down selection box or not.
Work Schedule offset – allows employees to be put on a different start point on a rotating pattern instead of having to create say three work schedules for a three week pattern.
Availability – Choose to remove days when employees are not scheduled to work, e.g. when using random shift allocation on the Rota.
Skills –  Skills can now be registered against employees so that only qualified employees can be scheduled on shifts that require certain qualifications (Enterprise only).

Employee Self-Service / Web admin

Employee Self-Service Break Clocking – employees can now clock on to a break on the Employee Self-Service clocking screen.
IP Address (Location) Filtering – Restrict clocking in and out to certain IP addresses using employee self-service.
Web-based Admin – Carry out exceptions and other day to day admin tasks using a web browser.

Workflow

New Workflow – Who Is In Cost Centre.
Workflow Date Selector – None option (you can report on new employees who don’t have dates set automatically.) This enables users to highlight if some of the date fields that they require to be completed have not been automatically. This can be viewed on screen in Pro and additionally emailed in Enterprise.

Other

Tachomaster Transaction Import – Import Tachomaster analytics data into the WFM system. The Employee Payroll Number or Employee PIN Number is set up equal to the Tachomaster ID as the common reference.
Inactivity Timeout can be set so that computers left logged in don’t ‘hog’ user licences.
Door Access Control – Open doors remotely from the watch screen.
Passwords – Force password changes based on your company’s password policy.
Fire Roll Call  Business Out or Travel to Site – Employees can clock out for the fire alarm but stay clocked in for time and attendance.

 

October 2016

Daylight Saving Time (DST) settings
Setting BST / GMT in Focus

Clock Utilities can be found in Systems

You need to have main Administrator permissions to set the DST times.

  1. Select the first clock in the drop down list
  2. Click on the Get Status from Clock button. Check that the the last Sunday in March (Next BST starts) and the last Sunday in October (Next GMT starts) are entered – if not add in this information.
  3. Click on the Send to Clock button

If you have more than one clocking terminal repeat the process for each of the clocks which will be listed in the drop down menu at the top of this screen.

NB: This process should be carried out every year prior to the start of British Summer Time (the last Sunday in March

New employee tree options
Users are now able to filter and sort employees in the employee tree using their choice of fields.
Lists in the User Fields tab on the employee form can also be used to enable users to create custom lists to show employees in the way they choose.

Focus workforce management HR module employee tree view

 

And in the ‘Then By’ option.

employee-tree-view-2

Find out more about the Focus workforce management HR Module

Day Plans
Day Plans can be created and saved in Focus Enterprise to ensure the correct staffing levels for particular tasks, projects, events, etc. Make a list of the skills needed to deliver an event, drag and drop shifts against the relevant staff. If something changes it’s quick to re-plan.

Populating Day Plans using the Rota

If you have default Work Schedules already set up, enter the Rota and click top left above the employee drop down.

Right click on the central panel in Rotas, select ‘Populate from Work Schedule’, click OK. This will populate the Rota with the default shifts already programmed into the Work Schedules for the employees as set up in the employee screen, Rules tab, ‘Work Schedule’. This can be done a month at a time in the availability screen or a year or part year at a time in the employee calendar. This is handy for example if you have different summer and winter working patterns.

Creating a Day Plan

Right click on the day header for the day you want to program and select ‘Day Plan’.
If you’re using default Work Schedules you’ll see the shifts programmed in for that day and the employees scheduled to work them, if you don’t have any default Work Schedules then nothing will be displayed in the centre panel.

Use Day Plans to manage specific types of shift or rota

Adding shifts to a Day Plan

You can drag shifts, employees and skill sets on to the matrix to create the Day Plan.
To add shifts click on T&A Rules bottom left and then drag and drop the shifts you want to be worked that day on to the matrix.
Click in the ‘Plan’ column to enter the number of employees that you need for that day. If there aren’t enough employees allocated to the shift in question an exclamation mark will be displayed.

Employees already on the Rota appear greyed out.

Adding employees to a Day Plan

Once a Day Plan has been created you can drag employees into the matrix from a list shown to the left of the Focus screen.
You can right click on an employee to remove them. If they are to be excluded for all subsequent weeks their Work Schedule (if they have one) should be edited instead to reflect this.

Saving a Day Plan template

Once you’ve set up the day in question you can save the Day Plan as a template. Templates can be re-used without having to set them up again and again.
Simply type in a name for the template and click Save:

Reviewing and printing a Day Plan

Once a Day Plan / Day Plans have been created you can return to the Rota. Rotas / Day Plans can be printed out or saved as a PDF and emailed to employees. The Day Plan will show in red employees who haven’t clocked in as expected enabling managers and supervisors to re-plan as necessary.

Reports can be generated post event to show labour costs for the days in question.

Remote clocking with geolocation (GPS)
Geolocation (GPS) clocking in with the Focus time & Attendance systemAs part of the Focus employee self-service web module, employees can now record the location or locations that they are clocking in from.

Supervisors and managers hover over an employees’ timesheet clocking details which brings up a map and co-ordinates of the clocking location. Focus can also link multiple clockings together,

Managing flexible working effectively

Flexitime and annualised hours

Many businesses struggle with managing working patterns that don’t fit a ‘norm’. Since the 30 June 2014 every employee has the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service. The onus is on employers to listen reasonably to flexible working requests from their employees.

Studies show that employees who are enabled to take advantage of flexible working including part-time, flexitime, staggered hours and compressed hours tend to be more productive and engaged.

Focus makes it simple to keep track of employee’s hours and work patterns to ensure accurate pay and appropriate resourcing – so everyone is happy!

In Focus Flexitime and Annualised hours work in conjunction with the Daily Rules taking on an extra parameter called the Flex Deduct Hours. Flex Deduct Hours are the hours by which to adjust the Flexi Balance per day.

The Flex Rule defines the Flex Period (number of days, weeks or months) and the rules for setting up and carrying over the Flexi Balance at the start and end of the Flexi Period for each employee.

The Flexi Balance can be set to increase or decrease when the employee works time over the Flex Deduct Hours, meaning that the balance can be owed to the employee or the employer.

Annualised hours can also use the TOIL (Time off in Lieu) module or automatically modified weekly rules depending on your annualised hours rules.

If you’d like to discuss how to manage different flexible working options in Focus – get in touch.

Annualised hours: An employee works a certain number of hours over the whole year. The core of an agreement is normally a period of regular hours or shifts with the remaining time left unallocated and used on an ‘as and when’ basis. The employee may be paid in advance for the unallocated time and could be called on at short notice to cover peaks in seasonal demand or absent colleagues.

Flexitime: Some employers enable staff to ‘bank time’ allowing them to leave early, come in late or take time off. Other systems work around core hours with flexible start, end and lunch breaks.

Compressed hours: Employees work longer hours over a week but then have a short day e.g. Instead of working 9 – 5 Mon – Fri they work 9 – 6 Mon – Thurs and work a half day on Friday.

Q3 2015 updates
We’re keen to ensure Focus development keeps pace with our customers.

Here are updates and new features we’ve recently introduced:

  • Update single clocks from the employee clock tab.
  • Ability to select which columns to print and export in the payroll report and other options.
  • It’s now faster and easier to clear recent shifts in the rota for an employee.
  • A group filter has been added to the Rota Day Planner.
  • Focus Enterprise: Email reports directly from report preview.
  • A Pay History sub screen can now be activated in the Employee Rules screen.
  • A No Show Workflow has been added.
  • A Holiday Balance Workflow has been added.
  • A Worked Public Holiday Workflow has been added.
  • Extra columns can be added to the Employee Report.
  • Employees are now able to change their own passwords in the employee self-service web module.
  • Change mass Rotas on the calendar and availability screens.
  • The Totals by Employee report has now been updated with more options.
  • Multi-week view in Timesheets is now available.

Focus software suite overview

August 2015

Defining absence

You can include lots of different types of absence in Focus including:

  • Compassionate leave
  • Medical, dentist, doctor
  • AWOL
  • Unpaid holiday
  • Unpaid sick
  • Family emergency
  • Missed clocking

Then you need to specify:

  •  If they are paid or unpaid.
  •  If they are paid, please also specify the pay rate.
  •  Describe full day or half-day, or by-the-hour or the specific hours absence rules and whether to add to the worked time on that day or equals (equals means to overwrite any hours calculated for the day so far with the defined absence time for this absence reason).
  • Which absences are included in weekly overtime rules if they are in use.

Example:

Code Description Pay Rate Add To or Equals? In Weekly OT?
AR 1 Holiday Basic Equals Shift Length Yes
AR 2 Half Day Holiday AM Basic Add To 4:00 Yes
AR 3 Half Day Holiday PM Basic Add To 4:00 Yes
AR 4 Sick Basic Equals Shift Length No
Pay period
Focus works with weekly rules or multiples of weekly rules. This enables the correct allocation of overtime, etc, if required.

The system can also provide information on hours worked between different dates, i.e. the simple sum of the hours worked between the dates specified at the different rates.

If you don’t use a time and attendance software system at the moment you might think you pay monthly but actually you may be paying 4 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks for example so that you can calculate overtime if full weeks. This type of rule happens when your cut-off is on the last Friday of each month for example. Sometimes this means paying overtime out of sync with a salaried basic.

Example:

Description Start Date or Day of Week
Weekly Monday
Monthly Calendar Monthly starting on the 19th
4, 4, 5 Overtime Only Paid Monthly in Arrears, Week Starts on a Sunday.
Rounding and grace rules
Rounding and Grace rules
Rounding is where the Focus system adjusts employees’ clockings, for example, 15-minute periods, normally based on the start and end time of the Daily Schedule and starting at the top of the hour.

Some employers allow a number of minutes Grace in every rounding period, for example 3 minutes. If this is the case, then if an employee arrives during the first 3 minutes of any quarter, they are paid from the beginning of that quarter. If they arrive in the fourth or later minutes then they are paid from the start of the next quarter.

If employees are only allowed to arrive a little late on the first clocking of the day, based on the start time of the shift, then it’s a Grace In setting. Both Rounding and Grace can be used together. Some employees may also be able to leave earlier than their normal finish time and be paid up until the end of the current rounding period, this is unusual though.

Rounding and Grace in Focus
Focus enables rounding of employee clockings between up to four From and To times for In and Out clockings per shift.

Rounding intervals: These are the time slices that employees’ time will be recorded in. They may vary during the day dependent on whether the employee is working pre-shift overtime, is clocking near the beginning or end of the shift or is working post-shift overtime. The rounding intervals run from the 0 minutes of the hour.

Grace In: This is the number of minutes late that an employee can clock in and their clocking will be assumed to be at the start of the rounding interval in which the clocking occurs. In other words the number of minutes an employee may arrive late within the rounding interval before they lose time. This rounds the actual entrance time back to the employee’s benefit if the actual entrance time is within the period of grace time defined. The expected Entry time will be recorded. The actual employee clocking can always be seen.

Grace Out: This is the same as Grace IN but applies to the out clocking and allows the employee to leave a few minutes early within the rounding interval and still have the whole rounding interval paid.

Chronologic Workforce Management System training
We’re with you every step of the way, once you’ve decided on a system we’ll work with you to ensure that your organisation gets the most from your time and attendance solution. We run on-site training to get users up to speed at a pace to suit the way you want to work.

We also run training sessions at our offices for new users and online session for users who need a refresher or want to get to grips with particular features and functions.

Workforce Management System Hints Tips

Let your employees make holiday, sickness and absence requests, view their time worked and overtime accrued or identify their scheduled cost centre. Managers can view the geo locations of their staff web clocking using the integrated Google Maps feature, see who’s currently clocked in and out or record absences.

Chronologic Self Service is a browser-based clocking application to enable employees to clock in from a PC, smartphone or tablet. Giving them the ability to access personal timesheet and calendar.

All features are controlled using PIN and password access and configuration options ensuring only those employees who need access to data have it.

Support

At Chronologic we take support very seriously! We want you to be happy with your system and to make sure it works the way you want it to from day one, and continues to work for you and your business.