Calendar Integration for Employee Rosters and Leave

Nick Burge

7 July 2015    |   

Today we’re releasing some new features driven by open data, designed to make staff management in the enterprise simpler and more flexible. Tanda users are now able to export or subscribe to calendars of staff leave, rosters, and birthday, in the open iCalendar format. This format works with any computer or mobile device and doesn’t require specific apps or further work to integrate into other systems. If you are already a Tanda user, you will see this new feature when you next login to the system. Otherwise, if you love the sound of this, sign up for a free trial of Tanda. Tanda CTO Alex Ghiculescu said, “By making data open for our users to access, they can use it from any system they like. While some competitors lock their users into specific data formats and apps that only work on Windows Phone, we believe that employees using Tanda should be able to see their roster from whatever phone they happen to own.” How is the feature used? Using Tanda, staff are sent their rosters by email or SMS when published by managers. They are also sent a link they can use to subscribe to their roster in a calendar program like Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook, or a phone calendar on iPhone, Android, or any other platform. This calendar updates automatically as managers publish new rosters. Managers are also able to subscribe to a calendar of staff leave or a calendar of birthdays. The only thing it doesn’t do is bake them a cake.

Today we’re releasing some new features driven by open data, designed to make staff management in the enterprise simpler and more flexible.

Tanda users are now able to export or subscribe to calendars of staff leave, rosters, and birthday, in the open iCalendar format. This format works with any computer or mobile device and doesn’t require specific apps or further work to integrate into other systems.

If you are already a Tanda user, you will see this new feature when you next login to the system. Otherwise, if you love the sound of this, sign up for a free trial of Tanda.

Tanda CTO Alex Ghiculescu said, “By making data open for our users to access, they can use it from any system they like. While some competitors lock their users into specific data formats and apps that only work on Windows Phone, we believe that employees using Tanda should be able to see their roster from whatever phone they happen to own.”

How is the feature used?

Using Tanda, staff are sent their rosters by email or SMS when published by managers. They are also sent a link they can use to subscribe to their roster in a calendar program like Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook, or a phone calendar on iPhone, Android, or any other platform. This calendar updates automatically as managers publish new rosters.

Managers are also able to subscribe to a calendar of staff leave or a calendar of birthdays. The only thing it doesn’t do is bake them a cake.

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Awards & Rostering    |   

How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

Industry Insights    |   

Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part of effective management is providing your personnel with feedback when they’ve done something incorrectly, or perhaps just less correctly than you would prefer. Ideally, you want to train your workforce to act as you would in a given situation. This takes time, patience, and consistent positive reinforcement. So how can you communicate to your beautiful and unique snowflakes that they’re not meeting your standards without alienating, offending, or irritating them? Here is a list of best practices that can help you deliver a difficult message in ways that will improve employee attitude, engagement, and performance. 1.      Focus on Positives Even if you’ve been stuck with the worst employee in the world, even if they come into work smelling like a Cypress Hill concert in un-ironed slacks made of organic hemp, you’ve got to find a silver lining. To be clear, this doesn’t mean sugar-coating the negatives. It just means balancing criticism with praise. Build employee confidence first, then present avenues for improvement. The thing to remember about creating a harmonious work environment is it begins and ends with being nice. The simplest gestures can prevent resentment, discontentment, and hurt feelings. Keep your employees happy, and you’ll be a much happier manager. 2.      Objectivity This can be tough. It’s important not to let your emotions get in the way of effective management. Subjectivity can get you into all sorts of trouble: favouritism, nepotism, and a plethora of other –isms worth avoiding. A cool head is needed for command decisions, plus your employees will reflect the attitudes you present to them. Come to work angry, and you’re likely to look out and see an office rife with cantankerousness. 3.      Always Deliver Negative Feedback in Person It’s a busy day, you hear a bad report, and you want to get it handled quickly. So you just shoot of an email with a textual reprimand. A very tempting scenario, but not the best idea. People can read into messages more or less than you intend. If there’s a problem with an employee important enough for you to respond personally, then it’s important enough to respond to it in person. 4.      Time your Feedback Correctly Timing is everything. You have to take the opportune moment. For minor infractions, or something of a sensitive nature (a conflict between employees for example), allow a bit of time to pass so that tempers might cool before addressing the situation. Similarly, don’t call an employee out in front of their peers. Wait for the right moment, when they’re not under scrutiny, to approach. You don’t want to embarrass an employee, and you never know what can get the blood running to someone’s cheeks. 5.      Location, Location, Location Along the same lines as timing, the location of a performance review can have a great impact on how receptive an employee might be to your suggestions. Go to an empty conference room, any neutral ground will do. 6.      Pay Attention to How You’re Being Perceived This means watching your phrasing and body language. Present problems in a sympathetic light, and avoid negative syntax: “I don’t think… You shouldn’t… This isn’t…” Maintain eye contact, without being creepy. Keep gesticulations, mannerisms, and movements calm and casual. Aggression is an animal instinct, don’t release the beast during a performance review. 7.      Be Clear With Your Criticisms, Leave No Room for Interpretation Convey your meaning quickly, clearly, and without ambiguity. Be direct with your employees, let them know exactly what you disapprove of, how they can improve, and if there’s a need for it: a warning as to what continued instances of the undesired behavior will result in. Alternatively, reinforce desired actions. If they’ve done anything right at all, mention it, and offer praise. Building an effective team is a complicated process, but armed with common sense and a healthy dose of positivity, you can put together an office environment that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Product Updates    |   

Text Me Maybe: Share Your Rosters by SMS!

Tanda’s (PayAus) roster management tools just got even more powerful, with the ability to send your staff their rosters by SMS, instantly. No more printing rosters out and making sure they don’t get lost, or trampled on, or wet. No more casuals calling up during the busiest time of the day to ask when their next shift is. And no more typing text messages up yourself – Tanda can do it all for you. Once you’ve designed a roster in Tanda, just follow the prompts to SMS it to your staff. You’ll be able to select which staff members get their rosters delivered, and even see a preview of the message they’ll get. Rosters by SMS cost 25 cents per message, but as a gift to Tanda customers, we’re making the first month absolutely free. Have fun! P.S. rosters are sent to the phone number you’ve provided for your staff, so you’ll need to make sure that’s correct. If you are having issues entering phone numbers, or need help importing a lot of phone numbers, please contact us!

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About the author

Nick Burge

Nick was formerly part of Tanda's Marketing Team.

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Awards & Rostering

How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

Industry Insights

Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part […]

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