Predictive Scheduling and the Workplace

Add a shift or lose your job.

Sadly, many workers are faced with this dilemma on a regular basis due to unpredictable scheduling practices.

On-call, just-in-time, or tentative scheduling means that an employee could be called to work a shift, or asked to stay late, without adequate notice. Most commonly used in the retail, food service, restaurant, and hospitality industries, these practices are desirable to many employers, but take a toll on workers who must juggle the demands of their personal life and an erratic work schedule.

A large percentage of the workforce is affected. According to a recent study of nearly 30,000 hourly workers in large U.S. retail and food service chains (known as the “Shift Project”), 63% of respondents received less than two weeks’ notice of their work schedules.

An End to America’s Scheduling Crisis

The Fair Workweek initiative seeks to put an end to these practices and what they have labeled “America’s scheduling crisis.” Across the country, states are adopting predictive scheduling laws, a result of the Fair Workweek movement.

Laws vary by jurisdiction, but generally include:

  • Schedules must be posted before the first scheduled shift (generally 7-14 days)
  • Extra pay must be provided to workers if an employer changes the schedule after it is posted, what is known as “predictability pay”
  • Employees need adequate time off between shifts unless the employee volunteers to work during the rest period
  • Employers must keep scheduling records for a certain time period

The Impact of COVID

The COVID crisis has had an impact on many employment laws, including those related to predictive scheduling. The industries these laws affect are among the hardest hit sectors of the pandemic.

The crisis delayed some laws from becoming enacted, including those in Philadelphia and Chicago. It has also affected the enforcement of these laws. While some contained an exception for threats, natural disasters, and pandemics, others were up for interpretation. 

Technology Eases Fair Scheduling Requirements

Workforce management technology helps organizations create predictable, balanced schedules. Robust shift and scheduling features, like Counter Point’s Scheduling, will become important as employers need shift tracking functionality to comply with these laws. 

The technology behind this feature helps employers draft and post schedules, receive notifications of change requests, with the ability to approve or reject. Workers are notified of schedule changes, can adjust their availability, pick up or swap shifts.

To learn more about Scheduling, schedule an appointment with a Counter Point HCM Consultant today.

Remote Attendance Policy Dos & Don’ts

Creating an attendance policy is essential for every business. It establishes expectations for working hours, attendance, and paid time off. It’s easier to uphold such a policy when you’re able to see the productivity within the office. But what about when you now have a remote team?

A remote working option can be beneficial to employees as much as employers, as long as there are clear expectations and guidelines. Which is why having a solid attendance policy is key to success. 

Flexible schedules and a greater work-life balance is very appealing. For managers however, it comes with its own set of challenges. Monitoring if schedules are being followed, if remote employees are “showing up” during the workday, and if productivity is high are all crucial assessments for success. 

In this article we address the importance of creating an attendance policy for your remote team. 

Tips For a Time & Attendance Policy for Remote Teams

As flexibility within the workplace continues to increase, your workforce may contain a mix of in-person and hybrid teams. Strict adherence to attendance policies will help enable communication between co-workers, as well as efficient productivity.

Clearly outlining what’s expected of your employees will better equip managers for handling situations when employees fail to adhere to these guidelines.  

Detailing everything related from:

  • Working hours
  • Attendance
  • Paid time off
  • Time tracking

Establish Clear Working Hours and Expectations

Remote employees are said to work 1.4 more days per month than in-person employees.  This can lead to an overworked and burnt-out team. Clear expectations of working hours should be set not just to make sure employees are working enough but to make sure they aren’t overworking themselves either.

A best practice is to mirror the regular in-office work day, which is typically 9am-5pm. If you value work-life balance, there should be an expectation of a set number of hours employees are expected to work. 

Maintain An Attendance Policy

Managers do not have the option to pop into someone’s office and inquire about projects when working with remote teams. It is important to implement an attendance and availability policy. 

You shouldn’t feel like you’re hunting down employees by sending numerous emails and messages, waiting for replies and updates. Make sure everyone knows when to be available and how to communicate. Additionally, employees should be aware of the approval process for taking time off from work. Employees can’t simply use a slow day “working from home” to disappear for the day. 

When working from home, employees should still be entitled to personal and sick days, but an approval process should be in place. The ability to prepare for when an employee will be absent from the day will help others to fill in the gaps. 

Provide Time Tracking Guidelines

All employees should understand how to track their working hours and guidelines should be given for:

  • How employees should track their time
  • When employees should submit their tracked time
  • What to do if employees are working outside of their scheduled working hours
  • Employees should be made aware of any repercussions due to falsified information

Time and labor management technology allows for accurate payroll, ensuring employees are correctly paid for the time they work.

Avoid Workforce Management Problems

Businesses have been using time and attendance policies for years and implementing such guidelines are essential for employee and companywide success. Streamlining these processes, even if they need to be updated, will help remote employees manage their time and productivity. Managers can eliminate any confusion or problems within the workforce by enforcing these policies and ensuring everyone understands the requirements. 

Need Help with Time and Attendance Within Your Business? Request a call today!

How to Build a Productive Remote Team

There are many benefits to having remote teams. Remote workers are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. They are often saving money on commuting, tolls, and lunch. They have more flexibility in their schedule, creating a sense of happiness. Happy employees are believed to increase efficiency and overall company morale. 

It is important however, to keep remote workers focused and productive. Building a productive team can seem difficult at times. Trying to achieve the same goals when everyone is in a different location, can certainly present more challenges. 

What’s the best way to keep on top of your remote teams for optimal performance? Here are some tips to build a productive remote team:

Communicate Often

Having strong communication in place is key for any successful team. There are a variety of project management and communication tools available that will allow you to check in with employees and chat in real time. 

Although there are several platforms like email, phone calls, video calls, and other means of communication, it’s important not to make your employees feel micromanaged. Even more so, you don’t want your employees distracted by constant messaging that they aren’t being productive completing tasks.  

Try simplifying your communication methods by putting a process in place:

  • Urgent communication should be done via a messenger platform
  • Anything that doesn’t need immediate attention should be done via email
  • Video calls and check ins should be scheduled at specific times

This will also help your employees structure their day accordingly. 

Foster Employee Relationships

Although there are many positives to working remotely, employees do miss out on certain in-person interactions they would get within an office environment. There is no meeting around the water cooler to catch up with co-workers. This might be great for time management, but humans need interaction; we need connection. 

Be sure to schedule one-on-one meetings with your employees. Check in with them on a personal level. How are they doing? What was something they did over the weekend? These kinds of personal interactions can be highly motivating for remote teams. Making them feel a part of the team and socially connected with their peers will make them less likely to feel isolated. 

Having scheduled team meetings for employees to be able to check in with one another is also important. Give each employee time to discuss what they are working on, if they are feeling stuck, or just to brainstorm ideas. These are all important ways to build a strong culture even with remote employees. 

Invest In Your Team

Great managers take the time to invest and continually train their employees. Learning is critical for personal and professional growth. As businesses focus on work-life balance, learning management plays an essential role in achieving long-term goals.

Investing in tools to train your remote employees gives them the opportunity to take online courses on their own time without having to complete anything in person. 

Build A Productive Team

Building a productive remote workforce takes strong communication, healthy employee relationships, and a commitment to investing in your team. While a flexible working has its perks, it can be a difficult transition if an employee is not used to it. Isolation and minimal human interaction can leave an employee feeling disconnected from their job. These tips can keep them focused and excited for their day.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Learning Management System

A learning management system (LMS) is a great asset for businesses of any size. In the past, LMS options were only available to enterprise clients and large businesses, but that is no longer the case.

Now even small businesses can access the benefits of learning and training opportunities, which directly impact employees and their abilities to progress and build their skills. If your company is considering an LMS for the first time, it’s helpful to evaluate several aspects of each system you’re comparing to find the right option for your business needs.

As you compare different learning management options, it’s helpful to understand some of the core features and how your organization might use them.


The dashboard is one of the first things you and your learners will see upon logging into the system. It serves as the home page and should be intuitive and user-friendly. Within the LMS, the dashboard should include any messages for learners from the organization, along with courses in which they are currently enrolled, training requirements, and records noting what they have completed. A learner may also need to print or save proof of completion, such as a certificate, so this should be accessible from the dashboard.

Course Catalog

A course catalog is where learners can look at what training opportunities are available to them and learn more about each one. An LMS should include a detailed catalog with all available learning content, where administrators and supervisors can also assign courses to their team members. A single course may include multiple learning elements, such as a PowerPoint presentation, a video, a game, a quiz, and/or a syllabus.

It’s also helpful if the courses can be bundled together into learning paths, which can then be assigned to applicable employees. For example, all customer service representatives may need to take courses focused on customer interaction, support, and communication. Multiple courses could be bundled together into a learning path designed specifically for those members of your organization who interact with customers and provide service.

The LMS you choose needs to be able to support the learning elements you want to offer to your learners. If video-based learning is important to your organization, ensure that you can upload customized video content to the LMS and share it with employees.

State-Mandated Training Requirements

Many states, cities, and municipalities require certain training courses to be provided to employees. For example, both California and New York have required anti-harassment training that must meet the criteria set forth for topics covered.

The LMS you select should support your state-mandated training requirements without having to spend extra time building courses.

Could your organization benefit from having an LMS? Learn about Counter Point HCM’s solution. Request a call today!

The First Step in Evaluating HCM Solutions

Selecting a human capital management (HCM) solution to help manage the workforce needs of your organization is critical to your success. When evaluating the many options available, it’s likely you’re first drawn to the software and its features. And it’s easy to get caught up in the many tasks the software can help streamline, including:

Recruiting – Applicant tracking systems make it possible to post jobs, collect applications, communicate with candidates, and more.

Onboarding – Paperwork is eliminated and new hires are more productive from day one.

Performance Reviews – Managers are alerted and notifications are sent regarding the steps to take.

Reporting – Standard and ad hoc reports on any topic can be generated on demand.

Benefits Administration – All data is captured electronically eliminating the need for paper enrollment.

Tracking Time and Attendance – Collect, manage, and process time and attendance data with accuracy and ease.

All are compelling reasons, but none matter if the company that provides the service and support isn’t trustworthy, accountable, and experienced.

Assuming all software is equal, how do you decide?

The fact is, most cloud-based HCM systems are fundamentally the same. They can be accessed from anywhere at any time, require a single login, provide added security, eliminate the need for multiple systems, and help manage the employee lifecycle. You need to vet the providers to find the one that’s right for you.

What to Consider When Vetting HCM Providers

To find the one that best suits your organization, consider these four factors:


Your employees’ sensitive data must be shared with your HCM vendor, including social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. With the number of data breaches on the rise, make sure to evaluate the security measures they have in place. 

Ensure that the provider is up to date on security and data storage management. Look for those with a current SOC1 (SSAE 16/18) or SOC 2 audit report which demonstrates their commitment to security compliance.

Customer Service

When evaluating options, pay particular attention to the providers’ approach to customer service. When something goes wrong or you have questions, you will want to know who and how to obtain support quickly.

Questions to Ask

How do I seek help? Some providers have call-in centers while others offer a designated customer support representative, the gold standard in customer service. Each time you call you’ll get the same support person and you won’t waste time having to relay the same information to different people.

How do you manage requests? Providers that utilize help desk software like ZenDesk, Freshdesk, and Help Scout are better positioned to manage and resolve customer issues. These tools offer ticketing and multi-channel support, robust reporting, and analytics to aid in customer support.

What is the turnover like for your customer service representatives? Be wary of high turnover. Nothing beats a long-lasting relationship with the person assigned to help you.

Implementation and Training

Your provider should take you through a comprehensive demonstration of the software and offer periodic follow-up sessions to help bring you up to speed quickly. Ask what resources are available if you need help. On-site training? Tutorial videos? Online hubs? Webinars? All should be considered when choosing a provider.

Ask about their approach implementation. To ensure a smooth transition there should be a detailed plan in place and you should have access to a designated contact person during the process.


Last but not least, your vetting process should include a cultural fit assessment. You want to work with a company that is flexible and forward-thinking in terms of technology, security, and procedure. You should view your HCM provider as a partner, therefore you should choose one whose values align with those of your organization.

Is Counter Point HCM right for you? Schedule a call to find out.

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