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Weekly Tips & Tricks

Weekly Tips & Tricks

Contact Us: 01908 265111

The Friday Tip

Once a week we highlight some unique and useful feature provided by the People Inc. system in our 'Friday Tip'. These tips are often based on a support call that we took during the week. Our aim is to help customers get more from using their People Inc. system. If you do not receive these tips but would like to, please contact the People Inc. help desk and ask to be added to the mailing list.


One to One Meetings

One to One Meetings

24th May 2024

Did you know that the People Inc system allows you to efficiently collect notes from your one-to-one meetings? By incorporating a straightforward screen to record this information, you can tap into a wealth of advantages:

  • Accessibility: The system ensures that all relevant personnel have access to the meeting details.
  • Document Management: Attach any necessary documents directly to the meeting record.
  • System Reports: Retrieve meeting details effortlessly through system-generated reports.

Action List Manager Tool

17th May 2024

While Actions can be managed using the main Action List screen or via the Actions tab on any data screen (for example, on the employee screen), the Action List Manager tool is specifically designed to aid users in reviewing and updating Actions. Individual Actions can be updated, and follow-up Actions can be created using the Action List Manager tool. This tool enables a better understanding of your forthcoming Actions and commitments. It is even possible to export this list to your Outlook calendar.

More details on this tool can be found here.


Providing employees with access to electronic copies of letters

Managing Attached Documents

Automating Actions

10th May 2024

Did you know that you can automatically generate Action List entries based on significant dates? This feature ensures you receive prompt reminders for critical events such as the conclusion of probation periods, forthcoming appraisals, or renewals of certifications. In addition to automatically generating Actions, the system can send notification and reminder emails on your behalf. This functionality ensures that users are informed of their pending Actions.


Using the Action List

3rd May 2024

The People Inc. Action List is designed to ease the management of a variety of HR-related tasks and activities. The Action List can be used to conduct a broad spectrum of tasks, from recording notes against a record to setting reminders for future requirements. Its use is not confined to generating Actions solely for employee-related activities; it is also possible to create Actions for general tasks, such as annual reminders, bank holidays, and year-end processes.

More details on the available functionality can be found here.


Providing employees with access to electronic copies of letters

Managing Attached Documents

Managing and attaching documents

26th April 2024

Keeping employment documents within People Inc is a great way to ensure staff records are kept secure, well-organised and accessible. You can attach any number of documents and files to records within your system. For example, you can attach sick notes to individual sickness absence records.

You can also manage file-attachments in folders within employee records - a folder for pay-related letters, one for training certificates, another for scanned copies of official documents.

Controlled access to attached documents can be granted to other members of staff within the organisation as required.


Employee Access to Letters

19th April 2024

Whilst most People Inc. users will store copies of letters against employee records within the system, few then take the next step and provide employees with access to their letters electronically. This is much quicker and much easier than printing letters and posting them to employees.

When the system generates a batch of letters, it can automatically save a copy against each employee's record. Members of staff can then access their letters by logging into the People Inc. ESS. There are lots of benefits associated with this approach: it saves time and money, it is much greener (no printing required), and over time, it provides a full history of letters for staff to refer to.

To learn more about People Inc. letter generation, click here.


Providing employees with access to electronic copies of letters

sending email messages to groups of employees

Generating e-mail

12th April 2024

You can create e-mail templates within your People Inc. system. These can be used to send messages to individuals, groups of employees, or even to the whole organisation. It is possible to send simple messages, memos and reminders, and formatted e-mail (for a variety of different purposes).

The system will save copies of e-mails you have sent (as attachments within individual employee records).

Note that you can also get the system to automatically generate notification and reminder e-mails (based on dates recorded in the system - for example, as a probation end-date approaches).


Different Types of Letter

5th April 2024

Did you know that you can set up letter templates to cover a range of different areas (recruitment, onboarding, employment contracts, benefits, pay-review, staff training, employee awards, disciplinary, termination, etc.)?

Letter templates can also be used to generate pre-filled forms to circulate to employees (for example, to check their contact details, a sickness return to work form, a training feedback form, a flexible working request, etc.).

When a new version of an employment policy needs to be distributed, the letter generation facility can be used to send a copy to each employee (and the system can automatically make a note against each employee record at the same time).


Letter templates for letters to employees

How can People Inc. letter generation functionality help

Letter Generation

29th March 2024

How can the People Inc. letter generation feature help?

  • Using standard templates ensures that content and quality is maintained
  • Really quick and easy to create a letter (go to employee, choose letter)
  • Simple to retain copies of letters (saved against employee record)
  • Employee can access copies of letters electronically via the ESS

You can set up any number of letter templates within People Inc. (using MS Word). These can include your organisation’s styling, layout, header & footer, logo, etc. You can also merge-in information from the system (name, address, job details, details of pay and benefits, details of training courses, etc.) into letters.


Salary Review Letters

22nd March 2024

Following a salary review, letters can be generated automatically (using People Inc.) to confirm details of updated salary information. Standard salary review letter templates are provided with the system. These letter-templates can be updated using MS Word if changes are required (to change the content, styling or layout).

Salary review letters can contain information about both old and new salary figures, the effective date, and other details relating to the salary review process, and the letters can be generated in advance of the pay review so that they can be checked before they are sent

When salary review letters are generated, a copy is automatically saved with each employee record.


Creating salary review letters

Salary Review

Salary Review (Salary Review Managers Plugin)

15th March 2024

People Inc. provides a range of tools to help manage the salary review process. Employee salaries can of course be added manually, and simple Wizards can be used to apply a cost of living increase for a group of employees.

Alternatively, you can use the Salary Review Manager plugin to assist you with your salary reviews within the People Inc system. You can learn more about the Salary Review Manager plugin by clicking here.


April - Allowance End of Year

8th March 2024

If you base your absence on the financial year, you will be approaching the end of your 2023-2024 holiday allowances and you will need to go through the People Inc absence year end process.

We have created a helpful guide to walk you through everything you need to consider and do to get your system ready. You can access the guide by clicking here.

Additionally, we have also included details on how to prepare if you use People Inc Time (our time and attendance module)


Absence year end

Adapting Screens

Online Employee Information form

1st March 2024

The process associated with collecting personal details from employees has undergone significant innovation in recent times. The web-browser and the electronic form have completely revolutionised what is possible.

When a new member of staff joins the organisation, filling out a personnel details form (during their onboarding) is a quick way to collect and verify personnel details. To help things progress quickly, the People Inc. ESS allows new employees to do this before they join (rather than wait until they are in post).


Health & Wellbeing

23rd February 2024

The People Inc. system can be used to conduct regular Health and Wellbeing surveys. These could be done as part of an ongoing employee engagement initiative, or simply to monitor aspects of health and safety at work.

Set up as a traditional form, or as a list of questions in a table, this information can be collected and analysed quickly and easily, and alerts generated automatically if required (for certain responses from staff). Users can also monitor the frequency with which forms are completed.


A New Year - 2023.

Adapting Screens

Custom Staff Appraisal Forms

16th February 2024

Most organisations will use an appraisal form that has been developed with their needs in mind (in our experience, every company manages appraisals differently). People Inc. provides several different ways to record and manage appraisal records. These are based on different types of form, and users can adapt the forms to match their specific requirements.

The scheduling and reporting tools that are standard People Inc. features can of course be used with custom appraisal forms to ensure that the appraisals actually take place, and the points that are recorded are then analysed (and acted on).

To learn more about adding a custom appraisal form, click here.


Training Evaluation Form

9th February 2024

Did you know that you can use the People Inc. system to collect feedback from employees who attend training courses? A online training evaluation form can be added to the ESS to facilitate this (just one of the many different ways you can customise you People Inc. system).

Some of the benefits of a training evaluation form are:

  • HR can analyse the effectiveness of staff training activities
  • Any shortcoming associated with training is identified quickly
  • Employees feel they have a voice (their views make a difference)

Click here to read more about training evaluation forms


A New Year - 2023.

Ideas and Suggestions

Ideas and Suggestions

2nd February 2024

Collecting ideas and suggestions from employees is a really good way to engage with staff. It is very easy to set up a form to do this (using the People Inc. ESS module), and a simple online form is an effective way to collect information from members of staff.

Asking for ideas and suggestions can help individuals understand that their efforts really do make a difference (and that their views are taken seriously), can motivate them and encourage them to do more, can improve their outlook and can change the way they approach their jobs.

More on adding an Ideas and Suggestions form can be found here.


Reporting Accidents at Work

26th January 2024

When there is an accident at work, staff should be able to record details of the incident quicky and easily (while the details are fresh in their minds). This can be done using a form within the People Inc. ESS module (available 24x7 from any PC or mobile device).

If an ESS form is used, duty staff can be notified automatically, the information can be used to help to identify where and how risks arise, put measure in place to avoid further incidents, and establish whether an accident needs to be investigated.

More on recording details of accidents using People Inc. can be found here.


Request Flexible Working form

Registering Private Mileage

Registering Private Mileage

19th January 2024

An ESS form could be used by members of staff to submit details of private mileage (for company vehicles). In this type of form, an employee would fill out a grid (a list of journeys, or a mileage summary per day/week) and the system would generate a summary for each form (mileage totals, etc.).

Checks and balances can be made within the form, for example, to ensure that entries are sensible (mileage readings are given in date order) or to check that employees have not missed a range of dates.

The employee can return to the form to update it on any number of occasions, and then submit it once it is complete. The information entered via forms can be monitored, analysed and extracted using reports.


Request Flexible Working

12th January 2024

UK Employment law requires that organisations consider requests for flexible working that are received from their employees. These requests usually need to be processed within three months of them being raised.

Adding a form to the People Inc. ESS is quick and easy to do, and can provide the basis for an auditable process to manage flexible working requests.

Employees can complete the form from their PC or mobile phone, and the system will automatically check for things like employment status, length of service, and the time since the employees most recent existing request.

Click here for more on adding an ESS Flexible Working Request form.


Request Flexible Working form

Absence Year End administration

Close 2023 Absence Allowances (Step 5)

5th January 2024

For organisations where the holiday year finishes at the end of December, there is one last step to take to ready the system for managing absence in 2024: last year’s absence allowances need to be closed. To do this:

  • Check that all 2023 absence bookings have been recorded.
  • Make sure staff do not have excessive levels of unused leave.
  • Use a Wizard to close the 2023 absence allowances.
  • Make sure the correct number of holiday days are carried over.

This completes the the fifth step of the People Inc. absence year-end process. Click here for details of all 5 steps.


2024, a New Year

29th December 2023

With just a few days left to go before the New Year, our thanks go out to those we have worked with in 2023: our clients, suppliers, partners and colleagues.

It has been another busy year here at P&A Software with a full schedule of exciting new projects for us to work on.

We would like to wish you all a prosperous and happy New Year and look forward to working with you again in the coming months.


Wishing you a happy New Year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas.


Merry Christmas

22nd December 2023

As the year draws to a close, we would like to wish you all a wonderful festive break.

We are looking forward to relaxing and spending some time with our families, having the opportunity to focus on something other than work, and to re-charge our batteries.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from the People Inc. team here at P&A Software.


Support over the festive break

15th December 2023

With Christmas fast approaching, we would like to pass on details of our availability during the holiday period. The People Inc. help desk service will be available up until lunchtime on December 22nd. After that:

  • The 25th and the 26th are bank holidays; our office will be closed.
  • From the 27th to the 29th , you can contact the helpdesk via e-mail.
  • The 1st January is a bank holiday, and the office will be closed.
  • A full help-desk support service will resume on Tuesday 2nd January.

If you need to make any special arrangements for support during this period, please contact us before the 21st December.


Support over the festive break

A Festive Theme

A Festive Theme

8th December 2023

Did you know that you can change the look and feel of the People Inc. screens? Included with your system are around 25 different styles for you to choose from.

You can access these styles via a mini-button on the title-bar (the row of 6 small buttons in the top left-hand corner of the screen).

Some of the themes relate to a specific time of year. Loading the Christmas theme adds snowflakes to the screen background and snowmen and ribbons to items on the screen.

Merry Christmas 😊


Staffing Levels During the Holiday Period

1st December 2023

People Inc. provides several ways to see who is providing cover over the Christmas and New Year period.

  • There are two absence calendars available within the system. These show individual and team views of employee holidays.
  • The ESS calendar tool shows shift patterns (People Inc. time), holiday bookings, and details of another absence records.
  • The People Inc. Employee Directory gives a day-to-day, colour-coded indication of availability for each member of staff.

More information about managing absence at year-end is available here.


Staffing Levels During the Holiday Period

Managing Carry over

Managing Carry over

24th November 2023

Now that the year is coming to an end, you should make sure the 2022 absence allowances within People Inc. are reconciled and closed. When absence allowance records are closed within the system will finalise the carry over figures (unused holiday carried over from 2022 to 2023). This will ensure that any figures for 2023-2024 are correct.

More detail on this topic can be found here.


Working Time Directive

17th November 2023

People Inc has numerous ways to assist you in complying with the working time directive, ranging from flexible working forms and timesheets to full on time and attendance tracking. Some examples of these can be found below:

  • Recording attendance information
  • Managing participation opt in / opt out
  • Monitoring mandatory work breaks

If you would like a session to discuss the options available to you or would like an introduction to the possibilities, please do get in touch.


Working Time Directive

Opting Out of the Working Time Directive

Opting Out of the Working Time Directive

10th November 2023

The People Inc. ESS can be used to publish a full range of on-line forms. Common examples of this include a clothing request form, a flexible working request form, a holiday request form, a training feedback form, an ideas and suggestions form, and an expense-claim form.

Providing a facility that staff can use to opt-out (and also opt back in) is a key requirement of the Working Time Directive legislation. Using a custom form added to the ESS is a quick and effective way for organisations to do this. Users can then check to see who has opted-out, and who is opted-in (and this information can then be used when checking attendance records).


Mandatory Breaks from Work

3rd November 2023

As part of the Working Time Directive, employers must ensure that staff are given adequate time away from work. The legislation makes provision for 4 different types of break.

  • Employees have the right to a 20-minute rest break when they work more than 6 hours.
  • They are entitled to an 11-hour break between the end and start of a new shift on consecutive days.
  • Each week they should have a 24-hour period away from work.
  • Staff are entitled to the equivalent of 5.6 weeks paid leave each year.

People inc. is the ideal tool to manage and monitor breaks. It will also provide detailed records to help demonstrate WTD compliance.


Mandatory Breaks from Work

Timekeeping within People Inc

Timekeeping within People Inc

27th October 2023

Recording attendance using timesheets is a simple way to capture the hours worked by employees. Two different timesheet tools are available to People Inc. users:

  • Individual timesheets, completed by each member of staff.
  • A weekly or monthly timesheet, completed by a manager.

Using People Inc. to manage timesheets streamlines the data-collection process and makes it much easier to monitor attendance. The information can then be used to feed payroll, and to assist with compliance and reporting. More details can be found here.


Recording Attendance Information

20th October 2023

Did you know that People Inc. provides a variety of different ways to record details of the hours worked by employees?

Users can build a staff roster within the system and then collect comprehensive information about staff attendance (and an breaks they have taken) by asking employees to clock-in (either using their phone or via wall-mounted clocks).

Without detailed attendance records it is difficult to demonstrate compliance with the Working Time Directive. One of the key requirements of this piece of employment legislation is that organisations monitor the hours staff work and the breaks they take.


Recording Attendance Information

Recording Attendance Information

The Working Time Directive

13th October 2023

People Inc. can be used to manage information to help demonstrate compliance with the Working Time Directive. It is possible to record and monitor the hours worked by individual members of staff, ensure that staff are given sufficient leave (holiday), and ensure that suitable breaks are taken during the day (and that sufficient time is provided between shifts).

The system can also be used to make sure that every employee gets at least one day away from work each week, and that the rules for night workers and young people are respected.

Where staff opt-out of the Working Time Directive, the system is an ideal tool to record and manage this information.


Rosters and Attendance in 2024

6th October 2023

If you use People Inc. time to manage attendance, a couple of things need to be set up within the system at around this time of year:

  • Pay Periods are used for reporting purposes (and to extract payroll information); these are likely to need adding for 2023
  • Shift Patterns enable the system to manage attendance records and calculate adjustments; now is a good time to review Jan-Mar 2023.

Tools are provided to help users update both of these things in bulk (across a number of months, or for the whole year). Note that this is in addition to the registration of Bank holidays (which is required for all People Inc. systems).


Preparing the system for a new year.

Absence Year-End

Absence Year-End

29th September 2023

There are a number of important absence-related task that need to be scheduled at around this time of year. These include:

  • A review of unused leave (to avoid a flood of bookings in December)
  • Agree and communicate any changes to rules on carry-over of leave
  • Add 2024 allowances and bank holidays
  • Manage shutdown and staff availability during the festive break
  • Reconcile and close 2023 holiday allowances (and review carry over)

There are some additional things to think about if you use People Inc. time (our Time & Attendance module).

More information about this process: Absence Year End


Document Management Overview

22nd September 2023

Whether you are just keeping basic employee documentation or are maintaining a details history of documentation and identification forms People Inc can assist. There are a number of ways that the system can help with the following:

  • Keeping a history of communication documentation
  • Managing and distributing Policy Documentation
  • Managing and storing employee details and employee documents

If you would like a session to discuss the options available to you or would like an introduction to the possibilities, please do get in touch.


Document Management Overview

Managing Attached Documents

Managing Attached Documents

15th September 2023

A full range of employee-related documents can be stored against individual records within the People Inc. system. This might include letters and e-mail, copies of personal documents (passport, CV, driving licence, etc.) copies of certificates and qualifications, photographs, and copies of completed forms.

Holding documents centrally and securely protects personal information, provides controlled access for authorised staff, and helps with GDPR compliance. Where different types of documents are recorded for each employee, it is possible to add folders that contain each of the categories of document. This is particularly effective if access is shared with users via the ESS.


Easy Access to HR Policies

8th September 2023

The People Inc. system can be used to manage and monitor access to HR Policy documents. Provided as an ESS add-on, this feature is designed to publish a list of policy documents per employee (based on their role). Employees can access the policy documents direct from the list, and the indicate that they have read and understood each one.

Full sign-off details are recorded for each employee and these records can be reviewed on-screen or analysed using reports. Members of staff are notified via automated e-mail if a new policy (or a new version of an existing policy) is added to the system.


Easy Access to HR Policies

Generating and Managing Documents

Generating and Managing Documents

1st September 2023

The People Inc. system can be used to create and store letters (and e-mails) sent to employees. There are around 160 letter templates supplied with system. Letter templates are used to generate and distribute letters (to members of staff).

Users can modify the letter templates and they can include information from records held within People Inc. Users can also create new letter templates of their own. Letter templates can be set up so that they match standard letters used by the organisation.

Letters can be printed or attached to employee records (so that they can be accessed by the employee via their ESS login), or both.


Recruitment Training Session

25th August 2023

Whether you are using the web recruitment portal or just recording applicants manually within the system there are quite a few ways the system can help simplify the process for you.

  • Letter templates
  • Reporting suite
  • Recruitment tools
  • Web recruitment

If you would like a session to discuss the options available to you or would like an introduction to the recruitment possibilities, please do get in touch.


A New Year - 2023.

A New Year - 2023.

Web Recruitment

18th August 2023

In addition to recording information about your current vacancies the People Inc system can also provide a space for perspective applicants to apply.

For each vacancy within the system, you can choose whether you would like to publish this to the web or not. From there you can choose what information applicants will need to provide and what attachments they need. Any applications that come through the web portal will then immediately be added as applicants within the system, instantly giving you the needed information.


Managing Applicants

11th August 2023

Are you aware of the ways that People Inc can help manage applicants?

To help with the recruitment process the People Inc system has several tools available to help with the recruitment process. The manage applicant wizard allows you to bulk move people through your recruitment process. Looking to send bulk emails to the applicants or maybe you have selected your successful applicant and want to close off the remaining applicants. This wizard can go through and do this for you.


A New Year - 2023.

A New Year - 2023.

Line-Managers and Recruitment

4th August 2023

Line managers can use their ESS login to raise a request to recruit. This can then be signed off (authorised) by a senior manager, a director and HR before the search for candidates begins.

In time, with details of applicants registered against the vacancy, line managers can review their CVs and other information once again via their ESS login. By adding comments and where appropriate, a recommendation to shortlist the line-manager can contribute their expertise and preferences before interviews are arranged.


Managing Vacancies

28th July 2023

Did you know that you can manage vacancies from within your People Inc system?

For all the vacancies within the system you can track, export and report on the information. Wanting to track key dates for your vacancies, manage email communication? Looking for details on the common source of applicants for your roles, turnover for specific departments? All that information and more can be easily managed and extracted from the system.


A New Year - 2023.

A New Year - 2023.

An Introduction to training management

21st July 2023

Unsure on how to take advantage of the training management tools available to you? Do not worry we frequently run sessions to help users get the most out of their system. Some examples of topics are:

  • Managing & Automating Training Needs
  • Managing training information
  • Reporting on training records
  • Training Registration

Please do get in touch if you would like any assistance in managing the training information within your system.


Training Administration

14th July 2023

Where employees need training to help them in their role at work (training related to a product, a process, or some legislation, etc.), People Inc. can be used to manage delegate bookings course-by-course.

The system will list members of staff who need to attend a particular course, users can then make individual bookings (and send confirmation via e-mail or letter), send reminders as the course date approaches and update their records once the course has run.

When users manage delegate information from the perspective of a course, the system also keeps individual employee training records up-to-date. Click here for more information on managing staff training records.


A New Year - 2023.

Register training needs via online form

Register Training Needs and Completed Training

7th July 2023

Full details of both training needs and completed training can be recorded for employees within the People Inc. system. The ESS training registration feature is used to update these records; it can work in two different ways.

Line-managers can use the feature to request that an employee attends a particular training course. Those responsible for managing staff training can then review requests and book training courses as required.

Where employees have been asked to complete unsupervised training to support their activities at work, the feature provides them with an easy way to record details of the training modules/courses that they have completed.

More details can be found here, or please call us to discuss what is possible.



More Friday Tips

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