10 Ways of Getting Through Tough Times in Business with actiPLANS

Improve employee attendance

During turbulent times, businesses need to maximize their project planning efficiency as it gives businesses, their employees and clients a clear understanding of the works, costs and results to expect. Luckily, you don’t need to put too much effort into project and cost planning when you have the right work and leave management software.

Read on to learn how businesses can minimize various costs and maximize their project and resource planning effectiveness with actiPLANS. Make sure to go through all the advice because you may find some gems at the end of the list as these tips are listed in no particular order.

1. Track Human Resources

When a business is going through tough times, the first thing that executives need to do is to review the existing processes, list out risks and look for ways to increase business profitability. At times like these, managers need to know how exactly many human resources they have and when they are available.

Team calendars are a great way to review workforce and visualize employee availability. You can review employees by time zones and departments, see their planned leaves, check out employee leave balances, identify a lack of the right talents early on and get the HR team to fill it out.

Leave management in actiPLANS

Leave management in actiPLANS – create an unlimited number of leave types, get your team to request and plan their time off and review employee availability

2. Improve Project Planning

When you know exactly how much human resources you have and when they are available, you can build accurate project schedules, mitigate most project risks and deliver projects on time and on budget. To build a project plan accurately down to an hour, you need to build a project activity schedule.

In actiPLANS, you can create unlimited work activities and put them on a timeline across responsible team members. Unlike Gantt charts that require rigid task dependencies and strict deadlines, actiPLANS offers flexible work planning — you can rearrange, replace or remove the scheduled project activities without a hitch whenever you need to. More than that, the software provides activity reports where you can review time expenses for different project activities across teams, individual users and departments.

Work scheduling in actiPLANS

Work scheduling in actiPLANS – create custom work types, assign them across your team taking their time off into account and review project activities on a timeline

3. Enhance Resource Allocation

During turbulent times, your team may become understaffed or you may lack necessary resources for carrying out scheduled project activities for various reasons. For example, it is often a case when absences of employees in similar positions overlap resulting in bottlenecks and inability to drive the project forward.

To eliminate staffing and resource management risks, you need to have leave management software visualizing employee absences. Whenever an employee requests a leave on the same dates as their peer, you can negotiate their leave period and reject or modify their request in the system. An absence schedule will allow you to eliminate down time and deliver the work on time.

Leave request management in actiPLANS

Leave management in actiPLANS – approve, modify or reject leave requests and leave comments 

4. Cut HR & Accounting Costs

Human resources management is a rather hefty business cost, which includes the following items:

  • Manpower management costs – the time and effort taken to record employee data and keep it up to date
  • Benefit management costs – the time and effort taken to calculate the amounts and costs of employee benefits, including leave time spent and available, leave compensations, medical benefits and holiday payments
  • Software costs – the subscription costs of the human resource management software (HRMS), human resources information systems (HRIS), absence management software and others
  • Overall costs for maintaining personnel department – the salary of the people working in this department

To reduce most of these costs, implement software that automates human resource management routines and displays leave and work analytics. Instead of using an expensive HR suite costing thousands of dollars annually, choose a simple and robust solution like actiPLANS that streamlines work and leave management, calculates PTO balances, provides absence statistics and more. This way, you’ll save up on software costs, unload your HR team and accountants and free up their time for more important tasks.

Custom PTO accrual rules in actiPLANS

PTO calculation settings in actiPLANS where you can specify custom accrual rules

5. Improve Team Productivity

The least that businesses can do to go through tough times is to maintain the same level of team productivity. But this is not as simple as it sounds as managers tend to give unfair workloads when things get tough, especially if they are not aware of employee planned leaves. Employees can feel uncomfortable discussing their overload and choose to work overtime to maintain their reputation of responsible and hardworking workers. Situations like these are likely to make employees stressed, exhausted and even burnt out.

If the rest of the team is not familiar with their peer absences, they can’t collaborate and deliver their work in time. In such cases, project work is either put on hold or requires more time to be finished, bloating project schedules and postponing deadlines. actiPLANS prevents these risks by providing employee absence schedules, arriving late and leaving early statuses that employees can add to the schedule using their browsers or native mobile apps.

Absence schedule in actiPLANS

Absence schedule in actiPLANS displaying various leave types with different color codes

6. Enhance Staff Retention

Turbulent times in business put pressure not only on executives, but on employees too. They may feel resistant towards asking for time off whenever they need to unwind or attend to some personal business, especially if it requires filling out paper applications and waiting for the confirmation. Situations like these contribute to employee stress and exhaustion, cause absenteeism, reduce their job satisfaction and make them look for new jobs with less strict and rigid leave policies.

To retain your best talents and hard workers and go through turbulent times in business effectively, you need to make them comfortable with using their time off. Work and leave management systems like actiPLANS help businesses eliminate paperwork, encourage employees to spend their leave balances and get quick confirmations.

Simple leave request management process in actiPLANS

Simple leave request management process in actiPLANS , which notifies employees whenever their leave request gets approved

7. Go Remote to Cut Overhead Costs

Another way businesses can cut costs is to close their physical offices and allow their employees to work from home. The massive switch to remote work during the pandemic showed that employees work from home as effectively as they do from their offices. Use this lesson to cut overhead costs such as office space costs and utility costs.

Introducing work and leave management software is also a cost-saver: you save up on expensive HR suites and project management tools and transfer your processes online, saving time and money on managing routines that you can automate. No more piles of papers, Excel spreadsheets, no need to manage leave requests in person, no more manual PTO and leave balance calculations – tools like actiPLANS do the work for you.

PTO and leave request management in actiPLANS

PTO and leave request management in actiPLANS where you can build custom leave types, their approval workflows and PTO accrual rules

8. Build a Strong Company Culture

Maintaining team spirit and motivation is crucial for getting your team to help the business get through tough times. It’s important that you hold company events, celebrate milestones and achievements and virtual corporate events if you work remotely. The same is true about corporate work events such as project meetings, business conferences and product demos.

The good news is that you can use actiPLANS to plan corporate events. Create an unlimited number of events with different color codes, put them onto your team schedule, specify their details if any and get everyone notified right away.

Visual project activity planning, actiPLANS

Use actiPLANS to announce corporate events and celebrations and notify employees about their date, place and time

9. Track Project Resources

Any business stands on the three key pillars: time, people and money. And turbulent times in business are your last chance to get them under control.

While actiPLANS is your life-saver for tracking employee absences and locations, corporate events and project schedules, actiTIME is a native actiPLANS integration that facilitates work planning, time tracking, productivity and money profitability reporting. Get your team to track their time, specify work and billing rates and allow the software to do the maths.

Online timesheet interface in actiTIME

Online timesheet interface in actiTIME – time and task management software that tracks work time, visualizes project progress and provides time and cost analytics

10. Plan Shifts & Track Field Workers

If you have field and shift workers in your team, it’s important that you have a work schedule displaying their work time and locations. If you don’t want to micromanage them with GPS tracking tools but need to keep them accountable and have a team schedule with analytics a few clicks away, work tracking software can help you out.

In actiPLANS, you can build location and shift schedules using unlimited work types and color codes, flexible work and time management settings. Build employee schedules, allow them to trade shifts and make edits to their schedules if necessary, add multiple shifts and locations to a single working day by specifying time for each work type and notify others about the changes!

Shift and location management in actiPLANS

Shift and location management in actiPLANS. Use work analytics and reports to improve the effectiveness of your resource management decisions

Handle the Turbulence with Confidence, Patience & Grace

Businesses that get through tough times successfully do three things: they review and upgrade their resource management, automate manual routines and retain their best talents and hard workers. The good news is that you only need one thing to get all the three – a work and leave management system, not an overpriced HR suite with bells and whistles.

Try actiPLANS – it is flexible and simple-to-navigate. You can customize it to fit your benefits policy, work arrangement, industry and state requirements.

actiPLANS - work and leave management software

actiPLANS is work and leave management software for businesses that boasts richer and more flexible functionality than overpriced HR suites. The software is easily adjustable for state, business and industry requirements and doesn’t require any special training. Manage employee leaves, work schedules, shifts, events and locations, automate PTO balance calculations, set up approval processes, review and manage the data on the go with a mobile app. Try actiPLANS for free using a free 30-day trial (no credit card required).

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