Softworks Blog

What is Human Capital Management?

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jun 12, 2017

What is Human capital management?

In today’s modern workforce environment it is becoming increasingly important to have an employee tracking and management system in place in your company. Fluid roles, dynamic shift patterns and fluctuating customer demand are all factors that employers are faced with on a daily basis.

 More and more companies are turning to Human capital management solutions to assist them in organizing and optimizing their workforce. Human capital management essentially encompasses the practices of recruiting, managing and developing your workforce.  So what are some of the more common elements of human capital management?

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  1. Time & Attendance.

Time and Attendance is a key aspect of human capital management. Time and attendance solutions allow employers to build a real time picture of employee hours work and to analyse employee performance.

  1. Employee self service and portal.

The employee portal element of human capital management empowers employees by giving them the responsibility of managing their own time and attendance. With employee self service, your employees can also check their work schedules and request absences. Employee self service portals can save your company by placing employee and HR information in the hands of the employee.

By giving your employees the responsibility of tracking their own time and attendance with self-service and honour based timesheets you are building stronger relationships with them that will ultimately result in a more effective and productive workforce.

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  1. Education and skill tracking.

In any business environment or industry it is vital that your employees are constantly learning and upskilling so that your company can maintain its competitive edge. Human capital management skills tracking solutions assist employers to track employees’ skills, training and qualifications and manage their current and future learning requirements.

Human capital management procedures differ depending on the specific industry or company they are being applied. However the principles of the concept of human capital management apply regardless. These are: talent acquisition, talent management and talent optimisation.


For more on Human Captial Management and how Softworks can help your business visit

 Try Softworks Human Capital Management for yourself and Request a Demo.

Request Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Happy Workers, Workforce Management, Human Capital Management

What is Workforce Management?

Posted by Jimmy English on Tue, May 2, 2017


What is Workforce Management?

In order for any company or workplace to perform efficiently, there must be a system of organisation in place. Employees should be informed of their designated working hours and the tasks and responsibilities they are assigned to for within these hours. They should also be aware of their holiday and leave entitlements.


For Management, it is important to have visibility on future or anticipated demand and to be in a position to assign the required levels of staff. It is also vital that managers can make allowances for absences; both planned and unplanned.  More and more companies are adopting Workforce Management Systems to assist them in organising, tracking and optimising their employees and output. Specifically, Workforce management solutions allow companies to forecast workload and required staff, track the timekeeping and attendance of their staff and track the various projects across the company.

Let’s take a look at the core elements of Workforce management and how they can be of benefit to you.


Time and Attendance.

Time and Attendance tools allow you to track and analyse employee hours worked. Time and Attendance tools  allow you to build a clear picture of employee time through detailed data and reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-balances, rostering and holiday leave as well as producing real time reports on individual employees.


By implementing online scheduling software and eRostering software, companies can eliminate paper based rosters and reduce the errors that are associated with manually prepared rosters. Online rosters give you visibility of all employees and their hours worked. Most importantly, eRostering enable companies to align staff supply with customer demand, ultimately reducing costs and improving customer experience.

Project Management

Project Management Software allows companies to track employee activity and involvement in relation to ongoing projects. Employers can view the time spent on a project, activity and cost to the project. With Project management software, managers can keep projects within budget and reduce the loss of unaccountable hours and profitability.


The true benefits of Workforce Management Solutions lie in reducing costs, driving efficiencies and increasing the productivity and profitability of your company.


To find out more about Workforce Management Solutions and the many benefits they offer, request a Demo of our Workforce Management tools here.
Request a Free Demo Today!


Topics: Time & Attendance, Project Manager, Labour Scheduling, Rostering, Workforce Management

Get to know our Customers

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Apr 24, 2017


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Following on from ‘National Get to Know Your Customers Day’ that took place last week we examine how workforce management systems are employed across many different industries and companies.

Softworks customers span all industries from Healthcare to Hospitality, and from Manufacturing to Retail. Particular industries will have specific individual workforce management needs. For example, our customers in the Healthcare industry benefit greatly from our eRostering and Scheduling tools, as they can plan for anticipated staff needs.

Below we take a closer look at the various industries that softworks serve, the companies in these industires and the workforce management solutions that these companies avail of.


Healthcare organisations typically require rostering software that can manage schedules across their entire employee landscape; from nurses and medics to ancillary support staff.  The Bon Secours Health System is one such of these Health Organisations. Bon Secours came to Softworks looking for an eRostering solution that would enable them to manage their complex rostering schedules and shift patterns. You can read more about their story here.


In order to effectively manage their workforce, manufacturing firms have the need to record, track and analyse employee time and attendance, planned and unplanned absences and manage HR processes. Aughnish Alumina,  Europe's largest alumina refinery approached Softworks to aid them in three key areas of Workforce Management: They needed full visibility of their workforce for key decision making, implementing a system that would integrate with their existing HR and Payroll systems  and Automation of all manual processes. Find out here how Softworks provided them with an inclusive workforce management system.


For large retailers such as our Customer Clas Ohlson, full employee visibility across all stores is vital. Softworks provided Clas Ohlson with easily adaptable and flexible scheduling solutions. Softworks provided Clas Ohlson with an automated system to manage employee time and attendance as well as scheduling. Additionally, Softworks delivered custom reporting tools for each individual store. Read more about the benefits of workforce management in retail here.


In the Hospitality industry, a major challenge facing management is the ever adapting staff requirement. The Druids Glen Resort needed a workforce management system that could automate manual tasks such as tracking employee attendance and managing planned and unplanned absences. They also required accuracy in the collection and reporting of hours worked for compliance and legislation purposes. You can find out how Softworks helped them achieve this here.

Softworks boasts a huge range of clients, from start ups to global corporations. How can Softworks help your business? Get in touch with our Team today about implementing our Workforce Management Solutions.

Request a Free Demo Today!


Topics: Time & Attendance, Softworks Customers, Flexible Working, Workforce Management, Automated Absence Management

“Pawternity” leave – Barking mad or will it take off?

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Tue, Apr 4, 2017

I don’t personally have a dog which is quite surprising considering the amount of pleading I have got over the years from my kids.  I do love dogs.  As a kid there were plenty of dogs coming and going in my house, as my sister brought home every waif and stray much to my mother’s dismay.  In all honesty I’d love a dog – please don’t tell the kids though!

My reluctance is that I’m just not sure I’ve got the time between working and ferrying around my kids to Soccer, Rugby, Gaelic Football and Hurling matches, not forgetting play dates, parties and playgrounds. Dogs are a lot of work, particularly when they are puppies so I was intrigued to hear that some companies are offering ‘pawternity’ leave.


So what exactly is ‘pawternity leave’? Apparently it’s just like maternity or paternity leave but for a new pet, instead of a new baby.   The unpaid time off is allowed in order to give pet owners time to take care of their new pet whether this is a kitten, puppy, rabbit, hamster or whatever you’re having yourself…

Looking a bit deeper into this new leave, it came as no surprise to find out that some of the companies offering this leave are pet-themed companies.  The Scottish brewery BrewDog offers a week of paid leave for employees with new puppies or rescued dogs.  BrewDog co-founder, James Watt has this to say:

 “It’s not easy trying to juggle work and settle a new dog into your life, and many members of our crew have four-legged friends at home. So we wanted to take the stress out of the situation and let our teams take the time they need to welcome their new puppy or dog into their family. We always want to raise the bar when it comes to offering our staff the best possible benefits; at BrewDog, we care about two things above all else. People and beer. We also just really really like dogs.’

BrewDog, was started by two men and a dog back in 2007, and both co founders are commonly found accompanied by canines Simcoe and Dr Gonzo.

Mars Petcare the people behind big pet food brands including: Whiskas, Pedigree Chum and Kitekat now offer their employees ten hours of paid leave for a new pet. Once their pets have settled in, they are allowed to join their owners in the office.  Mars’ HR Director Kate Menzies commented on why they have introduced this leave.

“We want to enable and ease responsible pet ownership for our employees. Dogs and cats are at the heart of our business and our policy is designed to embrace a culture that is passionate about pets.” She also had this to say;

“Having pets in the workplace comes with many great benefits including relieving stress and improving productivity, as well as breaking down barriers between employees which creates a more relaxed environment.”

But it’s not just pet themed companies. BitSol Solutions -an IT company- in Manchester has also got on board and offers their employees a week off paid leave. According to company owner Greg Buchanan
"Pets are like babies nowadays, so why shouldn't staff have some time off when they arrive?"

So what do you think - are they all barking mad or could this really take off? Share your thoughts in  the comment section below and if you are looking for a way of managing your employees leave - whether this is maternity, paternity or even pawternity Softworks can automate this process for you!. 

Topics: Time & Attendance, Maternity Leave, pawternity leave, paternity leave, absences

Manufacturing the perfect Workforce Management System

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Mar 27, 2017

 linkedin_Manufacturing1_1200x627-1.gifManufacturing the perfect Workforce Management System.

 The manufacturing industry in the UK and Ireland is rapidly expanding post economic downturn. Growth in the manufacturing industry has led to a positive boost in employment levels. The growth in the manufacturing industry in the UK and Ireland has also raised a number of workforce management issues for manufacturing companies.  By identifying these issues, manufacturing companies can begin to implement workforce management solutions.  Some of the major workforce management issues for manufacturing companies include: creating easily adaptable rosters and schedules, timesheet fraud and manipulation caused by ‘buddy punching’ and inaccuracies between time and attendance and payroll.

   Do any of these issues sound familiar to you? Fortunately, they are all easily resolved. Softworks Workforce Management is currently working with manufacturing companies in the UK and Ireland to deliver them with effective and sustainable workforce management solutions.

Some of our current customers include Apple, Formica and Kerry Foods.

So how exactly do Softworks help manufacturing companies?

  1. End to End Automation

Our workforce management software helps eliminate any inaccuracies in an employee’s time and attendance and their payroll.  Automating your time and attendance will result in an automation of payroll, removing any discrepancies.

  1. Biometric Timekeeping.

By implementing biometric time and attendance systems, you remove any possibility of ‘buddy punching’ or attempted time and attendance fraud.

  1. Flexibility of Rostering.

With the nature of the manufacturing industry, flexible working hours and shifts are a necessity. Softworks eRostering allows manufacturing managers to ensure allocation of adequate resources within prepopulated budgets and costs.

In the manufacturing industry, companies are always striving to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Time and Attendance solutions from Softworks can help you do just that. 

But how do you know which Workforce Management System is right for you? Our guide to selecting a Workforce Management System will provide you with an unbiased guide on choosing the perfect workforce management system for your manufacturing company.

To find out more about how Softworks has already assisted a major manufacturing company,download our case study on Aughinish Alumina.










Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Workforce Management, Manufacturing

National Sickie Day - Managing Employee Absence

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Feb 6, 2017

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Today, the first Monday of February 2017, is National Sickie Day. Around 350,000 people across Ireland and the UK will call in sick to work today. While winter colds and flus still linger and some people may have legitimate reasons for being absent, others may not be as genuine. Here are some of the worst excuses people have used to justify their absence:

  1. I need to arrange a birthday party for my dog. We all love our canine friends, but seriously?
  2. I got arrested. Your weekend may have been a heavy one, but not that heavy.
  3. My dog ate my shoes. Was he annoyed that you missed his birthday?
  4. I have no way to get to work. Pull the other one

Unexplained or unplanned employee absence can have a detrimental effect on a business. Understaffed companies will tend to underperform and fail to meet daily goals, resulting in financial loss. Employees will be forced to increase their workload to compensate for their absent co-worker, leading to an increase in stress levels and a drop in production. Other negative effects of unplanned employee absence include overtime costs, dissatisfied customers and employee morale.

If your company is regularly experiencing unplanned absences and you believe a trend is developing, it may be worth your while to investigate Softworks Absence Management Solution. Softworks Absence management solution has been designed to track and manage employee absences, and to ensure that your company is not adversely affected by unplanned employee absences.

By providing accurate real-time attendance information, our solution can help to minimise the negative effects and expense of unplanned absences such as sick leave, as well as assisting to manage leave entitlements such as; maternity, parental, adoptive, carers and force majeure.

Perhaps most importantly, softworks absence management software can help you track and analyse absences and identify trends allowing you to rid your company of absence related costs.

For more information on reducing and managing employee absenteeism and on how Softworks Absence Management solution can help your business, click on the links below!

Learn more about managing absences.

Absence Management Whitepaper

Topics: Time & Attendance, Labour Scheduling, Absenteeism

Time and Attendance Solutions – Then and Now

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Fri, Jan 6, 2017

Another New Year has begun and the first thing on everyone’s mind is New Year’s resolutions and what the future will bring. But let’s not forget how we got to where we are today. It all had to start from the beginning and this certainly goes for Time and Attendance solutions. Since being invented they have come a long way so we wanted to share with you where it all began!

November 20, 1888 – the date the first time clock was invented by Willard Le Grand Bundy, a jeweller in Auburn, New York. The Bundy Key Recorder was a mechanised time recorder which comprised of several type-wheels which were controlled by a clock movement. It was used by Birmingham City Transport to ensure that bus drivers did not depart from outlying terminals before the due time.

Bundy Clock

Modern Time and Attendance solutions take advantage of today's sophisticated networking protocols to link time clock computers together so employees can be monitored in real-time while maintaining the time card data in a secure and centralised location. Integration with online payroll systems saves time and eliminates data entry errors. The benefits of modern time and attendance systems are virtually endless.

Even though Time and Attendance solutions have greatly reduced the amount of time needed to prepare time cards for payroll processing, it still protects business owners and employees for the same reasons as that very first punch clock.

As computers have become more sophisticated, so have Time and Attendance solutions. If you have been to the Titanic Museum in Belfast, you might have noticed the Harland & Wolff time clock, which was used during the construction of the Titanic. Small wooden boards were used to keep track of workers time. To help prevent “time theft”, machines like this were introduced into the shipyard to record hours worked more accurately. As you can see from the pictures below, a lot has changed over the years!

Titanic Time Clock

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We’ve come a long way from wooden time keeping boards to mobile apps - Managing Time & Attendance may just have been revolutionised! Softworks Time and Attendance App allows employees to clock in and out on their smart phones from wherever they are and includes their GPS location.

You can get a quick demo of our solutions via this link and a demo of our new app also. It couldn't be easier! Now that we know how far Time and Attendance solutions have come, we are really looking forward to seeing what is next - watch this space!

You can keep up to date with Softworks by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Topics: Time & Attendance

Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Thu, Nov 24, 2016


Lizard surgery, Homeland Security and Vaseline trucks. What do they all have in common?

According to a study from CareerBuilder, they are among a list of outrageous reasons workers claim they have been late for work.

Below are some of the bizarre reasons for being late to work:

  • I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
  • My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
  • I was detained by Homeland Security.
  • I had to chase my cows back into the field.
  • A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
  • My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
  • There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
  • There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
  • I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
  • All of my clothes were stolen.
  • I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
  • A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.

CareerBuilder also asked how often employees are late to work, 25 percent (1 in 24) admitted they are late at least once a month, and with 13 percent saying it is a weekly occurrence.

With Christmas only a month away, it is getting colder and much harder to get out of bed in the morning. For some people, this can make getting to work on time a difficult task. You would be surprised of what could get in the way of your morning routine. Many of these excuses are extreme and may have more to do with one's creative imagination than anything else. However, you can bet employers are going to hearing more late-to-work excuses especially coming up to Christmas.

In order to prevent tardiness in your organisation, why not take advantage of Softworks Flexible Working and deploy a Time and Attendance system.

Flexible working is a very positive choice that needs to be embraced by more organisations. It doesn’t only provide employees with job satisfaction, better health, increased work-life balance, and less stress, it also benefits employers. With higher productivity levels, less turn over, and reduced absenteeism, employers will be able to retain qualified employees and also save money. With flexible working, excuses for being late to work will be less necessary as employees will have the flexibility to work around appointments, family events and of course, all of the excuses listed above!

Softworks Time Management Software will allow your organisation to build a clear picture of employee time-keeping through comprehensive reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-time, rostering and holiday leave. Softworks Time and Attendance is one of the most powerful tools available for recording and analysing hours worked. Used to manage employee attendance and produce real-time reports for analysis by management as well as to collate personnel information. It allows you to build a clear picture of employee time through detailed data and reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-balances, rostering and holiday leave. Scalable and completely configurable, it applies and automates processing your organisation’s unique pay rules and policies accurately and consistently and is fully compliant with legislation.

The survey also found more traditional excuses for being late to work are still very common:

  • 53 percent blamed traffic and road conditions.
  • 33 percent said oversleeping.
  • 28 percent on bad weather.
  • 15 percent on getting children to school.

By implementing Softworks Flexible Working and Time & Attendance Software, employees and employers will be able to overcome the traditional excuses of being late to work (along with a few of the outrageous ones too!).

Request a Free Demo Today!

You can also turn your administrative nightmare of managing employee time & attendance into a dream come true with Softworks new self-service app. Softworks app enables employees to record their own time, attendance, holidays, absences and check work schedules via their smart phones/tablets. Softworks app is a joy to use and loved by employees and managers alike, but you don’t have to just take our word for it, find out more via this link.  

You can keep up to date with Softworks by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Topics: Time & Attendance, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working

Trick or Treat? It’s Always a Treat with Softworks!

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Fri, Oct 21, 2016

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It’s almost that spooky time of year again – ghouls, goblins, gremlins and of course, the tradition of kids knocking on our doors declaring “Trick or Treat”. Every kid wants a treat! Isn’t that what we all want? So let’s avoid the tricks this Halloween and look at all the ways Softworks can “treat” you!

1. Save You Time

How much time do you or your HR manager spend each week (or day) trying to make a work schedule? It can be such a nightmare! Using our Workforce Management Software can save you and your business hours per week so more time can be spent on the human aspect of HR within your corporate environment. As Softworks have a web based system, you can manage tasks wherever you are instead of rushing back to the office.

2. Increase Security

Biometric data collection devices (i.e. fingerprint scanners) make it so only an actual employee can clock in and out, which helps eliminate “buddy punching”, the practice of one worker clocking in for another. Spreadsheets are not very accurate, time consuming, and do not provide useful insights. Your organisation should begin thinking about the better alternative – Softworks Workforce Management Solutions.

3. Reduce Absenteeism

Employee absence has a huge impact on any organisation and the best way to control it is with a Time and Attendance Solution. Attendance needs management and absenteeism needs to be controlled. The software will allow an organisation to track rates and report reasons for the absenteeism. Recording absences allows the relevant people such as line managers, colleagues, payroll and so on to be notified. The recorded absences can then be totalised and can used as a management aid. This can be done by highlighting employees with unusual absenteeism levels, comparing how absenteeism varies by department, how it varies over time and so on.

4. Increase Employee Satisfaction

Scheduling and handling time-off requests are an important part of maintaining a satisfied workforce. When employee satisfaction increases, issues such as turnover may decrease. With automated systems, it is possible to quickly review, approve, and address absence requests and manage planned absences to minimise their effect on your business.

5. Reduce Errors

When the onus of responsibility rests with humans, there is always a chance of human error, which can lead to lost time and increased discrepancies. Our Time and Attendance Softwarereduces the risk of human error and ensures an easy, impartial and orderly approach in addressing specific needs without any confusion.

6. Softworks Self-Service Mobile App

Easily turn your administrative nightmare of managing employee time & attendance into a dream come true with Softworks new self-service app. Believe it or not, our mobile app is not a trick. It is simply another treat we have for you, so what are you waiting for?

Get a Free Demo Today!

If you are interested in learning more about Softworks and want to avoid all the tricks and horrors this Halloween, contact us today. With over 25 years’ experience, we have a great story to share!

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Workforce Management

Managing Employee Time & Attendance? There's an App for that...

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Tue, Oct 4, 2016

If you find managing employee time, attendance and absences an administrative nightmare you are gonna love Softworks new app :)  Our Time & Attendance app allows employees to record their own time, attendance, absences and check work schedules via their smart phones/tablets from wherever they are. The app even includes their GPS location!  

With employees entering their own requests and managers signing off via email alerts it couldn't be easier to manage employee time and attendance. Wave goodbye to re keying data and a mountain of emails and phone calls!

With Softworks Time & Attendance Mobile App Employees can:

  • Clock In or Out (with GPS location) - Perfect for today's mobile workforce.
  • View clocking history.
  • Check flexi balance (if applicable). 
  • Book a holiday/vacation.
  • View current balances.
  • Check work schedules/rosters.
  • Update employee details.
  • Request absences including; training, sick leave, maternity, paternity, study and much more...
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If you would like a quick demo of our new app, we would be delighted to show you around and get your feedback - Just fill in your details via this link and we will be in touch.


Topics: Time & Attendance, Flexible Working, Automated Absence Management, Mobile App