Thursday, November 29, 2012

Using Attendance as a Yardstick for Staff’s Attributes

When all else failed, employees would always resort to fake MC. Word of advice to employer: Let the staff have their designated leaves, the commitment will eventually follow 
(or we could hope so) 
During my primary school years, I judged absent students. A part of it was jealousy; another was suspicion. It was the consequence of my mum disapproval on any of my attempt to skip school. Worse still, my school presented an award for a student who excelled in attendance. I had never received such award but there were some special students who were given extra vitamins by their parents and never missed school for the whole year, who did receive that coveted honor. And my mum wouldn’t fail to give me a snide remark to remind me the importance of attendance, “One thing you never got, an attendance reward. If only you were a bit stronger,” she used to say, much to my distaste.  She was right, as always, attendance does show a whole lot about yourself than you are ready to admit.

Not only was attendance a priority in school, later in life we learned that the priority on attendance has never shifted at the work place as well.

Why such priority is placed on attendance? It is apparently the fundamental performance indicator for every person or employee in a company. The logic is simple, what could be accomplished when an employee is out of work. Not much, isn’t it? Every employee is given a number of leave per year to indulge in their preferred activities so how could we explain the absenteeism and tardiness? Negative attributes, most definitely. And the fact that the employees are not motivated to be at work.

In contrast, attendance record could be used to gauge the positive attributes of employees.  The preferred trait a company could hope for from an employee is accountability. Without it, executing any plans either short or long term, could be a climb. And a success of any plan depends heavily on teamwork, which any one fails to turn up would cause the entire team’s instability; hence interrupt the entire schedule drawn up earlier.

One could argue that attendance is not as important as the capability of an employee. Some mediocre employee could be present 365 days throughout the year but not contributing much as well. But again, imagine what could be accomplished if a dedicated employee is always present and motivated to contribute for the company. A whole lot I would say. The fact that he/she puts effort to be present, the commitment level is there for the company.

Attendance also indicates self-control in an employee. It doesn’t matter how you might feel on a personal level but when work is concerned, you attend and be professional.

When I was in college in the 90s, I hated a few courses that were mandatory. My option was always to skip. Instead, I copied the notes from my friends who went. (Yes, you guessed it: my mum didn’t know about this) At the end of the semester I managed to obtain a B- but I could simply get at least an A- if I had cared enough to drag myself to class. See, attendance stresses the importance of learning. You can’t be absent and understand the learning process thoroughly. The point is, everyday is a learning process at work and absence takes away that part, which is an unappealing trait.  

After all is said and done, the bottom line of a business is revenue. When calls are not made as scheduled, when emails are not replied on time, when meetings are cancelled due to absenteeism, the company’s total revenue could suffer.

If you think attendance is not as important, think again. And when your company has a way to value attendance in dollars and cents, everything will make sense eventually. 

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Crossing the "Cloud" When We Get to It

Very soon, we are about to step into into the unknown territory. We’re at the verge of venturing into the cloud platform of business where the priority has shifted from physical hardware to intangible products. And where intangibility is concerned, the quality service level must be second to none. Once a customer places an order online, delivery and support are of utmost importance. Everything happens in real-time and there’s very little margin for error. It’s absolutely different in terms of handling its operations.  It challenges your reaction time, and your capability as a company, as a brand, and as a team.

TimeTec Cloud business rides on a subscription-bases, where a customer signs up, purchases a subscription plan, and begins the subscription.  As simple as it sounds, to ensure the fluidity of its operation is the complete opposite. We have gone to hell and back to confirm that the flow is unflawed, making sure that our resellers are as excited as we are and that we’d be able to match the needs of our customers at anytime. Loopholes if any, are just too risky to not rectify immediately, and the cloud-centricity of the design must be prevalent to ensure the customer’s user-friendliness experience.

I’ve been in this business for more than 12 years dealing with hardware and software applications; to prepare the team for the cloud business platform is far from being a walk in the park. They need to grasp the understanding of a cloud business nature to be able to deliver customer’s expectancies. They have to be on their toes to handle instant customer’s enquiries/complaints/requests for support, and so on. The lead-time expected in any online business is almost instantaneous; the tolerance level of the customer’s close to zero.

Despite the concerns we have, the cloud computing technology gets us excited as it brings biometrics and attendance to another level. Cloud is the future; cloud is where we want to be. TimeTec Cloud redefines the possibilities in a workforce management software; it further emphasizes the advantages of biometrics system for SMEs.  Get round-the-clock consolidated data accessibility, accurate report analysis, and seamless integration with 3rd party application, all with your TimeTec scalable investment. 

Get started with a TimeTec Trial account and begin to understand the advantages and benefits of using a cloud-based workforce management for your company!

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are Smart Phones Taking Over The World?

The outside view at one of the flagship stores in London during the launch of the iPhone 5

iPhone 5 was launched in the USA, London, Japan and many other advanced countries sometime last week, driving enthusiasts to line up a week before to get their hands on the latest Apple product post-Steve-Jobs. It doesn’t matter how many iPhones you own; what matters is, you drool for the new one even though the differences are not that apparent. What is it about iPhones and smart phones that make people go ga-ga over them? Endless possibilities; so to speak. (Although it does end when you have no memory left on your phone, oh wait, they offer iCloud, so yes.. endless possibilities is the correct term)

My husband was in London when the iPhone 5 launched, the queue was very long and some had queued for 7 days.  

Not much difference, yet they are worlds apart 
Smart phones reinvented phones to not just be about calls and SMS anymore. Smart phones open up possibilities for people to reconnect with other people in the planet, to discharge time, to do work, to enjoy creative products, to learn new things, to snap photos of your food at all times, and the list goes on. The latest trend, which has been happening in much-advanced countries, is to turn your smart phones into your new wallet. Scan your phone and voila! You can pay for coffee, groceries, electrical items; you name it. Smartphones are not accessories anymore; they have become a part of us, attached to us at all times. We check on our children less than we check on our smartphones.

The trend is here to stay. While some claim they could live without their smartphones, majority of owners would be in a state of panic if their smartphones were not in sight.

Banking on the trend, FingerTec introduces TimeTec Mobile, an application that knows where you are, enables you to report attendance while online or offline, without you having to convince anybody of your whereabouts. The data then is processed in TimeTec Web at the main office for the human resource department as well as for payroll. How cool is that? All you need to do is to configure your phone and check-in through your phone whenever you are stationed to work outside of the office. The GPS coordinate and your time will be recorded accurately in the system.
Find out more about TimeTec Mobile, click here  
See, smartphones are about possibilities and TimeTec Mobile is just one of the apps that could better our lifestyle and businesses without having to invest much in it.

Now, I’m looking at my iPhone 4s and trying to convince myself that it’s enough that I have iOS 6 installed. The fact of the matter is, it is still not iPhone 5. Damn you, Apple!
by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

Monday, September 3, 2012

Logo Design: Trivial Much?

The Towers: Taken by yours truly while in the car in Kuala Lumpur

There was a big hoo-hah leading to the Malaysia Independence Day last Friday. From the logo to the song to the tagline introduced, all had received constant mockery by Malaysians, online and offline. The logo, designed by a phantom so-called designer, didn’t reflect the work of a professional and failed to carry the spirit of the nation’s 55th year of Independence. Some equated the work to homework of a primary student who has just learned to use PowerPoint presentation in the 90s. The elements of the logo were not cohesive and even worse; an explanation about every element was offered in a table below the logo. To me, it was hilarious for a country that spends so much time talking about the development of ICT, our vision and mission to be a developed nation supposedly 8 years from now, to accept such level of work for a national level event. I reckon the designer and the people in charge were not even aware that this is year 2012 and that we have left 1992 twenty years ago.

Malaysian netizens from the world over came together in protest of this ridiculous logo designed for this auspicious day, forcing the government to drop the adoption of this logo totally. Many designers offered their alternative designs of the logo and not surprisingly, many are capable of producing far more artistic and memorable logos for the day.

These same designers were offended by the notion that logo design is trivial, and was treated as an “anybody-can-do” type of task. According to them, designing a logo involves a lot of creativity, as it has to be precise, compact, appealing and mesmerizing, and at the same time, be symbolic and reflective of a deeper meaning. A logo is an emblem of a brand, so to speak.

Apple does not use any alphabets in their logo, yet it grabs wide attention from its consumer market, so much so that people feel proud of owning an Apple-branded device. Mercedez has a three-pointed star inside a circle and when your car key also has that, it means something nice; simple yet so powerful.

When it comes to designing a logo, the question would be what kind of perception do we want to transpire from the logo.

TimeTec Web Implementation Made Easy with T-Box

FingerTec introduced its T-box recently and we are proud to present our newly designed logo for the product. The T symbolizes the TimeTec Web which centralizes the data in one place, and this T-box makes TimeTec Web deployment easy with preconfigured settings. What do you think about this logo?

T-box Logo

Malaysia marked its 55th year of Independence last Friday with great celebration from morning till night. Everyone was proud to raise our Jalur Gemilang and we sang praises to our nation’s heroes. But this young country needs to do so much more for the challenging future. One thing to note though, self-praise and narcissism is counter-productive, impolite, and gets you no where - let the praise come from others. And in this Facebook era, don’t post something and Like it yourself. If you’ve posted it up for others to see, then you might as well let them be the judge of it.

I wish my country a prosperous year ahead and we should open to change for the better.

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ