Time and Attendance Management: Best Implementation Strategies for Your Organisation
WorkForce Software helps organisations streamlined the time and attendance management process.
Most organisations can undoubtedly benefit from better time and attendance management, regardless of size or field. However, there are some challenges that accompany those improvements. Employees need to feel that their privacy is being protected, and the system is being used for their benefit.
Each organisation will have unique personnel needs and specific requirements. It’s easy to determine whether your company could benefit from these programs with a few simple questions:
- Can your existing system handle complex labour laws, pay rules and current contract agreements? Not all programs are sophisticated or agile enough to navigate these compliance issues.
- Is this system providing a positive experience for your employees? Your chosen platform should be a benefit to your workers, enabling them to clock-in, maintain visibility of their records and communicate with management on any complications with attendance.
- Is your system making your organisation more efficient, or less efficient? If it requires extensive administrative involvement, or doesn’t provide accurate time capture, your time and attendance program could be costing your business more than it is benefitting.
Once these questions are answered, evaluate time and attendance software that can help streamline and automate the process. Not only does it minimise work hours for evaluation, but with proper transparency, the kind of fairness and accuracy that every time and attendance management system needs can be provided.
Revisit Data and Processes
The first step to improving time and attendance management is identifying the areas most in need of improvement. The most obvious aspect would be shift change when large numbers of employees are clocking in/out at the same time. But that’s just one of many potential data points. Documentation can entail hundreds of employees and years of attendance in some cases.
Identifying trends and key data points amid all of that can be extremely time-consuming, and often lacks efficiency. A software solution can gather and organise data on time and attendance for each employee, as well as audit attendance rules and determine where issues are most likely to occur. That includes systemic inefficiencies where slow information flow may be causing problems and DIY solutions that may have been used as workarounds. An effective time and management solution can then be more readily integrated into your process.
As powerful as automation is, it’s not a magic solution, and can sometimes present a whole new set of challenges. The key to any management system is to know when to use a manual process versus automation for a task. As a general rule, repetitive and tedious tasks should be automated, or at least supported by analytics and AI. With accurate data in hand and a good sense of where a system could use improvement, planning can take place to implement the right system for an organisation.
Once areas of improvement have been identified, then alignment of specific rosters and attendance times with the company’s overall plan can be solidified. Goals can be defined with realistic expectations, and measurable milestones laid out to chart progress.
Next, establish grounded key performance indicators (KPIs) — such as increased productivity or lowering costs — and have a solid idea of the time and resources it will take to achieve each goal. Subsequent planning and execution are apt to be much more effective.
With expectations defined, have a discussion with your employees, including topics about policies and procedures for time off requests, attendance monitoring, rewards and disciplinary action and compliance information regarding applicable state and federal laws.
In addition to standard methods of conveying company-wide information — such as all-hands meetings, emails and handouts — pay particular attention to in-the-moment feedback provided by employees and any opportunity to be transparent. Staff will need access to any information they require and have the opportunity to share input on system specifics. This should be an ongoing process in order for your employees to have a say in identifying problems and course-correction for moving forward.
Employees may have insight on potential trouble spots on their end. The important takeaway, though, is that you are providing employees the opportunity to contribute to the system which increases a sense of ownership and loyalty to the company. That, in turn, increases employee engagement and improves satisfaction of employee experience overall.
Promote Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is important for employee loyalty and retention, and especially important to sectors such as manufacturing and healthcare that depend upon skilled and experienced workers. A loyal employee who knows how the organisation operates means cost savings in recruitment, hiring, training and retention.
Time and attendance management systems can help promote work-life balance by limiting overtime — and how you implement the system makes all the difference. Overtime causes problems when it comes to tracking time and attendance. It adds a lot of irregularity to hours and days and creates payroll issues. Limiting overtime can encourage employees to finish their work on time and spend more time on things of personal importance. Not only does that promote a healthier work-life balance, but it helps reduce burnout and stress-related health issues — leading to fewer sick days and improved attendance overall.
Make it Accessible
Transparency and accessibility need to be integral parts of any organisation’s time and attendance management system. Dashboards and similar features allow employees to check timesheets, view paid time off and submit requests for vacation and sick days. Accessibility promotes trust with employees, reduces tardiness rates, increases productivity and the system functions more effectively.
Yet benefits go beyond accessibility. By allowing employees access to the system to perform individual tasks such as rostering, the entire process will be more complete and accurate. It’s believed that up to 80% of timesheets in the workforce must be corrected at some point. More importantly, by empowering employees to access information themselves unassisted, employee engagement increases and frees up time for the workforce to be more efficient. Employees can also bypass going to Human Resources managers or immediate supervisors to get the information required.
Here again, automation can help. By streamlining the system and ensuring that employees have transparency and access, the process becomes more accurate and less time-consuming. That’s where the right software can help. The accuracy and ease of use with these programs easily improve manual efforts, while saving work hours. That, in turn, can speed through important steps like payroll processing, and keeping better track of unusual entries and ensuring that pertinent legal guidelines are closely followed. The time saved on manual input doesn’t come at the cost of efficiency and the freed resources can be used to better tackle other challenges. Best of all, it provides the accessibility employees need to engage in the process themselves.
Historically, technological advancements have had a profound effect on the business world, and time and attendance management software is no different. Technology allows for improved analytics and data management, while centralised information access provides universal access and greater levels of control. Time compliance and payroll processing can be integrated as well, providing a balanced software ecosystem that benefits both employer and employee.
Similar features provide additional benefits in terms of effectively managing the system’s features and in providing workers with access and control over pertinent information. Digital timesheet capture features can ensure accurate payroll without leakage or overpayment, which impacts your bottom line and ensures that the employee can view and account for all aspects of their paycheck.
The specifics for what organisations should look for in a digital time and attendance management software package will likely vary depending on the organisation’s needs. However, a few common time and attendance management features have broad applications across almost all industries such as:
- Tracking accruals to make it easy for HR managers to handle individual requests.
- Transparency and accessibility so that employees can find the information they need and contribute to the system’s success.
- Streamlined efficiency, particularly payroll and benefits.
- Automation and flexibility combined. Automated features can make analysing and collating data easier, which a good system will balance with human oversight and control.
- Integration features to work in conjunction with other software your organisation uses.
- Non-compliance risk features to ensure that your system meets the legal and contractual requirements for the system.
The Workforce Suite — A Modern Experience
The Workforce Suite has dedicated features that make it easier than ever to run an effective time and attendance management system. You can readily comply with all pertinent regulations while simplifying the process of updating the system when new regulations occur. Integration and adjustments can be made for complementary programs and benefits, while the time and attendance management features help the entire organisation feel more invested in the process.
Automated analysis allows organisations to quickly spot problems with payroll leakage and other impediments to the bottom line, helping to tighten accounting books and reduce labour costs. Payroll and Human Resources systems can integrate seamlessly, meaning they can be used in tandem with the rest of the organisation’s software ecosystem. Employees benefit from transparency and access to their timesheets with accessibility from any device. Other benefits include:
- Promote fairness and eliminate the potential for grievances or litigation with automated and consistent application of time-off and attendance policies
- Enforce approval workflows based on time-off type and other qualifying criteria
- Validate requests before submission against projected time-off balances that account for planned usage, accrual rules and status changes
- Track and manage attendance point- or occurrence-based systems with transparency and automated communication when thresholds are approaching
Best of all, the Workforce Suite can be tailored to match the individual needs of your organisation and allows for accessibility anywhere, from any device. If you’re looking for an elegant, yet effective solution to manage your organisation’s time and attendance, get in touch with the WorkForce Software team today and discover how the WorkForce Suite can transform and streamline your time and attendance processes.
WorkForce Software has partnered with accredited workplace relations specialists FCB Workplace Law to look further into the most important recent developments in HR and workplace relations in Australia.
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