The Importance of Attendance Tracking
For Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), their employees are often their biggest asset, and also their biggest expense. So when employees miss work for long stretches of time – possibly due to injury, illness or mental health concerns – their absence can have serious effects on company performance. Absenteeism can lead to reduced productivity, lower grade goods or services because of understaffing or overtime fatigue, safety issues resulting from inadequately trained employees to fill the void, and even poor morale from employees who had to do extra work. To really understand what these effects are, and the costs associated with them, it is important to have an employee attendance tracking system in place.
What is an attendance tracking system?
An attendance tracking system manages and monitors employee attendance by tracking their actual working hours, absences, time off, breaks, login & logout time. There are many types of attendance management systems but not all provide equal results. For the smooth functioning of HR process, you need to look for an effective attendance management system that includes the following features:
- Clocking in and out – the most obvious and important feature. Options can include card readers, PIN numbers and biometric scanners.
- Flexible employee scheduling – the software should allow you to create and manage multiple schedules and rosters. It should also come equipped with features that alert you of any tardy or AWOL employees .
- Leave Management – a missed day shouldn’t automatically register as “absent”; instead, the employee should be alerted to apply for leave or make any special attendance requests (such as half-day).
- Payroll Integration – assuming your payroll process has been automated, your time and attendance module should also be able to integrate seamlessly into your payroll functionality. It can provide accurate attendance data for the payroll cycle that can be used to rapidly and accurately calculate salary and other benefits. Without a full HRMS in place, there is the possibility that data will be lost between steps from timekeeping to payroll.
- Mobile – these days, an organisation’s workforce is much more likely to be scattered, with some employees working in the field, from home, or elsewhere. A mobile version of your time and attendance software should allow employees to clock in through their mobile devices.
- Centralized Data – the ability to view your company’s entire attendance log in one place and track all your employees’ attendance & leave activity from that spot.
- Reporting – your time and attendance software should be able to provide tailored reports and analytics using the system’s data and offer insights into hours worked, shift patterns, and so on with a view to constantly improving productivity.
Benefits of Employee Attendance Tracking
It sounds a bit “Big Brother-ish”, and a lot like micromanaging but really, it’s not. And it has benefits for both the company and the employee. It is beneficial for the employers because of improved time recording, and it’s beneficial for the employee as it guarantees that they are paid properly. And it’s beneficial to everyone with improved transparency. Read on to see even more benefits of Employee Attendance Tracking:
- Prevents Pay Errors – ensures employees get paid in full and on time, and that no one skips a week of pay or gets overpaid when they are taking unpaid time off. Proper software should also simplify the creation of reports. The right reports and the correct information regarding employee leaves and absences will ensure that there are no pay errors.
- Helps Managers Understand the Financial Impact of Absences – reports providing information such as the average number of consecutive sick days taken, and the average duration and cost of employee absences helps managers create more effective budgets and plans for their business operations.
- Boosts Employee Attendance – when people know that there is a reliable employee tracking system in place, and they know that they can request leave, vacation time or a half day to take their child to the doctor’s, they are less stressed. Hence, they are less prone to burnouts and sick leaves.
- Information to Make Better Hiring and Scheduling Decisions – productivity depends on the availability of real-time attendance data. A realistic view of productivity levels allows better hiring and scheduling in departments. Further, a big picture analysis identifies trends that may reveal payroll savings.
- Prevent Buddy Punching and Other Time Theft – time theft can include everything from taking a longer lunch than allotted or clocking in for a friend when they’re late to work, otherwise known as “buddy punching.” Whether intentional or not, time theft is costly, and automated time and attendance systems prevent it altogether.
- Managers Can Identify Potential Attendance Issues – a primary reason an employer tracks attendance is to find out whether there are any issues that need to be addressed. Effective attendance tracking reveals trends that can help managers make the proper business decisions. Beyond taking scheduled time off, an employee’s adherence to arrival, leaving and break times is essential to ensuring work hours are not being abused. It is important to monitor planned and unplanned absences, as well as enforcing attendance policies.
- Easily Tracks Remote Workers – with a flexible cloud-based time tracking feature, employers can easily track the working hours of employees working from anywhere. They can also enable GPS tracking for location monitoring.
- Keeps Employees Informed – Employees are always asking, “ how much time off do I have left?”, or “have I used all my sick days?” Good time and attendance software will allow them to access that information on their own at any time. Seeing their records might help them see how well they’re utilizing their time at work. Seeing how much time is spent on particular projects or at certain sites could help them eliminate inefficiencies.
- Provides Proof for a Wage and Hour Audit or Lawsuit – It pays to always be prepared. If you have a claim filed against you, accurate attendance tracking of employee hours and time off will support your argument against it. Also, if you have a difficult employee, having a history that they can see laid out in front of them makes it easier to correct their behaviour, or terminate them if need be.
- Makes it Easier to Schedule Vacations – Having a centralized place where vacation schedules are posted helps ensure employees get their preferred dates, and gives managers advanced notice to prepare for planned absences and monitor the amount of vacation time each employee takes.
Effective employee attendance tracking is an important part of getting the most out of your employees and your company – no matter what the size. And it is to the benefit of both you and your staff. At Time Well Scheduled, we would be happy to help you implement the right system for your company and its specific needs.