What Is Attendance Management and Why Do You Need It?
When employees give their best at work, they help their organization prosper. As such, companies implement attendance management systems to ensure that staff members maximize their potential. It is an excellent way to monitor your employees’ punctuality and performance. So, in this post, we’re going to discuss what attendance management is. We will also explain how your company can benefit from it.
What Is Attendance Management?
Attendance management is the process of tracking an employee’s work hours. It is any system that you use to record the time a worker clocks in and out. You can conduct attendance management by
- writing work hours on paper,
- typing billable time on spreadsheets,
- punching time cards, or
- using time tracking software.
Why Should You Manage Attendance?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), companies are required to use an attendance management system for their employees. There are regulations for timekeeping, but companies are free to choose any method they want. For instance, you can use attendance management software to ensure accuracy when calculating total billable hours. This option is ideal, especially if you are paying your employees by the hour. However, no matter what method you choose, you must be able to calculate the wages you own your workers. Moreover, you need to know if you need if they are logging in too much overtime.
Attendance management is also beneficial if you have salaried employees. It will allow you to see how often and how much these individuals are working. You can let them log the time they are working even when they are physically away from your business. This way, even if you don’t see them, you’re aware of how long they worked for you.
Punctuality is also an important factor in boosting an employee’s productivity. So, if you want to know whether your workers come on time, you should also have an attendance control system in place. This will help you determine if an employee tends to leave work early or show up late. Aside from that, monitoring attendance will also allow you to track the number of days off that an employee has used. If your company has policies for sick or vacation days, having this system can be useful.
What Are the Challenges of Attendance Management?
Usually, on the payroll cut-off date, the HR personnel must gather, compile, collate, and verify the workforce’s attendance details. The data gathered for an entire month can be humongous. As such, there’s always a possibility of human errors along the way. A faulty attendance management system may result in recording work hours inaccurately. If this happens, employees will naturally be dissatisfied. Here are some of the key challenges that companies may encounter with attendance management:
Time-consuming attendance registers – Maintaining attendance registers or punch cards, then calculating the total work hours—including overtime—can be time-consuming and taxing.
Human errors with attendance spreadsheets – When using Excel sheets for capturing attendance, there’s always the risk of encountering human errors. What’s more, maintaining and updating spreadsheets for every month or shift can take a lot of effort and time.
Expensive biometrics installation and maintenance – Let’s say you opt for swipe machines or biometric devices for attendance management. Well, this will entail purchasing and maintaining third-party hardware devices, internal wiring, servers, and IP networks.
A chaotic process with multiple attendance systems – For companies with several locations and a central HR hub, using different attendance systems can be chaotic. If one branch uses biometrics and another an Excel sheet, payroll processing can be a pain every month. The situation may require multiple checks and recalculations to ensure attendance accuracy.
Various Attendance Management Systems
Here are some ways you can set up an attendance management system:
You can print a timesheet template on a piece of paper or use a simple notebook. Your employees will write down the dates and hours they worked. While using paper won’t require you to set up anything, it still has some downsides. For instance, employees may log incorrect hours or the paper may get lost or damaged.
You also have the option to install a clock-in-clock-out device on your work premises. Your employees will punch their time whenever they arrive or leave the office. However, note that you need to invest in setting up and maintaining a time clock.
Another option would be to maintain a timekeeping spreadsheet. Employees will enter their work hours into the file. At the end of the payroll cut-off date, the HR personnel will use formulas to calculate the wages. Keep in mind that this option can also be prone to human errors.
A time tracker is an online attendance management system that makes everything convenient and easy. For instance, if you use Traqq, the tool will log the work hours automatically. All your employees need to do is install the lightweight app on their computers. Once they click Start, Traqq will record their billable hours. As a manager or an HR professional, you can go to the dashboard and create timesheet reports for individuals and entire teams.
It’s worth noting that Traqq is more than just an attendance management system. You can also use this tool to monitor and measure your employees’ productivity. Traqq will also monitor the websites visited by an employee and the apps that they use. On the dashboard, you will see which activities eat up the biggest chunks of their time. Moreover, you will see their activity levels based on their mouse clicks and scrolls, as well as their keyboard movements. This way, you will be able to identify common time wasters and ensure efficiency.
What Makes an Excellent Attendance Management System?
Over the past decade, technology has evolved quite rapidly, making our lives much easier. When it comes to recording employee attendance, various tools have become easily accessible. These days, you will find plenty of cloud-based apps and on-premise software that use advanced performance and schedule analytics. Here are some of the key features of a great attendance management system:
Clock-In and Clock-Out
Clocking in and out should be convenient for your employees. So, an attendance management program should have a simple log-in/log-out system. It can either be a magnetic card reader embedded in their ID or an app installed on their computer or phone.
Advanced attendance management systems will provide the data that your HR team needs to make payroll processing easier. The program should generate timesheet reports automatically, and they should be exportable to different file formats. For example, when you use Traqq, you can go to the dashboard and export the timesheet data into a CSV file.
Just because an employee does not show up for work, it does not mean that you will mark them as ‘absent’. If you have policies for emergency or sick leaves, your worker should be allowed to apply for a day off. So, your attendance management program should have a system for handling incidents like this in place.
Sometimes, employees rush to their desks when coming to the office and forget to clock in. Of course, discrepancies like this can affect a worker’s productivity data. So, a good attendance management program should allow you to manually edit the logged hours. Of course, it should alert managers or authorities right away if such an incident happens.
Advanced analytics allows managers to observe attendance and performance patterns among employees. If a worker regularly puts in extra hours without permission, the attendance app will show you the behavior. This way, you can prevent overtime abuse and unnecessary expenses. Moreover, advanced analytics will help you determine if there are habitually tardy employees.
There are plenty of attendance management systems available at your disposal. What’s important is that you choose a program or method that will make timesheet generation easy and convenient. In this case, we recommend that you use Traqq for recording your employees’ billable hours. As of this writing, you can download this tool and access all its features for free!