How a Time & Attendance System Benefits Your Staff
It’s a fact of life that to remain competitive, companies have to employ Time and Attendance Systems to reduce HR administration and increase productivity. However, since it’s your staff who will be clocking in via these systems, it’s important that they understand they will receive additional benefits by engaging with them. This article provides advice to highlight what employees gain from a Time & Attendance Solution, to ensure you use it to its full potential.
Early Time & Attendance Solutions, such as those using punch cards, were purely focused on recording working hours. Despite helping the business itself, they lacked any specific benefits for the majority of staff. However, times have changed. The advent of new technology means that it’s possible to have a solution which also assists your workforce in addition to your HR department. Modern Time and Attendance Systems now benefit your employees through factors such as:
- Employee empowerment
- Flexible working
Empowering your staff is a great way to involve them in any workplace process, giving them more control and responsibility. Modern clocking in terminals provide several ways to do this through Employee Self-Service. Firstly, they give terminal users the ability to monitor their working hours directly onscreen. This is particularly useful for employees working overtime, so they can see the number of additional hours accrued, or for staff on weekly hours recognising how many more they need to work.
Secondly, they give staff agency in the absence management process by enabling them to create absence requests, such as booking annual leave. Not only does this simplify the process by making it paperless, it also enables leave to be approved faster and eliminates data entry errors associated with manual processing.
Communication can be quite difficult in the workplace, especially for companies with a large number of employees without regular access to a PC. Even mobile phones can be impractical within certain organisations. This often leaves employers without a reliable method to contact staff and ensure they receive relevant announcements.
Time & Attendance Systems contain communications features, such as the ability to send and receive messages which can be seen directly on modern clocking in terminal screens, as well as on smartphones and computers. Some even have the ability to function as a virtual suggestions box and run employee questionnaires. This provides staff with the ability to be kept up to date, a way to communicate with managers and colleagues, and even a channel to provide feedback. The advantage of using such a system in this way is that since staff need to clock in and out every day, clocking terminals can function as a frequent communications touchpoint, without the cost of additional hardware.
Many people value flexible working, and the way that it improves the work/life balance. This can take the form of anything from flexitime to working at home, or annualised hours. Workers can request flexible working from an employer after being with them for six months. However, an organisation is much less likely to be able to accept such a request without adequate measures in place to offer these kinds of working practices without causing additional HR administration.
This issue is solved by modern Time and Attendance Systems, which provide visibility for workers both in the office and at home, whilst differentiating between the two. This means flexible working can often be a viable option, which offers your employees more freedom and responsibility (as well as a potential salary increase in real-terms if it reduces commuting).
By promoting fairness and organisational integrity across your organisation, you demonstrate to staff that equality is valued as part of its social climate. This means ensuring that company policies are adhered to by all levels of employees, with transparent systems in place to demonstrate it.
The advantage of a Time & Attendance System is that it provides a visible audit trail for many HR processes. Both employees and managers have to comply with timekeeping, as clocking in times are automatically logged within the system, and historic records are stored. Holiday requests are similarly logged, so everyone is dealt with on a first come, first served basis.
We’ve already mentioned the work/life balance, but there are other factors which can improve the wellness of your employees. Stress can have a major impact on both physical and mental health, and is often very hard to detect, especially amongst a larger workforce.
KPIs for attendance, such as the Bradford Factor, can be monitored through a Time and Attendance System. This can provide an advanced warning if an employee is experiencing stress, identified through absence patterns. You can then ensure that they are properly supported to prevent long-term absence. The same is true with other potentially harmful workforce behaviours such as overwork, or failing to take annual leave.
In order to maximise these workforce benefits, it’s critical to make sure that your staff are trained on how to use the relevant aspects of your Time & Attendance System, especially if it does more than just clocking in. Such systems are typically very intuitive and simple, but it’s still worth taking the time to demonstrate this to your employees. Otherwise, it’s possible they won’t know the full extent of the additional functions, and are far less likely to use them. This shouldn’t just be a one-off process either; it’s important to remind your staff about what your solution can do at regular intervals, and also to onboard new members.
If you take the time to do the above, there’s no reason why your staff shouldn’t get as much out of a modern Time and Attendance System as your HR Department. The right solution will fit seamlessly into all aspects of your organisation, improving the working lives of your staff in addition to your business operations.
Want to ensure you get the most out of a Time & Attendance System? Bodet’s solutions are designed from a user’s perspective so that they benefit your whole organisation, from your HR department, to managers and individual employees.