At Advanced, we believe that time and attendance has a huge part to play in helping businesses make their future workplace successful and remain connected with their people, no matter where they choose to work from. It’s no secret that over the past couple of years, workforces have become ever more widespread and alongside the wider shift to hybrid working, organisations across all sectors are keen to understand how best to stay connected with their teams and offer a sense of continuity between remote and office based staff – that’s where time and attendance comes in.
We appreciate that the search for any new system or technology can be a time consuming and stressful process. There’s a wide range of solutions out there and sometimes, cutting through the noise and avoiding getting distracted by bells and whistles can be easier said than done.
Why do you need a time and attendance system?
The requirement for a time and attendance system is simple, If you find that tracking working hours, keeping on top of absences or running an accurate payroll is causing you headaches on a regular basis, then that’s a clear case for digital transformation of your T&A processes.
The ability to effectively track hours worked, reducing wage processing errors and boosting overall productivity sounds like the ultimate dream for business leaders, an effective time and attendance solution can enable you to achieve this and much more.
Time and attendance solutions allow employees to clock in via a variety of means such as key cards and fobs or biometrics such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition technology. These can be tied into access control solutions to provide an element of security but most importantly, they provide organisations with a clear understanding of where and when your people are working.
The wider shift to hybrid working has seen the value of time and attendance systems for businesses sky rocket as organisations become increasingly aware of the need to reconcile the hours worked by their remote or office based staff.. Comprehensive time and attendance solutions already offer the ability for employees to clock in remotely via mobile or tablet devices. Traditionally used to supplement the requirements of off site workers such as logistics drivers, this mobile functionality looks set to play a key role in helping businesses stay connected and aware of the working patterns of their people, even when they aren’t tied to an office location.
Creating a culture of trust
Organisations across all sectors are beginning to see the value of time and attendance systems as a way of freeing their people from the rigid working structures of old. With proper visibility of hours worked, you are free to empower your people to take charge of their schedules, crafting a working pattern which suits them.
This has become increasingly apparent with the wider shift to remote and hybrid working models. Pre-pandemic, remote working was viewed less than favourably by many organisations who will have held the belief that it was impossible to achieve the same level of productivity working from home when compared to being in the office. Home workers were also traditionally seen as less committed to the business, impacting their chances at promotion or upward movement within organisations.
Time and attendance solutions are ideally placed to bridge the gap between remote and office based teams and to help dispel some of the traditional anxieties which businesses may have experience regarding remote working.
Some of the benefits of digital transformation of your time and attendance processes include:
- Self service functionality- allow your people to take charge of their schedules, their absence requests and clocking. Comprehensive time and attendance solutions allow your people to clock in remotely from a tablet or mobile device, meaning they stay connected with the heart of the business wherever they are working from.
- Engender trust in your people by allowing them to take charge of managing their schedule. With visibility of hours worked, you have the freedom to allow employees to craft their own set up.
- Keep your people connected with the organisation via a comprehensive employee portal. Give your employees access to a one stop shop for all their time and attendance needs. Allow them to clock in and out, make absence requests and view holiday allowances and payslips, all on an easy to use platform.
- Keep on top of complex payroll calculations by ensuring that you always have oversight and instant access to hours worked by your employees and any overtime worked. An effective time and attendance solution feeds in seamlessly with your pay process, ensuring accuracy, every single time.
Time and Attendance that frees your HR teams.
The role of HR teams has for the longest time been seen as heavily admin based- from handling matters of employee development and discipline to processing leave requests and matters of sickness, it’s clear that your HR people are dealing with a myriad of responsibilities when quite frankly their time could be better spent elsewhere.
Moving forward, it’s clear that the function of HR is evolving. Over the course of the pandemic, HR teams have become even more closely entwined with exec level business planning, with their expertise and insight forming a core part of organisational strategies for business continuity. As businesses across the globe look towards the future and a move back towards a sense of normality, they are understandably keen to continue to leverage the expertise of their people teams in order to help them drive forward their productivity and profitability.
What this means in short is that HR teams cannot afford to go back to the old way of working where they are bogged down with vast amounts of admin tasks. As businesses look towards the future, they need to assess the systems they have in place currently and evaluate if they are able to support their HR teams as they pivot into these new responsibilities.
A comprehensive time and attendance has the potential to free your HR people to fully achieve the new scope of their role:
- Less time spent on admin around absence requests as individual employees would have visibility of their allowances and the status of any requests.
- Anomalies or patterns of continued lateness in clocking are quickly identified meaning less time spent combing through manual time sheets.
- Information is instantaneously collated and fed through to pay teams, meaning you have the confidence to pay your people accurately and swiftly without losing hours within the working week making manual checks.
Shift management made simple
The role of a shift running manager can be extremely hectic. Fast-paced environments such as within the manufacturing and distribution sector often operate 24 hours a day and when work doesn’t sleep, neither do the problems that come along with it. Shift running managers have to ensure they have the right people in place to cover all hours of the working day. Errors and gaps can arise in all sorts of areas, particularly when employees take unplanned absences or swap shifts. While individual instances of either may not seem so troublesome, things have a way of stacking up and businesses can soon find themselves soon swamped by the impact of unplanned absence.
Shift managers need visibility of their people- of their hours worked, of sickness absences and of leave requests booked. They need to know which qualifications or training they need to account for when a given employee is away from the business, they need the advanced knowledge and the agility to be able to adapt to any disruptions to the schedule.
For businesses who rely on being up and running 24 hours a day, the ability to keep track of the hours worked by your people and to remain agile to the potential impact of absences, will be absolutely critical in ensuring a sense of business continuity and smooth operations. Having a comprehensive overview of hours worked arms you with the information you need in order to successfully manage a range of shift patterns, as well as ensuring you always have the right people in key positions, no matter the time.
What to look for in a Time and Attendance solution
Diving into the world of time and attendance solutions may seem like a daunting task initially. Systems vary in complexity and for many organisations, it can often be difficult to see the wood for the trees when it comes to identifying their key requirements. We believe in making the process as painless as possible and that regardless of which industry your organisation operates in, there are some key factors you should take into consideration when sourcing a new solution:
- On premise or cloud – it is important to understand which hosting solution is most appropriate for your organisation. Cloud based services reduce pressure on bandwidth and do away with the need for hefty servers, whereas some organisations may prefer on premise due to specific security requirements.
- Integration with other systems – Time and attendance solutions exist to make your life easier and one of the best ways they can achieve this is by working sympathetically alongside your existing systems and processes. When sourcing a solution, assess your current setup, what systems does T&A need to work alongside? Are you looking for an individual product or a comprehensive suite?
- Accessibility – How are your employees accessing the system? How are they clocking in? Ensure the way your people are using the system is sympathetic to the way in which your business works. Depending on your specific requirements, biometrics, remote clocking or key cards and fobs may be the best solution. The needs of your business take precedence over perceived functionality- for example, in hands on, practical driven work, facial recognition will be preferable over fingerprint scanners, due to built up dirt on worker’s hands. Invest in a solution that is capable of integrating with any of these- you may not need them all now, but recent times have demonstrated just how quickly requirements can change.
- How will it be administered – What is the end goal of time and attendance for your business? Who will take charge of managing the overall system? Give your people the freedom to take charge of their own working schedules and absence requests but also ensure that your HR teams have the power to tackle head on, specific challenges they are facing. A self service portal and the ability for employees to clock in remotely, frees your HR team from the burden of repetitive admin requests.
- How will it support your future growth – Systems aren’t designed to be used in isolation. The metrics you can gather from your time and attendance solution can greatly assist you in developing your ongoing strategy. Use the freedom it grants your people and HR teams to help your organisation transition into the new way of working. Consider how any time and attendance solution can integrate with other areas of the HR function. It is far better to opt for a system which is modular in nature and can work in lockstep with payroll and HR systems as a single platform.
- Ease of use – When looking at handing over control of aspects of scheduling to your people, it’s important to ensure that any system you have in place is easy to use and clearly understandable across your organisation. Don’t mistake complexity for superiority.
- Integration – Ask hard questions of suppliers with regards to integration. No matter how comprehensive a system appears to be, a shoddy integration process can make or break the effectiveness of a system within your organisation. If a supplier can’t offer a satisfactory roadmap for installation and integration of solutions- walk away.
- Proactive alerts – The more comprehensive solutions can offer instantaneous push notifications for anomalies around clocking as well as pushing through updates around sicknesses or planned absences. This allows businesses to be agile when accounting for absences as they need not fear being caught off guard.
At Advanced, we believe that time and attendance systems have the power to not only free your HR teams from admin headaches and manual based processes, but to also free your organisation wholesale from rigid working structures. We believe in empowering your people and giving them the tools they need to thrive and help drive forward the success that your organisation deserves.
Our time and attendance solution offers organisations the unmatched ability to gain operational control and support for the day to day management of their workforce. Our analytics suite means the information you need to take control of your business is always at your fingertips and our market-leading self service functionality means that your employees can take ownership of their schedules, freeing your HR teams from the burden of admin heavy tasks.
If you would like to find out more about how our time and attendance solution can help unlock the power of your people, our global team are here for you.