When it comes to workforce management, advancements in technology have vastly improved the way we do things. New and innovative technologies are making processes more efficient. They are also saving business owners lots of money when they’re used effectively. An area that has improved extensively over recent years thanks to technology is time and attendance solutions. Your staff is likely your most expensive resource. It makes sense to ensure that you are managing them effectively. Time and attendance solutions make this possible, and can even automate most of the process for you.
What are Time and Attendance Solutions?
Time and attendance solutions help employers track and manage the time worked by their employees. They typically involve a clocking in and out system, so that employers can verify employee start and finish times. With advancements in technology, these systems have gotten much more advanced. They can help with the management of mobile workforces through geofencing and GPS tracking. Again, thanks to technology, time and attendance solutions can be integrated with payroll and billing software. This is a huge benefit when it comes to workforce management.
There is an array of time and attendance solutions to choose from. However, not every one of them will be a good fit for your business. Each business has unique business needs, and their time and attendance solutions need to fulfill them in a seamless manner. Far too often, businesses blindly choose software, without evaluating whether it can solve their issues. This ends up costing them time and money, rather than saving it. Before we break down the considerations you should make before choosing a solution, let’s go through the different types.
Types of Time and Attendance Solutions for your Business
Today, there are several different types of time and attendance solutions. Here’s a breakdown of the most commonly used across the market.
We all remember the traditional system of punching in and out of our shifts, right? Well, timecards are essentially the same process, with digital improvements. Employees have a physical card, that they swipe at the beginning and ending of each shift. While it helps automate time tracking, it is susceptible to time fraud. Employees can simply swipe each other’s cards, which is a form of buddy punching.
Proximity cards, badges or fobs
If you want to eliminate timecards, there are other options in the form of cards, badges or fobs. Essentially, businesses use readers that can scan identifying objects from a certain distance. While these can of course be used for clocking in and out, they can also be used to track employee movements within the workplace, or at particular job sites. Similar to timecards though, there is no stopping employees from simply swapping badges/fobs in order to engage in time fraud.
Biometric time and attendance solutions are quite possibly one of the most secure options for any business. Unlike timecards and proximity cards, biometric time clocks track time and attendance using facial recognition, fingerprints, eye scanning or other biological identifiers. These identifiers are unique to each employee, meaning time fraud and buddy punching are no longer an issue. While these time and attendance solutions cost a bit more upfront, they generally help you save money in the long run.
Web Based Login
As we mentioned before, advancements in technology mean that time and attendance solutions can help manage mobile or remote workforces. This is where web-based logins come in. These systems allow employees to clock in and out from their personal devices, no matter where they are. While Celayix offers a wide range of time and attendance solutions, our mobile app makes web-based logins easy for both employees, and employers. Employers can also create geofences, which only allow employees to check in/out once within a pre-defined area. This further prevents time fraud from employees who may attempt to check in before they have arrived on site for their shift.
Interactive Voice Response
Finally, we have another time and attendance solution for remote or mobile workforces. Interactive voice response systems allow employees to clock in via phone call. Generally, employees can clock in and out, start and end breaks, and even enter time off requests through IVR systems. They are prompted to enter their company and employee ID, and the system records the time stamp. Generally, these systems are also vulnerable to time fraud, as employees can simply share and swap Employee IDs, which the system cannot verify.
You may be wondering why we refer so often to whether a time and attendance solution is susceptible to time fraud or not. Well, according to the American Payroll Association, time theft costs companies up to 7% of their annual payroll. That means, for every $100,000 spent on payroll, $ 7000 of that is lost to time fraud. Choosing a system that can help minimize and even avoid time fraud can make all of the difference for your organization. With that, lets break down the other considerations that should be made when choosing a time and attendance solution.
Things to Consider when choosing a Time and Attendance Solution
So, you have many options to choose from when assessing time and attendance systems. This makes making the right decision a little bit harder. Depending on your industry and unique business needs, here are some things to consider.
Multi-location time tracking
If you run a security company, or a home healthcare agency, it can be very tedious keeping track of employees at multiple different locations. If this is something that you struggle with, be sure to choose a time and attendance solution that can cater to multiple locations. Ideally, using one with web-based login or interactive voice control, your costs won’t rise as you add more locations. Unlike timecard or biometric readers, a physical clock in device is not needed at your multiple locations. Employees can simply use their own personal devices to clock in and out of shifts, regardless of location.
Building on from the last point, managing a mobile workforce makes it easier for employees to engage in time theft by clocking in early, or clocking out late regardless of their location. A security guard for example might clock in 10 minutes before he actually arrives on site, and might wait until he gets home to clock out. All of these infractions add up pretty quickly when it comes to payroll. By using a time and attendance solution that offers geofencing or GPS tracking, you are ensuring that employees only get paid for the time they actually work.
Integration with Employee Scheduling
Regardless of how you currently schedule your employees, choosing a time and attendance solution that also offers employee scheduling tools will streamline the entire process. Taking Celayix for example, employers can create schedules, distribute them to employees, manage PTO, and more within one system. We also offer a tool called attendance matching, which gives you accurate information around what your employees were scheduled to work vs. What they actually worked. This can help with reporting and reducing labor costs. Using one system for both employee scheduling and tracking attendance also makes managing billing and payroll much easier, and reduces the chance of error.
Integration and automation
Speaking of billing and payroll, be sure to choose a system that integrates smoothly with other existing systems you have in place. Can the system feed information to your billing and payroll provider through an API? Can it export that data in a way that suits those providers? Also consider whatever HR programs you have in place.
Reporting and Ease of Use
Do you know how much absenteeism, sick calls and overtime your employees are racking up? You should. Choosing a time and attendance solution that makes finding this information easy, allows you to adapt your processes to reduce these issues, and monitor them effectively. You might be surprised how much time and money you can save by diving into time and attendance reports and using them to make business decisions.
Essentially, you want to make sure that you are choosing a time and attendance solution that makes your life easier. Reducing errors, saving time and eliminating unnecessary costs should also be a given with any system you choose. With improvements in technology, you are spoiled for choice.
Celayix has been offering time and attendance solutions for over 20 years, which we tailor to fit your unique business needs. We offer mobile/web-based check ins through our mobile app, which also allows employees to view their schedule which reduces the likelihood of missed shifts. Our time and attendance solution paired with our best in breed employee scheduling makes workforce management a walk in the park. If you want to hear more about our solutions, reach out to Solutions Advisor here to see a custom demo, or possibly start a free trial.