As your business grows, it becomes more cumbersome to manage time cards for multiple employees. Time spend converting timesheets to payroll systems increases. Frustrations and mistakes arise. This can be exasperated when there are multiple locations to collect timesheet information from. However, there are 5 main things your HR or Payroll departments can do to better manage timesheets for multiple employees.
1. Track Absences Effectively & Accurately
One of the most important things you can do is to track absences efficiently. Absences should be visible to management daily. Delayed information means less-effective management. It means that the issues are not addressed quickly.
Timesheets must be compared to the master schedule. This is a very tedious process when manual timecards are in use. It often gets missed or skipped during busier periods, which can only compound the problems caused by absence.
Absence type should also be tracked. Software allows this to happen automatically through different codes. Some of the things that should be tracked are:
- Are employees out on vacation, sick leave, FMLA or for other reasons?
- Does sick leave use coincide with existing vacation leave?
- Is there a pattern of abuse?
- Does a particular employee call in sick when scheduled for certain hours or certain job responsibilities?
These are all questions that are difficult to answer with manual timekeeping and schedule creation.
However, these questions, trends, and patterns can be easily identified with a workforce management system. Managers and HR personnel can quickly see a broad overview of absences and identify trends and abuses. They can also look at individual employees and instances for a micro review.
Additionally, managers can quickly identify missed punches. Automated timekeeping provides notifications when an employee fails to log in for a shift. This allows managers to immediately identify if the employee simply missed a punching or if there is an empty shift that needs to be filled.
Data retention and security is vital. This is the case regardless of whether you are manually tracking employee time through written time cards, punch cards, or automatically clocking employees in through biometric time clocks.
Timesheet data should be kept and retained. The exact timeframe will differ based on your state, but a general rule of thumb is 3 years. This is important because timecard and payroll information are used for FMLA requests, unemployment benefit claims, and employment verification for employees applying for rentals or loans.
In addition, a growing number of cities and states are requiring retention of employee schedules, records of actual hours worked, and employee absences. Sick leave regulations require employer records to show sick leave accrual, use, and payment. FLSA requirements require employer documentation in the event of an employee claim of employment law violations.
All of these laws and regulations assume employer guilt if proper documentation is not kept and retained.
Furthermore, many of these same laws prescribe penalties if the documents are not secured. This becomes problematic for manual time cards as physical documents are lost far more frequently than electronic records. Consider the frequency to which documents are left on a desk while an employee runs to the copy room or the bathroom.
Conversely, electronic data can be automatically backed up, secured through encryption, and easily accessible to the right employees. Reports can be easily downloaded and stored locally.
3. Streamline Vacation Time
Can you name the employees who typically take more vacation days than average? Can you list the employees who fail to use their vacation days? (Also bad on productivity)
It doesn’t matter whether you front-load personal days at the beginning of the year or let them accumulate as the year goes on, tracking and managing vacations is vital.
When multiple employees request the same vacation days, how is that conflict resolved? Is it by seniority? What about first ask, first grant? Is it based on preferred days’ off by the employee? Or who got their preferred days off last time?
It’s important to make sure that you approve vacation time evenly and fairly or a discrimination lawsuit could be right around the corner. One vital step to avoiding this it to have and apply a policy around how vacation requests are submitted and approved.
But, managing those requests can be cumbersome. Mistakes can be rampant. This is another reason why many employers are turning to a workforce management system to manage and approve PTO requests.
4. Consider Employee Self-Service
Did you know that Human Resources staff lose hours a week in productivity due to interruptions? Many of these interruptions are caused by employee requests or updates that can be automatically updated through an employee portal. This includes W-2 withholding information, employee contact information, and emergency information.
Employees can access pay stubs and W2 documents directly, eliminating requests to HR. They can access their timesheets each day and quickly notice errors or missed punches. They can refer to historic pay records, timesheets, and PTO requests to answer questions.
Managers can publish information, schedules, and notices to employees electronically. This allows for off-site access. Employees can request time off and notify managers of emergency situations that require unscheduled absences.
All of this (and more) can be done through Employee Self Service Portals.
5. Automate the Data Transfer Between Time Tracking and Payroll
It takes a payroll professional an average of 10-15 minutes to input a manual timecard into the payroll system. That includes the time it takes to decipher handwriting and get answers to questions.
But it doesn’t have to take that long!
Managing timesheets for many employees doesn’t have to be difficult or cumbersome. Switching to automatic timekeeping with a payroll integration turns (on average) 4 hours of payroll data input into a 15-minute process. That’s a lot of time!
Converting to an automated timekeeping means that timesheet information is automatically uploaded to your payroll system. That makes payday processing a breeze!
Managing the timecards of many employees do not have to be difficult or time-consuming. With a few changes, you can manage to leave requests, PTO, absences, employee information
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last udpated on July 14, 2018