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Need to implement employee scheduling and timekeeping software? Not sure where to start?

To reap the greatest benefit, it’s best to follow a formal plan. We can help you. Scheduling and timekeeping software is our specialty.

Here’s the process:

  1. Get approval
  2. Research systems
  3. Choose an implementation manager
  4. Choose the software/hardware
  5. Follow the rollout plan
  6. Be an HR superstar

Now we’ll get into the details.

1. Get Approval for New Scheduling and Timekeeping Software

Make sure you get formal approval from the necessary decision makers. Follow your company’s approval process. For example, you may have to submit a form. If you need to convince your boss: New Time Tracking Software Will Transform Your Business will help.

2. Research Employee Timekeeping and Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling and timekeeping software comes in many flavors. For basic functions and small employee teams, there are free or inexpensive timekeeping apps you can download right now.

At the other extreme are advanced HRIS (human resource information system) or HRMS (human resource management system). These systems do every scheduling/timekeeping task you can think of. And plenty more you’ve never imagined.

Before you get any further, check your current HR software. It may have timekeeping and scheduling tools you can add.

Make a list of the features that are important. Here are some popular features:

  • Schedule templates
  • Drag-and-drop schedule building
  • Mobile app with GPS
  • Time off requests
  • Biometric time clock
  • PTO tracking
  • Meals/breaks tracking
  • Schedule enforcement
  • Employee shift swapping
  • Overtime alerts
  • Compliance tracking
  • Multi-location scheduling
  • Online time card approval
  • Employee self-service
  • Payroll import

This post: 8 Must-Have Time Tracking Tools describes tools for specific industries.

Existing Software?

Does it need to integrate with existing software? This is important to figure out before proceeding. Check with your software vendors to see which systems they support.

Cloud-Based or Premise-Based?

Your budget will have the greatest bearing on this decision. Custom enterprise software is expensive. Most SMBs use cloud-based software for a variety of reasons.

The majority of cloud-based software providers use a monthly subscription-type plan. You pay per employee. This might be combined with a monthly minimum charge. If they charge an upfront fee, it’s usually nominal. Most don’t require a long-term commitment.

There are advantages to cloud-based software. You don’t have to house the software on your company servers. Your provider handles updates and security. Most providers provide tech support. You probably won’t need any help from your IT team. This post describes the advantages of cloud computing at length.

Most plans are elastic—they scale up and down with the size of your workforce. And you won’t outgrow the software. If you have seasonal employees, cloud-based software is your best choice.

3. Choose an Implementation Manager

Choose an implementation manager (IM). Your IM is responsible to make sure each team transitions successfully.

If your company has many departments, your IM may need their own team. Your vendor can help your IM develop a plan and schedule for the rollout.

4. Choose Your Employee Scheduling and Timekeeping Software

When you’ve performed your due diligence, choose your software. If your provider offers set up support, take advantage of it. Learn the system. It shouldn’t take long. Modern systems are intuitive. They work like software you are already using.

5. Follow Your Implementation Plan

Your IM will create a roadmap for implementation. As mentioned previously, your software vendor should be able to help. If they don’t provide in-person support, ask them if they have an online knowledge base.

Communicate the Benefits to Your Team

Your IM should start with managers. If managers can prepare their team members, they will be more likely to get on board.

Train Managers

Ideally, all of your managers will commit to the new system and learn it quickly. Even if your staff is tech-savvy, make sure your managers train thoroughly. Review your timekeeping and scheduling policies as part of this training. It might be helpful for each manager to start with the newest employee. When the newest employee understands how to use the system, it’s a good sign the training is effective.

Managers Train Their Teams

It’s natural for employees to worry that a new timekeeping system could impact their pay. They might be hesitant because they think it will be a hassle.

This explains how to motivate your employees to use automated time tracking if they haven’t used it before: Inspire Your Employees To Use Automated Time Tracking.

Make sure your managers explain the increased transparency and convenience. Employees love self-service HR. With a mobile app, they can access information day or night. Describe in detail how the new system will solve their most annoying problems. This might be shift-swapping, time off requests, or time card submission.

Transition in Stages

If your business has numerous departments, tackle it in stages. Once one team has transitioned to the new functions, you will have solved any unexpected snags. Then you can prevent them going forward.

For the first few weeks or months, remind employees to use the system. It may take a while for everyone to get in the habit.

Expect Some Resistance

If you have remote or mobile workers who will be GPS tracked for the first time, expect some blowback. Employees who are used to plenty of autonomy may balk at the increased oversight.

Remember, you have every right to verify that your employees are working when and where they are supposed to.

Explain that accountability is a two-way street. They might feel micro-managed, but tracking time to the minute benefits them when they clock out a half hour late.

Automated timekeeping allows managers to reward employees who are punctual. It will also help you avoid shift coverage gaps. This benefits everyone—especially your customer service team.

You need accurate timekeeping data to bill clients. It’s necessary to allocate resources to projects.

Be Available to Answer Questions

Make sure your IM is available to answer questions about the new software. This shows that you are sensitive to your employees’ concerns and are dedicated to resolving problems.

But don’t make the new system optional. Some companies have failed to transition to a new system because they got so much resistance they eventually gave up. Persevere. It will be worth it.

Reducing labor costs, simplifying admin, and improving productivity will benefit everyone. Don’t let employee resistance sink the rollout.

SwipeClock Employee Scheduling and Timekeeping Solutions

We are dedicated to your success. Talk to a SwipeClock partner to help you select and implement a scheduling and timekeeping solution for your company.

By Liz Strikwerda