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Time and Attendance

What is time and attendance?

Time and attendance, in the HR world, is the process of tracking employee work hours.

Time and attendance includes the following components:

  • Designing a time and attendance policy
  • Creating and publishing employee schedules
  • Recording shift start and end times (punch in and punch out)
  • Calculating employee hours, wages, and withholdings for payroll

Related processes include approving time cards, administering PTO, issuing paychecks, managing shift trades and enforcing time and attendance policies.

How does time and attendance influence an organization?

  • Good time and attendance administration helps businesses efficiently manage their workforce
  • Good time tracking saves on labor costs by preventing deliberate time theft, inadvertent mistakes, payroll errors or schedule confusion
  • Transparent and equitable time policies improve employee engagement
  • Accurate time tracking and reporting helps companies comply with federal, state and local wage and hour laws
  • Good time tracking improves productivity and provides analytics for ongoing labor optimization

What is the best way to manage employee time and attendance?

Modern cloud-based work tech automates time tracking. Unified hardware/software systems capture punches when your employees clock in and out. Your staff can clock in with a physical time clock or through an online web portal. Mobile and remote employees can clock in with an internet-connected device wherever they are working. These systems align time tracking with overall HR management.

What are the benefits of automated employee time tracking?

  1. Avoid payroll errors
  2. Reduce time spent managing labor
  3. Increase trust between employees and management
  4. Eliminate buddy punching
  5. Prevent missed punches
  6. Reduce labor expenses
  7. Improve oversight of mobile and offsite employees
  8. Speed up time card approvals
  9. Keep track of PTO requests
  10. Prevent double booking employees at two locations
  11. Reduce time spent creating employee schedules
  12. Track certifications and licenses
  13. Prevent shift coverage gaps
  14. Accommodate employee schedule preferences—improve work/life balance
  15. Comply with predictive scheduling laws
  16. Ease admin burden on managers with self-service shift trading
  17. Prevent employee burnout due to excessive overtime

How do you choose timekeeping work tech?

Choosing the right timekeeping system is a critical. Your system has a profound influence on culture, efficiency and productivity.

Here are recommendations from time and attendance specialists:

  1. Make sure it can accommodate your workforce now and scale for growth
  2. Take advantage of demos and free trials to evaluate ease-of-use
  3. Understand mobile features: location tracking, geofencing, location-based punch lockout
  4. Verify the quality and delivery method of vendor support
  5. Make sure it syncs with the right time clock(s) for your business
  6. Look for payroll integration capability to prevent manual data entry
  7. Schedule templates save time
  8. Research compliance tools
  9. Auto alerts improve workforce communication and oversight
  10. Insist on employee self-service and mobile access
  11. Consider tools for job codes, tip management, schedule enforcement, and certification tracking
  12. Consider COVID-19 needs: sanitary touchless time clocks; clock interfaces with COVID symptom prompts; clocks with thermal temperature detection

Efficient time and attendance supports business success

Accurately tracking employee time is a foundational process for every organization. Payroll depends on it. Project management depends on it. The process used to track time and attendance is integral to the employee experience. An inaccurate or confusing method wreaks havoc at all levels. A straightforward, uncomplicated, and transparent process creates a positive work culture and improves employee engagement.

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Additional resources

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