It’s an old adage, but it’s spot-on. Time is money. Many of us work to live – essentially by selling our time. And just like everything to do with money in any commercial or contractual arrangement the less ambiguity the better – for all concerned. Payer or payee, business or customer, employer or employee – keeping things simple and, importantly, accurate, saves time and makes for fewer questions or potential disagreements.
For many in the workplace time literally equates to money. How many hours someone works in a shift, a day, a week or a month has a direct effect on what they get paid. Even many salaried workers (who get paid for the job they do – whether or not they go beyond their 35 or 38 hours a week), clock-in at work or use time and attendance systems.
There are many benefits to utilising time and attendance systems in the workplace.
So, What Are The Benefits of Time and Attendance Systems?
Monitoring an employee’s timekeeping can have a direct influence on many things – negative or positive – for the employee. Unreliable timekeeping over an extended period of time may damage the employee’s promotion prospects or even lead to counselling or a warning. Conversely, the opposite may tell an employer about the extra hours and employee is putting in, or perhaps alert the employer to the need to deploy more resources in a particular area.
But it’s not all about being draconian and rolling back the years to whip cracking Dickensian factory owners.
Different Systems to Track Attendance and Timekeeping
It’s not just clocking-in machines these days. The familiar image of a wall attachment near the entrance to office or factory with a set of punch cards next to it… well it’s often a bit more sophisticated than that now.
A number of electronic timekeeping and attendance systems – various software apps or cloud-based solutions – now dominate the market, meaning the clunky old clocking-in machine has, for many, been confined to history. The modernisation of this business asset means far less admin time and a significantly shorter paper trail. There are many things to factor in when considering attendance and time monitoring software and systems.
Employer Advantages to Time and Attendance Systems
Having accurate information about workforce attendance and timekeeping habits is invaluable on many levels. Firstly, an organisation will, in the starkest terms, see whether the collective hours their workforce puts in matches what is being paid in wages. That can be taken further to a departmental or individual level if necessary.
Are certain departments more productive – hours-wise – than others? Is an individual, or maybe a group within a department, absent more than the average?
Overall reporting and tracking trends are invaluable tools in identifying potential issues within a business. Why have people in Department S taken off 40% more time than people in Department T in the last six months? They do very similar work. Is there another dynamic at play in Department S?
Effectively aligned to a company’s payroll system, a time and attendance system has a significant two-pronged benefit in terms of 1) saving time, and 2) ensuring accuracy. The knock-on effect will be a more productive and engaged payroll department and fewer payroll mistakes. And less paperwork.
A good time and attendance system will monitor and ultimately reduce ‘time theft’ – something a staggering 80% of employees in service industries and retail admitted to in a recent survey. Cutting time theft will impact positively on productivity and ultimately, profitability.
An effective system will cut out ambiguity – for everyone. No more exaggerated or understated claims by employees about the hours they do or don’t ‘put in.’
Employee Benefits of Time and Attendance Systems
An effective time and attendance system proves an employee’s record. It can also act as a self-monitor of sorts – providing the employee an opportunity to identify and address poor timekeeping prior to potential formal intervention. Being able to regulate their time effectively will help to develop a structure for some employees.
Transparent or easy-to-check records can provide evidence in any dispute that may arise out of resentment regarding perceived attendance or work rates amongst employees.
Linked to their employer’s payroll system will also mean employees can track holiday and leave entitlements. With some systems employees will also be able to see how much time they spend on different areas of their work, thus enabling more effective future time planning.
Time and Attendance Systems Work Well For All Parties
The benefits of time and attendance systems to both employer and employee are numerous. They’re a simple but easily (and often) overlooked management tool that works well for everyone by cutting out any ambiguity. Accurate timekeeping and attendance records also provide a valuable tool to help businesses with planning and allocating of resources.
Time is money, and as in any financial transaction, the respective parties will feel and function better if the value of that transaction is based on accurate information.