What is Time and Attendance?
Time and attendance is an area of workforce management that collects data of when employees start and stop their work days, and the department where their work takes place. This is done through a system that collects the data either manually or automatically through the use of many different types of time and attendance equipment. Additional areas of time and attendance include:
- Break Times
- Meal Times
- Job Duties
- Departmental Productivity
- Vacation Time
- Jury Duty
- Compensation Time
- Sick Days
Importance of Employee Time and Attendance
Employee time and attendance is an integral part of the workplace as it allows for better workforce management. Time and attendance management allows Human Resources to know who is present or absent for their shifts, and is necessary for collecting information for payroll. If an employee is absent for a shift, time and attendance systems let HR staff plan accordingly if a replacement is need. Time and attendance management is needed to avoid any discrepancies in this information.
Time and Attendance Management
Manual Systems : Manual time and attendance systems require skilled HR staff to manually log employee hours and attendance. This is the case when paper punch cards and punch machines are used to track employee time and attendance. This manual logging of information takes several days of work in order to properly add up all hours for accurate input of payroll data and can leave more room for error in calculating employee wages.
Automated Systems: Automated time and attendance systems are much more accurate and require less time for logging data for payroll. These systems use a variety of tracking methods including magnetic stripe cards, barcode tags, electronic tags, touch screens and biometrics. Employees then use these devices to identify themselves and log their working hours at the start and end of each shift. Once this happens, the information is often automatically uploaded into the HR computer system. Some systems may need a staff member to transfer the data from the clock-in devices into the computer system through the use of a memory stick or portable hard drive. Once all of this information is entered into the computer, the data can be used to generate time sheets which are used to determine employee payroll information. Automated time and attendance management lowers the risk of error in calculating employee payroll information, as well as allow HR personnel to spend their time on other tasks.
Benefits of Workforce Time and Attendance
Accurate Collection of Data: There are many benefits to using workforce time and attendance solutions, one of which is a more accurate collection of employee data. Time and attendance management allows HR personnel to log employee hours and attendance with more ease and accuracy which in turn allows for proper logging of payroll information. Automated time and attendance systems reduce the risk for error that is more prominent in manual systems and businesses that do not use a time and attendance system.
Employee Accountability: Workforce time and attendance ensures that your employees are present for their shifts and accountable for the work that they are doing. With these systems you can see which employees are present and absent as well as what their specific departments and duties are. This also means that it is easier to monitor departmental and employee productivity levels.
Decrease in Time Theft: A great benefit of time and attendance management is the reduced instances of time theft in the workplace. With time and attendance management and HR staff can monitor employee clock-in and clock-out times, break times, shift changes and more. This means that it will be harder for employees to commit acts of time theft such as overextending break times, time card fraud and buddy punching. With the use of biometric devices in conjunction with your time and attendance software, this risk of time theft can be eliminated completely.
Multitude of Tracking Methods: Not every business or workplace is the same. Larger businesses and corporations will function differently than a smaller private business. No matter what kind of workplace you are managing, time and attendance systems are available in a wide variety of methods. You can choose everything from swipe card systems to biometric devices. So depending on your company’s budget, the number of employees you manage and the size of your physical workplace, you are guaranteed to find a time and attendance system that works for your business.