A Guide to Choosing Time Attendance System of the 21st Century
Human Resource is one of the many integral parts of Enterprise Resource Planning of an organization, and Time Attendance is an important part of Human Resource. Choosing the right Time and Attendance solution can benefit an organization not only in terms of cost but it also can present the workforce with better working experience, which in turn is able to produce better workforce engagement and collaboration. Managing workforce in the 21st century presents a different sets of challenges to the managers. Today’s employees are more mobile than ever and they are connected like never before, making work location no longer a vital element in the mix. Staff discipline is not only defined by 9-5 period, rather many companies have started to recognize the need for time flexibility. And in the world that moves fast, instant access to data is definitely second to none. So how do organizations react to the change in the workforce dynamic? Time attendance indeed is an important system for a company to help manage its growing workforce day-in and day-out, all year long.
This article will present 20 important elements you should look out for when choosing a good time attendance system for your company. Do not take any of them for granted because when a company grows, its requirements follow, and investing in a system that cannot cope with future changes is a waste. Let’s look at the 20 points.
1. Clocking Versatility - The Time Attendance System of choice must be versatile and inclusive. This means that the system must allow users to clock-in according to their preferences so long as the data received is correct and accurate without any possibility of abuse. Having only one option for the staffs to choose from, for example, a biometrics fingerprint device or a card device installed at the office to clock in attendance is not entirely wrong but it would cause inconvenience to some employees that need to work elsewhere such as attending meeting at a client’s office in the morning, those who are traveling abroad or some staffs who are working from home. The time attendance system must cater to all employees at any given situations, because only then the data received would be inclusive and conclusive.
2. Realtime - The Time Attendance System you choose must be able to produce data in real time and accessible from anywhere at anytime because in this day and age, waiting makes people restless, and it is no longer tolerated. The system must not be fixed its access to a location, such as the office only and it has to be accessible by authorized personnel in the time of need.
3. Affordable & Scalable - A good choice of Time Attendance System must be affordable, sustainable and scalable. Buying a software as a one-off purchase might sound amazing at the moment, but can the system stands the growing demand of the business and the company in years to come. Hence, whenever your company is considering purchasing or committing to a Time Attendance System, please make sure that it is not overly-priced, whereby your company can sustain it comfortably over a long period of time, and that you can scale the usage depending on your company’s demand without having to fork out a fortune to get more.
4. Schedule & Roster - The Time Attendance System that you choose must let managers set schedules and rosters as seamlessly as possible. It needs to be flexible and cater to the various requirements of a company and it can be set up in a short period time, and translated into each staff’s roster without any hassle. The schedule feature of the system also must be able to handle changes made to the schedule instantaneously and be reflected in the system almost immediately to guarantee smooth operation.
5. Job Cost - Job costing lets you track employee time by task, to ensure they are prioritizing their work and focusing on the right tasks. Some companies do not require this feature but as time progresses, more and more companies are looking into job cost feature in the effort to be cost effective.
6. Approval System - Overtime is costly and most companies would like to control and monitor the overtime taken by the employees in their effort to manage operation cost. This is where the approval system comes in handy. The overtime request can come before or after the fact, and with this approval system available in the solution, it’ll make it easier for a company to trace and control overtime.
7. Integrability - In choosing a Time Attendance System, it is important to note on its integrability. The fact is, each company usually has invested in various solutions beforehand, and changing of one solution must not demand a change in another. Hence, it is important that the system be able to integrate the likes of payroll, employee leave, accounting, or HR software to ensure accuracy between programs and save on time and labor in the payroll department.
8. Effective User Management - A Time Attendance System handles employees, and therefore it makes User Management module a huge part of the system. In choosing a good system, the User Management module must be practical, and comprehensive. Keying employee data one by one is not acceptable; addition, transfer & deletion have to be easily done, and the system must have sufficient fields to contain employee details for the company.
9. Multi-Access - Access rights are different from one role to another. From super admin to admin to user to billing admin, all have different access to information in the system. In short, a great choice of Time Attendance system must be equipped with access controls limit on what information certain roles can view and access to.
10. Multi-Company - This feature is a must-have if your organization has multi-branch and multi-company. The Time Attendance System of choice must have organization chart structure to determine the position of the companies/branches or staff under those entities.
11. Mobile App - Choosing a Time Attendance System that does not have its App is rather risky in this modern age. Staff mobility is growing and mobile App is a tool for staff to report their whereabouts with convenience. It is especially important if you have people working out of the office, abroad, working from home, working at different sites and mobile all day.
12. Cloud-Based - Do not get turn off by the term cloud-based thinking that it would be costly. There are plenty cloud-based system out there that are affordable and have great features. The reason cloud-based should be a preferred choice because apart from providing accessibility to data at all times, its backup capabilities ensure data does not get lost, and data cannot be manipulated by unauthorised individuals. On top, maintenance and support are at the lowest when cloud-based solution is concerned.
13. Compliance - There are two types of compliance a Time Attendance System has to meet, one is labor law compliance and another is data protection act compliance. Identify all the compliance you need to adhere to and make sure that the system of choice has a mechanism to comply.
14. Data Analysis - Data is information in raw or unorganized form that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects. Data alone cannot do your company any good with analysing it and finding solutions to your organization’s problematic areas. As such, a good Time Attendance System must have performance and productivity tracking mechanism that could help your business identifies problems and areas to improve.
15. Calculation - A good Time Attendance System can automate the process and the calculations based on the given formula and rules. The rounding rules of times has to be available to ensure consistent recording of time. These rules let you round to the nearest time grouping, such as five minutes, or to the beginning or end of a shift, such as when someone clocks in early. And the rules are determined by the company. At the end of the month or the payroll cycle, every data and calculation has to be churned correctly for easier and hassle-free integration.
16. Notification - This is an important feature for a good Time Attendance System. These alerts work to notify managers when employees miss a clock-in or clock-out or are absent, late or approaching overtime, so remedial actions can be taken immediately to nip the problems in the bud.
17. Report - Report is a requisite in Time Attendance System of choice. A system that can provide a variety of useful reports should be your preference. Reports that include an overview of hours worked, time-off requests and other stats help you monitor your staff and identify labor shortages or excesses to improve your scheduling.
18. Data Transparency - Conventional Time Attendance System gives the advantages to the employer and the employees are in no position to check or audit their own data. However, a good Time Attendance System of the future has to be able to give this advantage to employees in one way or another, and make necessary edit or changes whenever required.
19. Monitoring Tool - Every employee has a different work rate and a different portfolio to attend to. Thus, a good Time Attendance System has to be able to provide monitoring tools that can be used to identify the performance of your employees. You should be allowed to monitor on certain areas and be notified accordingly for possible remedial actions. Areas to monitor should be on the employees’ clock-in time, short work hours and etc.
20. Support - In any system, good technical support and service is a MUST. Opt for Time Attendance System that offers you support around the clock, with ample of guides and information available online so you’ll be able to get help at any time.
Managing workforce in the 21st century is challenging due to the changing elements in the workforce itself such as the growing need of mobility at work, the need to be flexible in work time and location for some talents, incorporation of work life balance for the millennials, the need to be transparent, and etc. Therefore, this modern era requires more than just a basic Time Attendance System that can clocks time in and time out. The quest for the 21st century Time Attendance System is a system that not only will save you money, but also a system that could improve your workforce efficiency and productivity effortlessly.