Why Automated Attendance Systems are better than Manual Attendance System

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Whether you are leading a physical or virtual team, a attendance tracker can be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.  There was a time when managing presence was easy. Employees all came to the same office and stood on the same easy-to-manage time clock. And except for the rare occasion that they worked all day long in one place. Then, at the end of the week, HR would collect this attendance information and magically turn it into a paycheck.

Were things better then? Who knows, right? Every era brings its own difficulties, and comparing them is a waste of time.  But one thing is certain - simple attendance management is a thing of the past. Today's business world is far too complex for simplified solutions to attendance problems. Fortunately, using an employee attendance application of one type or another can help you keep up.

In the following sections we'll take a look at X common attendance management problems and how time tracking software can help solve them.

Attendance management: A central function of the human resources department
Managing employee attendance is one of the most important daily tasks of your HR department. The term attendance management means more or less what it sounds like, but it has several different components. It refers to the systems that a company uses to record employees' hours and help management maximize the value of their work. These systems record when, where and how long employees work in a given time frame.

Understanding the complex functions associated with time tracking will show why attendance management software is a necessity in today's workplace. Attendance management software records sick leave, paid time off (PTO) and vacation. Communication with payroll departments is another important part of attendance management. It is used to accurately calculate working hours and helps to analyze labor costs. Finally, attendance management also includes monitoring the punctuality of your employees.

Knowing all this should make it very clear why attendance management systems are so important. People are the most important asset of a company. Therefore it is an HR necessity to know where they are and what they are doing at all times.

As you can see, managing attendance presents a number of difficult challenges. And this applies regardless of the size of your company.  Due to the highly competitive nature of a globalized market, time tracking is a top priority.

A brief history of attendance management

Companies have used a number of very different methods to manage employee hours.

Here is a brief summary of the evolving way in which HR departments have tracked this critical information:

Time recording with pen and paper

It is possible to track the presence of employees by simply using a piece of paper or a notebook. With this system, supervisors or employees themselves can write down the number of hours worked. This information is then used to create the payroll.

This is the simplest form of time recording, but has many significant disadvantages. For example, there is the possibility that timesheets may be lost or be illegible. It is also difficult to get the information contained in the time sheets in paper form to where it is needed. Perhaps most importantly, written timesheets leave far too much room for costly time theft by employees.

The old, (unreliable) time clock

The old-fashioned time clock is the image most people have of employee time recording. And although today there are time clocks based on clouds, the procedure is similar to that of the so-called "good old days". Although these cloud-based time clocks offer more convenience than older versions, they retain certain limitations.

You can take certain preventive measures, but a time clock alone leaves gaps in your presence management system. First, installation and maintenance can be quite costly. They also allow time theft manoeuvres such as long lunches and buddy punching.

Use a spreadsheet as proof of attendance

With the advent of the digital age, companies began to use spreadsheet technology to track attendance. Although spreadsheets were an improvement over older methods, they still suffered from analog problems. For example, employers had to enter hours manually. This resulted in a lot of wasted time. In addition, spreadsheets often require complicated formulas to calculate hours and wages correctly.

Software for attendance management

The next step in the development of time recording is a software for attendance management. These are essentially cloud-based platforms that can be set up to automate tracking and payroll processes. They can be used by employers and employees or a combination of both. The ability to automatically calculate paid time off is another useful feature.

In addition, some tracking software offers seamless integration with your company's payroll system. Subject to manager approval, the information in the employee attendance application is automatically transferred to the payroll system. Then the employees' wages and taxes are calculated with perfect accuracy.

All in all, time management software offers the best solution for employers and employees alike. It allows managers to concentrate on the actual management of their departments. This alone brings considerable advantages. Add to this the reduced time employees spend arguing about their hours and you will see why time management software is worth considering.

Contemporary problems in attendance management

Adequate attendance management is more important today than ever before. The reasons for this are almost obvious. First, the high quality of your industry competitors makes efficient time management an absolute must. The growing size of today's average company is another important factor. Second, the mobility of the current workforce makes inefficiency and time theft all the more likely. And finally, the predominance of virtual teams poses challenges to time management that require increasingly complex solutions.

In the following sections, we will describe some of the most common problems in time tracking. In parallel to these discussions, we will tell you how time management can help.

Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is a constant problem for HR departments in every industrial sector. It is also one for which HR employees must find creative ways to solve it. Poor employee attendance can lead to the following negative results:

  • The quality of work suffers when employees do not appear where they should be
  • Effective teamwork becomes incredibly difficult with the gaps created by poor employee attendance
  • Morale tends to decline when absenteeism becomes pervasive
  • Resentment between team members and frequently occurring conflicts
  • Productivity and profits decline without adequate staffing levels throughout

A quick look at this list will remind you what you already know - absence is a big problem. The first prerequisite for dealing with absenteeism is to establish a detailed attendance policy. If this is available, automatic time recording will provide you with all the information you need to apply and enforce it.

Identify and remedy inefficiencies

Employees who do not show up for work are not the only time management problem you face. In fact, many companies have holes in their overall attendance management system to fill. These problems vary from company to company, but most of them depend on a sub-optimal distribution of resources. In other words, problems often arise when employees are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This can lead to costly inefficiencies, especially if they remain uncontrolled. Fortunately, with advanced time tracking software or attendance tracking systems, you can perform detailed work analysis to pinpoint and eliminate these inefficiencies. Then you can use them to put your employees where they can work most effectively.

Hold employees accountable

Without good attendance management it is difficult to hold employees accountable for their work and performance. You can also be caught unawares if employees take liberties with company time. In addition, poor attendance management can prevent you from identifying opportunities for cost effective reallocation of tasks.

An attendance tracking system addresses these issues in several ways. First, advanced platforms are equipped with GPS and biometric technology to ensure that everyone is where they need to be. They can also provide real-time work analysis. By using these tools to track the whereabouts of employees, you can address every stage of the accountability issue.

The challenge of time management in virtual teams

One of the greatest challenges of participation arises in the context of a virtual team.  As you know, the purpose of virtual teams is high-octane collaboration. Unfortunately, this level of collaboration is often difficult to achieve. There are many reasons for these difficulties, but a high percentage of them are due to poor coordination and attendance problems. This is where the software for employee attendance comes in.

The right employee presence software helps to ensure that the right people work together at critical times. This will help you in your coordination efforts and facilitate clear communication. All in all, time tracking software can help you achieve what virtual teams are designed for.

Virtual teams are quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Despite their inherent difficulties, virtual teams offer advantages that your company cannot ignore. This is why good time management systems are so important for your success in a virtual economy.

Solve attendance problems with an attendance tracker and move forward

The need for high quality attendance management will continue to grow as the economy expands in more and more parts of the world. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Choosing the right tool depends on the changing needs of your business, but a combination of vigilance and open-mindedness is a sure-fire way to keep up.

The time tracking technology available today will give your business a huge boost in many important areas. In fact, it's contributing to teamwork, efficiency and productivity in all areas. Only time will tell what challenges time tracking will pose in the future, but two things are certain - HR will have to face these challenges, and time tracking software will be the tool it uses to do so.

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