The Essentials: Time and Attendance at Work
Tracking time and attendance is always a frustration for managers, for payroll employees, and for the owners who have to manage their company. Why is it a frustration? If you don’t know already, there are numerous ways that some time-tracking systems fail. They can fail because of outdated methods that are flawed. They can also fail because employees might even be intentionally falsifying their attendance. To get a better idea of what kinds of problems can arise, let’s look at a few kinds of time and attendance tracking systems.
If you are still using paper of any kind to track time and attendance, forget it. Paper records are difficult to read, easy to falsify, and time-consuming to tally and transfer. Paper systems of any kind are a mess, and they are easy to falsify. Employees can change their times using paper and pencil. Or, if there is a punching machine, they can ask their friends to punch them in.
Computer-Based Time and Attendance Software
This system is better than using paper methods, but most time and attendance tracking software is still flawed. Most time and attendance software relies on a username and password for each employee. This has a couple of different problems. First of all, employees sometimes forget passwords. Depending on how the company is set up, this might mean a call to human resources, or it might mean a call to whoever provides your time and attendance tracking software. Whichever the case, this will be extra time that is wasted just trying to get the employee punched in.
Another problem with this type of time and attendance software is the potential for buddy punching. Co-worker friends will sometimes call their buddy who is already at work and ask the friend to punch them in. It’s not that hard. The friend who is running late only needs to give his friend his username and password. This practice results in paid-out wages that were never actually earned by the employee.
You might also have a company in which you need your employees to work off-site. If you rely on self-reporting, it’s easy for employees to run other errands while they’re working. It’s also easy for them to simply record their time inaccurately due to normal human errors. When you have a time-tracking system that uses biometric technology, you will know that they are at work. You also make it easier for your employees, as well.
In many companies, time and attendance can be a hassle to track. It doesn’t have to be as difficult, though. With up-to-date time-tracking software, you can greatly reduce the amount of time that you spend trying to figure out where your employees are and whether or not you need to pay them.
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