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Can Time Clocks Support Employee Well-Being?

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"Employee well-being" is a big umbrella term. Your company may be one of the thousands that have well-being programs. Programs that offer employees incentives to quit smoking or to exercise more. Well, you have another tool to help you contribute to employee well-being that you may not have considered: the time clock. 

 Time clocks can provide new opportunities for managers and HR personnel to connect with employees on an individual human level.  

The data collected at the time clock can reveal a lot of indicators of unacknowledged issues. When HR and managers understand what time clock data can help them get in front of potential issues, they can use it to better support employees. And we all know that employees who feel supported by their company are happier employees. 


Use Time Clock Data to Check-in with Employees 

The typical use of time clock data is to remediate behavior. If a worker consistently shows up late for work, documented by time clock data records, it’s time for a disciplinary meeting and remediation plan, right? 

Maybe not. 

Before meeting, you can take a closer to look at the employee's attendance data. You can look for patterns in the data and remain curious: 

  • Is the tardiness consistently on the same day? 
  • Does tardiness follow a specific shift where the employee worked over-time? 
  • Are there certain days that the employee is late? 
  • Could there be something challenging going on at home for the employee? 

Taking a broader look at the data can reveal patterns that might reflect a broader issue the employee is experiencing.  Instead of calling a meeting to remediate poor behavior, the meeting can be a check-in with the employee. The meeting can center around a discussion with the employee why they're late. Is the issue one the company can help them resolve?  

Are there scheduling changes that can be made without disrupting the needs of the business? As scheduling tools become more robust, accommodating nonconforming schedules becomes easier without burdening managers.  


Use Time Clock Utilization Data to Improve Employee Experience  

Your company can also use the time clock to avoid chronic tardiness in an interesting way. Psychologists researching why the chronically tardy are always late found an unexpected reason. They don't want to be early. 

In social situations, this can be chalked up to fear of looking too eager. For employees who don't get paid until they can clock in, they could be making an economic calculation. They might prefer arriving a bit late to arriving early where they're on site, but waiting through 10-15 minutes of unpaid time before they can clock in. 

Looking at time clock utilization data can help your company assess whether your time clock is creating an employee traffic jam to clock in. There are plenty of data patterns to check. Where are the outlier time clocks in terms of how heavily they're used? Could an additional time clock for another area of the workplace help the employees?  

An ongoing review of time clock utilization data can ensure that your time clock deployment is supporting employees manage their time, while also helping to protect your organization from being vulnerable to a wage and hour lawsuit. 


Approach Time Clocks with a New Mindset 

There are more opportunities to promote well-being in the data if you look closely. Use a time clock reporting tool to uncover the patterns. Are attendance issues greater under a certain manager or department? Maybe the manager needs a well-being check or it's time to have an open roundtable with a department. 

The attendance data is there. With a mind shift on how to use the time clock data to manage employees, managers can make it an employee support tool, rather than a disciplinary one. 

Does your company currently look at time clock data as an HR tool? If so, share how you use it below. If not, what attendance data would you like to use to improve employee well-being? 

Biometric Usage: Growing concerns over the privacy and security of biometrics are driving government regulations surrounding the definition of personal data and how to protect it. These regulations vary from country to country, state-to-state, and in some cases city by city. Most often the governing regulations are dictated based on the location where the information is being collected. It is important to understand the local regulations in the geographic areas in which you operate. If you are uncertain regarding your regulatory obligations, we encourage you to consult with your legal counsel.