Time and Attendance Management 101: Save Your Company Money
Solid time and attendance management practices will save your company money. Full stop. The opposite is also true: Any company not engaging in rigorous time and attendance management practices is wasting money. This is a zero-sum game.
Maximize the benefits to your company's bottom line by covering this full suite of time and attendance practice areas:
Time Tracking Policies
How your company tracks time and what time it tracks is critical to avoid a bloated labor budget due to paying for time not worked. Manual time tracking is a non-starter. Employee time clocks that capture actual time worked in real time are the foundation for money-saving time tracking.
Requiring workers to clock in and out for every break, as well as the start and end of shift, creates a detailed record for payroll and compliance purposes; a record that can be audited to ensure workers aren't skipping or clocking in early from breaks. In some time and attendance systems, you can even use the time clock as a gatekeeper that prevents workers from clocking in early. You can use time tracking policies to delineate how your company ensures that it's only paying for time worked.
Record-keeping and compliance policies
The large catalogue of tax and labor laws, regulations and contracts that govern scheduling and payroll make it nearly inevitable that errors will happen. The Department of Labor even started a program in 2018 to help employers rectify wage and hour violations, including record-keeping violations, to avoid costly compliance penalties and potential litigation. It understands that many compliance and record-keeping errors occur in good faith. However, a company shouldn't rely on governmental benevolence to avoid fines and damage awards that go into the millions. The better risk mitigation approach is to define record-keeping policies that leverage new digital solutions and generate audit trails, making verification easy and manipulation of records difficult.
Scheduling and absence management policies
Scheduling policies cover both how schedules are created and communicated, as well as managing schedule adherence issues. Accurate forecasting translates into tightly managed schedules that don't rely on overstaffing or authorizing excessive overtime – both costly add-ons to your labor budget. It also enables managers to give workers fair notice of schedules, with few last-minute cancellations or call-ins, which can positively impact employee churn. Monitoring schedule adherence and implementing effective absence management policies minimizes the financial and operational impact of high absenteeism.
Data management policies
The hidden gem underlying the suite of time and attendance management policies is reliable, clean data. The time and attendance data collected through the time clocks needs to get shared to all the back-end systems that use it in a timely manner. The very fact that the time clock data becomes a single source of truth for all back-office systems supports the company-wide data integrity policies.
Payroll fraud avoidance policies
Fraudulent activities, like buddy punching, clocking in before actually starting to work, or extending hours unnecessarily into overtime, inflate labor costs. Setting up monitoring, auditing and resolution policies to identify and address payroll fraud committee goes a long way to discouraging payroll fraud from occurring and minimizes its impact when it does occur.
Using time and attendance management to discover untapped opportunities
Part of the upside of using time and attendance policies and solutions is the huge chunk of admin overhead it saves. Automating procedures saves effort hours of managers, HR staff, and payroll staff, just for starters. Reclaiming this effort time means it can repurposed towards higher value tasks like optimizing workforce management and human capital development.