It is increasingly difficult for companies to monitor and plan time and attendance (T&A) in a way that reflects todays’ organisations. Difficulties with monitoring leads to gaps in staffing, and micromanaging affects staff morale. A poor T&A strategy also makes flexibility and self-reliance impossible for employees, which is bad news for everyone involved.
Some companies are still using clock-in card style systems to ensure employees are at work on time - has nobody asked the question ‘is there a better way to do this?’ Manual T&A processes are often used as they are viewed as accurate methods for ensuring staff compliance. Realistically, there are instances where colleagues may clock-in for work-friends who are late or absent, so these systems don’t actually work.
In a lot of cases, these systems only act as a timestamp of when employees are on/off the premises. Wouldn’t it be great if this information was connected to wider workforce management processes so that you have greater insight into your business operations? Basic time and attendance solutions require manual analysis before it can give any insight into an organisation’s workforce management.
The Modern Workforce Is Everywhere
The advantage of arranging T&A through electronic devices, is that they are highly mobile, as are many workers, from maintenance workers with varied shifts to office workers who can make use of flexi-time. Obviously not everyone works in an office, but this gets forgotten by businesses who have a bias based on their own experiences, which are completely at odds with the experience of construction workers; or mobile staff within their own business. A local council for example may use desktop systems in their offices, but on a building site (where a laptop might get damaged) or customer premises without accessible power points; the system fails. This is a reminder that a single methodology won’t suit everyone, unless it is planned with everyone in mind.
Luckily, computer systems can be accessed through smart phones, which are accessible in virtually every place of work. As well as logging the hours they work, mobile workers can show when one job starts or finishes as well as creating a record of the time it takes to commute between jobs; data that is essential for planning - a level of insight not possible using a traditional time and attendance solution.
An Engaged Workforce Is Created Through Trust
By giving employees the chance to log-in or set their schedule from anywhere and add notes around absences, trust and motivation are maintained. This is simpler than ever for staff who use a central software system to manage themselves. Staff feel empowered and with no manual analysis required, their mangers have more time to concentrate on the broader needs of the business. Data on staff gaps are automatically provided to managers, helping them to quickly and easily ensure business continuity.
Allowing staff to set their own schedules and manage their workload are key components of employee engagement. The trust that is built through empowering staff is directly felt in their work – motivated staff perform better.
Workforce Management Will Calculate Everything for You
Data is essential for planning staff effectively and applies to all kinds of workers, like traveling sales people and home-based workers. In all cases, trends can be identified around periods where productivity is low and answers found over what can be done to fix the problem. In retail, there are not only shifts to consider, but the many different break times through the day for a wide range of staff carrying out many different jobs; like in a large supermarket where enough people need to be available to assist customers at all times. This is an example of where trends can be identified using software to make sure demand is met, by pinpointing the busiest periods so breaks can be avoided at those times. Trying to monitor this manually is much harder, whereas using a system to collect this and process it automatically for you produces a clear picture, which is accurate and is based on what has actually happened, minute by minute.
Using accurate data in appraisals means discussions with staff can be based on statistical facts which helps all parties find the best solutions for any problems in meeting deadlines or managing time effectively – having staff in the right place and a record at your fingertips is great news for every business.
As well as all these benefits, an advantage of a multi-purpose software system is that data compliance is made simpler for legislation like the GDPR and DPA. Modern systems are made with this in mind and the data only passes through one system making data protection compliance far easier – just one more benefit to using the right software.
If you want to gain more insight into your workforce management then join MHR’s Stuart Price at the CIPD software show, 13th-14th June 2018. Stuart will be discussing the future of workforce management, the benefits of having an integrated time and attendance solution and how to use the latest technologies to simplify the employee experience.See the full CIPD Show Agenda