Many companies underestimate the extent to which employee absenteeism affects their business, including reduced morale, productivity and replacement workers, as well as the value of tools to cut these losses, say the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). They note Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows productivity losses from missed work costs US employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, every year. In Australia, a 2019 survey estimated that workplace absenteeism cost the Australian economy over $35 billion in wages and lost productivity.
Investing in attendance management software can help reduce the costs associated with absenteeism, enhancing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of your business.
What is attendance management?
As the name indicates, attendance management is the process used to track employee time and attendance. An efficient attendance management system enables employers to automatically capture employee hours without having to rely on manual-based processes, which can reduce the risk of errors which could ultimately result in under- or over-payments. Quality workforce attendance management software reduces manual input and captures work times accurately, easily and efficiently.
Key features of modern online attendance management systems
Modern time and attendance management software is designed to meet the complex needs of contemporary businesses and organisations. Some key features of online attendance management systems include the ability to:
- clock in and out, regardless of employee working hours or location
- generate real time reports, such as headcount shortages or overtime wages
- conduct leave management, such as preparing for or handling employee sick or vacation days
- help managers easily track employee work schedules, overtime, productivity and ensure data is correct for payroll.
Signs your business needs attendance management systems
Attendance management isn’t a new concept. Since the days of sign on sheets and time cards, it has been used to track time and attendance to reduce risk of payment calculation errors. While the days of time cards and ‘buddy punching’ (getting a co-worker to punch in or out for you) may be over, employers and managers still need methods for accurately recording employee hours and managing entitlements.
In today’s workplaces, tools like manual check in registers and spreadsheets rarely make for an ideal attendance management system. Using outmoded methods to manage employee attendance can be a huge time drain for HR managers – time which could better be spent on more valuable activities such as exploring ways to enhance engagement to bolster productivity. Manual attendance management also poses a higher risk of errors. Lack of structure can lead to poor tracking, administration and communication. In turn, this can cause more serious issues such as inconsistencies with capturing absences and failure to fill shifts. The result is lost efficiency and profit. Moreover, HR becomes more complex as a business grows, amplifying the need for an efficient attendance management system.
In response, software companies have created web-based attendance management systems specifically designed for the needs of the modern workforce, such as deskless and remote work.
These systems not only capitalise on technology to overcome the challenges associated with an outdated employee attendance system, they also help create a strong employee value proposition (EVP) for today’s workforce. Tools like employee self service foster greater autonomy and work-life balance. Humanforce, for example, lets employees select shifts based on their availability and work preferences.
Why Companies Need to Invest in An Efficient Attendance Management System
When companies invest in employee attendance software, they can expect benefits such as greater accuracy with time and attendance tracking and reduced issues associated with manual inputs. The ideal attendance management system for your organisation has further advantages, such as:
1. Better scheduling of workers
Reduce or avoid the challenges associated with scheduling and headcount shortages with easy-to-use attendance software. This can be especially helpful for businesses where shift-based or remote work is the norm. Humanforce, for example, is custom-built to be responsive to the needs of a mobile, deskless workforce. Our intuitive web platform and mobile app allow you to schedule and monitor workers from anywhere in real time and respond to changes on the go, helping ensure you have shifts covered and can quickly manage unplanned shortages such as sick days.
2. Increased efficiency
An online attendance management system reduces or eliminates the need for cumbersome manual data entry and checking, making the entire process faster, simpler and more efficient. This supports seamless and accurate employee time tracking and management of overtime and leave, while reducing the risk of payment errors.
Cloud-based employee software like Humanforce can perform tasks with just a few clicks, saving you hours of admin time each week. Clothing chain Sheike, for example, used Humanforce to transform their time consuming and error prone manual payroll process into a streamlined system perfectly suited for ongoing growth. Read more about how Humanforce helped Sheike cut errors and enhance efficiency here.
3. Improved data collection
Online attendance management systems collect and analyse key data about employee time and attendance, helping you make smarter business decisions. With Humanforce, you can create customised data dashboards aligned with what’s important to your organisation. These allow you to visualise workforce trends in meaningful ways and generate actionable insights to increase your top line revenue.
4. Enhanced security
Cloud-based attendance management software typically offers improved data security compared to paper-based systems, helping ensure you adhere to privacy requirements. Tools like biometric devices and multifactor authentication can keep important data protected and only allow access to authorised people. Humanforce’s mobile app has built-in vein scanning, allowing for secure automated clocking, as well as facial recognition.
We also work with data security and privacy leaders to ensure compliance with global privacy acts, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
5. Optimisation of staffing
Monitoring your workforce also has benefits for optimising your staffing levels, with flow-on effects for service delivery and your brand reputation. For example, ensuring you have adequate staff to cover an event or shift helps you deliver a superior customer experience, while reducing your reliance on overtime or external help (such as hiring agency staff).
6. Improved award compliance
Online attendance management software helps you with accurate payroll, helping ensure you don’t owe overtime wages or leave entitlements and therefore run into legislative compliance issues. Through integrations with over 100 payroll providers, Humanforce streamlines payroll processing with automated handling of overtime, holidays or loadings, helping to reduce errors and facilitate award compliance.
7. Greater visibility
Attendance management software gives you strong visibility over employee attendance and absence trends. Your managers and HR team can accurately keep track of what’s happening with individuals and teams across your organisation, without being perceived as intrusive or micro-managing.
How investing in attendance management software improves organisational performance
As the SHRM article points out, there is a strong business case for managing employee attendance. Companies choosing to proactively manage time and attendance can build a culture of productivity, helping to improve your overall performance.
Attendance management systems can help you achieve this by:
- improving worker scheduling for both admin/managers and employees
- increasing efficiency, cutting down on admin time and costs
- reducing risk of errors and enhancing compliance with awards
- enhancing data collection and analysis, enabling you to derive key insights into your business and make informed decisions
- increasing security protections and compliance with privacy requirements
- giving you greater visibility over individuals and teams within your organisation.
The ideal attendance management system will enable you to optimise organisational productivity while boosting employee experience or wellbeing. Humanforce is tailored to simplify the time and attendance management process while fostering employee engagement, with the goal of helping you deliver exceptional service and build a successful enterprise.