Professional September 2021

Feature topic – Time and attendance systems

associated costs of manually capturing and administrating time and attendance data. Most T&A systems integrate to workforce management, HR, and payroll software too so the benefits of integration result in less transfer of information between those crucial systems. Accuracy is also one of the key benefits as electronic capture, automated calculations output, auditable adjustment functionality and accessible reporting accelerate efficiencies for the benefit of all areas of the business. The benefits extend to such things like adoption of cloud-based software, general data protection regulation (GDPR) compliance, increased forecasting of labour and costs, and ultimately, increased employee trust and experience. What methods of T&A data collection are available? Nicole Bello: Numerous methods of T&A data collection are available, from hardware and software terminals to web browsers and mobile devices – including time clocks, web entry, telephony, and mobile apps. These collection points enable employees to input and save critical labour data whilst on site or on the go, therefore reducing errors, increasing flexibility in data collection, and enhancing the employee experience. Offline availability also enables devices to continue collecting and storing necessary work data even when disconnected. Once the connection is re-established, the device sends the data back to the server, which satisfies a critical requirement for many customers to track their workforce while offline due to reasons such as power outages, network errors, or database problems. LC: T&A systems have certainly evolved over the last few years. Gone are the days when an employee would simply clock in and out. Not only do we have swipe cards, but we now have biometric fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, global positioning system (GPS) tracking, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. Data collection through such a variety of electronic devices and options ensures that employers can be increasingly flexible and their solutions as mobile as the workforce itself. Self-service options also add benefits for the employees, who can manage their own schedules and feel empowered as a result. Technological advances enable systems

to adapt to our changing needs and have proved invaluable, particularly during the pandemic, where we saw remote working become a necessity and therefore had to adapt quickly. ...a critical step in helping organisations to manage their people, while also removing hassle for individual employees... WJ: The most common method of T&A data collection (believe it or not) is via paper timesheets and paper punch cards. Many organisations still have a fully manual process until the data needs inputting to core HR. However, wall-mounted electronic solutions (often using a badge, fob, or card) are commonly used in larger organisations, which feed data to a user platform for supervisors and managers. I am seeing an increased adoption of things like biometrics (via fingerprint, hand or eye), which negates the need to remember passwords. Mobile (including the use of GPS) and web-based portal devices to capture T&A are probably the industry staple and the obvious next step after fully manual capture.

culture of trust with technology. LC: When implementing new systems and processes, you always need to be mindful of the impact these changes will have on all stakeholders. Change management is crucial in preparing the ground for implementation, ensuring communication is at the forefront of any project and getting the buy-in of all those affected. Implementation of new systems will only go ahead after consultation with labour relations and ensuring compliance with the appropriate regulations – GDPR and local. In this instance, the benefits of a T&A system far outweigh the negatives for employers and employees alike. Employees welcome an automated, accurate and flexible system. Self-service tools increase their engagement by simplifying manual processes, allowing them to view timesheets, schedules, hours worked, and annual leave. Wariness of T&A tracking in the past has been replaced by positive acceptance as systems evolve and develop and the inherent benefits become more apparent. WJ: Depending on the solution being adopted, and what the employees have previously been accustomed to using, the uptake is generally positive as it’s a sign of progress or improvement. However, if there has never been a T&A solution or process prior to implementation, it can be seen as a negative and the common reasons are around management trust or the feeling that ‘big brother’ is now watching you. Remember, for employees who are required to interact with T&A systems, they need it to be as seamless and quick as possible as it is the one stopping them from starting work or leaving for home. As with any new implementation, the key to achieving a positive response is in the communication, change management, training, and support. To what extent can T&A systems be integrated into attendance management, scheduling of work times, and data collection for payroll and HR? NB: T&A systems can be fully integrated with attendance management, scheduling of work times, and payroll software; and this can have a major impact on the wider business. Selecting a solution that has it all in one unified system, for example,

How do workers respond to implementation of T&A recording? NB: Outdated processes, manual

workarounds, and an inability to view data like hours worked are all things that can create a negative experience for managers and staff. This includes a lack of visibility and transparency into employee performance, which can impede real-time decision-making and create opportunity for manager bias. Automated processes and accurate payroll can boost staff productivity levels, by ensuring they spend less time on manual processes such as data collection and return to work more quickly. Put simply, automating T&A is a critical step in helping organisations to manage their people, while also removing hassle for individual employees and creating a


| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward |

Issue 73 | September 2021

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker