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How To Maintain Accurate Employee Attendance Records?

12 min read

Employee attendance records are used to keep track of employees’ time and attendance. It all starts with understanding what employee attendance means.

Employee attendance is the action or state of being present at a place of work according to the company’s policies. *1

Employee attendance can be tracked for individuals, teams, and organisations as a whole. It involves tracking issues such as staff absentee, shift adherence, time discipline, leave rationale, customer billing, timesheets, and so on.

Importance of Attendance Records

Time and attendance (T&E) management is connected to employee attendance records. Real-time T&E data maintenance increases organisational productivity and efficiency.

  • Managers regularly check employee records to verify whether employees are performing to expectations.
  • Managers distribute tasks to team members fairly and efficiently.
  • Employee attendance records are linked with other HR activities. For example, they enter data into the payroll system and calculate salaries.

Attendance records thus form the core of a fair, transparent and equitable work environment.

Challenges in Maintaining Attendance Records

Maintaining clear and concise employee attendance records is a difficult task because-

  • There are numerous work styles available, including remote work, hybrid work, freelance employment, and flexible work
  • Employees are really diverse

Office employees make use of office rosters or biometrics. On-the-go workers depend on GPS-enabled devices. Laptop computers or website software are used by freelancers.

Inaccurate attendance data and insights can hinder basic activities. For example, it can cause incorrect payroll inputs and salary payouts. Employee morale and productivity can suffer as a result of such an error.

HRs must invest in an attendance management tool or platform that is hightech.

Dos And Don’ts of Attendance Record Creation

An Attendance Management System can effectively create, measure, track, and report employee time and attendance. Follow the below while creating the attendance records from scratch.  

DOs:

Structure the data sources:

Start by thinking about what are the possible data sources, devices and systems. Check these sources to ensure data is clean, organised, reliable and valid. Then think of investing in new devices!

Embed analytics and reporting:

The attendance management system should automatically collect, store and analyse diverse data. Automate the reporting and analytics piece and save a lot of time, effort and money!

Track data in real-time:

Engage with data in real-time. This will help avoid lags in disciplinary issues or actions.

Conduct periodic audits:

Always ensure the database is clean, organised, and accessible. Conduct periodic audits of the data sources.

Cloud-store the data:

Enable data access to key stakeholders. Get employees to view their attendance records anytime-anywhere. Help managers action important attendance tasks, like regularising time off. Cloud solutions enable this through multi-platform modules across desktop, tablet, mobile etc.

Embed data security and privacy:

Employee records are confidential. Embedded role-based access to cloud data will ensure that not all data is accessible to everyone. Basis roles and levels, only those who have the authority can do so.

Involve employees:

Employees should have access to a self-service time and attendance system. Modify it so that employees may see their attendance metrics, such as their leave status. They should also be able to perform procedures like applying for leaves.  As a result, HR may keep employees accountable for their T&E discipline.

Integrate with HRMS:

Attendance records cannot be a standalone system. It is a crucial input to other HR processes. HR operations, performance management, payroll, total rewards, learning management, etc. build upon T&E records for calculations.  Do integrate the employee database with the overall HRMS to make it work.

DON’Ts

Employee time and attendance impact business outcomes. Hence it is not just HR’s job. It closely involves line managers too.

Do not keep a siloed mentality:

Holding sole ownership of the employee attendance system is a no-no! Involve line managers as co-owners. After all, managers are the people closest to their teams, and hold relevant information!

Do not alienate employees:

HRs must engage with the employees. Co-create the attendance module with a collaborative mindset. It will also help drive a culture of great discipline!

Disadvantages of using Manual Attendance Records

Today’s time and attendance data have multiple aspects. Take a case in point. *5

  • A payroll clerk takes 5 minutes per employee to process a timesheet.
  • The company has 500 employees.
  • The hourly wage for the payroll clerk is £7.50.
  • Time spent on manual payroll processing = (500 x 5 mins x 48 weeks)* = 120,000 minutes / 60 = 2,000 hours
  • Money spent on manual payroll processing= 2,000 x £7.50 = £15,000.

That’s a lot of money! So, welcome artificial intelligence and stop wasting time and money.

Manual processing has the following disadvantages:

Scope for human error:

It increases the chances of human error. Insights mistakes can reduce employee productivity. Thus, organisation performance will fall.

Susceptible to manipulation:

Employees can easily manipulate manual attendance systems. Buddy punching and time stealing are two well-known methods. For example, an employee may pretend to push work and deliberately request overtime to gain extra money.

Security and compliance issues:

Manual attendance records are subject to security and compliance concerns. A major cost-to-company in legal and branding terms.

Time-consuming approach:

HR professionals need to spend a lot of time maintaining data and dashboards, reporting insights and solving errors. Manual interventions can lead to performance and productivity loss.

Affects employee morale:

Most people become bored with repetitive and routine manual work. Instead, staff members can focus their efforts on tasks that bring more value. It will contribute to improving one’s sense of contribution. Another problem is when payroll errors can result in unfair and inequitable pay outcomes. Employees’ faith in their employer may be damaged by this.

Lacks a larger view:

Manual tracking follows a piecemeal approach. It cannot give a larger view of productivity. HRs will not be able to align peoples’ behaviours with organisational objectives.

Lack of communication channels:

Manual systems lack communication. For example, one cannot send automated push notifications if employee details are maintained on an Excel spreadsheet. Important T&E updates could be missed by managers and staff. They are unable to make improvements to their attendance habits. A trust gap may develop from it.

How do you create Employee Attendance Records?

Follow the below step-by-step approach to creating employee attendance records:

Build data and device infrastructure:

First, evaluate the existing systems and devices in use. Be it bookkeeping, biometrics, card swipe machines, timesheet software, website platforms, mobile tracking systems, GPS tracking systems, etc.

Then decide what is best for both the employee and the company. And invest in new tools. Build robust and relevant data sources. It will form the base for employee records.

Build the right capabilities:

The best data sources are of no use if managers do not know how to use them. HRs need to build data prowess to understand how employee records affect employee productivity. Train existing HR talent and/or hire new talent who understands attendance management data and systems.

Co-create the design: Choose from a buy, build or blended approach to design the attendance management system.

  1. Buying a readymade T&E solution is quicker, easier and cost-effective. But it may lack customisation.
  2. Building a solution from scratch may take longer and require more money. But it may better meet the desired business outcomes.
  3. Blended offers a ready solution with tweakable elements. This brings together the best of both worlds.
  4. Co-create the system design closely with the business stakeholders. This shall ensure active participation and ownership by all.

Deploy:

Set up the system for a specific employee group. Conduct a pilot run with a small workforce. Adopt flexible methods. This will reduce iterations and keep expenses in check.

Communicate:

Train and educate staff members on how to use the system. To ensure adherence, create a comprehensive T&E policy and a training and communication program. If proper communication is done, people will accept the change. This will help the adoption of the system.

Institutionalize:

HRs must include time and attendance in workflows. We cannot expect employees to take the time to go to a website and check their leave balance. “Can we build a push notification update to a person’s smartphone screen?” This is the consumer-grade experience that HRs must provide.

Measure outcomes:

Define important metrics and monitor them regularly. Inform HR officials about how the employee records system is achieving the expected result. This will drive CXO participation and buy-in.

Things to keep in Mind while Creating Employee Attendance Records

Any HR action causes a fundamental change in working methods. So shall employee attendance management. Setting up and maintaining accurate employee attendance records can have a long-term impact on employee behaviour. This can lead to a quick gain in efficiency and effectiveness. As a result, employee record-keeping cannot be limited to HR efforts.

Conclusion

The main factors that affect a company’s efficiency are attendance and discipline. Its foundation is made up of employee records. A reliable and effective employee recording system must be developed. This is only possible if HRs show senior leadership how the business impacts the organisation.

Keka offers the right blend of HR and business integration to get this message across. When employees see such a top-down involvement, it will instill a sense of discipline, responsibility and ownership. Data has the power to empower people and create a new way of life across the organisation. This can foster better business results.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.

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