A Guide to Employee Attendance Tracking

The tracking of employee time and attendance has always been of prime importance to business owners, and the HR department has historically done the tracking. This practice is important chiefly because the people in management positions need to know whether the workers are working properly, whether they are where they need to be, etc.

Why is this? If your employees are not working the hours they are contractually obligated to, then they are committing theft. They are stealing time, productivity, efficiency, and profits. This cannot stand. Neither can injustice towards workers, which can happen if you don’t know who is working properly and needs to be rewarded. It’s a two-way street, and HR is in the middle of it.

Earlier, all these processes were manual, but now is the age of automation. There are many kinds of employee attendance tracking technology that can help you out in this endeavor, and we are about to look at a few of these kinds of technologies ourselves!

Ways to Track Employee Time and Attendance

1. Mobile Time Tracking Apps

Mobile tracking attendance is incredibly effective. It lets employees clock in on their phones, and when paired with GPS software, eliminates buddy punching and time theft completely. It's especially helpful for companies who have a lot of remote workers and also for those whose employees come and go throughout the day - like sales representatives. Supervisors can see who is working and who is not at all times, allowing for efficient recording of data and better payroll handling.

2. Geofencing Technology

Geofencing, when aired with GPS technology, is a superb method of keeping track of time and attendance. Geofencing is a kind of technology that allows a company to set up a digital fence around their workplace, and whenever an employee steps in or out, the GPS in their device detects this field and prompts them to clock in or out. This is a very efficient system that takes into account every single minute that an employee spends out or in.

3. Punch Clocks

Punch clocks are still around, believe it or not, and they’re still trusted and used. In fact, for a workplace where all the employees are mostly in one place for the whole day, there is hardly a better alternative than a wall-mounted punch cock to keep track of time and attendance. However, there is nothing stopping an employee from punching a card for his friend or losing their punch cards due to some reason. There are digital versions available that deal in PIN numbers and swipe cards, which are much more reliable.

4. Printable Timesheets

A blast from the past, but it's on the list because it works. This method involves the employees filling out the timesheet at the beginning and ending of their sheet every day. Now, because it is up to the employees, there is a lot of room for time theft, leading to inaccuracies with payroll. If you plan on using this method, make sure that there is room for your employees to fill in slots for breaks and overtime as well. You need accurate data, after all.

5. Excel Timesheets

Microsoft Excel is a true miracle worker. It is quite easy to use their spreadsheet technology as a timesheet that employees can fill out on their computers or tablets. This makes the data more secure and unlikely to be lost. However, since it still depends on humans filling it in, it can be prone to errors. If you decide to go this route, make sure all your employees know what they are doing and train the ones who are having difficulties.

6. Time and Attendance Software

Time and attendance tracking software is one of the best innovations in the HR world. They have been around since the 1970s but have become universally accepted and used thanks to the internet. This software is best for workplaces where most employees use a computer or a similar digital device. With all the data in one place, it makes it easy for you to keep your eyes on the big picture and see at a glance whether everyone’s performance is up to snuff.

7. Time Clock Kiosks

A single mobile or tablet, with the right software installed, can be a very efficient time clock kiosk! This technology is useful because there need not be just one kiosk through which people can sign in. no, these can be multiple, and this helps the businesses that are dependent on their workforce being in several sites. For example, people in the conduction or catering business can make great use of this because their managers can bring a kiosk to every site.

How to Choose Employee Attendance Tracker Software

There are many different kinds of attendance tracking software out there. Many of these software solutions are designed for a specific kind of company in mind and thus may not be a good fit for you. To help you find out what will work for you and your company, we have decided to provide you with some parameters that you can use for your own research. These include:

  • Ease of Use

Usability is the most important thing on the list. You will be using this software the most, so you need to choose one that is easy to pick up. The less time spent learning it, the more time you will have to implement its many functions and take your department to the next level. This includes teaching it to the rest of your department and the employees who need to use it.

  • Ease of Integration

Integration is the future. The best way to go about playing the software game is to get different specialized software that handles each function of the HR department and then connect them to each other through integration. With all the systems connected, it becomes easier to visualize and interpret data. Making sure that the employee attendance tracking software you decide to get works well with others is, therefore, an essential task.

  • Adaptability

You probably wouldn’t want your company to never grow and change. Growth is something to aim for, and you need to get software that will allow this. Get yourself software that is adaptable and malleable, making room for future growth. This will serve you better than getting something you will have to swap out in a few years for something brand new - which you will then have to earn from scratch - when your company starts growing.

  • Cost and Return on Investment

Yes, purchasing specialized software for everything and then integrating them together will give you the best performance and efficiency, but this also costs a lot of money. You need to be careful so as to not break your bank. Then there’s the question of return on investment. You are spending a lot on this software, but what makes it worth it? Does it give back as much as you put into it? More? Less? If there is not enough return on investment, then you will have accrued some losses. So, choose wisely when you’re out looking for your software.

  • Rapid Implementation

It will take you a lot of time and resources to get your new HR setup on track. Minimize the amount of time this takes, though. You lose out on a more profitable way of handling your daily activities the longer the implementation process takes. So, your aim should be to set these up as fast as you can and with the lowest possible amount of effort. This gives you a head start to maximizing the output and effectiveness of your new software system.

  • Vendor Support 

Software is software, no matter what else it is hailed as. As such, it will have its fair share of bugs and things that go wrong. Keep this in mind before you go looking for software. Try to find a vendor who provides regular support in the form of patches and updates - for free - for their software suites. Additionally, keep a good IT team on hand. You never know when you need them, and waiting for monthly patches and updates is not possible all the time.

How to Prepare an Attendance Policy 

It is always a good idea to prepare an attendance policy for your company. Your employees need to know what is expected of them, how they ought to deal with this particular part of their daily working schedule, and manage their expectations. First and foremost, you need to draft a policy that will clearly state the following:

  • The expected time of work for the employee

  • How employees can track their time and attendance

  • The process for requesting paid or unpaid time off

  • The results of denial to a request for time off

  • The approval process for a time card before submitting for payroll

These are the skeletons upon which you can base your attendance policy. Remember, though, that the workplace is a living organism, and, therefore, your plan needs to be specific to your own organization and workforce. What anyone else did will not work for you, and there are no plug-and-play options. 

Using these steps and maybe using legal help, you will be able to easily come up with an attendance policy. However, when it comes to implementing it, you should follow these next steps to guarantee success:

1. Make the Policy Accessible to All 

You should keep the policy front and center. Put it in the employee handbook, the website - anywhere where it will be present before your employees. Rules mean nothing if the people don’t know what they are. You should take all the necessary steps to make sure that all the employees know what the policy is and can find it easily enough.

2. Communicate the Policy Often

Just because they see it when they are out and about does not mean that your workers will remember it. You have to take the opportunity to communicate it to them often and repeatedly. It is only through repetition and discipline that we learn, and you should be the one reviewing this, and other company policies, with your workforce until they are all aware of how everything works.

3. Uniformly Enforce the Policy

Equality is the name of the game in any workforce. Regardless of who the employee is, the policy should apply to everyone without passion or bias. Nobody gets special treatment, and neither should anyone be discriminated against. You don’t want that to be an accusation in your company at all.

4. Recognize and Reward Those Who Follow the Policy

Positive reinforcement is the best way to energize and motivate a workforce. Keep track of the employees who have been adhering to the policy and reward them. Upon seeing that good conduct is worthy of rewards, more and more people will be willing to keep the policy in mind. As they say, you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar, and this is no different here.

5. Encourage Planned PTO

Just because there is a leave policy does not mean that employees should feel pressure to never take leave, far from it. Everyone needs rest and time to unwind and recharge. You should recognize this and encourage your employees to plan ahead with respect to when and how they will make use of their leaves. This reduces the risk of unscheduled leaves while also promoting a healthy and positive image towards taking time off. Employees should never be afraid to take time when they need to.

Lanteria - The Smart Way to Track Time and Attendance 

An employee attendance tracker system will allow you to get a lot done and save tons of effort while you’re at it. It is a necessity if you are to run an efficient workplace, and the employees will be thankful to you when they receive their patent and benefits without any fuss. 

One of the best time and attendance trackers on the market is offered by Lanteria. From a comprehensive analysis of the time employees spend on work, projects, and tasks to a self-service portal, this software offers everything you need to automate time and attendance tracking. 


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