December 10, 2020

Time Tracking Leads to Better Decision Making


Time and attendance is at the heart of workforce management. It not only impacts time tracking, it marries schedules and hours, streamlines processes and integrates leave management and calculations. Without strong employee time and attendance software, your organization can suffer payroll errors, scheduling headaches and overall wasted time.

When you have the right tools for managing employee time and attendance, you can develop a clearer view of employee working hours and leverage data for better decision-making. Here are three ways time and attendance technology can help you forecast and manage the time your employees spend at work:

Informs Workforce Planning and Staffing Projections

Whether you’re short-staffed in one department or have too many pairs of hands in another, time and attendance data can help you match people and hours to the work you need to accomplish. In fact, according to Gartner, reliable talent data is one of the top three requirements for better workforce planning, because it can “drive your decision to build, buy, retain, outsource, automate, or look for gig workers, depending on the type of talent gap you face, the business environment, and your overall talent strategy.”

Time tracking software allows you to do more than track when employees clock in and out. The software’s labor tracking tools support workforce planning by helping you understand how employees are dividing their time between various projects and work areas. With this capability, you can get more precise measurements of employee time and forecast staffing costs for specific projects and initiatives.

Helps You Track and Address Trends in Absenteeism and Exceptions

Paid time off supports a healthy work-life balance for the workforce. But when employees take unplanned time off, it can throw a wrench in your overall productivity. Research shows it can also be costly. According to a Macrothink Institute research report, 8.7 percent of payroll costs are tied to unplanned or unscheduled absences.

Exception tracking also helps you keep an eye on anomalies like missed punches, long shifts and short or long breaks. With accurate and easy-to-access time tracking data, you can easily address exceptions before they become an issue that’s harder to fix during payroll.

For example, in a manufacturing workplace, exceptions can lead to dips in shopfloor productivity, so it is critical to understand the areas in which employees may be working outside of shift parameters. Time tracking software can run reports that identify exceptions such as schedule variances and extra overtime, so you can identify trends and see the associated labor costs.

Provides Insights into Overtime Expenses

Overtime adds to your payroll expenses, but errors in calculating and paying overtime can be even more costly. As a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article points out, one of the most common overtime errors is miscalculating it. If employees are overpaid or underpaid for overtime, your organization can end up wasting money, or worse, face penalties for noncompliance with a range of labor laws.

Time and attendance technology makes it easier to record and track employee overtime hours, so you can understand overtime expenses in real time and make adjustments to meet budget targets. Tools for time and attendance decision making can help you do the following:

Set overtime limits and receive notice when employees go over their limit
Calculate overtime to meet specific regulatory standards
Set up weighted overtime for employees with multiple rates
Grant comp time to eligible employees

Managing your workforce effectively requires an understanding of when employees work and what functions they perform while at work. With this information, you can plan labor costs and determine your staffing requirements to meet organizational goals. Time tracking technology is a must-have for helping you track employee hours, leave, and time allocation to specific projects, and it’s essential for true workforce management. To learn more about how to elevate your workforce management activities, read our e-book, Everything You Need to Know About Workforce Management.