Why time and attendance software won’t drive staff away



3 min read

Getting the most out of employees without burning them out is one of the most crucial balancing acts that businesses face, and the tightrope has never been so narrow.

Unemployment fell to 3.4% in July 2022, the lowest since August 1974, and there are now fewer unemployed people than there are job vacancies.

Gaining real insight into utilisation, capacity, and under-tapped resources remains a reach for many businesses, which fear pushing too hard or in the wrong way will drive people away and create vacancies that are very hard to fill. 

Add to that the complexity of workforces working from home, or on flexible hours, with multiple jobs and employment types, and it can be hard to know who is doing what, how efficiently, and whether they can take on more.

These trends have seen rostering, time and attendance software become the biggest and fastest growing area of workforce management solutions

There is a perception that employees are resistant to time and attendance solutions, and are driven away with fears of ‘Big Brother’, but that comes from a lack of understanding and communication about both the business and employee benefits of this software. 

Benefits for employers and employees

The right solutions can deliver huge advantages for employees, empowering them to manage their work life balance and increase trust, while reducing the risks for business leaders.

Most clients come at time and attendance solutions from a pay compliance perspective, with heightened concerns around paying people correctly and drifting into a wage theft scandal. 

But the employee benefits of such technology are undersold, particularly for those who work shifts or outside standard business hours. 

With regular payslips, employees can’t easily match up time worked by viewing a pay slip that simply states a pay type figures. But apps are available that tell employees the times they worked, how those hours are interpreted, and total accumulation of hours, offering new levels of transparency.

It gives employees visibility and comfort that they have been paid correctly, and confidence that their employer is working with them to ensure they are complying with contractual pay conditions. 

The other function of time and attendance software is rostering, which focuses on optimising and utilising resources effectively. Also, its purpose is typically linked to cost tracking and productivity, and there are rich insights that can be derived over time by mining the data that is collected. 

The business case is compelling — employers that can’t save 1% of labour costs through implementing one of these systems are not fully utilising the functionality and capability available, have not aligned their business processes, or have not engaged and trained their people to use the solution.

In health care, workforce management systems are often linked with patient acuity to maximise the efficient use of nurse and doctor resources at a time when these are being severely stretched. 

But it’s not all about business and operational benefits.

Systems are available that have strong employee self-service options through apps on mobile devices, and that is highly valuable for employees — not only can they easily view their current and future rosters online, but they can see vacant shifts in the future that they can apply for and plan around. 

The main gripes with rostering from employees is that it often comes too late to shuffle other commitments around, the same people always get the extra shifts and not everyone has an equal opportunity to indicate their preference for a certain shift. 

But publish rosters weeks in advance and the data shows the take up of those vacant shifts is much greater, and it supports the equity and fairness elements. 

Employees feel they can plan to improve their work-life balance as these apps empower them through being able to influence the shifts that they’re applying to work.

Additionally, employees can use functions to easily swap shifts with colleagues and apply for leave, and importantly they feel a connection with their employer through this visibility and freedom.

Retaining talent

Packaged together, questions around fair treatment, checking pay and viewing rosters, and general planning ahead are all elements that equal staff retention.

Rolling out time and attendance software with employee self service solutions isn’t cheap or simple and there is a significant change management element to consider. 

Nothing is perfect, and it is challenging to get 100% take up of the technology by employees. A younger workforce will engage more readily with technology like this than an ageing workforce, although this is rapidly changing.

For employees, the right time and attendance software are factors in a retention culture and it can help build a stronger connection with their workplace.

Employers can derive benefits in staff retention and engagement, as well as better resource utilisation and productivity insights, if they deliver a clear message about the path to a better way of working.

If you want to learn more about adopting a modern workforce management solution Schedule a call with us today.

Republished from Smart Company