In this day and age, when machine learning and data are significant, it is time to trade in the pen and paper timesheets for smart time clock software. Many companies, just like yours, are making the shift to online time tracking solutions – and where there is demand, there is typically supply.
Ranging from mobile apps to biometric systems that offer advanced features such as IP address locking, geofencing, and webcam integration, there is no shortage of time tracking technology.
Though choosing the perfect solution for your business can be daunting as it’s not just about matching your business needs with time clock software.
When managing time and attendance, it is essential to remember that you must remain compliant with regulations and on top of your payroll processes.
Before we discuss the benefits that come with time clock software, it helps to understand what drives companies to adopt this solution over another.
Why you NEED time clock software
1. Regulatory compliance
The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires businesses to maintain accurate records of employees’ work hours but allows the owner to choose their own timekeeping method.
The FLSA also requires you to keep time tracking information for at least two years, and it needs to be readily available in the event of an audit.
So while you can continue to use timesheets or punch-cards, keep in mind that these not only cause a lot of administrative and payroll issues, but they can be easily manipulated or lost.
2. Recording overtime
According to the FLSA, workers have to be paid time and a half for hours they work over 40 in a week. Failure to accurately calculate and pay for overtime can be damaging to your business, even if big brother doesn’t come knocking.
All it takes is one upset employee who thinks they are being paid unfairly, and you might get sued. According to NERA (National Economic Research Associates), approximately 40% of wage and hour cases are related to overtime, so it’s best you try not to get sued.
FLSA regulations state you have to pay overtime even when the overtime is not authorized, which can quickly get very pricey.
By having time clock software that alerts you when employees are reaching or are working unauthorized overtime, you can save quite a bit of money.
With the right data available to you, you may even find that it’s more cost-efficient to hire an additional worker than paying overtime to those you already employe.
Why you WANT time clock software
1. Efficient payroll management
Tracking your employees hours using a spreadsheet or paper can be enough if you only have a handful of employees. However, when your workforce begins to grow, you don’t want to have to deal with dozens of time and attendance reports and a calculator trying to figure out payroll.
If you want to set your business up for success and plan for the future, you will want to check out a simple yet scalable time clock software before it’s too late.
2. No surprises when writing paychecks
You can typically tell how much you’ll need to pay your employees at the end of the pay period by looking at their work schedules and quickly doing the math. But what happens if several of your employees get the flu, and other workers need to work overtime?
Smart time clock software can quickly help you calculate estimated worker wages in real-time, so you can adjust your budget and avoid any unwanted surprises when it’s paycheck time.
Features to help improve the time tracking process
Today’s time clock solutions are not like old punch clocks. They include a variety of features and functions – all aimed at making it easier for your employees to accurately report their hours worked. It also makes it easier for you to monitor and manage attendance as well as payroll.
Before you choose a solution to use at your business, you must consider the needs of your organization and the nature of its relationship with those it employs.
If you have a small team of dedicated and honest employees, then you might not need features that are specifically used to prevent time theft.
Some features are worth considering for any business – regardless of specific business needs or compliance.
1. Time theft deterrents
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of time clock software is that employees are much more likely to record their hours worked accurately.
But what happens if you have unsupervised employees in the field, multiple locations that you can’t visit, or remote workers who aren’t able to punch time in the office?
Many time clock solutions today have features that allow you to manage better exactly how, where, and when employees can punch time. Features such as IP address locking will enable you to assign devices to employees based on the IP address used, which is excellent for an office setting. Want to make sure that an employee is only punching time for themselves? Then a webcam feature may be necessary.
More advanced features such as geofencing allow you to be sure that an employee was on-site when they punch time as opposed to grabbing a coffee 5 miles away.
2. Payroll integration
When managing a workforce, automating payroll as much as possible is a top priority. By having a smooth integration between your time clock software and other HR systems, you can save time and money. Also, by ensuring your information flows smoothly from one program to the other, you can prevent duplicate records, data-loss, and even employee fraud.
Additionally, not having to chase after your workers to get them to hand in their timesheets frees up a lot of time. Using time clock software makes the payroll process faster, much more accurate, and far less time-consuming.
3. Real-time notifications
Most time clock solutions today have automatic notifications for employees and management that can be sent under specific conditions. For example, managers can be notified if one of their employees is nearing 40 hours worked. Employees can get notifications if they are not tracking time when their shift arrives or if it’s time for lunch.
Notifications are sent by email or as a push notification and can prevent errors down the road when it’s time to run payroll.
Managing the human factor
The primary source for issues with time and attendance is usually people. People by nature are imperfect, often anxious, and sometimes dishonest. With that being said, there will be some common hurdles you’ll need to overcome on your way to smart time clock integration.
No one, whether an entry-level employee or CEO, likes to feel spied on. Employees accustomed to manually reporting their own hours might show resistance to a technologically accurate time clock. Since online employee time tracking solutions are typically seen as more beneficial to an employer rather than an employee, many employees may deem them unnecessary. Luckily, there are several ways to deal with this issue.
First, you should create a time and attendance policy for your business. Once crafted, have your employees read and sign it as part of the onboarding process. During this time, you should try to alleviate employee concerns. You can do this by communicating some of the benefits of using time clock software such as accurate paychecks.
Finally, and most importantly, you’ll want to test the time clock with a few select employees and get them on board.
If you’re able to get that initial group of employees on board with your new time clock software, then the rest of your employees will not want to be left behind.
You can follow these few steps to introduce a new time clock to your team successfully:
- Introduce the time clock software to a few sample employees you think will be responsive.
- Allow them to test the time clock software for a short trial period.
- Learn and take notes from the trial experience.
- Build anticipation for your new time clock software with employees who didn’t get to participate in the trial.
- Launch the time clock for all employees.
By following these steps, you can guarantee that your employees will adopt your new time clock software.