Managing your employees requires you to be able to accurately track their attendance and time spent at work, especially if they are paid hourly. While time and attendance tracking may seem like a relatively straightforward matter, there are several factors that can complicate it, especially as your business grows, and you end up having to deal with numerous locations and different labor laws. 

The best way to reduce the number of problems you encounter is to be aware of possible issues and have a plan regarding how to address them. Here are some common time and attendance challenges that companies face and how to solve them. 

Inaccurate Time and Attendance Records

If your employees are still tracking their hours and attendance manually, you risk a significant amount of time loss. Manual tools such as punch cards can be manipulated easily, especially in large workplaces where there is limited monitoring of the process. The situation is even worse if employees are writing down their hours – it’s extremely easy for them to add half an hour to an hour to their daily hours. 

The best alternative for dated tracking methods is to implement something that is more technologically driven. While some companies have shifted to swipe cards, these cards are still susceptible to buddy punching, which can affect the accuracy of the time and attendance tracking. 

Instead, consider shifting to a system that uses biometrics, such as fingerprints. These are less easily manipulated, and you can store data on a secure server to address employee concerns about privacy. 

Another option is an application that allows employees to track time and attendance via a mobile app. If necessary, you can also add geolocation tracking with this method, which can help track the attendance of on-site employees and the location of remote employees. 

Inefficient Schedules

Even if your employees are where they are supposed to be, that doesn’t mean they’re spending their time as efficiently and productively as possible. An inefficient and inconsistent schedule can involve anything from insufficient employees to cover a shift to a work schedule that doesn’t make the best use of a person’s capabilities. 

Additionally, manual schedule creation is often inefficient in itself and can lead to dozens of wasted hours from upper management. 

The solution is to automate your employees’ shifts and schedules. If you’re wondering how this works, you can learn more here, but the idea is to be able to track shift scheduling and changes. This allows you to ensure that you’re never understaffed and stressing your workers out too much. It also facilitates shift switches as needed. 

Additionally, automating schedules can help you get a better idea of how many employees you will need to hire so that you’re never overstaffed. You can also keep an eye on people who are taking too much overtime and maybe burning out, people scheduled for long vacations who may need to be replaced temporarily, and so on. Indeed, it will even help you get a better idea of staffing needs per shift, and not just overall. 

Time Wasted Manually Trying to Match Records to Schedules 

If you’ve got a schedule set up without a system that tracks employee activity for you, you’ll have to invest the time and energy of employees to manually match employee activity with the actual number of shifts that a person has put in. 

There are several reasons you will need to calculate how many shifts a person puts in versus the scheduled roster. You’ll have to make sure you’re not in violation of any overtime laws and that you’re paying your employees what they should be paid. While this is relatively easy to do if you’ve got few employees, the more people you employ, the more complex and time-consuming a task becomes. 

The solution lies in making sure that your scheduling software also tracks the number of shifts an employee puts in. It should be flexible enough to adjust to shifting exchanges between employees, and if overtime is a concern, be able to issue some type of warning before a person hits the overtime threshold. 

Obsolete time and attendance tracking systems are often still used in the modern workplace and can lead to time theft and inaccurate time and attendance tracking. Upgrading to modern, automated monitoring helps ensure that you get the right numbers, making it beneficial for both you and your workers in the long term. 

At the same time, make sure to check local employment laws to ensure that the tracking system you choose is valid across all your locations. This is especially important if you have locations in several jurisdictions and must act according to several different laws.