Damien Deem, Implementation Specialist (US)
Mary Field, Implementation Advisor (US)
Femi Olowu, Implementation Specialist (US)
Conner Snodgrass, Implementation Advisor (US)
Matthew Zelek, Senior Product Manager (US)
In the first post in our time and attendance series, we discussed how a unified time and attendance program helps achieve and maintain compliance goals in multiple areas. We subsequently covered advantages for employees. In this entry we will be discussing how to utilize time and attendance beyond just tracking punches and timesheets.
One major benefit to your organization is attendance tracking. Your organization spends a tremendous amount of time and energy to produce accurate and reliable forecasts and associate schedules. Attendance tracking tools integrated into a base time and attendance solution can monitor if associates work in alignment to those schedules and to company policies. Additionally, these functions can suggest corrective action when necessary, eliminating laborious manual tracking.
Tardiness, leaving early, or working more or less than the allotted break and meal has a major impact on not only labor costs but on associate productivity and customer service levels. Having the ability to effectively monitor and measure these exceptions in near real time has enormous benefits. It allows managers to identify mentoring and coaching opportunities. It also, as importantly, allows managers to measure good attendance and reward those associates who maintain consistent adherence to schedules.
Many organizations have point tracking requirements where attendance infractions are assigned a point value that trigger disciplinary actions when certain thresholds are met. This is frequently the case in union environments. Union rules often require general employee attendance reporting, tracking absences (scheduled but no punches) and tardy (scheduled but have a punch after any applicable grace period). The required tracking can only be accomplished using a unified time and attendance and scheduling solution that has all the pertinent data required to calculate infractions. Many infractions are assigned “reason codes” such as “Doctors note” or “No call no show” that determine the point levels for that incident. Typical disciplinary actions include verbal and written warnings—even termination. But the goal is to provide management with real-time insight to avoid potential disciplinary actions.
A typical workflow would include:
- Application calculates exceptions that are defined for tracking
- Based upon schedule, punches and the organizations rules
- Examples: Absent, Late In, Missed In, Missed Out
- Manager assigns a reason
- User selects a user-defined reason code to describe the reason for the absence or tardy, etc.
- “Point” values are assigned to each reason code
- Examples: Excused Absence (0 points), No Call No Show (1 point)
- Determine discipline action
- Assign discipline actions based upon achieved point threshold
- Examples: Verbal Warning, Written Warning, Termination
One use of the time and attendance system that we discussed in the previous post is helping keep track of and monitoring labor cost. With rising costs of goods and supplies, keeping and maintaining a productive and lean labor staff is paramount to meet customer, employee and financial expectations in today’s competitive business climate. Therefore, any time and attendance system should be able to track and analyze labor by many applicable metrics.
One example is determining whether to shrink or grow your workforce. Consider “part-timers.” By analyzing hours weekly, one can begin to see trends in labor costs, such as the average part-time hours worked each week. This will give labor managers additional data to make informed decisions regarding the workforce.
Generally speaking, a company would have an allowable range of the average hours worked by this particular group. When the average hours are trending to surpass this allowable range, that could be an indicator that there is a need for more employees to be hired. Part-time employees often have a particular number of hours that they wish to be scheduled for a variety of reasons, such as school, second job, etc. If these ranges are not managed effectively, it can lead to a decrease in morale. There is even the possibility of employees leaving their position because the current staffing levels are increasing their hours to a level not desired. This can also be passed onto the customers, as employees complain about being overworked and dissatisfied. Being able to head this off by constant analysis of worked hours is a great way to stave off any potential issues in both employee and customer satisfaction. It behooves any organization to make sure that whatever system they choose gives them the capability to monitor hours in order to proactively address any potential issues.
These examples of how a unified time and attendance plan can be beneficial to any retailer in providing deeper insight into their most significant cost and asset are just a couple worth considering. In our conclusion to this series, we will be discussing how time and attendance can be used to track and maintain benefit accrual.