Time & Attendance management: why is it strategic?
In a professional world where agility is recognised as a strategic challenge, managing time and activities is now about more than simply collecting information on the presence of employees in the company. In fact, time and attendance management – T&A – impacts several priority topics for any HRD, including resource planning, the quality of the employee experience and, more broadly, the quality of life at work; areas that have a direct impact on the company’s performance.
Time & Attendance management: from administrative burden to organisational leverage
For several decades, time & attendance management has been perceived as a purely administrative and, let’s face it, rather tedious task. Its sole purpose was payroll, and as such it was only of interest to the company’s HR department. Regulatory developments, digitalisation and the transformation of the HR function changed the game in the early 2000s.
Progressively, legislative changes in labour and social law have increased the need for HR departments to monitor time and attendance. Whereas previously data was collected to create pay slips, it has become necessary, with the help of digitalisation, to be able to update counters and give employees notifications in real time. At the same time, there are new expectations of the HR role, which now often includes the role of “business partner”. Controlling HR costs, optimising processes or ensuring forward-looking employment and skills management, are areas in which the HRD must now show added value, and these are largely based on collecting time and attendance data.
Managing resources, whether internal or external, is also closely connected to time and attendance management. At a time when work organisation is moving increasingly towards project mode in many companies, expectations are high when it comes to planning. The option of monitoring the time spent on a task in relation also to control its cost and management.
More generally, whether or not employees work in project mode, planning is becoming increasingly strategic in operational, economic and social terms. Staff must be assigned appropriately according to forecasts, skills and current events. Planning also plays a role in work/life balance, and in this sense it contributes to employee well-being.
T&A for the employee experience
For some years now, the digital revolution has entered a phase that goes beyond simply improving performance for the benefit of the company. Alongside the improvement of the customer experience, there has been a growing concern to also improve the employee experience. Retaining top talent means meeting their expectations in many areas, including the convenience and ease of the tools available to them. In this context, better management of the employee’s activity should not involve additional administrative tasks for the employee, particularly with regard to data entry. Tracking overtime and the practice of remote working must not monopolise the attention and time of employees today: the automation of time and attendance management - and more broadly all HR processes - is essential to allow them to focus on the tasks for which they have been recruited.
New digital time and attendance management solutions include this employee experience optimisation dimension. Whereas the traditional ‘cardboard’ clocking in system was perceived by employees as a simple control tool, or even a ‘spy’ tool, clocking in systems of the future can be seen as a modern way of encouraging certain employee aspirations, such as mobility (remote working, mobile working) or increased collaboration.
When we redesigned the Kelio clocking in range, we set ourselves the objective of putting collaboration back at the heart of our thinking.
We took inspiration from mobile phones and the widespread use of smartphones, to design what became the Kelio Visio X7, a multi-use terminal combining clocking in with time and attendance management, interactions between employees/the company and information access. It is no longer a simple time clock: it is aimed at all the company’s employees and can be used to send them personalised messages when they arrive, make announcements, make documents available to all employees, etc. Employees can consult their accounts, send messages via an integrated messaging system, make requests for leave or even comment on time clock anomalies. Applications such as a suggestion box and a survey, accessible from the terminal, also allow HR to involve employees and to develop the participative and collaborative issues that are important to the new generations of employees and managers.
Clocking in and QWL improvement: the end of tensions
While these hardware innovations contribute to a better employee experience, digital time management solutions can also play an active role in employees’ QWL (quality of life at work) in compliance with regulatory changes in this area.
The impact of time management on many key issues for companies requires solutions that meet the new challenges facing HR departments. It is necessary to be able to make the right choice according to the specificities of each organisation, bearing in mind that a time and attendance management tool must not only be usable by everyone, it must also provide maximum ease and agility for the user, and be compatible with the mobile and fluctuating forms of organisation that will be increasingly common in the future.
How about you? How do you deal with time and attendance management in your organisation? What if you made time and attendance management your new lever for optimising performance and working conditions?