3 Things to Consider when Setting Up Your Company's Timekeeping Policies

No two businesses are exactly alike, so there isn’t one method of timekeeping that will work for every business across the board. What is considered “late” for your employees? What are your rounding rules? What holidays do you recognize? How can employees punch in and out? These are all questions whose answers will be vastly different between companies. When it comes down to it, there are three major components that you can tailor to exactly what you need when creating your timekeeping policies. 

Leave Management

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Days, Volunteer Time Off, Personal Days - these are all variations of Leave Management. Some companies choose to categorize them individually while others lump them together in one single bank. Having a PTO bank is great because it allows the employees to delegate how much time they use for vacation and how much they save for sick time, thus providing flexibility depending on the employee’s lifestyle. However, it can ultimately lead to employees coming to work sick because they’ve either used up all their PTO or they’re saving it for a vacation down the road. It might take some trial and error, but finding the leave management system that works for your business is key to building a functional and efficient timekeeping policy. 

Grace Periods

An employee’s grace period is the time before and after the start of their shift in which they are allowed to clock in. A grace period is typically five, ten or fifteen minutes, and is put in place to prevent employees from either showing up too early to increase their hours for the pay period or consistently arriving late - both of which decrease productivity. You have to decide how much of a grace period to offer your employees. Some jobs require employees to be at their stations by a hard start time, so a smaller grace period will incentivize them to be on time. Other jobs might be a little more relaxed, and employees can show up at their discretion. Either way, many time and attendance programs flag employees when they clock in outside of those grace periods, so you can monitor their behavior and adjust accordingly. 

Timekeeping Methods

When deciding how you’re going to track your employee’s time and attendance, there are many factors you need to consider. With employee time theft so prominent in the workplace, you want to make sure your employees’ punches are accurate. In a recent blog post** I covered six of the most common methods of tracking time and attendance. The most popular of these - and the option that provides the most flexibility - is the biometric clock. These clocks have facial recognition and fingerprint scanning options that ensure your employees are where they’re supposed to be, in addition to badge and code punching so you can cater to all your employees, no matter what method works best for them.