There are many ways of setting up an employee for time and attendance. Some are better than others, but in reality, they all work to achieve the same goal: track an employee’s time and attendance. Simply put, time tracking is the measurement and documentation of hours worked. Like mentioned before, there are some ways that work better than others. Using technology allows us to save time and be more efficient, and luckily, there are many ways technology can help us track employee time and attendance. The following are some ways of time tracking that I have rated from least effective, to most effective.
Pencil and Paper
This is the most old school way there is of time tracking. In the old days, there was no technology available to track the hours worked by each employee, so they literally had to write it down on a piece of paper and keep track of their hours that way. This is the least effective way of time tracking because so many things can go wrong when using this method. First of all, paper is easy to lose. If you are not a very organized person, then this method will definitely not work for you. Paper can get smudges, wet, ripped, and ruined in ways that may make the words illegible to the person trying to add up the hours. Also, keep in mind that not everyone has nice handwriting. What is a 3 to me, might look like an 8 to someone else. Using pencil and paper to track an employee’s time and attendance leaves plenty of room for human error.
Using a Spreadsheet
Small businesses might opt to use a manual time tracking system. This is done by creating a spreadsheet on a computer program, such as Excel, which you then have to print out for employees to use. If you don’t want to print it, you can also have it on a computer or tablet that employees can access when they arrive and leave the workplace. To make the spreadsheet available at all times, you can also share it using Google Drive or have it on your company’s “shared drive”. The reason why I rated this poorly is because it makes “buddy punching” easier and it leaves room for human error. Not only that, it can also lead to double entries. Additionally, using manual methods to track time and attendaionce is time-consuming and provides little accountability.
Badges & IDs
This method is common in larger corporations, where employees can track their hours seamlessly by scanning their badge or ID on a pad that clocks them in automatically. This may seem like a smart and easy way to track employees’ time, but this still leaves room for buddy punching. It is easy to give your friend your badge and ask them to swipe it for you, and as we all know, this can have a huge effect in your bottom line. Not only that, but if a badge is ever lost or stolen, then your HR department has to set time aside to replace that badge, taking them away from doing other important tasks. Not to mention they’re not exactly cheap!
Time clocks have become more popular nowadays because of their efficiency and affordability. Depending on what you want to get out of using a time clock, you can either have a very expensive one that offers additional features or a cheap one that can usually do the job well. As your business grows, you can purchase more robust time clocks that can track PTO and have other features.
Biometric Time Clock
This is the best time tracking option. Biometric clocks can scan fingerprints and some even have facial recognition features. So when employees clock-in, they can do so by scanning their fingerprints or by having the clock take their photo. One of the biggest advantages of using biometric time clocks is that there is no room for buddy punching. The person has to physically be there in order for the time clock to recognize their fingerprint or face in order to get clocked-in. More importantly, once the person is clocked in, their hours can automatically transfer to your ESS portal and payroll system. This is a major advantage for the HR department because there will be no need for double data entry and with make your processes more seamless and time effective.
Having a good time and attendance software not only makes your employees’ lives easier, but it also reduces the workload of your HR department. Dominion’s time and attendance software allows hours to automatically and seamlessly flow into payroll, which means no dual entry between platforms. Dominion also offers multiple input options such as biometric time clocks, mobile punching, and PC punching to collect time. Keep in mind that as an employer, you need to stay compliant with FLSA laws and having a good time and attendance software can help you do that. Dominion’s software allows you to quickly produce reports of hours worked and paid with the Reporting feature.
See how Dominion’s Time & Attendance Software can help you stay efficient, productive, and compliant.