Spend 10 minutes reading this and you could save your company time as well as £££s. Keith Rodgers explains the four key steps to overhauling your time and attendance management
Although they're typically associated with shopfloor 'clocking-in' environments, time and attendance systems are fast emerging as a valuable tool for a wide range of HR environments. Capable of delivering big productivity gains and cost reductions in any operation where employees are paid hourly, or salaried staff are entitled to overtime, the newest breed of systems offer far more in the way of strategic insight.
By improving reporting and making employee-related data available to both line managers and the board, T&A applications are beginning to be deployed as planning and analytical tools, linking to financial systems. Throw in Health and Safety issues and a growing awareness of the Working Time Regulations, and it is easy to see why the US term for T&A - frontline labour management - is becoming more common place in the UK.
In an environment where users demand a cast-iron return on their IT investments, it is the cost and productivity implications that continue to catch the eye. Simon Macpherson, UK operations director at specialist software supplier Kronos Systems, points to a wealth of statistics that demonstrate the impact of reducing absenteeism.
According to the CBI, 7.8 days are lost per employee per year, at a cost of £438 per staff member - a reduction of just one day, therefore, equates to an annualised saving of more than £28,000 for a company with 500 employees. Reduction in overtime payment errors - a notoriously difficult area to track - leads to similar gains.
From an IT perspective, integration with HR, payroll and budgeting systems is a must. From a management perspective meanwhile, the introduction of these kinds of applications can also lead to cultural difficulties. But if you are planning to use your T&A system as a strategic tool the following four areas are where it can have the greatest impact.
Step one: Tackle absenteeism
Absence management is typically seen in most organisations as either a basic HR administrative task or a chore for line managers. In reality, however, the costs associated with absence can quickly soar.
Not only do companies have to meet statutory or contractual sick pay expenses, they also incur th