A smart attendance management system will help you track employee hours, ensuring there are no policy or regulatory violations. It also goes a long way in simplifying payroll.
When building a digitally enabled work environment, a sophisticated platform for attendance management becomes essential. Not only is it responsible for maintaining visibility on employee movements, but attendance management systems can also simplify compliance.
Different companies follow varying regulatory mandates around working hours, compensation, and time off. A digital attendance management system keeps track of these details, making the audit process much easier.
So, if you’re on the lookout for an attendance management system, what are the features that should be on your checklist? Let’s take a look.
What Is an Attendance Management System?
Any solution that helps to monitor an employee’s time spent in the office is called an attendance management system. Interestingly, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a digital tool – paper registers, time clocks, and Excel-based spreadsheets are some of the legacy models of attendance management.
But with technology evolving at lightning speed and companies looking at large, distributed workforces, the tools to record attendance must keep pace. This has given rise to dedicated software for employee time-tracking, ranging from on-premise software to cloud-based tools with advanced analytics and automated schedule configuring.
A cloud-based attendance management system offers the benefits of flexibility, cost optimisation, and ease of access across devices and platforms. And several features make these tools essential for modern organisations.
Must-have Features of an Attendance Management System
Whether you choose an on-premise or cloud-based attendance management system, these four capabilities will form the foundation of employee time-tracking. That’s why you should have the following features on your checklist:
1. Clocking in and out
This is an attendance management essential – employees should be able to clock in, register break periods, and clock out after the workday is complete, using either magnetic card readers or personalised phone numbers. Card readers are useful because they reduce the risk of fraud or “proxy” clocking in.
2. Leave management
Leave management is another area where your attendance management system should play a role. A missed day shouldn’t automatically register as “absent”; instead, the employee should be alerted to apply for leave or make any special attendance requests (such as half-day).
3. Payroll integration
If your attendance management system is linked to payroll, compensation is calculated as per the time put in, reconciling any approved leaves or paid time off (PTO). Remember, this doesn’t just mean daily payroll. A genuinely useful software will support hourly compensation and flexible payments as well.
Creating and maintaining employee attendance records is a key HR responsibility in any organisation. Basic report generation, such as the number of hours, overtime, missed days, etc., should be available in an exportable report format.
Nice-to-haves in an Attendance Management System
Now that you’re aware of the must-haves for attendance management, let’s look at a few nice-to-have features that can help your employees become more productive and save you valuable time and effort.
5. Biometric attendance
Biometric attendance is excellent if you have a large workforce with specific clock-in and clock-out timelines. For example, a contact centre will have a nine-hour shift employing over a hundred agents. Biometric technology eliminates the risk of fraud by using the employee’s fingerprint or other personal identification for attendance authorisation.
6. Missed clock-in alerts
Frequently, an employee might forget to clock in after taking a break or skip clocking out in a rush to leave after the workday. Automated alerts will inform managers/employees of these anomalies, requesting immediate action.
7. Calendar integration
An attendance management system can also be synced with digital calendars such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and the like. This lets everyone on the team know about a person’s availability. Calendar integrations are especially relevant for remote teams where you can simply check on a person’s attendance via a shared calendar.
Features That Set Your Attendance Management System Apart
In addition to the essentials and nice-to-haves, emerging capabilities such as cloud, self-service, analytics, and gig worker support could help optimise performance and streamline HR tasks. Here’s how:
8. Mobile and cloud support
A cloud-based attendance management system is widely accessible from any device. This also implies a browser integration – which means the system can be opened without installing an app. Also, a mobile platform could help boost field workers and remote employee productivity, enabling accurate attendance capture from any location.
9. Employee self-service
Self-service is a game-changer for your attendance management system. Your employees no longer need to clock in at the office doorway – instead, they can sit at their desks (on-premise or remote) and log in using an app/browser. Leave requests, corrections to attendance records, and self-compliance can also be performed without the intervention of HR or a manager.
10. Advanced analytics
Attendance management systems powered with advanced analytics offer granular visibility into attendance patterns, highlighting those who frequently put in overtime or diverge from scheduled hours. Behaviours like these can be noted and rectified, upholding optimal productivity levels in the office.