Tracking Employee Time and Attendance

Business owners have long been tasked with tracking employee time and attendance. The process usually involves adding up and approving time worked totals from timesheets or time cards of each employee.

In 1909 Halbert Powers Gillette an author of textbooks for the engineering and construction fields had the following to say about time clocks:

They may not, in general, be used in the field, but which is of immense value in the office and particularly in a shop…

Various forms of time clocks are in common use…

A time card recorder, which is a clock so made that it will automatically stamp on a card inserted in a slot in the clock by the workman the time of his arrival and of his departure. The cards are made to hold a record covering the pay period and need no attention from a timekeeper or clerk until the termination of this period. The record of the men’s time can then be compiled very readily by one who need not be a skilled mathematician or time clerk…

In the time clock world not much had changed for the 100 years following Mr. Gillette’s writings.  Many companies to this day still use paper time sheets or mechanical time clocks to record employee time, but there is a change afoot. Electronic Timekeeping has arrived and it not just at the entrance of your shop it is everywhere your employees are. To me it is not a question as to should you use this rapidly evolving technology but rather a question of when and how will you use it.

Electronic Timekeeping has been proven to save time, increase accuracy, improve scheduling efficiency, reduce overtime cost and assist in labor law compliance. See this link to demonstrate how it can save your company money.

Labor law compliance requires more detailed reporting from companies as technologies enable such reporting. In the past a weekly time sheet showing an employee worked from 9-5 every day may have been acceptable to a compliance official but increasingly federal and state labor officials will be demanding more specifics.

Electronic Timekeeping is clearly worth the investment just from the standpoint of the items I have already touched on. But the real exciting part of the time keeping revolution to me is the power it is giving companies to manage their largest expense. Payroll data can be collected in so many ways and organized by so many different variables that the business intelligence capabilities are virtually endless.  Just like when computers first came out it can be confusing trying to figure out the capabilities of the new technology and how your company would best be served.  My advice to a company ready to implement Electronic Timekeeping is to start with a somewhat basic configuration and build from there.

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