The State of Time and Attendance — The Aberdeen Group Report
As part of an ongoing research series on workforce management processes and issues, the Aberdeen Group recently released a report focusing on Time and Attendance tracking. The report highlighted ways in which today’s economic climate is forcing organizations of all sizes to analyze and streamline their workforce management processes to boost efficiency. With their workforce being one of the biggest expenditures for most companies, the study found that improvements in Time and Attendance management result in significant gains.
According to Aberdeen, total workforce management comprises core HR (HR and employee data management and system of recording data), payroll, time and attendance, scheduling, and absence management. Organizations must become more agile and flexible in terms of their workforce, and use data to help them make better decisions regarding their deployment and work load. This report focussed on Time and Attendance tracking processes, and the strategies that were found to get optimal results.
Organizations must standardize workforce management processes to ensure they’re effective, efficient and transparent. This begins with consistency and transparency in how time is tracked and pay is calculated, which helps managers and employees understand how the process works and how it affects them, which builds trust. This also calls for transparency to external parties—local, state and federal authorities, labor unions, as well as shareholders, taxpayers and stakeholders. A time and attendance solution that’s integrated into an organization’s ERP system greatly helps managers connect business plans with workforce strategies, resulting in better intelligence, analysis and strategies.
After standards and processes are in place, automation is the next logical step to improve efficiency and effectiveness. According to Aberdeen, about a third of companies surveyed still used manual time and attendance tracking systems. They also found that 41% of companies using automated time and attendance use tools that are that are part of an integrated workforce management tool or ERP system. When combined with an ERP solution, the solution can feed crucial data into dashboards and analytical tools that help streamline workforce management.
Today’s connected workforce increasingly expects quick and easy access to workforce management data and processes. They want information on demand and the ability to enter data from multiple points, such as browsers, smartphones and tablet devices. This frees up HR departments to focus on core activities, and enhances accuracy compared to manual entry of information. Aberdeen found that 62% of organizations they surveyed allowed employees to have self-service access to time and attendance entry, as well as detailed information on their hours, time off balances, and more.
Integration of time and attendance data with payroll and HR applications greatly boost accuracy and usability of data for analytics. About 70% of survey respondents currently integrate time and attendance data with their web scheduling solution, and nearly the same percentage have integrated time and attendance with payroll systems. Integration with scheduling is crucial to determining historical performance data, and identifying more productive and efficient employees and teams, which ties into scheduling processes to help achieve better results. When payroll systems are integrated with time and attendance data, overhead as well as errors are sharply reduced. Aberdeen found that organizations that integrated time and attendance with payroll had about 30% fewer payroll errors, along with roughly one-third fewer errors in tracking time worked.
The Aberdeen Group’s survey and analysis shows conclusively that Time and Attendance processes are not just standalone aspects of workforce management, but are indeed crucial to ushering in process improvements which lead to remarkable gains in productivity, ROI, efficiency and morale.