Employee Time Tracking

What is employee time tracking?

Employee time tracking is the process of recording and calculating an employee’s work hours for payroll. It is a key part of time and attendance administration. Accurate employee time tracking is essential for compliance and efficient business operations. The hardware, software and policies used to manage employee time tracking also impact work culture and employee engagement.

Employee time tracking includes the following components:

  • Recording shift start and end times (punch in and punch out)
  • Maintaining paper timesheets or electronic timecards
  • Each employee submits their timecard to the manager for approval
  • The manager approves the timecard or sends it back for correction
  • Calculating employee hours, wages, and withholdings for payroll

Related processes include creating and publishing employee schedules, administering PTO, issuing paychecks, and enforcing time and attendance policies.

How does employee time tracking impact an organization?

Employee time tracking is foundational. If a company doesn’t track work hours, they can’t pay their employees. Effective employee time tracking:

  • Helps businesses efficiently manage their workforce
  • Saves on labor costs by preventing deliberate time theft, inadvertent mistakes, payroll errors or schedule confusion
  • Improves employee engagement
  • Helps companies comply with federal, state and local wage and hour laws
  • Drives productivity
  • Provides analytics for labor optimization

What is the best way to manage employee time tracking?

Modern cloud-based work tech automates time tracking. Unified hardware/software systems capture punches when employees clock in and out. Staff can clock in with a physical time clock or through an online web portal. Mobile and remote employees can clock in with a time tracking app on a mobile device. These systems align time tracking with overall HR management.

What are the benefits of automated employee time tracking?

  1. Avoid payroll errors
  2. Reduce time spent managing labor
  3. Increase trust between employees and management
  4. Eliminate buddy punching
  5. Prevent missed punches
  6. Reduce labor expenses
  7. Improve oversight of mobile and offsite employees
  8. Speed up time card approvals
  9. Keep track of PTO requests
  10. Prevent double booking employees at two locations
  11. Reduce time spent creating employee schedules
  12. Track certifications and licenses
  13. Prevent shift coverage gaps
  14. Accommodate employee schedule preferences—improve work/life balance
  15. Comply with predictive scheduling laws
  16. Ease admin burden on managers with self-service shift trading
  17. Prevent employee burnout due to excessive overtime

How do you choose employee time tracking work tech?

Choosing the right timekeeping system is a critical. Your system has a profound influence on culture, efficiency and productivity.

Here are recommendations from employee time tracking specialists:

  1. Make sure it can accommodate your workforce now and scale for growth
  2. Take advantage of demos and free trials to evaluate ease-of-use
  3. Understand mobile features: location tracking, geofencing, location-based punch lockout
  4. Verify the quality and delivery method of vendor support
  5. Make sure it syncs with the right time clock(s) for your business
  6. Look for payroll integration capability to prevent manual data entry
  7. Schedule templates save time
  8. Research compliance tools
  9. Auto alerts improve workforce communication and oversight
  10. Insist on employee self-service and mobile access
  11. Consider tools for job codes, tip management, schedule enforcement, and certification tracking
  12. Consider COVID-19 needs: sanitary touchless time clocks; clock interfaces with COVID symptom prompts; clocks with thermal temperature detection

Good employee time tracking is integral to the employee experience. An inaccurate or confusing method wreaks havoc at all levels. A straightforward, uncomplicated, and transparent process creates a positive work culture and improves employee engagement.

See also

Additional resources

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