Time & Attendance Requirements, They Are a Changin' - Part 1

Marlo Hertling

In this two part series we’ll take a look at the diverse nature of Time & Attendance and what considerations you should take into account when assessing your current solution or looking for a new one.

I think of Time & Attendance as the chameleon of people management, because requirements can be very different from company to company. Over my career I’ve been involved in more Time & Attendance installations than I can count – and almost everyone had at least one unique requirement. The only real commonality is the need for all companies to accurately record time (tracking both worked and missed time) by employees.

Part 1 - Who Is Your Time & Attendance Solution Really For?

The Evolution of Time & Attendance Requirements for People Management

Getting the right Time & Attendance solution is important in your organization because HR, Payroll, Finance, Employees, and Managers will all have a touch point with the solution you implement.

Let’s take a look at how each of these groups will interact with the solution and what’s important to each of these stakeholders.

Stakeholder What They Need What's Important to Them
Human Resources Requires access to run reports in real time on absences so they can provide business insights like increased absenteeism rates among high performance employees. Human Resources want a time collection solution that fits the company culture. They want something that is easy to train employees on and that their whole team is comfortable with.
Payroll Requires a solution that automatically calculates and reduces accruals for vacation, sick time and other leaves. Payroll wants the ability to review time summary reports and to have the time solution integrated with Payroll so the time data can be processed without any re-keying of information.
Finance Requires a solution that provides detailed labour cost reports for business intelligence and decision making purposes. Finance wants access to information, they want to be able to know what outstanding entitlement liability balances are, how much overtime was worked in a given period and to be able to get this information with requiring IT support.
Employees Require a quick and easy way to enter time off requests, enter exception hours and view their schedules and entitlement balances. Employees want ease of use and accessibility. They want to be able to get in and out of the system quickly, when it’s convenient for them. So a user friendly interface and mobile access are important.
Managers Require a solution that allows them to quickly and easily review and approve employee time and review employee entitlement balances. Managers want an intuitive solution that provides them with workflow reminders and easy ways to identify exceptions. They want to see all their employee time in one place and to have access to all time information like vacation balances and sick time taken.

With your entire company having a role to play in Time & Attendance the five most important questions you should ask about your solution are:

  1. Is the solution accessible and easy for everyone to use?
  2. Can it be configured to meet your unique company or CBA (collective bargaining unit) requirements?
  3. Does it automate processes like approvals, entitlement accruals and overtime calculations?
  4. Will your Time & Attendance software continue to function properly as your organization grows or evolves?
  5. Will the HCM reporting help your organization have better business insights and allow your management team to make smarter decisions?

As companies all have unique policies, Time & Attendance is not a one size fits all proposition. Different companies have different needs and often there are multiple employee groups within a company that have different requirements. Because of this, the key to implementing a successful Time and Attendance solution can be measured by how flexible the configuration is to ensure it meets all the needs of your whole team and your organization.

Implementing automated web time sheets facilitated a phenomenal shift in culture at McMan. With our previous paper process employees would complete their timesheets and the payroll team would chase down all the time sheets and subtotal the hours, and would often have to make adjustments the next pay. Implementing web time sheets allowed us to make a 180 degree shift and it has worked well for us. Now the control is in the employees hands, they enter their time and they have confidence their pay will be right.

Rob Jack - Director of Finance, McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association

Next week we will look at the functionality you should be looking for in an automated Time & Attendance software. After all your goal is to make sure your whole team is happy with the solution because in order for the system to be successful you need everyone using it to ensure you receive all the benefits it has to offer.

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About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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