If you run a business, after capital the next important resource required is people. It’s not surprising then, capturing and monitoring attendance of employees in order to pay them the monthly wages is a fundamental process in all businesses. As per Sierra Cedar HR Systems Survey White Paper 2016-17; 88% organizations use time & attendance solutions as part of the Workforce Management suite (WFM). A closer look at this data indicates that WFM adoption in Small (less than 5000 employees) and Medium (less than 10,000 employees) is markedly lower than in Large (More than 10,000 employees) organizations.

This gap is one of the factors that are driving the user adoption of this critical function. In an Indian context; the availability of technology at the last mile, internet, & mobile phones becoming common place has resulted in employers using technology solutions to free up their staff from mundane activities.

Availability of HR technology solutions on cloud with all features and functionalities typically required for time & attendance management is another key factor for driving this adoption. Many cloud based HR tech solutions now offer the time, attendance & leave management functionalities via smart phones, thus giving this technology adoption a further push.

So why should a business move away from a manual time & attendance system to a digitized one? We highlight some of these benefits here.

  1. Manual time & attendance system is both time consuming and erroneous. With no specific track available to check actual vs. reported attendance it can lead to leakages in the system which can be costly.
  2. Manual systems can be altered without any trace of who changed what. Even if you are using a MS Excel to help you “digitize” the attendance record, it’s essentially a manual system where version control is a major challenge. This does not address the challenge mentioned in #1 above.
  3. If you have multiple office or store locations even in the same city, compiling attendance from each location, ensuring that it’s accurate & then using this information to calculate salaries to be paid is an extremely tedious task fraught with manual errors and risks of paying more.
  4. Most organizations have custom defined policies for office hours, shift timings, late coming, early going, and how these scenarios will be treated. Doing this manually once your business grows beyond 30 people just does not make sense. By moving to a digital system you build efficiencies in the process & free up people to take care of other tasks, which is a huge benefit for any business, but especially to a small & medium enterprise.

While many organizations seem to be investing in the hardware required to capture employee attendance electronically, very often the corresponding software is neglected. This can mean that data collected electronically is still being run through a person for further processing & thus negating all benefits of having the data captured electronically.

The other critical function that most organizations need to adopt once they have addressed time & attendance is leave management. An integrated solution which ensures that time, attendance, & leave are all operate as one application greatly improves the user experience & administrative ease.

While Indian labour laws stipulate 21 paid leaves in a financial year, many organizations have different rules on how this would be administered while many offer more than 21 days of paid leaves. A software application that takes care of these combinations and helps in administration greatly improves effectiveness of the process. Simple queries like – what is my leave balance- are then handled by the software via employee self service, thus freeing up a lot of bureaucracy in the system.

The recent growth of Time, Attendance & Leave management solutions indicates that more & more companies are now looking at automation of this basic process in their organization. With increased awareness about compliances and a desire to build efficient business processes many entrepreneurs are embracing these technology solutions. A flexible, modular, and integrated solution helps organizations of all sizes simplify this basic transaction thus helping create the foundation of a productive and efficient organization.