If you run a business with multiple office locations or have a field sales or service force and are wondering what is the best way to capture real-time and accurate date about staff attendance and movement then consider reading this blog aimed at helping individuals like you make a right decision.
Capturing and recording daily attendance of employees in office is one of the most fundamental tasks in any business. Since the wages defined are to be paid every month based on attendance, any error in capturing and recording daily attendance not only creates unhappy employees, but also has a direct impact on your bottom line. Making errors in your attendance records is easy, correcting them is very time consuming and difficult.
This problem is more acutely faced in organizations with distributed workforce, when you have people in 2 or more locations across the country, collecting, verifying and processing attendance in a timely and accurate manner becomes a time consuming affair. One of the key new features that most such organizations should look to use is – Geo Attendance.
What is Geo Attendance?
It’s simply recording attendance of your employees based on their current geographical location/s. With use of smart phone applications, employees are able to mark their attendance either based on a specific location that they have been tagged to or even record their movement between location/s to create trail of customer visits.
So when you are looking to select such application what should you look for?
- Customization of configurations:
You are likely to have different requirements for different staff types for example you may want a certain type of configuration for office based staff, while wanting a very different way for your sales and customer service staff.
For example for your office based staff you could use Geo Fencing feature which tags employees to a specific location & allows them to record attendance only when they are within a specific limit of that location. For sales & service staff, Geo tracking feature can be used , where the employee records his or her start & end location when in transit. This creates a trail of their travel including any intermediate stops thus giving a very clear picture of customers covered and locations visited. This data then can be used for further analysis and reviews.
- Availability of Internet
Since mobile smart phones are a staple feature with most employees in most organizations today, its a smart choice to use mobile device to capture and record attendance using an app. However the app should ensure that you can tag the employee to a particular location and also ensure that employee can mark attendance only when within predefined tolerance limits of such defined location.
All such functionalities typically work with the assumption of availability of internet at the location and that creates problems in capturing, reporting, and eventually using the system. So if a solution offers you offline data capture which is synced at predefined intervals that should work better. You should look for applications that work on the basic internet bandwidth which is about 2 generations behind, thus ensuring that even if your employees are in remote locations, they are covered.
- Proxy Attendance
One of the critical aspect in remote attendance or even attendance in general is how do we avoid proxy. The solution you are considering should have some mechanism to capture such attempts and have in-built verification mechanisms for the same. If the solution considered has in built alerts for any such attempts or if the phone IMEI code is tagged to a base location then you can easily ensure if the device shows some unusual behaviour.
- Ease of Use
Since this application gives the complete control of logging and recording attendance in the hands of your employees its very critical that the application is very intuitive and simple to use. It should also consider aspects like battery usage, phone switch off, network unavailability and have built in mechanisms to address such issues. The more robust and intuitive the application is for such scenarios the more likely it will be adopted by your employees.
- The analytics
Capturing all this information is useless if you don’t analyse the same to identify trends and take corrective and preventive actions. Irregularity in attendance is not only an early indicator of attrition but also a trigger for many basic disciplinary actions. The more robust your overall attendance management system the more efficient is your business.
In conclusion, with features like Geo attendance – fencing and tracking, you can capture attendance more accurately and real time, while saving significant cost on hardware especially if you are dependent on biometric machines. There are some basic advantages of having attendance application on the smart phone as it allows the necessary flexibility and accountability to both employee and the organization.
Many organizations are looking to use mobile app for basic attendance and payroll functionalities considering their ease of use and “always-on” nature of the smart phone device. Being able to track and record attendance in real time based on geographical location ensures there is complete transparency in the way the attendance is recorded & captured.