Labor management is a complex system of processes and ideas that can, at times, be daunting. However, employing a robust virtual attendance system, such as Zip Clock, can seriously assist in processes as basic as how to clock in.
Labor management is an interesting field. I hesitate to call it a field since it’s more a line of work that applies to some different fields and industries, but you get the point I’m trying to make. It consists of the tasks, processes, and ideas that allow for the organization and management of employees. If that sounds like a bit of a broad, general, blanket kind of a mess, then you would be right. It’s not unorganized, per say, as that would contradict the very name, but it is a difficult thing for some people to wrap their heads around on some level.
For our discussion today, we’re going to stick within the limits of the strict definition I pointed out above. The principal focus of most labor-management relations is understanding how these management and organization decisions impact the employee, the employer, and the business at large. These decisions can be anything from their uniforms to the length of their pay periods, how they clock into the way shifts are assigned, and just about everything in between. They also include issues surrounding attendance.
Indeed, one of the focuses of labor-management is ensuring that the procedure for monitoring attendance and clock in times, is one that makes the most sense and most directly benefits the company, employees, and administrators. As we’ve touched on in other articles, the attendance monitoring system almost universally used is a time clock of some kind. As we’ve also pointed out, traditional, mechanical or digital time clocks have a wide range of potential errors that can occur with their use. Therefore, we strongly urge restaurants to upgrade to a virtual time clock system for employees to clock in at work.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at five ways that making that upgrade can seriously benefit any labor-management efforts that a restaurant might be undertaking, starting with the basic clock in procedure. Some of these ways will be more tangible, while others will have more to do with the emotions and lack of risk associated with their use. All of them, though, should help to prove the point that if you aren’t already using a virtual time clock to clock in at your restaurant, then there is no time like the present to make the switch.
When dealing with a virtual time clock, more often than not one of their hallmarks will be an improved, more efficient way for employees to clock in and clock out. In some cases, such as with Zip Clock, there may even be something like a biometric scanner, the purpose of which is to allow employees to clock in and clock out using their fingerprints (we’ll discuss this a bit further in the next point). All of this boils down to a more streamlined, harder to mess up clock in process, something that makes everyone’s lives easier.
An age-old issue for many restaurants is what is known as buddy punching. The phrase, which does sound like Will Ferrell’s character in Elf having a bit of a scrap with the mall Santa, actually describes one member of your team clocking in or out for another member of the team, who is not actually there to work yet, either because they’re stuck in traffic and running late or want to leave early. As we’ve said before, this is almost never done with any real malicious intent beyond trying to get a bit of extra money, but it is still considered time-theft and is still a serious problem. By using a virtual time clock, especially the kind with the bio-scanner for fingerprints, you can eliminate this clock in clock out issue entirely since team members cannot duplicate the fingerprints of others.
Something that always seemed to be lacking from the traditional time management methods was any solid, secure way to store the attendance data. Sure, you could photocopy the time cards and store the copies and originals away, and eventually, they were able to be scanned and saved on a computer hard drive, but this doesn’t do much. Those flimsy, tan pieces of paper are still just pieces of paper and are easily lost or damaged by as little as a good sneeze under the right conditions. With a virtual time clock system, you can store the clock in data as the digital information that it is, which enables not only more ways to store it but more secure ones as well. The result is a better deal for all involved.
This sort of goes hand in hand with the previous point. Because all of the time clock data is digital and easily stored, it is also much easier to manage and analyze when it comes time to do payroll at the end of each pay period. Instead of rifling through dozens of paper rectangles and trying to read the numbers from them, the information is presented clearly and concisely for all to see (or, well, for you to see, since you shouldn’t be sharing the timesheet data with other employees). All you need to do is perform the calculations, or have your virtual time clock software do them for you if that is a feature it boasts, and boom, you know how many hours each employee worked.
In the same vein as the payroll process being easier with a virtual time clock, it is also a more accurate process too. This is, in part, a direct result of the bio-scanner feature we discussed previously, rendering it almost impossible for employees to cheat their clock in to earn a few extra hours worth of pay. However, the main part of why this is true is because fewer humans have to interact with the process. We’ve said this before, but your potential for error increases with each new human that comes in contact with the data. In a traditional setup, you’ve got the employee and then the administrator both having to interact with the time clock information. When an administrator goes to analyze the data, in particular, they run the risk of not reading something correctly, or not entering it properly, all of which can result in a difference between actual hours worked and those that are submitted to payroll. With a virtual time clock, because of the digital data transferring, this clock in cheat is no longer possible.
There you have it- our top five ways that using a virtual time clock can help to make the processes involved in labor-management easier and more efficient. We hope that you’ve found these points not only informative, but that they have convinced you to finally leap your rusty old time clock to a sleek, more modern, and more foolproof one.