If your employee time and attendance aren’t properly tracked, it will affect your profits and your brand. Learn to track employee attendance properly, and watch your bottom line and reputation improve.
Time and Attendance Tracking Isn't Just for School Kids
Roll call and attendance checks are a daily annoyance for schoolkids, and many look forward to the day they don’t have to say “here” when their name is called. They may be disappointed to learn that even adults still have to track time and attendance, except the consequences of bad attendance in the workplace, are more severe than a visit to the principal’s office.
Employee attendance issue affects everyone. For staff, poorly tracked time and attendance means incorrect paychecks and frustration; it means too many hours and exhaustion, or not enough hours and missed bills. For managers, incorrect employee time tracking means under or overstaffing issues, messed up financial books, and big problems down the line when it comes time to check reports. Aside from the money aspect of poor time and attendance tracking, there’s also the issue of morale. Too many mistakes in tracking employee time will sour attitudes, cause stress among the staff, and can result in poor performance. After all, why should your staff continue to work hard for you when you can’t even track employee time properly and give them the correct pay? In addition to the above issues, some staff could see these problems and take advantage of them, lowering employee attendance and helping the snowball of stress grow.
There are ways to avoid all that hassle, improve employee attendance, better track employee time, and make sure your financials are all on point. Read on for our quick guide to simple and effective time and attendance tracking.
Employee Time and Attendance Tracking Best Practices
If you’re dealing with any of the employee attendance issues we mentioned above, it’s time to take a closer look at why these things happen and how you can fix them. By making a few small changes to the way you handle time and attendance tracking, you should quickly see an improvement in employee attendance and attitude, as well as a nice boost to your profits.
1. Step Back and Observe - The first step in getting a handle on employee time and attendance is to step back and simply observe. Make sure you spend time watching your employees on each shift for one to two weeks. Take note of absences (call-outs and no-shows), late starts (with or without a call), and those who show up on time. By tracking which employees are reliable and which have a habit of missing work or coming in late, you can easily see where changes to employee time management can be made. Before assuming the worst though, be sure to follow steps two and three below.
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2. Communicate with Your Reliable Employees - After you have your employee time management notes, it’s time to approach the reliable staff and thank them for working so hard. It seems like a no-brainer; good employees know they’re good, right? However, a big mistake managers make forgetting to acknowledge excellent employee attendance. Let them know you see them and that you notice their hard work and effort. One simple compliment can go a long way in encouraging those good employees to continue working hard for the company. Everyone likes to be recognized, so if it’s within the vibe of your restaurant, go ahead and post something in the break room acknowledging those with perfect (or near-perfect) attendance. If it’s not your company’s policy to make public displays like this, a private conversation and personal thank you will work well, too. The point is to be sure your staff knows you see them working with great employee time management skills.
3. Communicate Privately with Employees about Poor Attendance - On the opposite end of the spectrum, the employees with poor attendance need a different kind of attention. Don’t assume they’re lazy or irresponsible though. This is another part some managers get wrong. Most of the time, time and attendance issues with employees has more to do with issues at home or problems with transportation than with laziness or someone trying to take advantage of the company. Communicate with your employees that have a track record of bad attendance and those that might be on the cusp of landing on the negative side. Find out if there is anything you can do to help them make it on time and avoid call-outs. It could be a later start to their shift or perhaps trading shifts with another employee. You may even find that two employees struggling with their shifts just need to swap with one another to make everything work perfectly. But, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Don’t assume the worst; talk to your employees and come up with an actionable plan to help them do better on attendance. Employee time issues are no joke, but don’t go into these talks assuming your employees don’t want to be reliable. Work together to find a solution to any employee attendance issues.
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4. Make a Stellar Time and Attendance Spreadsheet - After you’ve made your notes and spoken to your employees, it’s time to look for ways to improve employee attendance and employee time management. By now, you should know what’s working for your employees and what isn’t. That should make it much easier for you to revamp your employee schedules and help track time and attendance with very little trouble.
5. Make the Employee Time and Attendance Sheets Easily Accessible - Use a mobile shift scheduling app that employees can download for free. When your staff can easily access the new shift schedule, employee attendance will drastically improve. If they don’t have to wait until they come into work to look at the paper and handwritten schedule, they’ll be able to check their schedule anytime, anywhere they happen to be—that’s the power of cloud-based time and attendance. That removes doubt and confusion and helps employee attendance improve almost instantly. With apps like Zip Schedules, you also get a built-in communication platform to help employees and managers stay in touch. That’s invaluable when something comes up at the last minute, and a shift has to be changed. Simply make the change in Zip Schedules, deploy it to the appropriate employees, and stop worrying that everyone got the message. You can also let employees take some initiative, helping boost their morale. When you have open shifts, just announce them in the app and let interested employees sign up themselves.
Saving Time and Money with Great Employee Attendance Apps
Employee time tracking, employee attendance, and staff scheduling conflicts can all be handled in real-time with the right scheduling app. Added communication platforms, instant reports, and the ability to deploy changes at the tap of a finger make Zip Schedules an absolute must for busy, small to medium sized restaurants. When you spend less time fretting over the schedule and employee attendance issues, you save money. Providing a fast, effective, and simple to use way for employees to take responsibility improves morale, making staff members work harder and with more pride—that saves money, too, because efficiency skyrockets when employees are happy. Now is the time to switch to a digital solution for employee time tracking, but it’s not just about employee attendance. There’s a whole slew of incredible, powerful, and affordable apps that can go along with Zip Schedules to help save your business money, and we’ve written some of them here.