It is complicated and time-consuming to manage employee schedules and absences, but it’s vital to successful business operations to have the right labor available to achieve strategic goals. Absence rates have a negative impact on productivity and are the main reason employers automate absence management, according to business research firm Aberdeen Group’s 2012 Workforce Management study. But when a company integrates time and attendance with payroll software, they improve those problem areas and benefit in many ways.
Key Findings of the Aberdeen Group Study
The Aberdeen study reports the benefits of time and attendance (also known as time labor management) automation and integration with payroll, scheduling and absence management. Key findings include:
- Fewer organizations have manual time and attendance processes in place than those who have integrated time and attendance with other processes.
- Organizations that integrated time and attendance with payroll experienced significantly fewer payroll processing errors and manual adjustments and spent less time tracking actual time worked.
- Close to 50% of organizations integrate time and attendance with workforce management.
- 66% of organizations integrate time and attendance with payroll and 70% of organizations included in the study integrate time and attendance with scheduling.
Integrated Systems Help Control Employee Absences
Employee absences include sick time, vacation time, personal days, and short- and long-term leave. Primary motivators to improve absence management through automation are improved productivity and better managed costs, but Aberdeen notes that a strong secondary motivation is to take emotion out of dealing with absence issues, especially those involving illness, injury, emergencies, chronic lateness, and perceived favoritism. Both standalone and integrated systems have the ability to approve/decline requests online, which helps to remove emotion. Integrated systems can then bring this data to the other departments that need access, including payroll, HR and supervisory staff.
The percentage of productivity lost due to unplanned absences varies based on how organizations respond to absence issues. Organizations that have existing staff, supervisors, or third-party staff cover in cases of unplanned absences experience lower productivity loss than those that do nothing to replace absent workers. Therefore, employers need tools to track and manage absenteeism’s effect on business performance in order to work towards improved productivity. With an integrated time labor management system, data can be quickly accessed for performance reviews within the same system.
Another big benefit of absence management is visibility and transparency, which reduce the number of grievances filed and help organizations defend against unfounded accusations. Absence and accrual policies can be clearly communicated through integrated time labor management system and employees can access them at any time. In addition, historical data can be pulled by administrators to defend against any claims that do arise. With better transparency comes better understanding and therefore can assist in controlling absences.
Time labor management is an important part of total workforce management. The Aberdeen Group’s study showed that best-in-class organizations were more likely to automate absence management with a Human Capital Management (HCM) system and experience better workforce improvements because of it when compared to a standalone time labor management tool.
In addition, an HCM can prompt other important process improvements and automation outside of absence management. With the right HCM tool, businesses can experience improved standardization of processes, reduced administrative burden, improved transparency, accurate compliance tracking, significant reduction in overtime costs, and positive impact on employee engagement.
The Aberdeen Group recommends automating absenteeism, and says that integrating it with time and attendance, HR, scheduling, payroll, and leave management helps produce better decision-making and provides better insight. While standalone time and labor management technology produces efficiencies in the areas of timekeeping and absence management, using an integrated time labor management solution produces even better efficiencies beyond just absence management and can bring a higher return on investment.