Where to start when implementing a T&A system - Part 1
To Clock, or not to clock: that is the question.
As the saying goes, "Time and tide wait for no man", and having worked in numerous industries over the past 30 years, I’ve decided to share my knowledge and experiences of designing, building and implementing Time & Attendance (T&A) systems in a series of blogs. These will cover all aspects of T&A functionality ranging from how to create effective workload plans, building rosters, collecting and validating variable time information, implementing business and legislative validation, and finally ensuring correct payments to employees by integrating with an industry-leading payroll solution.
That being said, I’ve now realised that in attempting to write a blog on this subject is not as straightforward as I first thought. So many features, so many topics, so many options, so where do I start?
For me, the best place to start is with the employee experience. Why start with the employee experience? Surely the benefits to the organisation should be top of my list? I disagree, and to support my viewpoint and just to be clear here, it doesn’t matter how big (or small) your organisation is, the largest number of users of any T&A solution is your employee population. Really? I hear you cry. Well yes, if you have more administrative type users than employee self-service users, then you don't need a T&A solution so you may as well stop reading this blog right now.
Part 1 – The employee experience: Give something back!
Nobody likes change, and none more so than your employees when they hear that a T&A solution is being implemented and Big Brother is now watching your every move, but implementations don’t need to be like this.
One of the key areas a company should consider before implementing a T&A solution is NOT what will this give to my business, but more importantly what benefit will this offer to my employees? Give something back to your employees and watch the adoption rate skyrocket.
I recently worked on an implementation where the company needed convincing that turning on some of the mobile features of their new T&A solution to enable their employees to view their own rosters/schedules, request shift swaps and book holidays was a good idea. The subsequent adoption rate by the employees of almost 80% within the first two months proved this to be the best decision they made. What it did show is never underestimate your employees' willingness to embrace change if you give them something worthwhile embracing.
All T&A solutions offer similar functionality when it comes to product features, but the key differentiator is how these features interact not only with each other but also from a User Experience.
Employee Self Service – Two main points to consider
Intuitive – It’s probably stating the obvious but to ensure a high adoption rate any employee self-service features must be intuitive. It should be available on multiple platforms (Desktop, Tablet or Mobile), and the experience MUST vary across these devices to leverage the benefits of each whilst keeping the general look and feel and processes the same.
Feature Rich – There needs to be enough feature-rich functionality to ensure your employees want to use the self-service features, but not too many to scare them away. Careful thought needs to be given to the features you expose on a different platform (Desktop, Tablet or Mobile). For instance, it may be perfectly valid to permit your employees to view their schedules or timesheets and to request holidays, but do you want them to clock-in from their smartphones too?