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Choosing Time & Attendance Software: Let’s Decode Some Key Language
- nettime solutions staff
Whether you’re choosing time & attendance software that helps solve advanced scheduling needs, lets employees swap shifts from their phones, offers biometric scanning, or syncs up with other business systems, there are hundreds of options to choose from.
“We’re a pretty mature marketplace,” says Adam Hollenberg, Regional Sales Manager with nettime solutions and stratustime.
Most Time & Attendance Software Solutions Sound the Same
As Hollenberg asserts, many of these time & attendance solutions sound similar. When you delve into them, you start to see key differences, and can get a better sense of what’s best for you.
With help from Hollenberg and a stratustime customer, we’ve decoded three common phrases you might see in the market:
- ease and simplicity
- a flexible solution
Before you make your decision, be sure to decide what these phrases mean for you and your organization.
When Choosing Time & Attendance Software, Answer These 3 Questions
- How do you define ease and simplicity?
Most time & attendance software solutions will promise ease and simplicity. After all, who wants the opposite?
For a company that’s looking to automate its time & attendance system, one of the first places to start is to ask the right questions about what makes it easy. For example:
- What’s the easiest way for your employees to access it?
- Are most of your employees hourly? Salaried? Or do you have a mix of employees at different pay levels with different pay types, performing multiple functions?
- Is scheduling handled by a single person in management? By multiple managers at multiple locations? Do you want employees to have some say in scheduling?
- Does the system integrate easily with your current payroll software?
- Will you need to add job codes or project codes for reporting purposes?
- Do you want an intuitive, out-of-the-box solution that you can use with little or no training, or are you willing to attend a training for more robust functionality?
Just as importantly, ease and simplicity must translate to the people in an organization.
“Your time & attendance software should work for everyone,” Hollenberg says. “If you have a mix of blue- and white-collar workers, or a workforce scattered in different geographic areas, your people shouldn’t get stuck trying to clock in, schedule vacation time, or submit a timesheet.”
Tara Hood, who led the switch to stratustime for her organization, knew that some employees would be apprehensive at first.
“There will always be a few people who get nervous when something new is on the way,” she says. “For us, after the first week, the only feedback I received was about how easy the system is.”
- How does your flexible time & attendance software solution respond to the unexpected?
“Flexibility sounds great,” Hollenberg says. “And many solutions do a good job illustrating what this means on a day-to-day basis.”
- With a flexible time & attendance software solution, employees can clock in and out from multiple devices: on-site from a dedicated time clock, a central kiosk, or POS, or remotely via computer, tablet, mobile phone or dial-in.
- Flexibility may also mean being able to check schedules, view vacation and PTO accruals, request time off, swap shifts and more via systems that both employees and managers can access outside of work.
- It can also refer to administrative functionality, such as the ability to add job or project codes without expensive support.
Going deeper, flexibility shows up in the way your system functions when something you didn’t see coming happens.
This was the case when Tara Hood and her coworkers were forced to work remotely when their office building was temporarily closed because of storm damage. Even with the workforce scattered, they were able to go about business as usual thanks in part to stratustime’s cloud-based flexibility.
“For instance, I was able to log into the software and add new pay types without having to call anybody on stratustime’s end,” Hood says. “After adding the new pay types, all I had to do was email my team and tell them how to mark their time.” This was essential to making sure her staff were logging their time correctly, according to which project they were working on.
stratustime is built around providing administrators and employees with access to the features they need, whether they’re working in the office or remotely. We provide the upfront training, while our support teams are available to answer questions down the road.
What are your must-haves when it comes to an automated time & attendance solution? For some companies and organizations, it comes down to staying in compliance with applicable wage & hour laws and regulations. You can read about how stratustime helped bring two very different organizations peace of mind in our recent case study, “Clock In on Compliance.”
In Hood’s case, calling stratustime wasn’t necessary.
“It really was a simple five-minute solution,” she says.
“Beyond the day-to-day features,” Hollenberg says, “your time & attendance system should help you work faster and smarter. It’s nearly impossible to guess what might come your way out of the blue. When you turn to your time & attendance system to solve it, it should help you move forward without slowing you down.”
- What does “built to scale” mean to your organization?
Knowing that your time & attendance system is friendly, flexible and cost-effective will most likely bring you peace of mind. But what happens a few years from now when the system no longer supports your business or organization?
“About a decade ago, we became one of the first time & attendance solutions to move to the cloud,” Hollenberg says. “We saw where the industry was going, and we wanted to stay ahead of it. Today, nearly everyone is in the cloud.”
But even as product features and levels of support evolve, the success of a solution ultimately comes down to how well it meets the changing needs of its customers.
For instance, if you’re looking at a solution that promotes itself as a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solution, here are some questions to consider related to training, using the system, and product evolution:
- Do they keep the learning curve as low as possible, even when people and features change?
- Can you really clock-in or clock-out from anywhere?
- Does the system “play nice” with other accounting and payroll systems?
- Is the dashboard easy and intuitive to use, whether you’re monitoring hours, checking PTO, requesting time off, or performing another task related to time & attendance?
- How easy is it to access and approve time cards?
- Do they make good on the promise of pain-free upgrades that don’t disrupt other business systems?
- Does the solution live up to the promise of lowering IT costs?
“When you think about all of the different pieces in a business that mesh together,” Hollenberg says, “time & attendance touches nearly every facet of an organization. Whether a business grows or shrinks, you don’t want to have to replace your time & attendance software every few years. Instead, you want a system that moves when you move. And when the system itself evolves, you want to make sure those changes continue to make sense.”
Is time & attendance on your mind? If you’re looking to simplify things like attendance and scheduling, financial reporting and analytics, wage & hour compliance, or want to dig deeper into ease, simplicity and scalability, give us a call today. We’ll put stratustime on the clock for you.