The attendance system market is flooded with solutions. All biometric device system integrators claim to have an attendance management software. With software developers coming out from every home in India, designing a good looking software isn’t a challenge. But what about functionality?
In this checklist, we are assuming that web-based, cloud-based systems are the future. Any good T&A system will take care of leave management too.
If you are looking to find out an attendance system software which is comprehensive, with depth & maturity, this checklist will help you decide.
We have created this checklist based on our thorough background in HR automation for about more than a decade. Attendance management is a crucial subject and needs enterprise treatment. Because it tracks an employee’s performance, productivity & salary cost for the organization.
If you are considering to buy, upgrade or migrate to an Attendance system here are the key features to look for:
The biometric device is the 1st step taken for the correct attendance automation. With so many cheap biometric devices available in the market, it is tough to select the right biometric device. But a wrong biometric device can lead to losses, like salary lapses, business productivity loses, security lapses. Check this now!
Tips to choose the correct biometric device:
Check for sensor quality & warranty. It’s critical to check if it can detect the fake fingerprint. Traditional devices are unable to do so.
Biometric device with Push technology: The attendance data should seamlessly flow to a central data management system on a real-time basis.
Finger / Biometric template storage on a central server.
IP65 & other compliances to work in various climatic conditions
Multi-country presence – applicable to businesses and companies with a Global presence
Importance of biometric device: If the correct biometric device is not installed, the whole time attendance management will be a failure. It is plain and simple: Junk data in is junk data out.
The uptime of biometric is a critical factor in capturing employee presence on the work. If even 3% data is manually captured the efforts to generate T&A register is high & purpose of automation is defeated.
Recommendation: Buy the right biometric device, there are a few good quality devices which are reasonably priced and has high ROI value. We suggest Virdi or Kronos.
Attendance rule takes care of company specific requirement for employees working time. Rules are the 1st factor of evaluation for a perfect time management software to work with the hardware. Once the data is dumped from the biometric it is important to apply the right time attendance rules.
Parameters an attendance rule should allow to configure–
Define working hours, full day, half day, short hours
Attendance policy, late coming & early go rules, mandate login time as per business needs
Deduction of leave/pay rules if a violation of policy
Define shifts, multiple shifts, break shift, weekly offs
Define Shift rules, auto shift, manual shift, rotational shift
Other parameters like regularisation rules within specific time/days window
Attendance lock for monthly payroll
Importance: Rules & policies as per company needs & state statutory compliances helps in the accuracy of employee attendance & avoid manual interventions. ZERO manual intervention & transparent practices across the organization is the success of a T&A management software.
Recommendation: Today most organizations buy the software which comes along with the biometric device or vendor recommendation. The time is to evaluate the software service provider separately who understand time attendance system & HR domain.
2 such service providers are CuckooTech and Kronos.
Rostering module: Rostering or shift planning feature is a default/mandate for a progressive & enterprise organization. Highly used in Hospitality, BPO’s & manufacturing companies.
Rostering features we need to check for in the application:
Scheduling of shift, team-wise & manager wise
Amendment to shifts as per business dynamics
Shift rules as per compliance, the employee cannot be allocated continuous shift
Shift rules as per business needs, no women workers post 10.00 PM
Auto shift creation in case of the shift not pre-schedule.
Shift rotation policy & Skip option to handle exceptions
Statistical data for efficient shift planning, shift plan VS actual attendance
Publish roaster on the platform & allow the employee to request for a change in shift
Importance: For a Company with multi-shift needs, defining shift is an important business requirement, in fact, managers have high KRA for effective shift planning. Just imagine an aviation business running only on one fix shift, or state electric department running only one shift.
Recommendation: A software, which meets business needs as per industry requirement. Check if your software provider understands & implement your business specific requirement.
Attendance regularisation, the success of a system is measured on its usage. Here we are referring to employee using the time management functionality. For them to hook on the system, employee self-service functionality is a must.
Features that need to be part of the attendance regularisation functionality–
Employee attendance can be regularised on a click. Request to regularise missed punch, outdoor activity & working from home should be easy.
Manager self-service function, with capabilities to approve requests.
Importance: 100% employee involvement is the only parameter to measure success. Assume employees do not have an option to regularise because of biometric fault or a human error. It will directly impact their pay. The last thing an organization wants as a reason for an employee to resign.
Recommendation: A system that allows regularisation of time, quickly, based on rules. A service provider with a robust attendance solution with similar functionality is the winner.
Attendance System functionality
Attendance rules, rostering, regularisation are all the features of a time capturing system, the above features work well if supported with the following functionality–
Employee & manager self-service portal
Employee & manager portal should have options for
View its own attendance data on a daily/weekly/ monthly / yearly basis with all relevant info like hours work & present status.
Regularisation & approvals
The employee should be able to read all the attendance policy & shifts planned
The manager can do data analysis for its team, like hours worked, short hours, regular late coming, Over time workers. Real-time attendance deviation based on shift planned
Timesheet one of an important function for IT & ITeS companies.
Admin should be able to lock the data as per defined dates, any change in data post attendance lock is considered for next month payroll as arrears.
Attendance alerts via email / SMS notifications
Mobile app for offline attendance marking & various attendance related request while on move or at the comfort of a sofa at home.
Gamification of attendance function, to engage the employees on the online portal.
Importance: These features are the backbone of the attendance system, without these features, the system cannot run independently. It is like we have the data in a box, but accessibility to the box is restricted, and it is of no use. Similarly, an attendance system with best biometric, rules & practices cannot work, if we do not have the ESS & MSS portal for employees ease.
Recommendation: Attendance system should have a capability to check for information on the employee portal in real time, the user interface should be simple for the employees to use, and they can navigate their current & past information with ease. Mobile version of the solution is a must
Any smart attendance solution provider cannot miss the mobile app. App design should have all important functionalities and must be responsive to all kinds of mobile devices. So the employees do not mind installing one more app.
Checks for a mobile app–
Availability of native apps Android & IOS
The capability to store relevant data offline & then sync on demand.
The app should have features to capture geo location, geo fence location to restrict unauthorized marking, option to click selfie, supports validation in case of an audit.
Process driven installation of attendance app, to avoid proxy marking.
Capability to integrate with API, for data exchange with payroll software, HR system & SAP.
Importance: More than 30% of the office staff are on the move for various business support work, ranging from sales, services, support. Business like food delivery, taxi services, e-commerce rely heavily on the mobile app only to track for employee’s attendance. The younger generation is more comfortable using a mobile even on their working desk.
Recommendation– Subscribe to attendance app that is native for sure. Integrates using API. Capability for integration with 3rd party app using Cordova or similar capability. Scalable to meet other HR function needs like expense claims, leave, helpdesk, Chabot. One app sure to be looked for is CuckooTech
Attendance System configuration, the importance of the configuration feature is same as a backstage team. The ease of any application is because of the right configuration options.
Checklist for a perfect configuration feature–
User creation with roles & responsibility
Can configure the email & SMS gateway for communication
Mapping of reporting manager for teams with effective dates of responsibility
Bulk upload with all applicable rules to avoid junk upload of data
Setting up of attendance alert rules as per business needs
All attendance reports in PDF, for internal audits & maintaining transparency
Audit trail exports on demand available
Importance– Any automation solution not having the capability to support administrative work is not qualified as per software standard practices.
A simple example of, how system config comes handy: an employee has not turned up to work for more than a week, in a workforce of 500 it goes unnoticed, but with alerts & business logic configured, an SMS / email comes directly to the concerned person. Not to forget importance of audit trails in case of any misuse/breach of data.
Recommendation–The attendance configuration maturity comes with experience only. The handling of clients across various verticals helps build rules & knowledge repository. My vote again goes to CuckooTech considering the Indian scenario & value for money.
This content is published post extensive study & mastermind series with Sr. HR fraternity, understanding the complexity of the attendance system, and expectations of HR team from an Enterprise Attendance system service provider.
If you would like to participate or contribute to mastermind series please connect with me on 9821186599 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org