How to introduce a time clock to your employees?
Implementing a time clock (an employee attendance system) is of great importance for every company. Its benefits for the employer are usually easily recognizable:
- following legal work time requirements
- accurate payroll processing
- optimizing administration efforts
- managing overtime
- managing breaks
- managing time off
- higher employee productivity
However, benefits are not always as clear to the employees. If we fail to introduce the time clock in a positive light at the beginning, we end up with lots of frowns and resistance. This will at least slow down the process of implementing the tool, if not ruin the whole project. Employees might perceive the employee attendance system only as a means of control, lack of trust, and extra work, which is damaging to the company culture.
What you definitely shouldn’t do is just send a note to all your employees about the new system, ask them to start using it next Monday and pray it goes well. It’s much better to call a meeting for everyone involved, dedicated exclusively to this topic. And you should come prepared.
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to do this right.
1. Explain clearly why you are implementing a time clock
Explain the practical benefits of satisfying the legal requirements and taking some manual work off your administrator’s back and payroll department. Emphasize that the time clock is not about control or distrust, but about fairness and saving time.
By keeping track of working hours and breaks the feeling of fairness in your company will increase. There’s always one coworker who clocks in late, leaves early or takes extra long lunch breaks. While the rest of your employees sit in the office, feeling cheated.
Managing overtime will also grant fair compensation to your employees who put in the extra effort. The extra hours might have gone unnoticed or were taken for granted before implementing the system. It’s the right thing to acknowledge these efforts and it will keep the work motivation high.
2. Show that it’s handy for them
Prepare arguments that demonstrate how the online time clock will make their everyday lives easier rather than harder.
- For example, present the improvements in vacation management, where now everyone can avoid calls, messages and e-mails. Employees can simply file a leave request via the mobile app and get a direct response from an administrator.
- They get an online overview of their working hours and vacation days, so they don’t need to check this with an administrator every time.
- They can easily register their hours with the mobile app while working offsite.
3. Clearly communicate what is expected from them
Before introducing the new system, explore the solution or assign an administrator to this task. Prepare a practical use case and present it to your employees at the meeting. They should know exactly what is expected from them up-front. And they should also know exactly how to achieve this in practical terms, so they will get on board without unnecessary hassle and confusion.
4. Ask them if they have any doubts
When finished with the presentation check whether everything is clear and ask for comments. Invite them to share their thoughts and especially their doubts with you. Not every solution is suitable for every company and your employees might notice potential problems way before you do.
5. Help them out
Any difficulties with registering hours or requesting time off can be very frustrating for the employees. Afterall their paycheck depends on it. They need to know who they can turn to when experiencing issues. This way they’ll be able to resolve them fast and stress-free.
6. Set a trial period
Arrange a fully-functional trial of a time clock system before you go all-in. It will be easier on employees, as they can slowly get accustomed with the solution. It will also provide you with practical insights whether the system is indeed right for your needs.
7. Encourage feedback
When the trial period is over ask for feedback. Take notice of any problems that might have occurred. See if there’s a reasonable way to solve them. If not, you might start thinking about another time clock solution. If yes, do everything in your power to resolve them. At the end, the solution will only satisfy its purpose if it saves you and your employees a substantial amount of time.
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