What Is Workforce Optimization? Benefits and Top 5 Strategies

In the post-pandemic era, work culture is changing, and businesses are evolving. It might seem that little is under control, but some core processes vital to business operations can still be managed. The workforce is at the center of the changes that COVID-19 put into perspective. People are looking for better work-life balance, resignations are at an all-time high, and there is an increasing need for workforce optimization. Workforce Optimization (WFO) is what "work smarter, not harder" implies. It is about enabling employees to work at their best by streamlining various business operation processes. In this post, we will explore workforce optimization and strategies and techniques you can use to increase productivity with the same workforce.

What is Workforce Optimization?

According to Wikipedia"Workforce optimization (WFO) is a business strategy that integrates business performance considerations with workforce management. The strategy involves automating processes, data visibility, compliance on legislation, and solving business problems related to staffing." In simple terms, workforce optimization is a strategic management practice aiming to improve a company's employees' efficiency, performance, and productivity. Here, the ultimate goal is to streamline every possible process to create an environment for optimizing the existing workforce and achieving overall organizational success. Industries can benefit from effective workforce optimization strategies and it is a common practice in the IT and Human Resource sectors. Today, retail, manufacturing, and financial services utilize workforce optimization techniques to improve productivity and revenues. Here the common approach is to monitor a specific position's activity to anticipate the number of employees required to meet the forecasted requirement. However, you must not confuse WFO with Lean Six Sigma, Agile, or other optimization methodologies that organizations use to make processes and people more productive. Instead, WFO combines most of these methodologies with a unique approach to streamline the workforce for boosted productivity. Software companies offer WFO in their products to help industries with workforce management through quality monitoring, eLearning, liability recording, surveying, coaching, and performance management. You can use workforce optimization to streamline many business operations, including automation, legislation compliance, customer service, and solving business problems.

What are the benefits of workforce optimization?

Workforce optimization allows companies to get the most out of the talent available and adds agility and cost efficiency needed to succeed. Let's check out some significant benefits of implementing workforce optimization strategies in your company.

1. Increased efficiency and productivity

Optimizing the workforce to keep its productivity and efficiency high is essential. With workforce optimization, you can engage talent and encourage them to deliver increased output. Through analytics and insights, you can track the performance of individual workers and prioritize ways to help them improve daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. With a streamlined work environment, straightforward onboarding process, and positive work environment, employees can perform at their best without feeling burnout. It also encourages employees to contribute to company goals with their self-motivated efforts.

2. Staff management to reduce costs and improve savings

Proper staffing is necessary to ensure that the required number of employees is always available on the floor. That being said, it does not imply that you overstaff. Both overstaffing and understaffing can be the cause of loss for a business. Work optimization offers many cost savings opportunities. The most important benefits include:
  • Flexibility in hiring the right talent can help you lower the overall payroll costs and reduce the time spent on recruiting activities. Workforce optimization can help companies discover the requirements for a position and match it against available talent.
  • With WFO, you can significantly reduce the risk of worker misclassification, avoiding costly lawsuits, fines, and penalties. It is essential if your company operates in multiple markets with varying employee laws.
  • It also creates opportunities to provide better customer service as a company can offer the best customer service with the optimal number of employees. It also creates opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.
  • Workforce optimization techniques also automate many business processes and offer real-time guidance and actionable insights. This data helps create more revenue opportunities.

3. Improved customer service and retention

As mentioned above, when you have optimized the workforce with the correct number of staff, you can offer excellent customer service. It enables companies to resolve customer queries efficiently and faster. This is how WFO helps provide a good customer experience. WFO solutions allow companies to analyze their communications with customers to understand the root cause of their behavior. It helps them to frame strategies that retain customers in the long run. When you know your customers and their behavior, you can act faster to service their needs. When you respond to customers' complaints faster and offer them improved satisfaction, they are most likely to return. Now that you understand how beneficial it can be to optimize the workforce let's discuss some critical workforce optimization strategies to implement at your workplace.

5 Workforce optimization strategies

The strategies we picked are tested to be effective in any work environment. Whether your company is in IT or manufacturing, you can trust these techniques for a more streamlined workforce.

1. Scheduling employees efficiently

For the success of any organization, it is essential to schedule employees efficiently. Companies rely on manual workforce scheduling, which is time-consuming, prone to errors, and too tedious for HR. Software solutions like Truein provide a highly cohesive and efficient time and attendance management system for companies that can be used for scheduling employees efficiently. When a company increases operations like production and manufacturing, the staff gets busy. It makes it challenging to manage a workforce. Overtime can be expensive, and so can be regular absenteeism. You can be left with stalled production or too much workforce without proper scheduling. Scheduling employees is one of the most impactful workforce optimization strategies to ensure that enough employees are available on the floor during every shift. It will also ensure that workload is distributed optimally. Truein face recognition attendance system can help schedule employees for manufacturing, supply chain, warehouse, and retail companies. Our technology is cloud-based and uses AI to manage staff timing to keep HR managers informed of the workforce attendance in real-time. Managers and supervisors can use the Truein dashboard to assign tasks, manage leaves, and create or update shifts.

2. Time management and attendance tracking

For a company, time is of the essence. It is the most valuable asset to manage as it cannot be replaced or regained. All tasks and business operations must be completed on time. Managers and supervisors must know what's going on and where the employees are at a given time. Again, there are many ways to achieve this. Modern attendance software applications can track time and attendance most accurately. Truein is one such attendance system that companies across industries can use for their time management needs. If you are facing a tough time deciding if you need an attendance system for workforce optimization, then ask yourself these questions:
  • Are your employees regular with attendance?
  • Are there measures to prevent malpractices like buddy punching and time theft?
  • How easy and fast is taking time and attendance management decisions like attendance regularization?
Think of the more incredible picture here. With a time and attendance management system like Truein, HR managers can look at the scheduling numbers for the entire workforce. It enables them to use analytics to ensure all shifts are adequately staffed, and employees are allotted tasks proportionately.

3. Monitor performance and Task completion

The above two workforce optimization strategies help ensure that scheduling and time tracking is in place, but making employees punctual is not enough; you also have to optimize how they use their time during the shift. You can use task tracking tools like Salesforce, Asana, Trello, and Jira. This software as a service (SaaS) solution helps improve employee productivity by tracking their progress. Depending on your business requirements, you can pick a real-time task tracking tool to monitor performance to keep managers informed of a worker's performance at work. Monitoring the performance of the workforce is essential, but it must not feel too invasive as it can stress employees. Task tracking tools are low-stress solutions to gauge the performance of the force. Managers can control an employee's performance as they have access to insights like how they spend their time at work, whether they take longer than anticipated to complete tasks, and whether they are meeting their day-to-day responsibilities. This workforce optimization technique can help HR managers determine if someone is struggling at their job or if an employee performs better than their peers. It is an incredible improvement over old-school Excel spreadsheets for tracking workforce performance.

4. Improve communications between managers and employees

Effective communication between employees and managers is required for workplace success. It should not only be limited to just the job requirement and assignments. Genuinely productive and collaborative teams also communicate about improving the job's success. For workforce optimization, it is essential to create open channels of employee-manager communication to help understand the company's direction, goals, visions, and values. It will help them identify their work responsibilities to add value to the company. Implementing tools like Trello and Jira add value to the employee-manager communication. With such workforce optimization practices, managers can measure an employee's performance and productivity and take measures to help them overcome challenges and improve. Practical WFO tools help break down employees' strengths and weaknesses such that they can be prioritized as per the assignments. Ultimately, these tools allow HR managers to measure the outputs of the workforce and successfully increase productivity. This is not even the best part of improving employee-manager communication. More importantly, it helps managers and workers know the status of a project and eliminates the need to track down the level of individual contributions.

5. Adopt Cost-Effective Operations

Cutting costs doesn't mean implementing cheaper solutions but instead identifying the sources of wasteful spending and processes that do not align with the company's goals. When you create solutions to implement cost-effective operations, you make it possible to reallocate resources and streamline processes necessary for the business, such as customer satisfaction and retention. It will eventually improve revenues. How do you make operations cost-effective? Dissect the customer feedback data to understand how their experience can be improved. Pay attention to what's working but analyzing what's not working is equally important. Do not stick to customer service because of the status quo. Ditch old habits if they are not working anymore. Workforce optimization is about being honest while looking inward and making tough decisions to deliver results. If you find instances where workers aren't meeting all of their numbers, it's time to make some serious adjustments.

Conclusion

Workforce optimization is multiple factors working together to boost the company's productivity and help employees perform at their best. It is not an overnight task, but successful workforce optimization requires time to work out processes and systems that will serve the purpose in the long run. The objective is to streamline operations and model a sleeker workforce that will save much money and other resources. We hope this guide will serve as the right resource to initiate work optimization strategies in your company to cut costs and improve efficiency.
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Rotating Shift – A Complete Guide

As a manager, an essential part of your job is to put the best schedule to allow workers to be more productive without overworking. But scheduling can get tricky when you move beyond the standard 9-to-5 work shift to accommodate increased demand. As the demand for production is increasing, and you need to make complex schedules, many things must be considered. If you cannot correctly schedule shifts, workers might complain. Poorly designed shifts can cost physical and mental pain to the employees. Also, a few absences can fail the entire shift without proper planning. HR managers need to learn about rotating shifts and how to prepare one effectively. In this article, we are about to discuss how to create a rotating shift schedule depending on the company's nature of work. We will focus on tips on how you can create a rotational scheduling system that protects workers' health and productivity and benefits your organization in the long run.

What are Rotating Shifts?

Rotating shifts are simply schedules that regularly change over time. The most common example of rotating shifts is how workers work in the manufacturing industry in the country. Most production workers have rotating shifts in which they work six days a week between night and day shifts. In other sectors, such as construction and mining, workers work eight-hour shifts that rotate from 6 AM to 2 PM, 2 PM to 10 PM, and 10 PM to 6 AM. The workers switch between the shifts weekly, so they are not overworked, and the production continues without a break. Rotating shifts is supposed to help workers have a better work-life balance, but more often, it isolates them. An employee rotation schedule requires workers to reconfigure family responsibilities and reset sleep schedules, making it difficult to have a social life and connect with friends. This can lead to isolation and a lack of human connection. HR managers must be careful while creating rotating shift schedules as researchers suggest that poorly planned rotating shifts can cause severe mental and physical health risks such as weight gain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Given the magnitude of the dangers involved for workers working in a rotating shift, managers must do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of the employees. It is interesting to note that even with such risk associated with rotating shifts, a large workforce works in such schedules. According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 2.4% of the working population works rotating shifts. Let's examine rotating shifts' ins and outs to understand why companies make employee rotation schedules.

Why is a rotating shift required?

For many businesses, it is vital to maintain 24-hour operations to deliver customer service. Industries such as transportation, manufacturing, hospitality, customer service, construction, etc., usually require staffing outside the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. These organizations rely on rotating shifts to meet their staffing demands. Rotating shifts are also required when employees need to be trained about different facets of the business. For instance, in manufacturing industries, employees might need to be prepared to work on the floor, do maintenance work, and if the situation requires operating CNC machines. Making them work through rotating shifts trains them in all these domains.

How do rotating shifts work?

A rotating schedule does imply changed shifts, but it is done cyclically. Your company can schedule a morning shift, an afternoon shift, an evening shift, and an overnight shift. You can create an employee rotation schedule to allow workers to work each shift over time so you can maintain business operations 24/7. A rotating schedule means that workers will work in a particular shift over a set amount of time. It depends on the business nature and preference of how workers are rotated through the shifts. Managers can decide how to make a rotating schedule - whether they want to put employees on a rotating schedule in which they work the same shift on different days (rotation of days), or they want employees to work in various shifts (rotation of time). Here it would be best if you remembered that the more cyclical the rotating shift would be, the easier it will be for employees to balance their work and personal life.

4 Different types of rotating shifts

Over the years, human resource professionals have created several types of rotating schedules. Depending on the management practice, your company can benefit from one or more types of rotating shifts. It's a good idea for HR managers to familiarize themselves with several types of rotating shifts. This gives them a view to understand various styles of employee rotation schedules and choose one that best works for their organization.

1. The Pitman Shift Schedule

In the Pitman shift schedule, the employees get every other weekend off to have time to participate in some family and social events during regular hours. Here the ships are 12 hours long and have four teams working in rotation. To avoid overworking the employees, the workers usually work no more than three days in a row. Here is an example of the Pitman shift schedule pattern:
  • Two shifts on, followed by two days off
  • Two shifts on, followed by three days off
  • Three shifts on, followed by two days off
When the two-week cycle is complete, workers switch timing; that is, the workers start working night shifts and vice versa.

2. The DuPont Shift Schedule

Like the Pitman rotating shift, the DuPont shift schedule also involves four teams working 12-hour shifts, but the employee rotation schedule is a bit more complex. In DuPont, this shift rotates from day to night in a four-week cycle. Here's an example:
  • Four-night shifts, then three days off
  • Three-day shifts, then one day off
  • Three-night shifts, then three days off
  • Four-day shifts, then seven days off
Here you will notice that there are consecutive offs because the scheduling might be a bit hectic, but the DuPont system allows workers enough time to recharge by offering multiple days off. At the end of the cycle, these off culminate into a week-long break. Managers should be careful with the DuPont shift schedule. Here workers get more flexibility in their daily lives and spend more time with family and friends, but the trade-off is more demanding hours at work. It might suit some nation workers who don't mind working extra hard instead of more time off.

3. The 2-2-3-2-2-3 shift schedule

The 2-2-3-2-2-3 schedule is a rotating shift that follows a 28-day cycle. In this schedule, 12-hour shifts are rotated in the following pattern:
  • Three-day shifts
  • Two days off
  • Two-day shifts
  • Three days off
  • Two-night shifts
  • Two days off
  • Three-night shifts
  • Two days off
  • Two-night shifts
  • Three days off
  • Two-day shifts
  • Two days off
The benefit of this rotating schedule is that worker gets frequent time off without having to work more than three consecutive days. Examples of the rotating shift schedule of this style can be found in the construction and healthcare industry, where employees have demanding 12-hour shifts followed by multiple days off.

4. Southern swing schedule

The Southern swing rotation shift is a schedule that uses three eight-hour shifts throughout the month for four teams. Here is how this employee rotation schedule works:
  • Seven-day shifts
  • Two days off
  • Seven-day shifts
  • Two days off
  • Seven-night shifts
  • Three days off
One of the most significant benefits of the Southern swing schedule is that workers have to work eight-hour and 10- or 12-hour shifts like other rotating shift schedule examples.

Rotating shift schedule examples

Managers are only limited by their imagination to configure rotating shifts. There can be hundreds of ways to manage employee rotation schedules. You can choose to schedule it from day to day, week to week, or month to month. However, the most common practice is to create a rotating shift schedule as eight-hour work shifts, 9 or 10-hour work shifts, and 12-hour work shifts. An eight-hour employee rotation schedule is the best for companies within staffing to create three teams that can work in rotating shifts. It allows companies to keep productivity high without compromising the health or ability of the workers. Managers can schedule eight-hour shifts in the following ways:
  • Morning: 6 AM to 2 PM
  • Evening: 2 PM to 10 PM
  • Night: 10 PM to 6 AM
  • Morning: 7 AM to 3 PM
  • Evening: 3 PM to 11 PM
  • Night: 11 PM to 7 AM
  • Morning: 8 AM to 4 PM
  • Evening: 4 PM to 12 AM
  • Night: 12 AM to 8 AM
For industries where workers must be on the floor for longer hours, 9- and 10-hour rotating shifts are good. Here there is an overlapping between two teams of workers so that the relieving team can hand over work to the reporting team in time. Here are some examples of 9 and 10-hour work shifts.
  • Morning: 5 AM to 2 PM
  • Afternoon: 12 PM to 9 PM
  • Night: 7 PM to 5 AM
  • Morning: 5 AM to 3 PM
  • Afternoon: 1 PM to 11 PM
  • Night: 10 PM to 8 AM
The simplest to manage and schedule is the 12-hour rotation shift. You can schedule it as a day or night shift only. For example:
  • Day: 6 AM to 6 PM
  • Night: 6 PM to 6 AM

Which industries use rotating shifts?

Companies that require 24/7 staffing use rotating shifts to ensure that the business operations are running smoothly at all hours without overworking the workforce. Some of the common industries that implement rotating shifts are: Manufacturing: Often, the manufacturing industries require workers such as assemblers and production managers to work shifts to increase output. Healthcare: Doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and hospital administrators are required to work in rotating shifts to ensure that medical care is available for patients around the clock. Transportation: Logistics companies require employees to work in shifts to make their services available to the customers at all hours. Retail employees: Sales and marketing staff at retail stores and 24/7 convenience stores often work on rotating shifts. Hospitality: Hotels and resorts operate 24/7, and to offer undisruptive services and accommodate guests, hospitality employees follow rotating shift schedules.

Advantages of rotating shifts

Rotating shifts can benefit both companies and workers, provided managers know how to create rotating shift schedules that can positively boost productivity. There are several benefits of rotating shift schedule, including:
  • Increased output productivity
  • Unbiased and consistent sharing of unpopular shifts
  • Efficient sharing of skill sets among various shifts
  • Better interaction and relationship between employees working in different shifts
  • Increased customer service and convenience
  • Skill development of the employees as they perform additional tasks in extra shifts
  • Increased business operations knowledge
  • More variety in tasks keeps the workforce engaged
  • Better work-life balance

Disadvantages of rotating shifts

  • Some workers prefer consistent fixed work schedules and plan their life around them. Putting such workers in rotating shifts disturb their lives.
  • Keeping track of the rotating shifts and scheduling other tasks of the day needs regular attention.
  • There are mental and physical impacts of working late shifts or frequent shift changes on workers' health.
  • Forced circadian rhythm changes due to night shifts can cause sleep deprivation and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disorders.

How to handle rotating shifts effectively?

Rotating shifts are not a challenge for the workforce but managers as well. There are so many factors to consider. Most HR managers recommend that rather than the evening to day rotating shift schedule, turning shifts from day to evening to overnight is better. After a plan for the employee rotation schedule is made, it is essential to provide training to prepare workers for the rotating shift, such as going to bed early, taking power naps, frequent 5-minutes breaks, etc. Ask employees for their shift preferences and try to accommodate these requests whenever possible.

Use scheduling software

It is challenging to keep track of rotating shift schedules as the changes are frequent, and you must keep track of all the employees. Therefore, it is required to use a scheduling software such as Truein that can help with shift management. Truein is a complete time and attendance system with shift management that makes it incredibly easy to maintain rotating shifts. It comes with advanced features such as multiple shift management, automatically notifying employees about changes in their shift, easy access to schedules from smartphones, an easy process to switch shifts, and monitoring employee hours.

Conclusion

For some companies rotating shifts is a necessary evil. Good managers can help eliminate employee shift rotation's physical and mental side effects by adequately planning and scheduling shifts using software like Truein.
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How To Reduce Overtime In The Manufacturing Industry?

The manufacturing industry is one of the largest employers in India. More than 22 million workers are employed by manufacturing businesses. With such a large workforce, delegating work and keeping operations smooth would be easier. But, the manufacturing sector in the country suffers due to overtime issues.

Overtime in the manufacturing industry is a problem for companies and workers. Once overtime was seen as a way to improve productivity, but now it is considered one of the most significant stress sources that lead to poor work-life balance.

This article will discuss how to reduce overtime in manufacturing without affecting output. We will list some strategies to overcome the issue.

But first, let's find out why overtime can be counterproductive.

Why should organizations try to reduce overtime?

Overtime is the number of hours employees work that exceed their regular hours. Companies and HR managers often overlook the dangers of overtime. But, when observed closely, it is startling how costly overtime issues can be. Not only can it adversely affect the company's bottom line, but it can have side effects on the workers.

1. Financial Impact

The financial burden for the company to compensate overtime can be a significant undertaking. According to the labor laws in the country, employees must be remunerated at twice the rate of their regular working hours. While some employees might need to work overtime for extra income, others use overtime rates to work unnecessarily to be compensated above their average wage rate. For a company paying employees overtime rates for work that can be accommodated during the regular shift hour is a pitfall that can profoundly affect its bottom line.

2. Impact on performance

A more visceral effect of overtime on workers is the reduced performance. In this whitepaper, J. Nevison clearly illustrates that over time can negatively affect performance. He suggests that there is little productive work done when workers need to work over and above 50 hours per week. Two other supporting studies found the whitepaper valid and showed that workforce productivity drops by an additional 10 hours with an increase of 4 to 12 hours in their work shifts.

Overworked employees are less focused on their jobs and feel alienated in the workplace. It also has an impact on their morale making them more susceptible to performance issues. Companies must be aware of the financial liability of such a decline in productivity.

3. Precursor of health problems

While financial and productivity impacts can be managed, the harmful effects of overtime on workers' health are even more severe. Countless studies link overtime or overwork to health issues. It leads to poor work-life balance that also affects personal relationships. According to one study, workers who worked three or more hours longer than the usual shift (7 hours a day) are at a 60% higher risk of heart and cardiovascular health issues. Other health issues are associated with overtime, such as high blood pressure, increased stress, anxiety, lower back problems, alcoholism, and addiction issues. All these issues bring productivity lapses in the workforce, leading to higher absenteeism rates.

6 Ways to reduce overtime in the manufacturing industry

When you identify the causes of overtime in your company, it is essential to resolve them as soon as possible. Furthermore, if your company doesn't experience regular overtime hours, you should still have measures to avoid overtime.

Here are some ways using which manufacturing companies can reduce overtime.

1. Make sure your team has the right tool, equipment, and resources to complete the work on time

To reduce overtime, you have to make all the right tools and resources available that allow the most efficient use of employee hours. Allow workers to work smarter, not longer. There are a lot many manual and administrative tasks that can be automated to free human resources. People working behind the desk often spend more than one-fourth of their day reading and responding to emails alone.

How can you expect to reduce overtime if the monotonous, day-to-day task consumes a quarter of workers' shift time? It is why it is necessary to automate such tasks to allow workers to focus on more productive tasks that add value to the company and boost productivity. You can use tools like Asana and Jira for project planning and team collaboration.

Manual attendance keeping and leave management is one task that takes much time for the HR team to manage. With the availability of attendance systems like Truein, recording and managing attendance can be automated. It has several benefits for both employees and HR managers.

Truein integrates with payroll software, so it is easy to track attendance and overtime to pay only for the hours a worker worked. As an automated face-recognition system, workers cannot trick Truein with time theft.

These are little adjustments at the outset but can go a long way to reduce overtime. When you free up human resources, they invest most of their time on actual responsibilities. 

2. Create an overtime policy

Just verbal overtime instructions will not help curb overtime. It would be best if you had a well-thought overtime policy to communicate company expectations to the workers. An official overtime policy explains all the aspects of working overtime. It details how employees will be compensated for overtime hours. Discuss with the HR managers how to reduce overtime in manufacturing by implementing an overtime policy.

When preparing the overtime policy, clarify who will approve the overtime hours, manage shifts, and how much say the employees have in the matter.

Just creating an overtime policy won't be enough; you must ensure that all employees and managers have access to the overtime policy. Truein can help with it as well. HR managers can create and implement overtime policy from the dashboard, and employees can access the procedure on their smartphones. An official overtime policy leaves little scope for misunderstanding and lays strict ground rules for employees. It ensures workers are not exploiting overtime.

3. Cross-train your employees

In the manufacturing industry, it is possible to cross-train employees. For instance, having all the floor workers trained in handling CNC machines can save you money. Rather than scheduling overtime or hiring additional staff, you can pull workers from other departments to work on CNC machines during busy periods.

Cross-training employees can significantly benefit your company's bottom line. It helps make schedules much more efficient and ensures workers are not working excessive overtime. You have to ensure there is no staff shortage in a department; if there is, cross-train other workers to pick up the slack instead of staff working overtime. 

4. Allow flexible work schedules

It is a myth that the 9-5 work hours are the best for productivity. Many workers report that working from home is more productive than working in an office. For the manufacturing industry, it is a challenge as most of the workforce needs to be present on-site to keep the production optimal.

While the administrative staff, to an extent, can be allowed to work from home, most of the workers need to be present in the office. You can have more flexible work schedules for workers to enable them to work shifts that are adjusted to the most productive hours. Employees with flexible schedules can focus more, improving their productivity and reducing the chances of overtime.

5. Allow overtime only when required

While there are rules on how workers must get compensation for the overtime hours, there is no cap on how many hours employees can work for overtime. You must have policies that explicitly explain how many hours an employee can work overtime. As an employer, you have the authority to set overtime rules freely.

It would help if you allowed overtime only when it is required. Determine a weekly, monthly, or annual cap of overtime hours your business can afford. This will help you decide the scope of overtime employees can work when needed, ensuring that it does not become a norm. It will also help distribute work evenly amongst workers such that all employees have an equal chance of working overtime hours for extra pay.

6. Schedule shifts

Employee shift scheduling must help to reduce overtime, not increase it. It is essential to ensure that your HR team is preparing employee schedules that are organized, managed, and updated regularly. It will allow your organization to accurately match staffing levels to the work demand and eliminate any requirement for overtime. Truein can help you organize staff according to the need to distribute work and make schedules that accommodate work demands without overtime.

If your company still relies on manual sheets or Excel to manage shifts and overtime, you will benefit by switching to Truein, which completely automates scheduling and attendance management. It allows managers and supervisors to keep track of employees to ensure they are working their shifts.

Conclusion

Overtime can be one of the biggest profit-killers for a manufacturing company. It is essential to reduce overtime to remain profitable and avoid adverse effects on employees' health and productivity. We hope this article will provide you with all the insights you need on reducing overtime in manufacturing.

Truein has been helping some of the biggest manufacturing companies in the country reduce unnecessary overtime. Our comprehensive time and attendance management system also offers employee scheduling features. With Truein’s attendance system for the manufacturing industry, you can refine your company's scheduling process and optimize the workforce for maximum productivity without overtime.

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What Is Employee Absenteeism? What Causes It and How To Deal With It?

Workers are humans, and as HR managers, it is crucial to understand that some level of absenteeism in the workforce is inevitable. Falling ill, injuries, personal business, or occasional requirement to look after a family member, there can be several instances when an employee has to take off.

But when do you know that employee absenteeism is too much?

When unscheduled absences become a norm and impact the company's productivity, HR managers must take action. While a flexible schedule is a great way to retain employees and attract talent, rampant absenteeism can negatively impact workforce morale and create a bottleneck for the bottom line. This is why leading organizations proactively discuss strategies to deal with employee absenteeism. This article will discuss everything related to employee absenteeism and how to manage absenteeism effectively.

What is employee absenteeism?

In simple terms, employee absenteeism is the frequent lack of attendance without reasonable cause or proper notification. Absenteeism is a repeated behavior and doesn't include occasional no-call, no-show, or absences in instances that cannot be controlled like illness, sudden climate change, broken car, etc. For an organization, it is essential to have measures in place to guide HR managers in dealing with absenteeism at work. Employee absenteeism is on the rise, and ever since the pandemic, it is becoming even more challenging for companies to take control of the situation when more people are calling in sick when they aren't. In the long term, employee absenteeism can affect a company's productivity. There are associated financial risks, too, as absenteeism-linked productivity losses cost U.S. companies $225.8 billion annually. HR professionals must be capable of making decisions on how to deal with excessive absenteeism in the workplace to avoid such losses.

Who is affected by employee absenteeism?

The answer might seem straightforward. Companies are at the most loss if they cannot control absenteeism, but they are not the only ones at a loss. While the costs to the company are pretty high, absenteeism affects employees too. It paves the way for poor work ethics that sets a dangerous precedent for new employees to follow. Employees who are regular with their attendance feel discouraged to continue to be so as they witness absenteeism. Speaking of monetary losses, according to the publication titled Absenteeism: The Bottom-Line Killer, companies across the globe lose roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,660 each year for salaried employees due to unscheduled absenteeism. Apart from these direct losses, there are indirect costs such as wages paid to absent employees, poor quality of goods/services resulting from understaffing, and administrative expenses of managing absenteeism.

5 Reasons for employee absenteeism

We understand that employee absenteeism is too high of a risk of being left unattended. Still, HR professionals must know what factors result in absenteeism to nip the evil in the bud.

1. Low employee engagement

No company can have a dedicated workforce without ensuring employee engagement in the work culture. If there is a lack of activities to bring employees closer to their workplace, they will feel disengaged at work. It is essential for employee engagement and productivity that they feel connected to the workplace. When your workplace lacks employee engagement, the chances of absenteeism are high.

2. Time theft can also be considered absenteeism

Company productivity is affected when employees are absent without informing, but time theft also results in the same losses for the company. When employees take unnecessarily long breaks, are frequently late to work, or leave early, they are essentially committing absenteeism. It is a practice that raises a question for the HR manager about the dedication and commitment of the employees. If unchecked, time theft can hurt the sentiments and morale of honest employees, further worsening the situation.

3. Lack of a flexible working

Since the pandemic, employees are more discerning of the work-life balance and seek opportunities that allow them to focus on both. If a company has too rigid shifts leaving little scope for flexibility, it can be a significant reason for employee absenteeism. Lack of flexibility can be one of the biggest reasons employees miss work without prior notice.

4. Workplace burnout

Burnout leads to ill-performance among employees. When there are no measures to avoid rigorous and unscheduled working conditions, employees face burnout that results in unscheduled absences. Employees must get breaks to rejuvenate. If a company overexposes its workforce to work, it can lead to the degradation of their interest in work.

5. Substance abuse and stress

An issue that is widely known but less discussed, substance abuse among employees, can be a real problem. Employees succumb to substance abuse in some industries to relieve work stress and rejuvenate. Alcoholism is one typical example of substance abuse among employees. However, such abuse is detrimental to the employees' physical and mental health. It degrades their motor functions and thinking ability, leaving them unfit for performing their duties.

8 Ways to deal with employee absenteeism

Now that we know the main reasons let's discuss how to deal with staff absenteeism.

1. Create an employee attendance policy

Employee attendance policy helps the company communicate what is expected of the employees for attendance. This policy is a document that clearly states what is considered absenteeism and how will be the consequences of unscheduled absences. Employees must be aware of what the company expects from them to stick with the rules.

Take employee opinions

Companies can understand how the workforce thinks and feels through employee opinions and surveys. The insights gained through surveys can help tackle the question- of how to deal with absenteeism in the workplace. Ask employees about commuting to work, schedule, personal issues, job satisfaction, etc.

3. Adopt a flexible work schedule

As we mentioned above, that lack of flexibility can disengage workers. Adopt a flexible work schedule to allow workers to find a work-life balance and have more time for themselves and their loved ones.

4. Do employee engagement programs

Ideally, the workplace should not only be about work but should provide opportunities for employees to bond and engage on a personal level. Employee engagement programs are excellent at bridging the gap between employees and their employers. Such programs make employees feel acknowledged and appreciated for their work.

5. Start employee wellness programs

Wellness programs can help address health issues that employees face due to work. Such wellness programs fit within an employee's regular work schedule. When you start a wellness program in the workplace, workers are encouraged to stay fit and healthy, ultimately providing you with a solution to how to deal with employee absenteeism.

6. Give rewards or incentives to employees

If unscheduled absences must be punished, then you must incentivize an excellent attendance record, and punctual employees must be rewarded. It will keep their morale high and let others know that their presence in the workplace will be highly appreciated.

7. Provide one to two weeks of paid time off

The work schedule must not bound employees; that's why flexibility is a must. However, it is vital to provide paid time off to employees to let them have time for themselves and family. Paid time off is an excellent way to reduce employee absenteeism.

8. Keep track of employee absences

HR managers can take steps and decide how to handle employee absenteeism only when they know the severity of the situation. It is essential to track employee absences properly to make the right decisions. For this, the Truein face recognition system can be highly effective. An AI-based cloud attendance and leave management system, Truein comes with in-built features to help managers and supervisors keep track of employees. As it is GPS based and can be deployed with an app on a worker's phone, it is much easier to keep track of employee attendance.

Conclusion

Employee absenteeism is a real nuisance that requires well-thought strategies to tackle challenges before they consume revenues and nose-dive productivity. We hope this guide will provide you an insight into what is causing unscheduled absences at your workplace and the strategies to deal with employee absenteeism.
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Labor Shortage: What It Is, Why There Is A Shortage & How To Overcome It?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses in the worst ways possible. Revenues stopped, inventory was lying unused, debts increased exponentially, and many companies had to lay off employees to stay afloat. Interestingly, as the lockdown subsided and business operations returned to normal, companies experienced an unexpected labor shortage. Hiring workers has become increasingly difficult because of ongoing mass resignations and employees seeking more flexibility. This article will be a helpful resource if you are looking for strategies to overcome labor shortage issues. But, before we get started with the strategies to overcome labor shortages and retain employees, let's first understand what a labor shortage is.

What is a labor shortage?

The labor shortage is a term that indicates a gap between the labor needed in industry and the number of workers available to fill in the requirement. Simply put, there are more jobs available than the workers. It can be because workers are less willing to work in a position or a scarcity of skilled labor. The pandemic accelerated the labor shortage issue as, during the last two years, 1 in 4 workers quit their jobs since the pandemic and have not returned to work. It is becoming a struggle to find workers to fill open positions. Manufacturing, construction, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare are the most affected industries. If you pay attention, there is a common factor in all these industries-they require the workforce to be available in person during work hours. Also, most of these industries employ blue-collar workers and heavily rely on laborers to operate.

Why is there a labor shortage?

The labor shortage is not only because of fewer people willing to work; there can be several other factors contributing to your business' struggle with finding or retaining the right talent. Be mindful that none of these reasons prevents you from retaining the workers.

Poor compensation

This reason is easiest to anticipate. Workers want to be paid more, at least what they are worth. Industries like construction, mining, healthcare, and manufacturing especially face labor shortages as the pay is less than in other sectors. The limited wage is not enough to meet the increased cost of living and healthcare, pushing workers to look for positions that pay them better.

Lack of flexibility

Since the pandemic, employees have been more discerning of opportunities that allow them to have a better work-life balance. Workers now seek increased flexibility, but employers remain reluctant to offer the same. According to a survey by Future Forums of 10,000 knowledge workers, employees want more flexibility in jobs and, if possible, location. As remote working is not an option for most of the mentioned industries, an evident lack of flexibility causes workers to look for work in other segments.

A question of purpose

For many employers, it may seem inconsequential, but workers are increasingly losing their sense of purpose at work. Employees who are not connected to their workplace cannot be passionate about their jobs. It eventually forces them to leave work. If your company is facing a labor shortage, reevaluate the work environment, and if missing, try to create opportunities that will make employees feel more excited about their roles. Indeed surveyed workers who voluntarily left their jobs in 2020 and found that 92% of the respondents felt "life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about." If workers do not feel connected with the company's goal and vision, they may not be inspired to stay at the job.

8 Ways to deal with the labor shortage

1. Train and cross-train existing employees

The mass exodus of the workers can leave companies in limbo if those leaving are skilled workers. You must implement training programs to help workers across domains acquire common skills to keep business operations up if there is a labor shortage. Cross-training employees can help. For instance, production staff can be trained to handle maintenance responsibilities if the situation arises. Cross-training does more than retain employees; it creates a sense of value and community.

2. Improve the work environment to reduce employees leaving the organization

As we mentioned above, the work environment is one of the main reasons why employees work or leave a job. You are walking in circles if you are wondering how to solve workforce shortage without addressing the issues causing employees to leave. Ensure that the work environment is positively inductive for employees. For example, if you are in the manufacturing industry, your employees must feel safe at work with all safety measures.

3. Recognize and reward employees

Acknowledging workers' hard work and sincerity and rewarding them appropriately will boost their morale and keep them engaged. Make sure your employees are not feeling neglected, and their efforts are recognized and rewarded. Just offering perks alone is no more an incentive good enough to keep workers; you have to make them feel appreciated and valued as part of the team.

4. Make opportunities for them to develop and grow

Pandemic has changed the workforce a lot. Everything needs improvement – skills required for the job, where and how work is performed, and what motivates the workforce. To overcome labor shortages and retain employees, you must create opportunities for them to learn and grow. Take a fresh look at the workforce and try to identify opportunities where you can introduce improvements. For instance, if your manufacturing unit relies on manual labor for production, you can introduce CNC machines for repetitive tasks and train the workers. This will present them with an opportunity to develop and grow.

5. Automate tasks

If your company has scope for automation, explore solutions for the same. The more automated tasks are, the lesser workforce will be required. In the wake of the rising cost of labor and the shortage of workers, several companies have considered automation to reduce the up-front cost of hiring or maintaining a large workforce. Partnering with consulting firms to explore automation integration in the business processes will provide an answer to how to solve the workforce shortage. For example, you can use automation to help remove infrastructure bottlenecks and free up human resources to work on operations that contribute to the revenue directly.

6. Pay bounties to employees who bring new employees

Why not turn your workers into headhunters by offering them incentives for referring talent to the company? Instead of outsourcing the hiring process or relying on the HR team to solve workforce shortages, you can introduce a referral bonus for employees to bring in new talent. At some of the most successful companies, 28 to 30 percent of the new hires come from employee referrals. If they can do it, so can you.

7. Be flexible with schedules

Flexibility is a requirement, not an option, to retain workers. Now employees seek a more positive work-life balance and opportunities that offer the flexibility to work. By creating flexible work schedules, you can let workers feel relaxed about their routine and not stressed. It will help prevent employees from leaving.

8. Use time tracking tools

Employees adequately compensated for their work time build trust in the managers and the company. Using time and attendance management tools to record attendance would be best. Such tools also free HR managers from manually managing attendance and shifts, a process often susceptible to human errors. Truein is a face recognition attendance system that can help companies schedule shifts, track timing, and efficiently distribute workloads among employees. It can automate report generation, directly integrate attendance records with payroll software, and for remote sites and field workers.

Conclusion

There is no telling when markets will emerge victorious from the acute labor shortage facing businesses today. While the HR gurus can only make predictions based on surveys and studies, business owners need to make tough decisions. The strategies we have listed here are helping companies across the globe overcome the labor shortage. We hope you, too, can recognize what's causing the labor shortage at your company and implement the appropriate measures to fill in the gaps.
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How To Manage Overtime In The Construction Industry?

The Indian construction industry is a major player contributing to the economy's growth. At the center of the focus of the government's initiatives to create world-class infrastructure in a time-bound manner, the construction industry is poised to receive investments of up to $1.4 trillion by 2025.

Without a doubt, the construction industry is crucial to driving the country's growth, but it needs some reforms too. The industry is the second-largest employer, with over 51 million workers. Furthermore, the construction industry created 45 million additional jobs directly or indirectly. It is easy to anticipate that there certainly will be management challenges with such a large workforce.

In this article, we will focus on overtime in the construction industry. We will take a look at the challenges and available solutions.

What are the construction industry overtime rules?

As the construction industry primarily has a workforce working at sites, time management is a complicated task to achieve. Keeping track of workers is a gigantic task.

It is important to understand what laws govern and protect workers' rights in the context of overtime. Here are the essential labor laws an employer must be aware of.

ActProvisions under the Act
Factories Act, 1948 Sec. 51, 54 to 56 & 59 of the Act include overtime wages.Under section 59 of the Factories Act, it is clearly instructed that a worker who works for more than 9 hours any day or for more than 48 hours in a week will be entitled to receive wages in respect to overtime work at the rate of twice his/her ordinary rate of wages.
Minimum Wages Act, 1948It also applied to construction workers. According to section 33 of the Minimum Wages Act, overtime wages must be twice the rate of the ordinary wages of the worker. Sec. 14 of the Act states that for workers, if the minimum rate of wages is fixed by the time period, such as by the hour, by the day, or by any such period, and if any worker works more than that number of hours, it will be considered overtime.
Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970As per Rule 79 of the Act pertains to the law regarding overtime calculation for contract workers. According to the act, every contractor must maintain a Register of Overtime in Form XXIII. All important details like the employee's name, overtime calculation, hours of extra work, etc., must be recorded in the register.
Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment Service) Act, 1996Under Section 28 & 29 of the Act, it is mentioned that construction workers who work overtime as per the regulations mentioned above must be remunerated at the rate of twice the ordinary rate of wages.

Companies struggling with managing overtime for construction workers can end up with losses. As the law requires to pay twice the ordinary wage rate, overtime can have substantial financial liabilities. Let's explore some measures to control overtime in the construction industry.

6 Tips to manage overtime in the construction industry?

1. Identify the issue

If unexplained overtime is reported in the company, it is essential to know why it is happening before resolving the issue. Overtime construction can result from several problems such as heavy project loads, poor time management, and staffing shortage. These are some of the issues on the management site. Audit the HR and managers' logs to understand the staffing and work distribution. It is also not uncommon in the construction industry to find employees working overtime for the extra pay.

You have to get a clear idea of the issues to decide how to manage overtime for construction workers.

2. Be aware of local overtime laws

The central government of India implements the labor laws we have listed above, but there are specific local labor laws that a company must be aware of.

For example, Maharashtra has tweaked the local labor law to allow longer working hours and overtime periods for workers. As per the rule, "With the exemption from Sections 51,52, 54, and 56, employers can allow labourers to work in two shifts of 12 hours each."

3. Track work hours with GPS construction time tracking software

As mentioned above, tracking employees' working hours is a significant challenge in the construction industry. Field workers are away from CCTVs, so there is no sure way to know if they are working or not.

Using GPS-enabled attendance systems, you can overcome this challenge. Truein is a face recognition attendance system with geofencing and GPS tracking features. It can be used to record overtime for construction workers through the app on their smartphones.

4. Cross-train employees

The skill gap is a problem that increases over time in the construction industry. If you do not have the workers with the required skills, it can slow down productivity. Also, if the company is understaffed, project tasks can take longer to complete. The solution lies in cross-training employees to take up multiple roles if there is demand.

5. Hire contractors

Building on the above issue, if the overtime construction does not seem to stop even after cross-training workers because of staff shortage, you need to hire contractors. Hiring an independent contractor workforce can compensate for the deficit, and the overtime can be eliminated.

6. Improve work allocation and management

If the HR managers regularly cram overtime at the end of projects, it indicates poor time management. When you fail to anticipate the project's timeline or resources, which will be required at the initial stages, the task becomes hard to manage as the deadline arrives.

The managers must spread out hours from the beginning of the project so that no overtime occurs later.

Conclusion

Unmanaged overtime in the construction industry can be a real nuisance. It can create revenue overheads that reduce the profits, but more importantly, it can take a toll on employee productivity and health. With efficient employee tracking software for construction idustry like Truein, unnecessary overtime can be eliminated and boost the company's efficiency.

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Attendance Policy: What It Is and How To Create It For Your Organization?

Every company needs an adequate time and attendance policy to inform employees about the expectations of the organization and the consequences of failing to meet them. Employee attendance is a critical factor in the overall performance of an organization, and if not kept under check, it can lead to significant problems.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), productivity losses resulting from employee absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually, or $1,685 per employee. When your workers are aware of the attendance policy in place, it helps boost the productivity of your business.

HR managers must remember that unexpected absence once in a while is alright, but regular absenteeism can severely impact the bottom line. Even if your company does not have an attendance problem, an effective attendance policy can help keep things organized. It communicates the attendance requirements to the employees.

Here in this guide, we will explore the attendance policy in detail.

Let's start with the basics.

What is an attendance policy?

An employee attendance policy is a document that defines the set of rules to reduce absenteeism, improve employee productivity and clearly explain expectations for employees in a consistent language.

An employee attendance policy indicates the time to arrive and leave throughout the defined workweek. Furthermore, it clearly explains the violations such as arriving late, leaving early and being absent. It should also contain information on how employees should report their arrival and departure. The policy should help employees distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable absences.

A comprehensive attendance policy also provides the logic and reason behind the creation and enforcement of the policy.

Why does an organization need an attendance policy?

As mentioned above, an attendance policy is essential to establish professional expectations from your staff. Still, most importantly, it provides a formal structure for reprimanding repeated non-compliance to the guidelines. Here are other benefits of implementing a well-defined attendance policy in your organization.

HR Management

When there is an attendance policy to instruct employees, it becomes easier to allocate your human resources, such as employees, efficiently. For instance, a policy can include specific instructions for the workforce to report on the floor 10 minutes before a shift change to ensure that the assembly line runs smoothly. You can also have a specific notice period before taking a leave to allow enough time for HR managers to bring in replacement staff. An attendance policy can help efficiently use the workforce and distribute workloads to keep the operations up unabated.

Cost Control

Employee absenteeism or lateness cost companies revenue which is why it is essential to keep a check on it. For example, suppose a staffer who is expected to open the business at a particular time is regularly late; it can tarnish the reputation of your business and make customers think of it as unreliable. With a strict attendance policy, you can modify such behavior and address it immediately to resolve the issue from becoming a problem.

Maintaining Transparency

When the managers do not handle employees who are not punctual and take too many off, it demoralizes other staffers who come to work on time. It is also unfair to other employees to cover for regularly late staffers. With an attendance policy, you can prevent repeated absenteeism, eradicating any instance of infighting between staffers.

By implementing an attendance policy, you send a message that you don't take frequent absenteeism lightly and always take a formal approach to deal with the attendance issues.

How to write an effective attendance policy?

A good attendance policy takes an organization's culture and needs into consideration. Depending on the industry, the requirements of your employees can differ and soak in the business environment. While every business has its unique requirements, here are some tips for creating an attendance policy for employees that is comprehensive and effective.

Don't use ambiguous definitions

It is essential to have clear and concise definitions in an attendance policy so that employees can understand the requirements. Avoid using ambiguous terminologies at all costs. Clearly define tardiness, accused absence, unexcused absence, sick leave, paid time off, and half-day. For instance, when you describe tardiness, explicitly inform employees how much late they can clock in, like recording the attendance of more than 10 minutes late will be tardiness.

Create employee protocols

There should be a clear protocol for all the workers when requesting leaves, time off, or going to be late. The attendance policy should fairly outline how an employee should alert managers and what actions will be taken if an employee does not show up without advance notice.

Don't publish a policy draft without collaborating with employees

Once the first draft of the attendance policy with all crucial definitions and protocols outlined is ready, it is time to explore all possible scenarios. Add multiple sections and distinctions for workers and managers wherever necessary. The policy must include medical emergencies, climatic obstructions, and other unforeseen circumstances. The idea here is to create a fair attendance policy that managers should not use as a weapon against the employees; instead, it should protect their interests.

To achieve this goal, you may want to share the draft with employees and seek their feedback within a limited time. Set up open discussions with employees to address any concerns or requests. It is essential to ensure that the attendance policy does not alienate employees.

Enact the policy

After workers have reviewed the attendance policy draft, the final step is to enact a plan. You must ensure that both existing and new workers have access to the policy. It is also essential to train the HR managers to enforce the policy consistently and fairly for all employees if there are violations.

These are the basic steps to writing an attendance policy, and we have provided them as a general guideline. To guide you further, here is a sample attendance policy.

Attendance policy template

Add a logo of the company here

Introduction to Employee Attendance Policy:

At [NAME OF BUSINESS], good workplace attendance is one of the primary expectations from all employees. We expect every employee to take full responsibility for their attendance without compromising on the company's policies. All employees are expected to arrive on time, be present, and work for the entire duration of all scheduled shifts. Any requirement for leaving work early, absences, and late arrivals must be arranged in advance by contacting prospective supervisors and managers. Placing "fill-ins" or coverage for missed shifts is the employee's sole responsibility.

Definitions

Absence: Supervisor must be notified by the employee at least [duration] in advance. The employee will be absent from the assigned shift if the employee fails to notify supervisors [duration].

Unscheduled absence: An employee informs the supervisor immediately before the shift starts that they will be absent from the shift due to an emergency or other unexpected causes. Failure to notify the supervisor can result in the absence being counted as a "no show" or result in [consequence].

[Number] unscheduled absences will result in [consequence].

Tardiness: When an employee arrives at work at least [duration] minutes after the scheduled shift start. If the employee shows up later than [duration] after shift start time, tardiness will be recorded as an absence.

After [number] tardies, the employee will be subject to [consequence].

No-show: If an employee fails to show up for a shift without notifying the supervisor, it will be a no-show.

After [number] no-show, the employee will be subject to [consequence].

After [number] consecutive no-shows, the employee will be terminated.

Sick days: Employee is absent from shift due to illness or doctor's note. The employee's sole responsibility is to notify the supervisor in case of illness or medical emergency. Otherwise, the absence will be counted as a "no-show."

Include additional guidelines about your company's visions, goals, and responsible management. Information can include why it is essential to enact this policy.

How to track employee time and attendance?

Drafting and enacting an attendance policy is just one part of the job. To fully benefit from the procedure, you should have measures in place to track the time and attendance of the employees. For this purpose, you can install an attendance system. However, before you choose a product, it is essential to:

Identify the tracking needs of your business

There is a significant difference in tracking the needs of businesses as their requirements differ. Several solutions are available to track employees' time and attendance, but the choice depends on your requirement. For instance, if your company is in the IT industry, you will need an attendance system to track employee working hours and busy times on desktops. If you are in a domain like manufacturing and mining, your workforce will be distributed over a large area, and a standard attendance system will not work. You will need an attendance system with GPS-enabled tracking that can be used with minimal hardware.

It will also help to choose a time and attendance management system that integrates with your accounting or payroll software to increase the productivity of the HR team. Such an attendance system will make dealing with time theft, absenteeism, and attendance regularization easier.

Choose the right time and attendance system

Depending on the requirements above, you must choose an attendance system that can handle the HR requirements.

Truein is a new-age face recognition attendance system that utilizes the power of AI to track and record attendance. The attendance system is cloud-based, enabling businesses to deploy its solutions for remote sites and field workers. It has GPS and geo-fencing features that track employees using their smartphones. Furthermore, it offers features like mobile punching, leave management, the ability to create reports and set alerts, and easily integrates with accounting systems.

Conclusion

We hope this guide provides you with a proper guideline for writing an attendance policy for your business. Irrespective of your business nature, it is essential to create an approach that boosts productivity and helps employees understand the attendance expectations without making them susceptible to exploitation.

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8 Disadvantages of Fingerprint Attendance System

With the exponential rise of smartphones, fingerprint sensing has become necessary for the masses. The use of biometric login for devices like mobiles, tablets, and even laptops is standard now. However, in the post-pandemic era, where the focus is on limiting physical contact, the same fingerprint recognition technology can prove to be obstructive. Many firms relied on fingerprint attendance systems to manage their workforce as they offered better security and automation. But, when COVID-19 struck, the same fast and non-invasive attendance systems became hotspots for spreading the infection. In the wake of the seriousness of the situation, state and local governments in India suspended the use of fingerprint biometric attendance systems. According to a Mint Report, a leading Indian telecom operator replaced 650 fingerprint-based attendance systems with facial recognition systems across India. A large steel-producing company embraced the exact change. These are some instances that bring forth the disadvantages of fingerprint biometrics. The disadvantages of the fingerprint attendance system are not limited to just the fear of touch that affects employees' mental and emotional states. In this article, we explore these disadvantages in detail.

The drawbacks of depending on fingerprint attendance systems

1. Issues with recognition of damaged fingerprints

There is a lack of flexibility to identify the person in case of a cut or wound or when fingerprints are smudged with dirt or grease. Fingerprint sensors are sensitive, which works in their favor if the fingers are clean, but these sensors are inefficient for industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing. The workforce in these industries either wears safety gear like gloves or has dirt and dust on their fingers. It makes it cumbersome for them to record their attendance.

2. Deployment can be expensive

Fingerprint attendance systems are entirely dependent on hardware and peripherals. It is often expensive to scale these systems as you will need to install hardware at every location. There is no alternative to investing in new hardware every time. For companies that have a primarily distributed workforce, with employees working on remote sites or massive production floors, disadvantages of biometric scanning become evident.

3. Fingerprint data can get stolen

Fingerprint attendance systems often store data about physical traits such as fingerprint and palm veins in a local database. This information is linked with individual workers. It is essential to keep the data protected at times. Companies enabling fingerprint attendance systems have to deploy measures to prevent the data from being hacked or stolen.

4. Not ideal for remote and field workers

Dependence on standalone machines is one of the significant disadvantages of fingerprint identification. Such attendance systems require dedicated hardware to record attendance. Companies cannot deploy standalone kiosks at fields or remote locations.

5. Accuracy is not as high as facial recognition systems

Fingerprint attendance systems are not as accurate as facial recognition systems. Also, workers utilize tools and heavy machinery leading to wearing fingerprints for labor-intensive industries such as mining. It makes it difficult for machines to recognize the fingerprints leading to frustration. Workers have to fill out attendance sheets manually. Facial recognition systems are highly accurate as they do not depend on just set biometric attributes like fingerprints. Such systems use algorithms like EigenfacesFisherfaces, and Kernel Methods that are highly accurate. These systems can recognize an individual even with changing facial features like beard, glasses, or mask.

6. Less efficient than facial recognition system

Fingerprint attendance systems are not as versatile or fast as face recognition attendance systems. Systems like Truein easily integrate with HRMS/Payroll software, increasing the productivity of the HR team. Fingerprint attendance systems are highly dependent on hardware, making them prone to performance issues. Hardware components get heated with heavy usage, which decreases their efficiency.

7. Rate of error

Biometric attendance machines that use fingerprints are prone to two errors: False Acceptance Rate (FAR) and False Rejection Rate (FRR). When the system accepts an unauthorized person, it is a FAR error, while FRR occurs when the system rejects an authorized person. In studies, the total error rate of biometric systems is around 1%, implying that for an organization with 1000 employees, an error will occur for 100 employees when recording the attendance.

8. Environmental challenges

Fingerprint attendance systems have high error rates under extreme cold or heat. As they depend on hardware, deploying them to locations where the climate is harsh or changes rapidly poses a challenge. Because of all these disadvantages of fingerprint recognition, companies are switching to face recognition systems.

Why are face recognition attendance systems a better alternative to fingerprint systems?

Adopting a face recognition attendance system can eliminate all the above-listed disadvantages of the fingerprint attendance system. Face recognition attendance systems like Truein work on AI-enabled algorithms that do not depend on physical touch to identify a worker, offering touchless safety. These systems have almost 100% accuracy and work with facial hair, changes in facial features, aging, masks, etc. Additionally, these systems do not depend on custom hardware to record attendance. Workers can download supporting apps on their smartphones to mark attendance. It is advantageous for companies with workers at remote sites or fieldwork.

Truein: The Ultimate Face Recognition Attendance System

An ideal alternative to fingerprint attendance systems, Truein is an AI-powered Touchless Face Recognition Based Time & Attendance System. It offers a complete attendance solution that eliminates the need for any complicated hardware. Its mobile/tablet app enables companies to replace standalone fingerprint attendance machines. It provides selfie-based geofencing, automated attendance reports, leaves management, and centralized controls. Already, 250+ brands and companies are using Truein for attendance management. Therefore you can rely on their solutions and check for the benefits.
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Top 10 Challenges Faced By HRs In 2022 and How To Overcome Them

The modern working environment is changing at an unprecedented faster pace. HR leaders encounter many challenges as organizations get impacted by the disruptive change of priorities among employees due to the adoption of new business models.

According to the Today and Tomorrow survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA), 48% of the surveyed HR professionals feel a need for change in management policies. Also, most respondents agree that nurturing 'human skills' is the second most crucial challenge after 'building trust.' Furthermore, 91% of respondents agree that employees see being part of an organization trusted by society as critical to their future.

Keeping these developments in mind, in this article, we will explore the challenges faced by HR as new work cultures rise and better work/life balance becomes mandatory.

1. Attracting and retaining good talent

More than 4.3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs by the end of 2021, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees have gone more discerning about what they want from their jobs, so they are looking for opportunities that better match their talent and offer flexibility. 

Attracting and retaining a good workforce is a significant challenge for HRs in 2022. It is even more difficult for small and medium enterprises since workers seek opportunities that offer better benefits, where more prominent brands often shine. Attracting talent is one part of the challenge, but it also goes beyond recruitment. Retention of blue-collar workers through various initiatives like offering better increments, health benefits, work-life balance, and opportunities to learn is also essential. 

HR leaders should build a stronger employer brand to overcome this challenge. They should check social platforms like Glassdoor and Great Place to Work. These platforms can help create a solid and positive employer brand as the information shared about your organization here is privy to prospective employees. Active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities can help build an emotional platform for prospective employee-employer bonding. For instance, presenting employees with opportunities to contribute to causes they are passionate about. Companies can arrange for skills-based micro-volunteering opportunities through platforms like Catchafire where employees can contribute with their skills rather than donating money. 

Furthermore, HR managers should create a structured onboarding process that helps recruits get accustomed to the new work environment quickly. 

2. Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) a strategic goal

According to Gartner, 69% of companies have identified that workforce diversity and inclusion are essential for strategic development in the wake of the hybrid work culture. Yet, only 35% of HR leaders prioritize DEI for the coming years. In 2022, challenges faced by human resource management include DEI-related issues. HR leaders will have to diversify the workforce to create an inclusionary working environment.

To create a diversified workforce, you have to be strategic and person-specific. You can leverage diverse job boards like Recruit Disability which helps locate people with disability looking for work. A recommended move is to highlight diversity on the career page of your organization's website to let prospective employees know you support DEI.

3. Compensation and Benefits

Amid growing competition to hire talent and the great resignation, employees revisit the compensation and benefits requirements. Companies offer pay increases, more benefits, and going beyond the norms to provide perks like health benefits and flexibility. If HR leaders are not ready with a strategy to match talent expectations, it will be tough to recruit and retain top talent in 2022.

The solution lies in designing a compensation structure that best fits your organization and meets industry standards. One of the significant challenges HR managers face is deciding what benefits matter in 2022; you should do some market research. Workers want more flexibility; it is a substantial benefit to offer. Another way to ensure a return on investment is to provide variable performance-based components. Such performance-linked rewards will keep employees motivated to perform at their best.

4. Prioritizing employee mental and emotional well-being

In the wake of the pandemic, workers' mental health and resilience are at the forefront in 2022. Employee well-being is no longer just about physical well-being but has mental and emotional well-being as essential aspects. As the hybrid work environment blurs the line between work and personal life, companies will be required to invest heavily in improving employee well-being to remain resilient and confident.

There is a need to make arrangements for a positive and healthier work environment for field staff. They should not feel the stress of too drastic changes in work culture due to the adoption of new technologies.

Employee well-being has evolved beyond physical well-being to include the development of a holistic well-being culture. Future Workplace has identified the top seven pillars of holistic employee well-being:

  • Physical well-being
  • Career well-being
  • Financial well-being
  • Social well-being
  • Community well-being
  • Emotional well-being
  • Purpose-driven well-being

HR managers should focus on these pillars and create a strategy to address all seven.

5. Equipping future leaders

In a survey, the leadership consulting firm DDI surveyed 368 CEOs and 2,102 HR professionals to understand how ready their leaders are to take more responsibility in the future. Surprisingly, the respondents rated only 38% of their mid-level leaders as "very good," or "excellent" rest were not satisfactory in the role. In 2022, one of the biggest challenges faced by HRM is the global talent shortage. The onus is on the HR leaders to nurture talent within the organization for long-term success.

HR leaders must work on strategies that upskill mid-level managers to prepare them as future leaders for better promotional opportunities. The focus must be on nurturing empathy-driven managers who consciously address the needs of their subordinates.

6. Not being able to automate routine tasks

HR responsibilities are shifting in the hybrid work culture. The HR managers should be focusing more on the strategic areas that lead to business development rather than wasting time on repetitive administrative tasks. Interestingly, according to McKinsey, we have the technologies available to automate 56% of human resource functions.

Automating routine administrative tasks can help you focus on aspects that directly impact employee engagement and retention. While technology cannot replace teamwork, communication, or collaboration, it can help human resource specialists focus on understanding people, which is crucial in developing work relationships.

An example of how automation can help HR is by using software-based time tracking and attendance management. Recording employee time and attendance can be automated with solutions like Truein which is a face recognition attendance system that automates the entire process and integrates with most payroll solutions. Implementing such systems help HR leaders make payroll more effective and increase productivity while minimizing human errors.

7. Being well-versed with people analytics

People analytics will give organizations a lead in the competition. In 2022, deploying analytics, virtual work technology, and using more comprehensive learning platforms is essential. HR managers can no longer make decisions based on their intuition; rather, the success lies with data-driven decision-making.

For a long time, organizations have relied on gut feeling, intuition, and prior experience policies. HR should take up the challenge to introduce people analytics in the Workplace to make more confident decisions. HR managers can move beyond administrators and become value generators by implementing people analytics. To maximize the value you get from people analytics investment, make sure you establish a culture of constant listening. Transparent listening help over challenges faced by HR in team building.

8. Positive change management

Over 54% of HR leaders Gartner surveyed on their 2022 goals reported change anxiety. The survey found that little day-to-day adjustments like adjusting to the new hybrid work environment, new teammates, a new boss, or tiny process shifts caused 2.5 times more exhaustion in employees than any significant revolutionary changes.

Given that change is inevitable in the fast-paced, ever-changing corporate world, change management is one of the biggest challenges facing human resource management in the 21st century. These changes can be structural, economic, geographical, managerial, procedural, and, most commonly, technological. Inability to foresee, plan or predict these changes can lead to lower productivity, unpreparedness, and high attrition.

Businesses that survive unforeseen disruptions like the COVID-19 epidemic are the ones that proactively embrace changes rather than reacting to external causes. Since the pandemic, organizations have adopted an "adapt or perish" mentality, but actual sustainable survival is only possible when companies embrace change as part of their culture.

The best practice to manage change positively is to predict it and prepare the workers to adapt to these changes. Not every employee will react positively to sudden change, which is why communicating the changes early on is better so that employees can make adjustments at their own pace.

9. Upgrading the recruitment and onboarding tools

As hiring the best talent becomes fiercer, HR managers have to adopt new technological tools like AI and Machine Learning to refine the recruitment process. AI is making it easier for HR to hire talent remotely by assisting with remote recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding.

Most companies are already using artificial intelligence to screen resumes through Applicant Tracking Systems. The requirement for a human viewpoint will always be there as AI can speed up the hiring process, but issues like discrimination and unequal hiring practices still need human intervention.

10. Continuous learning and succession planning

In the end, HR is responsible for providing an environment that stimulates the growth and success of employees. But when the work culture is becoming more and more hybrid, it is challenging to promote upskilling and continuous learning. HRM is responsible for fostering an environment of learning to match the rising ambitions of employees. It is essential because 94% of employees agree that they will voluntarily stay with a company longer if it invests in their learning and upskilling.

Therefore, HR managers must identify training relevant to the current trends. Also, they need to adopt a practical rather than theoretical approach to upskill employees.

Conclusion

In 2022, the challenges faced by HR leaders will be complicated, and so organizations need employee integration, cooperation, and transparent communication to grow in a hybrid work environment. HR managers must manage the challenges we have listed here to help their organizations succeed through a diverse and productive workforce.

Human Resource Management remains a crucial aspect necessary to building a unique workplace culture in the current scenario. Proper management of these challenges will eliminate employee uncertainties, providing the organization with a competitive advantage.

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Attendance Regularization: Why Is It Essential For Your Organization?

Attendance management is among the prime duties of the HR department. Automated attendance management applications like Truein can make it easier to record attendance. Automating attendance recording and payroll management is not the only benefit of adopting such systems. Attendance regularization is another crucial advantage that automated attendance systems offer.

Let’s understand why there is a requirement to regularize attendance and how vital attendance regularization is for any organization.

What is attendance regularization?

Attendance Regularization is a feature in the time and attendance management system that enables employees to correct the ‘in’ and ‘out’ time. This is an important feature required to introduce flexibility in the workplace.

Suppose your company uses a biometric system for attendance recording. If an employee has to leave for some fieldwork or attend a meeting with the client, in the absence of any option, the attendance system will mark them on leave. Their inability to mark attendance will wrongfully lead to a pay cut. To overcome the issue, employees will have to contact the HR team to inform them about their situation, who will correct the attendance. The whole process is tedious.

A better way is to provide an attendance regularization option to the employees to correct their work hours if required. Attendance regularization is also “Work from home” friendly. When working from home, employees have to step out of work from time to time to attend to their kids, pets, or some other responsibilities. In such a scenario, they have to clock out and later clock in to complete their work shift. But as they have not worked continuously, they have to regularize their attendance to make sure they get paid for their hours.

How can Truein help to regularize attendance?

Truein is an AI-based face recognition attendance system that makes attendance regularization a simple task. Companies can record all attendance and leave related activities into a cloud database through Truein’s user app or web interface.

This attendance system allows both employees and HR managers to initiate and complete attendance regularization.

Attendance Regularization Email Template For HR Managers

You can use the below email template to give feedback to an employee attendance regularization request.

To: Name
Title
Work Address

From: HR Manager

Date:

Subject: Feedback Regarding Attendance Regularization Request

Dear:

Please consider this letter feedback of your concern regarding attendance regularization. As reported in the attendance records you worked for a total of ______ hours on ______. According to your request the total working hours are updated to _______ hours.

Your continued level of good attendance is greatly appreciated. We expect you will keep up the good work. This attendance regularization update will be including in your performance appraisal in the area of “attendance”.

Your good health and presence on the job are very important to us and are essential for the smooth operation of the department.

Thank you.

________________________________________ ________
Employee’s or Representative’s Signature Date

cc: Personnel File
Labor Relations

You can also include any information regarding their performance, attendance, leaves or any additional comment related to their payroll.

Apply and approve regularization requests from Truein User App

It is straightforward to apply for attendance regularization from the user app.

  1. Employees can open the Truein app and scroll down to ‘Quick Actions’
  2. From the menu, select ‘Request Correction in Attendance’
  3. To apply for attendance regularization, select ‘Request Correction’

HR managers can approve or reject the regularization request with the same ease. Follow the above three steps, and in the Regularization menu, select ‘Manage Employees Regularization.’

User applying for attendance regularization in Truein app

Manually regularize employee attendance

If an employee forgets to clock in or out, Truein allows managers to regularize their attendance manually. To do so:

  1. Open the Truein Web Dashboard
  2. Go to Attendance Log
  3. Select the date
  4. It will open a list of employees, search for the respective employee
  5. Select ‘Edit In Time’ or ‘Edit Out Time’ and update accordingly from the right column.

Truein also allows for attendance regularization in bulk. You can know more about this option here.

Attendance Regularization In Truein Dashboard

Conclusion

Attendance regularization ensures that employees get paid for the hours they put in at work. If your organization still lacks the attendance system that allows easy attendance regularization, switch to Truein.

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