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 productivityOptimizing 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 savingsProper 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 retentionAs 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 strategiesThe 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 efficientlyFor 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 trackingFor 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?
3. Monitor performance and Task completionThe 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 employeesEffective 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 OperationsCutting 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.
ConclusionWorkforce 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.
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 shiftsOver 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 ScheduleIn 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
2. The DuPont Shift ScheduleLike 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
3. The 2-2-3-2-2-3 shift scheduleThe 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
4. Southern swing scheduleThe 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
Rotating shift schedule examplesManagers 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
- 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
- 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 shiftsRotating 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 softwareIt 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.
ConclusionFor 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.
An integral part of day-to-day business operation, leave management might appear to be a simple task. Indeed, it is if you have only a few employees. As more people join your team, leave management gets painstaking and ultimately deviously complicated when more people join in.
This is why a leave management system is a worthwhile addition to your business tool to manage risks and avoid costs. In this article, we will cover all aspects of an employee leave management system so you can benefit your business as well.
What is an employee leave management system?
Leave management is more than just keeping the count of days an employee has taken leave of absence. An online leave management system is a tool to keep track of types of leaves-stipulated, medical, casual. Some leaves are planned, some are unplanned but monitoring leaves for all employees is needed for the proper functioning of the organization.
A leave management system is a comprehensive system that can entirely automate the HR task of tracking leaves consumed by employees. Employees can easily put in an application for leave along with supporting documents. Furthermore, a leave management system can be made an integral part of the whole HR Management System such that complete employee management can be done from a single dashboard including payroll, attendance, rosters, etc.
There are two types of leave management system - A manual leave management system where a physical log book is maintained and employees sign in & sign out at the start and end of day. This is tallied manually at the end of the month to calculate the number of leaves that an employee has taken. The process is cumbersome and far more prone to errors.
The second is an automated leave management system where a biometric such as fingerprint or face recognition is utilized and the employee in and out times are automatically logged in & stored on the cloud. Leave reports can be automatically generated at the end of each day/month and given its efficiency, accuracy & ease of use, increasingly organizations are replacing manual leave management systems with automated leave management system.
Why leave management is important?
Employee leave management system is important to enforce a leave policy at the workplace. It helps with record-keeping to allow organizations to effectively offer benefits like paid leaves. Modern-day face recognition based attendance system like Truein can keep employee leave stats so they are aware of leave balance and entitlements right on their mobile screens.
Such systems also help companies stay compliant and get a holistic view of the trends in leaves and attendance through reporting and analytics. Essentially, a leave management system can help you take corrective or preventive measures when needed. Furthermore, the leave management system helps stop revenue leaks. Without a maintained and updated leave record, companies can end up paying for the absences. It also helps avoid confrontations between employees and the employer benefiting the brand image.
For smooth business functioning, it is important to ensure that the employees taking leaves do not become a reason for business losses. The best way to achieve this is to check the rooster to approve or reject a leave after evaluating the impact on the work.
6 Benefits of Automated Leave Management System
1. Significantly less paperwork
One of the benefits of using software tools is the reduction of dull and repetitive tasks. An online leave management system offers integration and automation that significantly reduces the amount of paperwork. A paper trail of leave management is cumbersome as well as a deterrent to the environment. Printing and filling forms is a headache for employees and record keeping of such files is painstaking for employers.
With a few clicks, the entire process of leave application till approval is completed when you have an employee leave management system at work.
2. Auto-update leave balance
There is no point in buying an HR management software if HR staff has to compute and update leave data manually. With the right attendance management system like Truein, the entire process of tracking leave history and accessibility to the managers and employees is automated.
3. Real-time information and updates
When approving leaves or applying for leaves it is important to have information if it is the right time to approve or apply for a leave. Unless there is a leave management system that provides information in real-time, it is going to be difficult. Also, outdated information can result in conflicts between the managers and employees because it can cause rejection of applications of employees who need a vacation. Real-time updates are also important to avoid situations where too many permissions are granted resulting in understaffing.
4. Save the time of administration
The benefits of a leave management system for administration are equally important. The total elimination of repetitive tasks makes leave management a lot faster and more convenient. Modern leave management systems can easily be integrated with other office tools. Such a level of automation saves a lot of time for administration and offers a more comprehensive ecosystem for employee management.
5. Transparent and accurate
The online leave management system provides a comprehensive view of all leaves, either planned or unplanned in a single dashboard. For employers, it provides a tool to have accurate data on employees abusing leave policies or underusing their vacations.
This transparency helps spot productivity leaks and tackle problems related to absenteeism.
6. Easily Manage Holidays
An automated leave management system can help employers to manage the holiday and vacations of their employees more efficiently. With the help of the leave management system, your employees will be able to mark any leave of absence like holidays, sick leave, etc. Moreover, your employees will have access to their holiday leave at any moment.
Truein: An Attendance System With Leave Management Solution
Truein is a comprehensive attendance system designed to help organizations automate employee attendance management entirely.
A cloud-based system, Truein automatically uploads and updates leave data without any need for human intervention. The data is available for the employees and employers alike. A hardware-less tool, Truein makes it possible for employees to view their leave data on their mobiles. They have access to a dashboard to check the used and unused leaves.
For employers, it offers many capabilities such as the ability to add different leave policies and update existing ones.
If your company is still using legacy methods for leave management it is high time to switch to Truein to automate and accurately track leave. As a comprehensive leave management solution, it can help to record and analyze leave patterns and resolve issues.
Traditionally companies have used the thumb-based attendance system, which served as a good substitute to card-based systems. Neither of them were perfect and faced many setbacks on reliability and security. Attendance with face recognition has gained attention in recent years. While large companies have been quick to upgrade to face recognition attendance systems, many mid-sized organizations are still working with older technologies.
Is it worthwhile to upgrade to face id attendance systems? Let’s evaluate the biometric systems objectively.
How face recognition attendance system works?
The system stores a database of faces. A screen, usually a mobile or tablet in case of Truein, is placed at the entrance and employees have to simply walk towards it. A match is triggered with the database and attendance is captured within a second.
Systems like Truein are benchmarked with the eye so no amount of change in facial features or fashion accessories affects its ability to return accurate results.
Why is face attendance better than thumb-based or fingerprint systems?
Practically 100% accuracy: Thumb-based attendance systems have often failed in situations where the fingerprint is faded. Workers who work in oiling systems can’t register their attendance with faded thumb prints. Similarly heena applications or cuts on fingers return errors. It is often frustrating to try attendance multiple times before simply writing down in a manual attendance register.
That is not the case with face recognition attendance. It has been tried, tested and proven that it is practically 100% accurate. Employees simply walk towards it and attendance is captured. It works even when hairstyles change or employees age.
Touchless safety: With covid-19, the world has become increasingly aware of the risks of contact-based attendance systems. There is no attendance system, other than face id attendance system which is absolutely touchfree. The user has to simply show his face. The system is triggered automatically.
Even after the world is covid-free, people will be conscious of the touches they make and it will be good to provide a hygienic system.
No complex hardware: Thumb based systems always require that you install a machine at the entrance. While the upfront costs are a barrier in itself, the machine requires maintenance too. When you choose a face attendance system like Truein, there is no complex machine. You simply install the application on any Android or iOS system and it works. Often, companies use just a tablet or mobile for Truein face attendance.
Remote access: Not every staff member steps into the office every day. There are remote workers or on-the-go field staff who report directly to client offices, distributor’s godown or other places. If you have rigid systems that require machines or hardware, it won’t work out for remote workers.
With Truein mobile-based face recognition systems it is possible to allow on-the-go workers to take attendance from their own phone, wherever they are. Companies can restrict the mobile-based attendance to specific geographies, geo-fencing it, making it more secure and controlled.
Wow experience: With attendance time cut-down to a second and no action required from the user-end, face id attendance is by far the best biometric system. It wows employees who don’t require training and are happy to adopt immediately. When a face id system is based by a powerful application, it is even more welcome. Employees can track their records from the phone and managers can track everyone in real-time.
Reliability: Face recognition attendance systems like Truein have spoof-proof mechanisms. Employees may be required to blink their eyes before capturing attendance. It ensures no photos are used in the attendance process to mark proxies.
Frequently asked questions:
Which biometric attendance system is more reliable and accurate?
Time and again it has been proven that fingerprint systems fail when fingers are dirty, oily, wet or bruised. Face attendance is practically 100% accurate.
Which biometric attendance system is more affordable?
Thumb based systems require sensor-based machine installation at every site, making it costly in the beginning and also at the time of maintenance. With face attendance, any Android or iOS based mobile may be sufficient. Even employees can track their face ID with their own phone. Even retail stores with multiple outlets or construction companies with multiple sites find face attendance more affordable.
Make an informed decision
There are many choices available today. Not every finger print system or every face attendance system is made equal. Evaluate the options between various vendors or brands and make an informed choice. Be sure to ask questions like:
- Does the attendance system have geo-fencing?
- Does the system require hardware installation and maintenance?
- Does the system have mobile-based capabilities?
Asking the right questions will help you choose the most advanced biometric attendance system.
It is (relatively) easy to track attendance in a corporate park or branch. How do you handle attendance tracking and compliance when you have dispersed outlets with varying staff strength of ten to fifty employees? Even large brands have not found the perfect answer. They end up using a mix of methodologies like thumb-based/card-swipe systems in larger stores and some manual registers in smaller ones. Neither are fool-proof and the age-old problem persists even today.
What are the top retail attendance challenges and their solution?
Hardware Installation: Installing a hardware for attendance at every single shop is not practical, especially when the staff strength is not large. Besides, retail chains are always in an expansion mode and installing hardware in all new stores is not a scalable idea.
Solution: Opt for a biometric attendance system that will benefit your retail store, and a solution like Truein face attendance does not require any hardware installation. How face recognition attendance system works? It works on any Android or iOS device. It can also be configured to work from an employee’s own phone. It is scalable to as many stores as one may need, without any added upfront hardware cost.
Remote locations: A lot of retail stores are located in far-off locations, with limited internet access. Most attendance systems require the internet to function and may be redundant in smaller towns.
Solution: Always check if the system you shortlisted works in offline mode. Truein face attendance can work offline and sync data online when the internet comes available. That way, all stores can have a single attendance system. No exceptions!
Parallel systems: When attendance systems like the thumb or card don’t work at all times due to non-detection or errors, people start using parallel systems like manual registers. Smaller stores don’t have the infrastructure for maintenance and resort to alternatives. That makes the organization prone to proxies and leakages in the system which add hidden costs.
Solution: Try to use a system that does not allow people to slip through. A face attendance system like Truein works practically hundred percent of all times. Thumb not being recognised or the card getting damaged are not the kind of excuses you hear with face recognition. It simply works, no matter what!
Store wise reconciliation: With retail chains using multiple systems across multiple stores, it is often a task to bring it all together at the end of the month and calculate salaries. Not to forget, there are sick leaves, casual leaves, public holidays and other such complexities too. It takes many man hours to sync this data across stores and of course, it can never be foolproof.
Solution: An attendance system backed by solid software can link everything from holidays and leaves to shifts and compliances. Everything flows through just one comprehensive system so you can simply export the reports and disburse remunerations. No manual syncs! Truein makes it possible.
No visibility: It is not possible for HR or leadership teams to see what is happening at different outlets on a day-to-day basis. Attendance, compliances and all are left to local teams. Head office comes to know about the attendance percentages only at the end of the month when there is a manual sync. The system is not agile. It is difficult to ensure that rules are complied with.
Solution: It is important to choose a system that syncs data in real-time back to the head office or HR admins. Anybody can see analytics through the web dashboard or on their mobile. Truein brings this power and transparency.
Shift management: Retail stores often operate for twelve hours. They have staff working in rotation shifts. Often, separate morning, afternoon and general shift registers are maintained to manually track the shift allocation and attendance. Again, another manual entry which has to be synced and is prone to human error.
Solution: Have it all as part of the attendance system! Shift allocation is technically an extension of attendance and systems like Truein make it possible to link the two. One can allocate shifts in bulk to the entire staff via a simple spreadsheet upload or can do it individually for every staff member.
Retailers can heave a sigh of relief
Finally, there is an attendance system that works in every situation – offline, with shifts, with compliance rules and more. One click enables complete sync and export for next steps like salary disbursement.
Large retailers like PC Jewellers have trusted Truein and have rolled it out to their entire chain in no time – no hardware installation required, after all! When the pandemic posed more challenges to the already existing retail attendance woes, there was only one solution they could reliably depend on – face attendance with no hardware and a solid software.
Face recognition based attendance is the straight off answer to the touchless solution the world is seeking today. Or may it is not as straight. Not all face recognition attendance is made equal. It is important to consider specific use-cases before picking the one that works for you.
Today, we will focus on use-cases for geo-fencing – a powerful feature on Truein’s contactless attendance system.
What is geo-fencing?
With Truein, organizations can allow users to mark attendance from their very own phone. Organization’s ability to limit such attendance to only a specific geography (usually a radius around the office) is called geo-fencing.
Geo-fencing can be activated to ensure that employees don’t queue up in front of the kiosk at the main gates, conveniently use their own phone but do not misuse it while vacationing.
Who is it most relevant for?
Large retail chains can avoid putting a kiosk at every store. Each individual store can geo-fence attendance for their site and employees can mark attendance from their devices. It can result in huge savings while ensuring automation that syncs data back to the head-office in real-time.
In case of outdoor locations, the supervisors need not report to office before going to the site. They can go to their work site directly and mark attendance after reaching that geo-fenced boundary.
It makes sense for even contract workers who keep changing and report to site directly.
Marketing and event agencies
Any organization that employs a large workforce that is on their feet and always on field, would find geo-fencing very useful. The geo-fencing feature can be used to mark radius around the distributor’s office where sales team reports. It can also be used to mark an event location where the marketing team is working.
Any other large organization
In case you have a large employee strength, you can shorten the queue at the main gate by activating user-device based geo-fenced attendance.
What are the key advantages?
We believe that automation of attendance should always be 100%. If you leave scope for manual entries in case of remote sites, on-field force etc., you are increasing chances of proxy and plenty of paperwork.
When data for the entire workforce gets automated – no matter where they are, all of it can feed back into compliance and salary calculations.
The hard part about allowing employees to report directly to remote sites is the ability to track and trust. You can leave all of it behind and embrace progressive HR policies. Geo-fencing is your safety net – an assurance that all will be well even when you adopt laissez-faire policies.
It sure leaves a good impact on employee satisfaction score as well.
When social-distancing is active and you have a large workforce queuing up at the kiosk, you could consider moving to geo-fenced user-device attendance.
People can space out and mark attendance from their desks if they please.
What should you know about geo-fencing on Truein?
Truein has evolved over the last 4 years to include more than hundred features. Geo-fencing is only one of them. Like always we have focused on keeping it simple.
- It can be activated or deactivated by the user at a click of a button
- There is no limit to how many locations can be activated
- It is possible to geo-fence attendance by adding Google location address or latitude/longitude co-ordinates
- It is also possible to define the radius around the marked address.
The bottom line
Face recognition is the buzzword in touchless attendance. However, that is just the beginning. Making it more widespread and employee-friendly is what true evolution would be. Activate geo-fencing and other hundred plus features to suit your specific HR policies.
The Corona outbreak has changed the entire world, creating the need for making the safety of your employees a priority. Safer workplace management and at the same time ensuring smooth operations is now a necessary action that has to be taken.
As the world recovers from the pandemic, here are 5 things you can do to ensure your employee’s well-being and smooth operations in your business:
Remote working is the future (at least for now!):
Despite all the endless statistics on how remote working has proven to be extremely productive, suddenly shifting paradigms could be tedious. Chalk out a plan for remote working that will be feasible for your business and your employees. Ensure everyone is equipped with enough resources to continue the work without hindrance. Try to plan activities to keep them inspired and involved even when working from home.
Clean, sanitised and touchless! (it’s a priority!):
Now that we are on the verge of resuming work, we have to be back with the utmost care. Regular sanitising and cleaning has to be done for safety. In this fight against COVID-19, the first step you should take is to make social distancing a regular affair. Start working in shifts! The most important step is to make your office premises touchless - as much as possible!
Install Truein to ensure a touchless experience for your employees and visitors. Truein not only replaces the very unhygienic fingerprint biometric system but it also helps in keeping a tab on multiple ins and outs of the employees. Its advance technology is befitting to every modern office space irrespective of a pandemic.
Be prepared (mask it up!):
Sanitisers and masks should be a must for everyone working. Be it the visitors or employees or admin staff, washing hands and constantly sanitising is a precaution that you should take. Rearrange your sitting arrangements to maintain social distancing (no more fights on the perfect chairs, PLEASE!). Measure body temperature daily could help in knowing the complete health status. Employees should put their masks on and remove it only when they’re eating. Canteens and pantry should be cleaned to avoid any kind of contamination.
Empathy wins the race (not sympathy!):
In this difficult time, understand your employees. Be considerate of the facts that some of them are away from home while some are struggling to the internet going. As an employer, you should be more promising to your employees and take steps that are good for both, the business and employees. Salary cuts, furloughs and layoffs could demoralise your employees, so make sure your decisions are empathetic.
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Take the necessary steps and resume work in a safe way! Let’s fight the pandemic with a heart!