How Time and Attendance Systems Minimize Employee Absenteeism

Absenteeism is a major problem that affects businesses of all sizes. When employees don’t show up to work as scheduled, it has a big impact on productivity and leads to higher administrative costs.

To keep a close eye on this issue, employers can use a time and attendance software package that can give them detailed statistics in real-time. This type of system can help them create a better-organized workplace while immediately reducing costly wages that are paid unnecessarily.

But first, let’s take a look at what all those absentees are costing you.

The problem: Direct costs of frequent worker absences


  • When some employees have poor attendance records, other workers are required to adjust their workload to compensate
  • The company may be required to hire contract or temporary workers, often at higher rates, to complete orders or meet deadlines if it is unexpectedly short-staffed
  • Lack of notice means the company must pull employees away from their regular duties to train new workers, which further slows down production
  • Workers who are asked to perform more work without more pay may feel frustrated or grow resentful of the worker who was absent, affecting morale and the atmosphere in the workplace
  • The company may incur increased administrative costs, such as overtime wages

In addition, human resources (HR) staff will be required to spend time tracking and reporting on the attendance of employees who don’t come to work on a regular basis. Depending on company policy, a chronically absent employee may require counseling and/ or a warning, which takes time away from the HR department manager, the employee’s supervisor, and the employee’s normal duties.

The solution: Taking charge of employee attendance issues

Time and attendance systems are designed with specific features that help monitor absenteeism and determine the impact it is having on your bottom line so it can be reduced or, otherwise, eliminated.

Key functionalities include:


  • Tracking attendance patterns to find the problem areas. The first step in dealing with an employee attendance issue is to take appropriate steps to monitor attendance for all employees. Managers should make company policy on attendance clear to all workers, and remind them periodically about the workplace rules concerning attendance expectations. Using a software program that tracks time and attendance, a business can monitor changes in an employee’s attendance pattern. Excessive absences can be noted and the employee can be offered appropriate assistance and support to correct the situation.
  • Providing the tools that encourage a positive change in behavior. Some software packages will automatically generate warning letters once a certain number of absences are noted. This option may not be appropriate for all business owners, however. A personal approach may be a better way to deal with an employee’s attendance issue, but tracking it with specialized software means it will not fall through the cracks.
  • Psychological impact. It is estimated that, in many cases, the simple knowledge that a time and attendance system is in place is enough to deter staff members from taking unnecessary leaves, falsifying time logs, and “buddy-punching” for someone else.


And don’t forget about punctuality

Though not necessarily an absence, attendance systems also monitor punctuality. While a few minutes here or there may not seem like a big deal, but when you are dealing with hourly employees, they add up quickly.

For example, if you have 10 employees who are 3 minutes late, that’s 30 minutes of lost labor in a single day. If you pay those employees $20/hour, that equates to a loss of $10. That $10 becomes $70 in a week, $300 in a month, and $3,600 in a year… for absolutely nothing. Now, what if they’re all 15 minutes late?

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