No business function has been immune to the sweeping impact
of digital transformation in recent years. New technology has been helping to
improve productivity across all areas of business, while also providing streams
of data, which enable us all to work smarter.
This is no different in HR. According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report, 73% of
HR professionals now see ‘Digital HR’ as important or very important – while
71% think the same of ‘People Analytics’.
This has opened up fantastic possibilities to solutions that
digital technology can provide. The challenge for us all, however, is to
remember to start with the basics. For HR and payroll, those fundamentals lie
in time and attendance data. After all, this is the data from which we track
our human capital – the bedrock resource of any organisation.
Making better use of this information can help businesses
optimise their processes and improve overall performance. Here are three ways
organisations are doing just that:
On a basic level, time and attendance data is vital to
resource planning and scheduling within any organisation – especially when managers
are juggling all sorts of absence requests, such as staff holidays, flexible
working requests and periods of sick leave.
Having access to this real time data means managers can quickly
analyse the consequences of an absence request and respond accordingly. They
can easily accept or reject requests and take appropriate actions to compensate
for staff shortages.
2. Spotting trends
It’s not just the immediate, day-to-day benefits where time
and attendance data is valuable, however. When properly analysed, it can also
reveal trends that can lead to huge savings for any business.
For instance, this might highlight seasonal periods when
there are unusually high instances of absence, caused by sickness at winter
time or holiday requests in the summer. An ability to forecast such patterns of
behaviour allows an organisation to flex their staffing levels accordingly.
Alternatively, a business may discover, for example, that
child care issues are resulting in persistent lateness and short notice
requests for time off work. With this knowledge, organisations can look for
ways to remedy the situation – possibly through the introduction of flexible
3. Employee wellbeing
Crucially, time and attendance can reveal serious problems
impacting individuals. The latest government statistics show half a million
people in the UK have experienced work-related stress, anxiety or
If employers are able to catch the warning signs – often
revealed by patterns of absence or lateness – action could be taken to address
these illnesses. Helping the individual will also benefit the organisation as a
whole, as it can prevent colleagues being asked to cover sick leave or managers
struggling to hit targets due to a lack of resources.
Reliable data can provide managers with a chance to make an
early intervention and ascertain what problems an individual may be facing. Is
an excessive workload or a challenging working environment contributing to
their difficulties? Would it be of benefit to the individual and the business
to make changes to the current way of working? According to the CIPD, employees in the UK take an average
days off a year as absence. However, with insights drawn from time and
attendance data, organisations can begin to reduce these absences.
When you consider how data analytics is helping to predict other
potential problems and how to best utilise the most vital of company resources,
human capital, you can also see that this data has the potential to really
improve the organisations performance.