We previously discussed that employee scheduling is hard, time consuming, and costly to a business. Where possible, businesses should use software tools to automate labor scheduling – saving time and money while improving profits makes a lot of sense! Once the employee schedule or the theoretical labor schedule, is complete, it is posted for all employees to see.
What’s the Difference Between Schedules and Timecards?
The time and attendance system is one crucial aspect of managing labor. This system tracks the “actual schedule” worked by staff members. Each employee should have their own “timecard”, although computer systems have improved these paper systems over the years. At a bare minimum, this can be a paper card which has the time and date the employee arrived and the time and date the employee left, printed or stamped on the card. At many businesses, the Point Of Sale (POS) system or Property Management System (PMS) has a built-in time and attendance system which may be sufficient. More sophisticated time and attendance systems are available from payroll vendors, Human Resource (HR) software vendors, and best-of-breed labor management providers like TimeForge.
As each day of the theoretical labor schedule progresses, the following cycle likely occurs:
- An employee arrives at the business
- Before beginning any work, the employee clocks-in (or punches-in) to a time and attendance system, and management must be mindful of early and late clock-ins, and buddy-punching.
- The employee performs their work
- The employee may be given break periods, or meal breaks, some of which may be paid or required by law. These breaks should be recorded for Labor & Industries Audits (L&I Audits), corporate compliance, and to secure against potential labor lawsuits.
- The employee clocks-out (or punches-out), declaring any tips (if necessary), from a time and attendance system
- The employee leaves the business
Use Timecards for Payroll, Schedules to Plan Labor Costs
It is important to pay payroll expenses from the time and attendance system, and not the theoretical labor schedule. If management pays the employee directly from the theoretical labor schedule and the employee arrived later than scheduled, then the business is paying too much to the employee – reducing profit. If the employee arrived earlier than the theoretical labor schedule suggested, the business will not lose any money by paying from the schedule – however, a number of regulations are violated by not paying the employee for actual time worked. Employees, in all industries, are notorious for arriving to work 15-minutes earlier than scheduled, or leaving 10-minutes later than scheduled, requiring that employers pay appropriately for worked time. To ensure compliance with regulations and to reduce the loss in profits, the correct way to pay employees is with the clock in / clock out times from the time and attendance system.
Is employee scheduling complex at your business? Are you making the best possible labor schedule? How much time is thrown away while making a schedule every year? Did you know that TimeForge can reduce turnover, improve retention and increase profits through employee scheduling at your business? Sign up today for a free trial!