"Paperless” and "cloud-based" are concepts that touch nearly everything we do these days, from paying bills to communication, and yes, even employee time tracking. While these terms may evoke techy, environmentally friendly practices, paperless cloud-based time tracking can also make an enormous impact on employee productivity and your company’s bottom line. A recent Forbes article on predictions for business and technology trends in 2018 (http://bit.ly/2Aqk4Xr) puts it even more bluntly: "Cloud’s not the ‘best’ way; it’s the *only* way".
Getting cozy with the cloud isn’t just for the company IT department. According to the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte (http://bit.ly/2kUHjRJ), 41 percent of surveyed HR teams are actively building mobile apps to deliver HR services. For the busy HR manager working to track, compile, and analyze employee data, paperless cloud-based systems offer robust solutions to streamline and improve employee time tracking. Below we’ll examine three areas - data preservation, accessibility, and transparency - in which cloud-based time tracking systems are essential for companies looking to keep up with the modern business landscape.
Collecting and organizing vast amounts of data isn’t of much use if it ends up lost or destroyed. But once payroll is finished for the month, why care about preserving employee data? HR research analyst Josh Bersin sums it up, saying, "Data analytics has the potential to help businesses make dramatic returns by managing their workforce more effectively. This is the next big thing that is going to happen in HR" (http://bit.ly/2yWAww1). Without well-preserved employee data archives, none of the analytics that improve workforce management are possible.
Conventional forms of employee time tracking like paper and Excel spreadsheets are prone to loss and corruption. Paper time sheets can be misplaced, misfiled, or ruined by careless handling. Spreadsheets are slightly more resilient, but carry the risk of loss due to file corruption, hard drive failure, or getting lost in the blizzard of other files on a person’s computer. With cloud-based time tracking systems, data is stored securely in the cloud where it’s safe from file corruption, damage, or outright loss.
As HR professionals expand their leverage of data analytics, data quality becomes a critical consideration. Fortunately, cloud-based time tracking systems offer a simple route to dramatically improved data quality via accessibility. Data accessibility, it turns out, is one of the primary aspects of overall data quality, according to the data experts at SearchDataManagement.com (http://bit.ly/2BrGp70).
In this sense, data stored in a cloud-based time tracking system is actually of higher quality than data on paper or in spreadsheets. How so? Employee attendance data on paper can only be viewed by the person or people physically present, making the data unavailable if the person who needs it is not in the filing room. Spreadsheets are easier to duplicate and share, but this carries risk of accidentally creating multiple versions of the data. Further, spreadsheets aren’t always easy to view and manipulate on mobile devices. In the end, unavailable data is useless data.
Storing time tracking information in the cloud makes for high quality data because it’s accessible anytime, anywhere, and on any device. With the employee data collection, storage, and access features of an app like TrackTime24, there’s no need to search through filing cabinets, or dig through digital archives for the right spreadsheet version. Higher quality information means that HR managers can make better-informed decisions faster, and with greater confidence.
HR.com (http://bit.ly/2AaEiQP) puts tracking attendance as the first of five effective strategies for improving employee attendance. With an app like TrackTime24, both managers and employees have detailed, readily available data on attendance records. And this data is always updated in real time in the cloud. There is no disputing dates and times, and the employee sees a daily record of his or her attendance. While "out of sight, out of mind" may make it easier for employees to slip into bad habits with time sheets that only management views regularly, a log that the employee views daily promotes self-accountability. Ideally this stops tardiness and absenteeism from happening in the first place. However, if bad habits do begin to form, transparent attendance tracking logs allow management to address the problem before it gets any worse, and to do so based on data that all parties view regularly.
All of this taken together makes a compelling case for reevaluating how HR professionals manage employee data. For companies looking to improve HR effectiveness and stay competitive in the digital age, the improved data storage, data quality and accessibility, and employee relations that come with cloud-based time tracking systems aren’t just the "best" way, they’re the *only* way.