Workforce time and attendance is a critical aspect of any organisation.
In a security guard study, it was found that the top reasons for absenteeism included:
- Poor salaries
- Long working hours
- Poor communication with immediate supervisor
- Transport problems
- Poor working conditions
- Family problems
In order to manage your workforce time and attendance, you first have to understand the reasons for absenteeism.
Poor salary, long working hours, poor communication, boredom and poor working conditions are all things that the company can address.
Once the root causes are dealt with, you can more effectively manage employee time.
Latecomers and constant absenteeism must be dealt with promptly. Here are tips:
#1: Plan security methodology per location
Leave nothing to chance. Your security guards should know exactly what’s expected of them every minute of their shift for real time visibility.
It is this planning of how your guards will operate that will set your business apart, and provide the basis for efficient employee time tracking. Just as every company in every industry should have standards, processes and procedures in place, so must the security firm.
A few examples to include in the methodology of a time and attendance solution include:
- Site maps
- Patrol areas
- Physical security systems
- Allowed activities
- Testing and maintenance
Guards need to be informed upfront about your company’s expectations, and checking in times and predefined routes need to be made very clear. Should the guard encounter something out of the ordinary, he needs to know exactly how to handle it, therefore ongoing training for reinforcement is essential.
#2: Keep a record
Trends showing no-shows and other attendance issues must be picked up as early as possible, because although the man-hours selling business will always have to deal with the human aspect of security, it must be kept to a minimum.
Have clear processes in place so that when problems arise, management are able to deal with them immediately. Be sure to keep everything in writing for legal reasons.
#3: Strategize checkpoints
Time data will be impacted by checkpoints, especially in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
Therefore, checkpoints must be strategized before placing any guards on duty.
When planning the placement of checkpoints, take into consideration the guard’s own safety, and extreme weather conditions, as this may have the potential to impact time and attendance.
#4: Reward good performance
Humans are driven by avoidance of pain, or the potential of pleasure. We’ve been reared largely to respond to rewards for good behavior and it’s no different with your guards.
Rewarding them for good performance rewards you, because you’ll experience less poor performance, including tardiness and no-pitches, theft etc.
It doesn’t need to be monetary either. Here are some ideas:
- Give positive feedback when deserved.
- Allow advancement opportunities (think out of the box if necessary).
- Provide flexibility at a certain level.
#5: Route all absenteeism calls to a manager
Make it standard procedure to route all absentee calls to a manager.
Staff think twice before calling a manager (instead of just leaving a message with the receptionist for instance) with an excuse for not working.
It also works well to check with guards who call in sick, when they return to work. Not only does this show them you care, but also makes them think twice before calling in sick for no reason in the future.
#6: Forecast time and attendance
Forecasting is essential to create optimized guard schedules; knowing how many guards to allocate per shift will reduce unnecessary hourly salaries costs. Additional benefits of forecasting time and attendance include:
- Improved service to your clients, because there will be enough guards for shifts. For example, forecasting shows busiest times, and the periods that need higher skilled guards.
- Forecasting allows for reliability which impacts customer satisfaction, cost and employee engagement, which results in less turnover.
#7: Generate reports for continual improvements
Reporting is crucial to get a view of how guards are performing as far as time and attendance go, as well as to see if workflows and processes are working, and how to improve them. Reports will also show you trends, which is essential for forecasting.
It allows for understanding of risks, and highlights opportunities.
EasyRoster provides more than 100 reports.
#8: Keep guards connected
The security industry is known for its high turnover, but this needn’t be the case. You can save costs, and more effectively manage guards and their time and attendance, by ensuring they feel connected to their team, even though they work remotely.
When there are genuinely open relationships, you’ll have less no-pitches and it will be easier to manage scheduling and absenteeism.
#9: Track time and attendance with software
Obviously, forecasting and tracking time and attendance can only be done effectively with software that manages your employees time, like EasyRoster.
It’s also the only way to manage your guards efficiently, offering solutions to buddy punching, complex pay rules, shift scheduling, reporting, clock management, overtime and so on, and helps the business make continual improvements.
Albert co-founded EasyRoster Software in 1995 and helped grow the business to where it is today. Albert has over 25 years of experience in Workforce Management and Software development which has helped the EasyRoster team build one of the best WFM systems on the market today.