Modern economy is truly global, and Canadian companies are facing intense pressure from international competitors, who often pay their workers less. In order to compensate, business owners must prioritize efficiency at every step, and the best place to start controlling expenses and performance is the human resources sector. Labor costs take up a good chunk of the budget, so it’s very important to ensure that every worker knows what he is expected to do and is constantly guided and supervised. As the salaries in Canada continue to outpace the rest of the world, employees are increasingly seen as a precious asset that has to be handled skillfully and very carefully.
Old methods of workforce management are simply not suitable for this task. Employers need a more precise way to track attendance, determine which absences are excused and which are not, measure productivity for each business unit and decide which workers to reward and which to let go. HR departments are rapidly evolving and embracing information technology, and now place a premium on a data-driven hiring process and objective assessment of work effectiveness. This approach can account for less obvious factors and prevent popular employees from exploiting their relationships to hide inadequate work habits.
A lot of software products for measuring biometric time and attendance were released in recent years, including hosted solutions that don’t burden the local infrastructure and require minimal investment. Some of those products are very advanced and come with a broad array of useful options, but they are worth very little unless the employers learn to rely on them for a wide variety of purposes. Purchasing the latest employee attendance system won’t improve productivity on its own – it is necessary to adjust all internal procedures to the new system and perhaps even redefine how certain tasks are done and re-train those charged with their execution.
The idea is to make everyone accountable for their actions and to apply fair and consistent criteria when evaluating each employee. It’s not about micromanaging every minor task, but rather about seeing the real contribution of every worker and department to the company as a whole. This needs to be explained to the employees, so they are aware that deployment of an attendance management program could actually work in their favour if they are fulfilling their obligations responsibly. Mid-level managers might also need a little persuasion to fully accept the technology, especially if they have been in the same positions since pre-digital times and are firmly set in their ways.
Finally, data collected from time tracking software should be used to improve long-term planning. Understanding where the value comes from and where the weak links are allows the company to assign the appropriate relevance to certain individuals or teams, and to seek external help where in-house resources are not sufficient. Efficiency of work processes can’t be achieved overnight, and workforce management solutions have just a limited immediate impact – it takes months if not years to optimize the hiring process and change corporate habits for the better.