Data is a business' most valuable asset. For HR harnessing the power of data means they can make better, more informed decisions to help them optimise the management of their workforces and ensure their organisations are more productive, efficient, and happier.
Among the rich sources of data available to HR, timesheet data stands out as potentially the most valuable. By leveraging time tracking data effectively, HR professionals can gain insights into employee productivity, resource allocation, workforce planning, and compliance. In this article, we will explore how HR can unlock the full potential of timesheet data to drive strategic initiatives and enhance organizational performance.
But first, let's define this data and the different methods organisations can use to track time.
Time Tracking Data
Timesheet or time tracking data refers to the recorded information around the time spent by employees on various activities during their working hours. It typically includes details such as the start time and end time of work, breaks, task descriptions, project codes, and any other relevant information related to the allocation of time. It also specifies information around overtime, extra hours, leave, and absences, allowing accurate time tracking of your workforce.
Timesheet data serves as a valuable source of information for various HR functions, including payroll processing, employee attendance tracking, performance evaluation, and resource allocation.
The chosen method of time tracking data collection should align with the organisation's size, complexity, and technological infrastructure, while considering the level of accuracy, convenience, and compliance requirements necessary for effective time tracking.
Timesheet data can be collected through multiple methods, including:
Employees fill out physical timesheets or timesheet templates provided by the HR department. They manually record their working hours or billable hours, breaks, project/task details, and any other required information. These timesheets can be submitted on a regular basis, such as weekly or biweekly, and collected by HR for further processing.
HR teams can create electronic timesheet templates using spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Employees and team members can fill out these templates electronically, inputting their time-related information. The completed spreadsheets can then be submitted to HR either through email or file-sharing platforms.
Time Tracking Software
With time tracking software, HR teams can implement dedicated time tracking or employee attendance systems. These tools allow employees to log their working hours, breaks, and project/task details using digital interfaces. The software may offer features such as automatic time capture, real-time time tracking, and integration with other HR systems.
Biometric Time Clocks
In organisations that require precise attendance tracking, HR teams may use biometric time clocks. These devices use fingerprint, facial recognition, or other biometric authentication methods to record employee clock-ins and clock-outs. The time clock data can then be collected by HR for further processing.
HR teams can leverage mobile apps and timesheet apps specifically designed for time tracking. These apps allow employees to log their working hours, breaks, and project details using their smartphones or tablets. The data from these timesheet apps can usually be synchronised with the HR system or submitted directly to HR for processing.
Learn more about the XCD Mobile App
Integration with HR Systems
HR teams can integrate time tracker data collection with existing HR systems, such as payroll or human capital management (HCM) software. This integration enables seamless transfer of time tracker data and reduces the risks involved with manual data entry efforts – namely human error and data duplication. Time tracking data can be directly captured within the HR system and usually automates much of the processes associated with time trackers.
How HR Teams can Leverage Time Tracking Data
Payroll and Attendance Management
Time tracking data is crucial for accurate payroll processing and employee attendance management. HR can use the data to calculate employee wages, track overtime hours, manage leaves, and ensure compliance with labour laws and company policies. This reduces errors in payroll processing, eliminates manual calculations, and helps maintain fair compensation practices and attendance policies.
Time tracking data can provide insights into an employee's productivity and time management skills. HR can analyse the data to evaluate individual and team performance, identify top performers, and address any productivity issues around how employee time is spent.
Being able to accurately report on this information can also contribute to performance reviews, such as feedback on how team members could improve their time management, as well as help in setting realistic goals with how time is already being prioritised.
Data from timesheets can assist HR in time management, workflows, and workload balancing. By analysing employee time entries, HR can identify workload imbalances, allowing them to allocate tasks more effectively. This ensures that work – and the time it takes – is distributed evenly across timesheets to maximise productivity, minimise burnout risks, and make informed decisions on redistributing work among the existing team members.
This use of data can be extremely beneficial to project management, helping to allocate tasks to the right people and ensure that everyone has the capacity and ability to meet deadlines and perform at their best.
Compliance and Audit
Time tracking is valuable for compliance purposes and audit trails. HR can use this data to ensure adherence to labour regulations, track and report on staff breaks and rest periods, and provide documentation during audits or legal disputes.
Learn more about XCD Payroll: HMRC Compliant Payroll Solution
Employee Engagement and Wellbeing
Timesheet data and time tracking can provide insights into employee workload and work-life balance. HR can use this information to identify excessive working hours or recurring overtime, address burnout risks, and promote a healthier work environment. It can also help HR identify flexible work arrangements that can improve employee satisfaction and engagement.
The Benefits of Leveraging Time Tracking Data
Time tracking can improve the efficiency of your HR team and workforce as you have access to a report on any use of time at your fingertips. It provides numerical, objective data, allowing it to inform decision making and strategies easily and simply.
From expense reporting to someone working an hour of overtime, utilising your timesheets for time tracking can enable cost reduction.
By seeing how time is being spent by your people, in conjunction with analysing expense reports, your HR team can make links back to cost, and can gain insight on where unnecessary spending may be taking place.
Whether it's due to an inefficient workflow, or a specific team, time tracking your organisation's time sheets allows business leaders to take action if there are areas for improvement and simplification.
Preparation for the Future
Time tracking can enable you to prepare for the future and inform your strategies and plans. For example, if someone's timesheet shows they are working significant overtime regularly, you can put in place a plan for preventing burnout occurring, and checking in to see if they need any kind of support from your organisation, allowing better employee retention and wellbeing.
By leveraging time tracking data effectively, HR can enhance operational efficiency, optimise resource utilisation, improve decision-making, and contribute to the overall productivity and wellbeing of the organisation and its employees. Additionally, HR should combine time tracking data with other relevant HR metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of employee performance, well-being, and organisational effectiveness, to inform their strategy going forward.