In my first post, I covered the first two phases of the Time & Attendance (T&A) implementation. This post will cover the final two phases: Implement and Rollout.
Implement Core T&A System
Once all of the relevant information is collected, the implementation process begins with the T&A provider of choice. Since the implementation is generally handled by the third party provider, the implementation of the system itself is generally straightforward if all of the data needs are met; however, the tricky part, especially in a large organization, is the clocking methods. Clocking methods can vary from using time clocks or mobile devices, dialing into a 1-800 number, to using a web portal – and each method has a high impact on employees. In order to ensure a smooth employee experience, the new time clocking methods should be matched as closely as possible to the existing methods.
Depending on the employee landscape, it may make sense to completely transition away from time clocks, opting to utilize other methods instead. But, for some organizations, this isn’t possible. Clock considerations must also be taken into account, including functionality and method of clocking – biometric scanners are often preferred over ID badges since this can eliminate ‘buddy punching’. If the selected provider is different than that of the previous parent company, new time clocks will need to be procured, new data drops and power connections installed, and the new clocks will need to be installed and configured. While these tasks are conceptually easy to understand, they are difficult in practice and cannot be underestimated. On a recent carve out, the time clock installation process consumed the time of one full-time consultant, three provider implementation specialists, three client counterparts, more than five provider clock installers, and a network cabling company.
Develop and Execute Rollout Plan
At a large organization with many time clocks, it is a best practice to transition those clocks in waves rather than in a ‘big bang’ approach, which must be tightly managed by the business stakeholder/ core team and can be quite time consuming for the parties involved. Smaller organizations will not need as much time and management as larger organizations since clocks may be present in only a few locations, but all of the same recommendations apply. In order to create a successful rollout strategy, one must take into account the number of sites to be migrated and the number of employees at each of those sites, clocking methods at each location, and complex rules such as pay codes and shift differentials. Because this is an employee-facing rollout, the core team should be on-site for the larger rollouts in order to troubleshoot go-live issues and answer employee questions – just the act of being on-site can immediately instill calm in the employees during the sometimes turbulent carve out transaction.
While the T&A system may not even be a blip on the carve-out radar right now, it should be! It may not be a system essential to the production or everyday business (think ERP system, networking equipment, BI system) but the T&A system is critical and highly visible to your employees, your biggest asset.
Key T&A Considerations
- Process Analysis – taking time to evaluate the needs of the business rather than just ‘copying & pasting’ from the parent company can save time and cost in the long run
- Integration Considerations – determine what the business needs are for integrating the T&A system with other HR applications (e.g., Payroll)
- Clocking Methods/Locations – the complexity and speed to implement a T&A system can be impacted by the clocking methods required and number of locations requiring timeclocking
- Gathering One-Time Data – the T&A system is only as effective as the data and rules (PTO, accrual, etc.) that are configured