Article Date: 8/1/2013

Time Clocks
time clocks

Like Clockwork

High-tech time-keeping devices increase office efficiency.

images

APRIL JASPER, O.D.

High-tech time clocks can be extremely beneficial to every business, especially small businesses like most of ours.

Here, I discuss the items to research prior to purchasing a high-tech, automated time clock, as well as the benefits of this technology.

Benefits

1. Creates transparency. This is important for both the business owner and the team in the area of compensation for time worked. Transparency solves a challenge all small businesses face, optometry included: how to better empower our staff to perform their daily tasks without constant oversight.

2. Eliminates discrepancies. Labor laws in every state are different. However, most states are in agreement that an employee must be compensated for all hours worked, and that overtime must be compensated for as well. Penalties in these areas can be severe.

Tips for Implementing Attendance Policies
1. Create a tardy policy that works for your office.
2. Determine the time-keeping system you will use to track it.
3. Print your employees’ time at each pay period, and have them review it for accuracy and sign it. Then, scan it and keep it in case it is needed later.
4. If concerns about tardiness develop, address them quickly, fairly and in writing to give your employees a chance to correct them.

3. Avoids tardiness. Efficiency in the office can quickly become a problem when every member of your team is not present to care for your patients in a timely manner. High-tech clocks enable the use of an objective and highly accurate measurement to enforce tardy policies, which enhances productivity. (See “Tips for Implementing Attendance Policies,” below.)

4. Decreases time-keeping inaccuracies. These can result in lost money for your business or your staff.

Items to research

You should consider these features when researching which time clock is best for your practice:

1. Accuracy. The difficulty with the traditional punch card is that it is easy to misplace and unintentionally misuse. The more sophisticated devices available today use biometric fingerprint technology to ensure they capture the correct information on the correct team member.

2. Ease of use. Facial recognition software is fast, convenient and simple to use.

3. Ability to integrate with your accounting software. It may be possible to download the data from the time clock directly to the software, which makes processing payroll fast, easy and error free.

4. Reliability. Biometric systems require little maintenance.

5. User specific. It is very important to your team and your business to know that each team member is responsible only for his/her time and is unable to alter another person’s time.

6. Customization. Look for options within the software that are particularly useful for you, such as the ability for the system to display hours worked during a current time period to help prevent staff from claiming overtime hours.

7. Upgradability. Software upgrades are a part of reality. Make certain that upgrades are simple, automatic and low cost.

A final note

Tardiness policies work only if you have a system to track them, and you are fair and consistent in enforcing these policies. High-tech time-keeping systems make it clear to staff that timeliness is important, and they create a transparent system for enforcing it. OM

DR. JASPER IS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE IN WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. E-MAIL HER AT DRJASPER@AESWPB.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: August 2013, page(s): 54