The Office of National Statistics published an estimate of second quarter 2011 UK GDP growth.

According to the Office, the UK economy grow between April and June 2011 by 0.2%, which was described by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) as a ‘desperately poor’ result.

Commenting on the estimate, Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at CIPD said:

“Quarterly economic growth of anything less than 0.5% would have been poor at this stage of the recovery from recession . [..] The emerging underlying path of GDP growth and forward looking indicators show that the UK economy is being starved of the demand needed to raise output substantially, create enough jobs to cut unemployment and prevent a further deterioration in the fiscal deficit”.

He also called on the government to alter its fiscal policy stance, saying the economy could not bear the continued focus on spending cuts.

In these difficult times for our economy how could your company secure a more significant growth?

The current economic climate forces all companies eager to grow to act faster, wiser and more efficiently in the way they operate. Amongst the various targets on the business plan there are significant reductions in operating costs. As workforce is one of the highest overheads for many businesses, the first step to achieving costs reductions would be to learn how to manage your biggest asset – your staff – better.

Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, a human resources department can contribute more to the organisation than its traditional record-keeping and information processing activities. Employee management systems such as time and attendance recording devices and software provide tools to reduce un­necessary workforce expense in a number of ways that can impact your bottom line.

The top 10 benefits which a time and attendance system could offer you are:

1. Reduce administration cost – having an automated data collection and reporting system for payroll and employee management purposes relieves your HR professionals and managers from mountains of administrative work and gives them time to focus on more important tasks, for example speaking to their employees and finding the core reason for their reoccurring absence. The system also reduces materials and distribution costs related to administrative activities.

2. Reduce overpayments – if you don’t record employees’ working time through clocking in devices such as fingerprint readers you may create opportunities for ‘buddy punching’ where one employee is given access to another employee’s punching card and clock him into work in his absence. Another aspect of this is if some of your employees come to work being constantly late, costing you money and lowering your company’s overall productivity.

Example

If we assume that 20% of your workforce (40 workers out of 200) arrive to work ten minutes late every day (240 days per year) and their average pay is £10.00 per hour, then their lateness costs your
company £16.000 per year which would be equivalent to staggering 800 unproductive hours per year!

3. Improve workforce planning and scheduling – effective planning of your staffing is based on knowing how many resources you need to complete the task, where and when you need them and what skills they need to possess to finish the job in the quickest possible way.

4. Reduce overtime – good planning of your resources also allows your company to avoid extra costs associated with the need of overtime. Automated rotas could be set up to eliminate the human
error factor and ensure that you only introduce overtime if really needed.

5. Analyse costs based on site, shift, department, location, etc. – a good time and attendance system will help you calculate in seconds how much it will cost you to run certain shifts based on the chosen resources.

6. Reduce absence rate – the simple fact that employees are aware that their working patterns are being measured has proven to increase attendance. Also, having an easy access to their employees’
absence records can help managers in assessing the extent of the issue and choosing the best means of tacking the problem.

7. Increase employee productivity – reducing lateness and absenteeism increases your overall productivity while minimising admin tasks, allowing managers to focus on their real job.

8. Gives employees a sense of control – introduce employee self-service time and attendance to your organisation so that your staff can manage their holidays entitlements, view other absence records and amend their personal data. This is proven way of avoiding overpayments, based on errors made when managers manually track holiday time. It also saves managers from having to deal with verbal requests and increases morale in your HR department.

9. Introduce flexible working practices – as we have written in one of our previous blog entries, more and more companies are implementing mobile working conditions to their workplaces in order to reduce employees’ stress, giving them more balance between their personal and professional life and increasing their productivity. An employee self-service system would allow your employees to clock in from home or another remote location, giving you live information on the location and working hours of your staff.

10. Compliance with workplace regulations – the system will help you avoid any extra costs related to mistakes in payroll such as underpayment or wrongly calculated tax deductions.

If you would like to find out how to choose a time and attendance system which is suitable to your needs, please download our guide now from here

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