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PLATINUM GROUP NEWS & VIEWS

Time to Switch to a Biometric Time Clock?

by Michael Murphy / November 12, 2019

Biometrics are being talked about a lot for security. Many people now have a fingerprint lock on their laptop or facial recognition on their phone.

The benefits of biometrics for time clocks is new to the time and attendance discussion, and some companies are now moving to these clocks, which generally utilize fingerprint recognition. So, should you switch to biometric time clocks? The answer depends on a number of factors, but here are some of the significant benefits:


No More Lost Time Cards and Forgotten Passwords

Time cards or keys can easily be lost. Biometric time clocks can also be linked to security systems, eliminating the need for key fobs and cards. This means that employees will not have problems because they left their card at home, and you will not have security issues based off of cards being lost or stolen. You also will not be spending money on replacement cards, time reprogramming them, or new keys.

Biometric time clocks can save the hassle and risk of security breech found with passwords and passcode systems. Instead, employees will not be able to forget their password, will not be tempted to use insecure passwords or passcodes so they can remember them, and will not write the password or passcode down where it can potentially be found and used.

No More “Buddy Punching”

Biometrics prevent a form of time theft called “buddy punching,” where a coworker clocks in for somebody else who is not on site to prevent them from being in trouble for being late. Over 75% of companies report losing money to this, and it can also affect morale, by causing resentment from workers who are being honest about their time. Also, the more people know a passcode, the higher the chance of it being written down and stolen.

Eliminating buddy punching can be a key factor in determining whether staffing levels are optimal, and potentially save your company money.

Simplified Clocking In

No remembering a password, no rummaging for a key card. Biometric systems make clocking in much easier. HR will not be wasting time resetting people’s passwords.

If the system is integrated to the company security system, you can even set it up to automatically clock people in when they enter the building or, alternatively, when they enter their closed office. For remote workers, the system can clock them in when they use their fingerprint to unlock their work laptop, although this does require having a very strict policy on personal use and does not work as well if people are using their own computer. Alternatively, you can have them use a time clock app on their phone.

Biometric systems can easily be tied into the payroll system, reporting hours directly. This means you can track an employee‘s time easily, comply with overtime rules, etc.

There is minimal extra training of employees when you make the switch, you only need to explain how the new system works to employees and monitor things for the initial period to ensure they are remembering to clock in properly.

Increased Accountability

Because biometrics are more accurate, you can easily track which employees are always on time or early and which are habitually late. Offenders can be dealt with easily, whether it is punitive or establishing the reason for the tardiness and working with them to solve the problem. You can also easily identify employees who are taking extended or frequent breaks and unscheduled lunches. Alternatively, you can use the system to commend or reward employees who always arrive five minutes early.

The records kept can also be invaluable if a dispute arises. Because it is automated and accurate, you can assure employees that HR will not be able to cheat them out of overtime and, at the same time, provide records that prove, for example, that you are right to terminate an employee for repeated no-call-no-shows.

Improved Job Satisfaction

Biometric time clocks can improve job satisfaction in a number of ways:

  • They allow employees to be sure that any overtime they are putting in will be properly recorded and compensated.
  • They allow HR to track excessive overtime and take steps to balance work loads better, helping employees improve their work life balance.
  • Because they prevent buddy punching and other cheats, they reduce resentment honest employees may have towards those who are always five minutes late and keep getting away with it.
  • You are able to give privileges, rewards, and commendations to workers who put in extra hours.

Eliminate Time Spent by HR

HR will not need to manually enter time, which reduces the number of mistakes. They will also not be spending time fixing those mistakes. This frees HR personnel to handle things which require actual human discretion, such as settling disputes, mediating problems between employees, and orienting new employees.

The ROI of an automated system is large in terms of saved time and money. It also saves time setting up new employees in the system, making it much easier to scale the system up as your company grows. Or, to the contrary, it is easy to lock a terminated employee out of the system if needed.

Biometric time clock systems save money, reduce time theft, and improve security. So, are there any reasons why you might not want to use one? There is one, and that is privacy concerns that are being expressed. Some people are worried about having biometric data on file, and you will need to apply cybersecurity measures to ensure that personal biometric data is not breached or stolen. Three states – Illinois, Texas, and Washington have biometric security laws in place and California will by next year. Other states, such as New York, have statutes that prevent employers from taking fingerprints except for background checks. Check the legal status in your state and implement accordingly. 

The trend is towards requiring companies to have extra security in place and delete data promptly when they no longer need it. The cost to secure biometric data is small compared to the time and money these systems can save.

For most, considering the switch to biometric time clocks is compelling. With their increased accuracy, ease of use, and the tie to building security, most companies could find benefit. Not having to deal with forgotten passwords alone can be worth it for employees and employers alike.

About Platinum Group

We offer a full range of HR solutions that can make dealing with your departing employees, onboarding new ones, and managing existing ones much easier for you. Not every company can afford to have a dedicated in-house HR team, but every company can benefit from having an experienced HR team on their side. Our services can provide you with that, and much more.

Platinum Group is a full service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, track time and attendance and other various human resources functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies with the platform, iSolved. For more information about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of iSolved please visit our website.

Tags: Time & Attendance Data Management

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Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Michael is the founder of Platinum Group. His passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.