Typically, the implementation of a time and attendance system falls to a company’s human resources department. However, it is absolutely critical that top executives become involved. If not, they are missing the chance to facilitate greater profitability throughout the entire company.
There is a shift happening in our world today from capital businesses to people businesses. This is a shift of valuing time as much as money. About 50 years ago, when most people labored in a factory, workers were not considered volunteers, they were not empowered, and managing the money of the company (i.e. the capital) was much more important than maximizing the time and knowledge of the worker. Such businesses are called capital businesses because power and wealth flowed directly from the capital.
Today, capital businesses are on the wane and developed world’s economy is moving towards people businesses. Simple manufacturing has moved overseas, primarily to China and India. Software, entertainment, consulting, design and architecture exemplify people businesses, but increasingly, even traditional manufacturing businesses, like Toyota and Ford, win through design and intellect rather than through excellence in manual labor on the shop floor.
People businesses – like software companies and architecture firms – don’t track employee time to properly manage their employees. If they do it all (and they should), it is to understand costs and automate billing, and to a lesser extent, to track salary, paid time off, or to pay hourly knowledge workers correctly. The time data that is collected, if collected appropriately, can also be used to automate project management (project accounting, project tracking and project estimation improvement), as well as for internal, external and reverse billing automation.
If an executive team running a company really acts like a team – an integrated, diverse, synergistic group of people with shared vision and goals – then the system that he or she implements must serve the whole company, not just to automate payroll or benefits management. In order for time tracking to work, top executives need to be as invested in the system as anyone else in the company.
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