Why The User Interface is the Key to Time & Attendance Success
You have gone through what feels at times like an unending vendor selection process. Requirements have been drawn up, consultants have been brought in, RFPs have been issued and combed through, vendors have been brought in for their demos – and that’s all the work that goes into selecting what the leadership team thinks is the right vendor to meet your time and attendance needs. Then the implementation process kicks off, and an entire new team of employees is charged with making the vision become a reality. When all of this is said and done, the solution is finally handed over to the users to use. And that’s where many projects fall down. Because despite everyone’s best intentions, many times companies forget to ask the users what they want, rather than having the users’ managers decide for them what they want.
What users want is a simple to use application. They don’t want to have to learn some complex piece of software just to enter and manage their time. Because if they are asked to learn something complicated, they will learn the bare minimum required to get paid. If that means entering bogus data – usually the first item on a drop-down list – in order to speed up the proves of entering time, then that’s what they’ll do if the system is not easy to use. As a result, not only will you not get the data you want, you’ll get false data that is actually counterproductive to you reaching your goals.
The reason for this is that employees often do not share in the motivation to collect detailed information for time and attendance purposes. How does recording 10, 15, or 20 fields worth of data benefit the employee? And if the employee is being asked to stay at the end of the shift to enter the time, then they now have a motivation to not enter accurate data. “Just get it in” becomes the battle cry, as these employees look to just pound any data in so that they can go home.
This doesn’t make them bad employees – it is just a natural reaction when employee motivations do not align with management motivations. This isn’t to say that employees will never enter accurate data. If you make it fast and easy for them to do, then they are much more likely to enter accurate information that management can use to make better, more strategic decisions.
What do employees look for in a time and attendance solution? Simply put – simplicity! The software should be easy to use so that it does not interfere with their ability to do their jobs, or does not require that they work extended hours just to enter their time. If they are using a time clock to record their time, it should be an easy clock-in/clock-out transaction. Many time clocks today have large, touch-screen displays where they can select the job they’re working on or the department that they are working for. If they are using a smartphone or mobile device, the system should be configured to minimize clicks. If they are using a web timesheet, there shouldn’t be extra columns clogging up the screen that the user has to tab through. In sum, the system should be designed to make the employees interaction with the system simple and efficient.
With a well-designed system with the end user in mind, user acceptance will increase and projects will have a better likelihood of success. Don’t waste all the time, money and effort of going through a complex selection and implementation process, only to have the project fall down in the 11th hour because the system was too difficult to use. And if you’re in the market for a system that is powerful, but easy to use, contact Madaa Smart Solutions for a product demonstration.