Attendance Management and Human Resource News from SoftTime Online

Improve The Efficiency Of Your Organization With Online Attendance And PTO Tracking Software

With a manual attendance and vacation tracking system, you are leaving yourself open to all kinds of inefficiencies and costs. This can easily be prevented by the introduction of an online attendance and paid time off tracking system.

As an employer, it is very important that you are aware of your employees’ balance between work and personal lives. You don’t want to be in a situation where your time off tracking system has failed you, and you don’t know whether an employee is entitled to requested time off.

Time Inefficiencies And The Cost of Errors

Time spent by Human Resources managing a manual vacation accrual system can be extensive. They will receive many requests from employees about the number of vacation (and/or sick) days that they have available at any given time. An online vacation tracking system allows employees to see what days they have taken off and how many days they have outstanding. This can be done without HR assistance and is a huge time saver.

A manual attendance tracking system is also prone to human error. A mistake in accrual calculations can create a situation where no time off seems available. With employee vacation tracking software these kinds of errors simply do not arise.

What About Dishonest Employees?

In some organizations, it has been discovered that a friend in the HR department granted PTO to an employee who had not accrued it. Do you believe that this isn’t happening in your organization? Hopefully it’s not, but the opportunity is certainly there.

You can prevent this from ever happening when you migrate to using online vacation tracking software. All vacation requests will be recorded and sent immediately to the appropriate supervisor(s). If leave is approved, the system records the time and automatically adjusts the outstanding vacation day’s entitlement.

Too Much Accrued Vacation Time

Some workers are so dedicated that they never take all of their vacation entitlement. This often means a roll-over of their outstanding paid time off to the next financial year. If this is not tracked properly it can lead to a very difficult situation. Employees can demand weeks off at a time that they are actually entitled to.

Prevent Problems With Your Employees

If you do not properly implement a PTO (paid time off) tracking system, you run the risk of creating future problems for your organization. There is a chance that employees will take time off at inconvenient times, possibly leaving you short staffed.

Employees could also just decide to not show up for work for a day or number of days, and not notify anyone that they are taking entitled vacation time. This could further lead to a dispute with management about which days they took off as paid vacation. For a small business it could even lead to the office shutting down and losing valuable business hours.

There could also be a problem with manager bias. It is entirely possible that some managers could approve or reject paid time off requests based upon the role that the employee plays in the organization, their seniority and even their gender or race.

This can be a lawsuit waiting to happen, whether it is intentional or not. No employee should be discriminated against when it comes to requesting and receiving paid time off. Online vacation tracking software can make these kinds of trends visible so the appropriate action can then be taken.

Paid Time Off Conflicts

Do your managers and supervisors really have the vacation situation under control? It’s inevitable that two or more employees from the same team will want to take the same vacation days. The possibility of this happening in the summer months increases significantly.

So what do your managers and supervisors do? Are they equipped to handle these conflicts? With online PTO tracking software they would be able to see all of the facts at-a-glance, and then make their decisions with confidence.

Managing Changes To Vacation Policy

If major changes to the organization’s vacation policy are made, how easily will this be managed using a manual system? This is a time-consuming initiative at risk for errors.

With an online employee time off tracking system this can all be managed with ease. All employee records will be updated immediately, and organization wide blocks can be implemented so that employees do not take time off when it isn’t convenient for the company.

How To Track Vacation Time Efficiently

A lot of organizations manage their vacation tracking using excel spreadsheets. The employees name is entered into a cell and then the dates are marked when they take time off. Calculations can be made at the end of a quarter, half year or full year to see the amount of time that an employee has taken off.

This is not a very sophisticated employee vacation tracker and is prone to all kinds of errors and misuse. A far superior solution is to use online employee PTO tracking software which will accurately record all time off requests and the associated dates.

Get Your Paid Time Off Tracking Under Control

Don’t rely on paper systems to manage your employees paid time off. There are so many things that can go wrong and the system is always open to abuse. With an online based time off manager system you will be able to manage all of your vacation time quickly and easily, and concentrate more on the goals of your organization.

With our easy to use SoftTime Online Attendance control solution you can save money and time.

Using Online Attendance Tracking and 4 Other Tips for Improving Employee Attendance

When excessive absenteeism starts to become a major problem for your business, you may need to reconsider your attendance policies. Employee absenteeism can result in additional costs and lost productivity. It can even snowball into a company-wide issue, with more employees taking unscheduled time off and not managing their time correctly. (more…)

Is it Time to Choose a New Employee Attendance Tracker?

If you have been using the same employee attendance tracking software for longer than you can remember, it could be time to choose a new program to keep track of employee attendance. Antiquated solutions can end up costing money due to payroll errors, employee time off abuse, and other complications. (more…)

Ditch the Spreadsheets and Start Using an Online Attendance Tracker

If you have been relying on spreadsheets to keep track of your employee attendance, then you may be missing out. Entering attendance and time off requests manually can result in errors – costing you time and money. Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem. By getting rid of the spreadsheets and switching to an online attendance solution, you will be able to free up time and save your business money. (more…)

Inclement weather policies for business

If you haven’t been hit by the winter storms striking areas across the United States this year, consider yourself lucky. From power outages, to transportation and building maintenance issues, recent winter storms have had a negative impact on businesses across the nation.

There are ways you can protect your business and your employees by making sure you have inclement weather policies in place.

Tips on creating a better inclement weather policy for your business:

  • Compare with others in your industry. Use networking resources such as your local SHRM chapter to see how others in your area deal with inclement weather.
  • Consider OSHA guidelines. You could be putting your business at risk if you attempt to open and your work environment is unsafe due to temperatures, ice or dangerous sidewalks and entryways.
  • Consider federal and state laws. There are limitations and laws on how time off is recorded due to inclement weather. Employee pay depends on many factors, including the type of employee (exempt or nonexempt) and whether the time is paid or unpaid leave.
  • Include telecommuting options if it is feasible for your business. By having the ability to telecommute, you can ensure that business can still move forward and productive time is not lost. If this is a possibility for your business, make sure every employee that is able to work away from the office is given the means to do so and understands expectations.

What you need to include in your inclement weather policy:

  • Define what constitutes an inclement weather day.
  • Discuss pay for each employee type.
  • Clearly define how time-off will be recorded (as Paid or Unpaid Time off, as a vacation day or company snow day, etc)
  • How will work responsibilities be covered during or after the event?
  • How and when will your employees be contacted?
  • What to do if office is open but an employee is not able to physically make it in to work due to weather.
  • Outline expectations and policies for delayed openings or early closures. Be sure to consider employee commutes and requests made by transportation departments.
  • If telecommuting is an option, clearly define tasks and expectations.



Case Study: United Way and SoftTime Online

Who is United Way of the Greater Dayton Area?

United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is part of a national movement of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations. They are a non-profit organization that helps people maintain and/or improve the quality of their lives. United Way’s local roots trace back to 1913. Based on the successful community-wide campaign to raise money for relief efforts following the Great Dayton Flood, civic leaders decided to apply the same concept of federated fund raising to meet the ongoing health and human service needs of the community.

Today they continue to serve their community by working towards their mission: To meet human service needs and find long-term solutions in the Dayton region by engaging the greatest number of donors, leaders, and volunteers and partnering to advance the common good.


The Challenge: Automation

Vicki Hahn Director, Human Resources United Way of the Greater Dayton Area
Vicki Hahn
Director, Human Resources
United Way of the Greater Dayton Area

Vicki Hahn has been with the organization for 29 years in the Human Resource Department and has seen many changes over the years. Originally, their entire attendance tracking system was a completely manual process. “I had a printed calendar page for every person. Hourly employees would submit weekly timesheets with vacation and sick pay included on it. Monthly and salaried employees would give me utilization amounts. I had to record each and every occurrence on a notebook page for each individual. It was a completely manual process,” Hahn stated.

Even outside of the manual recording process, the calculations were done by hand as well, “Every month I would have to send them a monthly tally that I calculated … we had to find a way to make this process not as time consuming.”

The Solution

Hahn and her staff researched and interviewed several organizations before selecting SoftTime back in 2000. They have been with the same attendance software provider since.

Seeing the Difference

Hahn saw the difference as people could now use their computers to send leave requests electronically, “it just made everything easier. It also helped us make sure Supervisors approved all time taken.”

Making the Transition

United Way of the Greater Dayton Area first used the desktop solution and have since moved to the recently updated cloud-based version, SoftTime Online. Hahn noted “… everybody loves it! The new features make it even easier to use. The online version is fantastic because it has the tutorials – I didn’t have to do any training. I just shared the online information where the tutorials were and no one has even had any questions for me. It has eased up the workflow a great deal for me.”

Saving time

In addition to improving the workflow and cutting back on manual calculations; implementing the attendance software also reduced the amount of time Hahn had to spend on the phone. “It used to be people would always call and ask about how much vacation they had left, now they can sign in and look themselves.”


Each organization has its unique set of issues and SoftTime is built with the flexibility in mind to address varying needs. Hahn notes that this flexibility comes in handy with a staff that consists of a wide range of employees. “One of our departments works 24-7. It is a crisis center and people work very odd hours. SoftTime Online has the flexibility to schedule occurrences in different increments such as half or quarter day.”

Connecting Offices

One of the benefits of moving to cloud-based attendance software is that it enables your office to grow and easily connect with satellite offices. Hahn stated, “Even though most of our people work in our downtown Dayton office, we still do have offices in four locations. Having this internet based, those outside our home office can still access the system and that has been a huge help.”