building exterior time clock heading on productivity and time management

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Years ago, I worked for a company that was obsessed with productivity. Every month, the corporate offices would produce a report listing each location and their productivity scores. The person who produced this report – let’s call him Mr. Lumbergh – would put a line in the report. Eventually, it became known as the “Lumbergh Line”. The locations above the line were considered to have good productivity and the locations below, well, weren’t. 

Today’s reader note touches on an important aspect of productivity – managing time. 

Is it appropriate for a supervisor to know how much vacation, sick time, personal, and comp time an employee has? 

Since this reader note doesn’t ask about legalities, we’re not going there. Alison Green over at Ask A Manager answers a similar question about tracking time off. If you have a moment, check it out. And if you have detailed questions about how much managers and supervisors are legally allowed to know when it comes to time off requests, please contact your friendly labor and employment attorney. 

What I want to talk about is the importance of having a reliable process in place for managing time. At most of the places that I’ve worked, managers knew employee time off balances. The reason was simple – managers were responsible for running their operation, so they were responsible for making schedules. If an employee called in sick, they would call in to the manager who would be responsible for making sure the operation was covered.

The only time I’ve seen something different was when I worked at the airline. We had scheduling departments. The people who worked in the department were responsible for knowing the transportation laws and how many hours flight crews were able to work. They also needed to know the scheduling provisions in collective bargaining agreements. If a pilot called out sick, the scheduling department was able to look at all the pilots and figure out who could work within the established guidelines. 

The reason I’m mentioning these two scenarios is because ultimately, the organization needs to have a reliable way to manage time. Both options I mentioned above worked and worked well. Organizations need to look at their operation and figure out the best system for them. 

Whatever system the organization designs to track employee time has to be reliable. And it should meet the organization’s productivity needs. If a supervisor is going to be responsible for employee schedules, they need to do it well. New supervisors should receive training on how to create employee schedules and some tips for how to adjust coverage when an employee calls out unexpectedly. 

If an employee calls out or would like to schedule a vacation day, there should be a process in place for them to do that. The supervisor should be able to account for time off in their schedules. And there should be a process in place for HR/payroll to be notified so the employee is properly paid from their account balances (assuming they have paid time off available). 

Organizations need to operate. We all get that. Meanwhile, employees who work at the company should be able to take their earned time off. Or if an employee has no paid time off left and is faced with an emergency, they need to take care of their emergency. There needs to be a system in place that allows both productivity and time off to happen

The post For Productivity, Managing Employee Time is Essential appeared first on hr bartender.

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