Managing remote or distributed teams has become more than a buzzword after the pandemic. While companies do face some challenges managing remote teams of executives working from home, managing the distributed blue-collar workforce is a totally different ballgame, taking challenges to a whole other level.
Challenges in Managing a Distributed Workforce
Blue-collar jobs, like construction, manufacturing, retail, and logistics, require workers to be on-site, but the sites are in different locations. Each of these locations may have their own unique dynamics, including job requirements, state laws, work schedules, shifts, overtime requirements and more. Given these varied circumstances, managing the attendance and ensuring compliance can be extremely time consuming.
Maintaining paper-based records and tracking sheets for each location makes the task even more cumbersome. And reconciling attendance report errors can prove to be nothing short of a nightmare.
Here are some of the problems companies say they face when managing a distributed blue collar workforce:
· Manual processes for attendance marking can lead to inaccuracy, manipulation, and loss of data.
· Different processes at each site makes decision making inefficient and ineffective.
. Delays in information sharing increases the turnaround time in various cases.
· Inaccurate attendance data can lead to improper wage distribution, resulting in higher attrition levels.
· Lack of proper records makes it difficult for companies to plan shifts properly, resulting in loss of productivity and increased downtime.
· Different state labour laws and regulations for shifts and leaves makes compliance even more challenging.
· Reconciliation of attendance across multiple locations can take a long time.
· Error reconciliation not only wastes time, but also results in delays in the disbursal of wages, leading to employee dissatisfaction and low morale.
Overcoming the Challenges of Blue-Collar Attendance Management
An automated attendance management system allows organisations to plan, manage, and record the attendance of blue-collar employees in an efficient and streamlined way, while ensuring compliance with different labour laws.
Accurate attendance data translates to fair wage calculations and timely disbursals. For the blue-collar segment in India, which comprises workers from the low-income strata, access to timely and accurate wages is of paramount importance.
Choosing the Right Blue Collar HRMS for Attendance Management
Here are some features of a robust attendance management system for organisations with a huge and remote blue-collar workforce:
The system should be easy to customize to suit the specific needs of companies. It should also allow overtime control, force logout options, and approval systems to prevent data manipulation.
Leave and Holiday Mapping for Compliance
For companies with sites across India, the system should solve the pain of scheduling leaves and holidays as per state laws and company policies. Moreover, there should be an efficient system for carrying forward pending leaves and proper encashment.
Intuitive and Faster Scheduling
Floor managers and supervisors will no longer need to laboriously plan shifts, with a system that enables fast and simple scheduling. It should be easy for data to be imported from previous rosters to prevent data loss and increase efficiency.
Extensive Reporting and Visibility
The attendance system should allow easy integration with the payroll system, leading to the accurate generation of muster rolls, payroll reports, and attendance reports for decision making and audit purposes. This data can be sent to the concerned HR person through customized emails. Companies can have access to a real-time dashboard to track attendance across multiple sites in real-time. Attendance insights can help them locate where additional workforce might need to be deployed, or which workers might be suitable for future projects.
Contactless Attendance Marking
A significant trend in the sector has been the rapid internet and mobile penetration in India. Out of 450 million millennials in India, 300 live in rural areas. This segment has exhibited increased smartphone ownership over the past few years. Smartphone penetration in rural and semi-urban demographics surged to 40-50% in 2020, from 29% in 2015, according to a report mentioned in BusinessWorld.
It is safe to say that the majority of blue-collar workers are digitally literate. Companies can leverage this trend by offering mobile apps for marking and tracking attendance and wages . Backed by technologies like facial recognition and geofencing, such a contactless system also ensures safety during the pandemic.
Adopting such a system significantly eases the huge burden of planning and scheduling shifts, managing attendance, and ensuring compliance, enabling HR managers to instead focus on important activities like employee engagement and safety at the workplace.
Offering such a system also makes blue-collar workers feel more visible, while the increased transparency reduces stress. This can boost employee productivity and increase retention. This goes a long way in ensuring companies remain competitive, as these skilled workers form the backbone of the industry.