At every stage in the employee lifecycle, employers need to communicate, collect and retain different types of employee information. But doing this in a way that actually fits into the day-to-day workflow of things can be tough, especially without an automated solution in place.
Workforce Ready, our human capital management (HCM) solution, has always helped employers more effectively communicate and manage their employees’ information — and now, it just got that much better. Please offer up a round of applause for the launch of attestation functionality, which is now available as an additional tool within the Time & Labor module of Workforce Ready. There’s much to share, so let’s dive in!
What is attestation and why is it important?
Before we get into the details of how Workforce Ready supports attestation, let’s take a quick step back and review the basics. Attestation is the process of certifying or verifying information. In the HR world, this process typically involves employers asking their employees questions like “Did you take your required meal break?” or “Were you aware of your schedule at least seven days before your shift began?” The questions vary, but the point is that attestation practices allow employers to pose questions that will solicit the answers, or attestations, they need for a number of reasons — the largest being compliance.
With risk of hefty fines or other legal complications, attestation can provide organizations with the records they need to prove their compliance, as well as the practices they need to better uphold labor laws, collective bargaining agreements, and a bevy of federal, state and local requirements. If a government mandated rest period is missed or a scheduling law is broken, attestation gives employers a better chance of knowing about it. Or on the flipside, if compliance requirements are being met, attestation is that extra safety net that says, “Look, we’re doing this or that exactly how we’re supposed to be.”
With that said, legal compliance isn’t the only reason organizations turn to attestation. It also plays an important role in helping employers enforce their own HR policies, manage timesheet accuracy, create a more engaging environment for employees, and reduce workplace risks like COVID-19 exposures and injuries. We’ll get into some examples of how these use cases play out, but to do that, let’s shift our attention to how Workforce Ready automates, streamlines and improves the entire attestation process.
How Workforce Ready simplifies attestation
Without an automated attestation solution in place, employers often spend a great deal of time collecting attestations manually from employees. And while employers may manage to gather a lot of the information they’re after, they may struggle to ask for and track responses with any consistency — much less respond to any issues in a timely manner. As a result, audits, workplace safety, employee grievances and compliance become that much more challenging to manage.
By leveraging the attestation tools now available through the Time & Labor module of Workforce Ready, employers can automate and streamline many of the cumbersome processes associated with collecting, retaining, reporting on and managing attestation across an organization. Here are a few ways our new attestation tools can help:
Automated and customizable prompts
Using Workforce Ready’s attestation tools, employers can customize a question or series of questions, along with response options, and pose them to employees at a point of data collection, whether that’s at the InTouch time clock, in the HCMToGo mobile app, Workforce Ready Web Clock, or any combination of the three.
Employers can prompt employees to answer really any questions they want (and are legally permitted to ask). For example, some states require employers to provide employees with paid rest and meal periods. To ensure that employees actually take these breaks, an employer could ask employees at the end of their shift (at clock-out) if they received their uninterrupted breaks. If the answer is no, another question could trigger, asking the employee to provide a reason for the missed break by choosing from a set list of reasons or even submitting their own freeform explanation.
A similar series of prompts could also be used to screen employees at clock-in for COVID-19 symptoms, gather employee confirmations at the end of a pay period for hours worked, or even nurture employee morale with prompts like, “Congrats, you made it to the end of the week. Did you have a positive work-life balance this week?” Whatever the use case, the opportunity for employers to ask employees strategic questions is much easier to do as part of an employee’s day-to-day workflow at a natural point of data collection than it is as a one-off process.
Automated notifications and reminders
In addition to promoting employees to answer questions, employers can also use Workforce Ready’s attestation tools to automatically trigger follow-up notifications and reminders when a specific condition is met. For instance, if an employee missed a timesheet approval attestation, the system could be configured to display an on-screen notification and send the employee an email reminder. Or, if an employee answers a question a certain way, the system could automatically trigger an email to the employee’s manager letting him or her know there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. To take this one step further, a certain answer to a question could even set off a notification to a manager to take a certain payroll action, such as approve payment for a missed break, to ensure it’s not overlooked come payday. In other words, there’s a ton of customizations available to ensure that the right people are aware of what’s going on or what actions they need to take.
Automating notifications and reminders, as well as the collection of employee attestations is important, but so is being able to access and act on the data that’s collected. Workforce Ready puts attestation reporting at an employer’s fingertips, allowing them to monitor employee attestation responses in real time, identify trends, flag issues — and take action. Furthermore, should a lawsuit, audit or legal matter arise, attestation reporting ensures that employers have easy and fast access to the comprehensive attestation data they need to demonstrate compliance. With all the data they need within reach, employers can feel confident that they’re managing employees’ information that much more efficiently and effectively!
Getting started with attestation for Time & Labor
How efficient and effective are your attestation processes and practices? If you’re spending too much time managing employee attestations (or worse yet, not managing them at all), it might be time for an attestation tool like ours. To take advantage of attestation functionality in Workforce Ready, contact B2E Solutions today. We’ll talk you through the capabilities and costs, answer any questions, and ensure you’re set up on our Time & Labor module with an approved data collection hardware or digital solution. We look forward to hearing from you!