Protime time registration: from control instrument to strategic insight

Protime time registration

Original message: Managersonline.nl
Author: Lucas Polman

The old saying ‘time is money’ is still a common mantra in business. After all, time is one of the most important assets that companies have. The more efficiently employees use their time, the more work they can shift and the better the company’s bottom line result will be. All the more reason for managers to deploy time management. According to Lucas Polman, director at Protime Netherlands, the old-fashioned time clock is making a real comeback. Because time registration is no longer just a means of keeping an eye on your workforce, but something that provides strategic insight to both employee and manager. 

Management tool for HR

“Many companies that operate shift work use traditional time registration as a measurement system for hours worked, explains Polman. “You come in, scan your pass and the counter starts running. It’s a simple method of measuring ‘time’. But besides that, many other applications are possible, if you know how much time is being spent.” The first example Polman mentions is cost-centre registration. With clocking not just at the main office entrance, but at specific locations in the warehouse or factory, you will gain more insight into the costs and returns of a specific production line or task. This gives companies a new management tool.

Cost-centre registration also provides benefits for the planners within companies.  Polman: “Imagine you are a retail company, always dealing with strongly fluctuating orders. One week you will have a peak, while the following week there may be a drop in the number of orders. By having insight into how much time is spent per task and combining this with the order sizes, planners can ensure that sufficient manpower is scheduled. The customer is therefore not disappointed because of delays caused by a shortage of manpower. Furthermore, with modern time registration the salaries  can be calculated automatically based on the working times and hours worked, and paid out accordingly.”

Management tool for managers

Besides the advantage that planners have through reliable time registration, it also enables managers to steer their department or organisation.  While in recent years the trend has strongly favoured management based on output, according to Polman time is still a significant factor. “No employee wants to be judged merely on attendance. It says nothing about your performance. What is relevant, is the result. Nevertheless, in my opinion there should be more discussion on what is realistic in terms of time spent in order to achieve that result. The more openly managers and employees talk about this, the more progress there will be. With time registration, for example, you can connect hours worked with objectives. By then releasing these details, everyone sees how things stand with the organisation in relation to specific objectives. You can even organise this on an individual basis. Thus, individual x has contributed y to objective z. This insight makes a team and employees more productive and more motivated.”

Polman concludes that time registration is a subject which is unjustly ignored. It provides a valuable addition to your business operation. “By organising time better, significant optimisation can be achieved in every part of the organisation. It provides insight whereby the employee, manager and HR can talk constructively and objectively about the operations and can steer the company consistently.”