Today’s workplace is undergoing an identity change. A mobile, multi-generational workforce is converging with technology to accelerate the speed of business while increasingly complex regulations make it more difficult to remain compliant. Employers must rethink their time and labor strategies and embrace innovation if they want to keep pace.

What is time and labor?

Time and labor refers to how long employees spend on a job and how productive they are in their work. It is a vital part of doing business in every industry, especially retail, food services and manufacturing, where multitudes of hourly, shift-based workers are commonly employed.

What is time and labor management?

Time and labor management is a means of creating work schedules, tracking employee hours and managing absences. Many employers today use software technology for this purpose because it allows them to use real-time data to make crucial workforce decisions.

Time and labor management software

Software presents obvious opportunities for simplifying time and labor management while improving the performance and satisfaction of employees and supervisors. Many solutions have mobile apps that make it possible to deliver more intuitive, efficient experiences in modern and changing workforce environments.

Benefits of time and labor management software

The right time and labor management software, when implemented and used correctly, helps employers:

  • Control labor costs
  • Comply with employment regulations
  • Improve workforce productivity
  • Run payroll with greater accuracy
  • Create more flexible schedules
  • Reduce the need for data entry

What does time and labor management software do?

Time and labor management software instantly calculates work time based on payroll policies. This level of automation eliminates the need for labor-intensive, mistake-prone data entry and manual tabulation of hours worked. With the aid of machine learning, software can also analyze key performance indicators, like absence rates and overtime, and model scenarios that help supervisors make better decisions to manage their employees and payroll costs more effectively.

For example, in the retail industry, effective time and labor software uses sales or store traffic data to anticipate appropriate staffing requirements. Managers then develop schedules based on the labor forecast to maximize efficiency and stay within budget. As employees begin their shifts, their work is tracked in real-time and assignments adjusted as needed.

How can ADP help businesses manage time and labor?

A leader in time and labor management, ADP offers data and technology integrations that are capable of transforming the way people work. Our all-in-one solutions for time tracking, scheduling and attendance management are fast, easy to use and deliver a complete “punch-to-paycheck” experience. ADP also offers expert support so businesses remain up and running with minimal disruption to their daily operations.

ADP time and attendance features and benefits

ADP’s time and labor solutions are designed with various industries, workforce attributes, work locations and strategic goals in mind. Some of our core features include:

  • Time and attendance
    • Automatically process time worked and time off based on individual business rules and policies
    • Capture hours at the source using web-based timesheets, time clocks, mobile devices, point of sale (POS) devices or biometric identification technology
    • Create custom integrations that streamline the flow of data between timekeeping, payroll and HR
  • Employee scheduling
    • Forecast labor needs to easily create schedules that are more likely to stay within budget
    • Find the best employee for a shift based on availability, skills, preferences or other important factors for the business
    • Communicate open shifts via text message and allow employees to swap shifts online or through mobile devices
  • Absence management
    • Quickly access accrued time-off balances and receive alerts when exceptions, such as tardiness or unplanned absences, occur
    • Automate attendance policy enforcement, including reward and discipline administration
    • Track employee leave requests or outsource the entire process to ADP experts
  • Compliance assistance
    • Minimize compliance risk by automating work and pay rule governance, tracking all time worked and calculating overtime premiums
    • Receive ongoing support for a broad range of regulatory requirements, including fair scheduling ordinances, work-and-rest laws and collective bargaining agreements
    • Access audit trails of timecard edits to help limit disputes over time worked

Time and labor reporting

Having access to reliable data and historical trends can make it easier to arrange adequate staffing levels and avoid costly overtime. Using the reporting capabilities available with ADP’s time and labor solutions, supervisors can:

  • Analyze hours worked, absences, overtime, labor costs and more with real-time visibility
  • Benchmark performance against budget and business goals
  • Customize dashboards to easily access the information that’s most important, all in one place

Touchless time kiosks

Some advanced timekeeping tools have facial recognition technology that allows employees to clock in and out without touching a device. This optional feature of the ADP® Time Kiosk app limits the spread of germs through contact and improves security by preventing “buddy punching.” Once the system recognizes an employee, it will respond to voice commands to perform a variety of tasks, like starting or ending a shift, taking a meal break, transferring jobs and more.

Find the perfect time and labor solution for your business

At ADP, we understand that employers know their business and employees better than anyone. That’s why we customize our time and labor solutions to each client’s individual needs – whether it’s a basic employee time tracking tool or an advanced workforce management solution. Business owners can count on ADP to provide a time and attendance solution that’s the right fit at the right price.

Frequently asked questions about time and labor

What does labor management mean?

Labor management refers to how employers oversee both the employees who work for them and the actual time spent working. As part of this process, employers must abide by various government regulations and in the case of organized labor, union policies, that address overtime, rest, safety, leave, attendance, discipline and termination.

How do you manage labor?

Many employers today manage labor using automated workforce management tools. This technology alleviates time-consuming tasks by identifying items that need attention, researching options, making recommendations and taking actions on behalf of a supervisor. Automation also eliminates the need to enter data and tabulate hourly totals by hand, which can help improve payroll accuracy.

What is a labor management system or time and attendance system?

A basic labor management system allows employers to track employee time and attendance and create schedules. Automated solutions apply a rules-based approach to schedule governance and pay calculations, which can help make wage and hour compliance easier. They’re also usually compatible with a variety of time-capturing methods, e.g., web-based timesheets, mobile devices, time clocks, etc. More robust labor management systems have additional features to help employers plan labor budgets, act on data and analytics, simplify compliance, and prepare for unexpected shifts in the labor market.

This guide is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing time and labor and is not a comprehensive resource of requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

ADP Editorial Team

ADP Editorial Team The ADP editorial team is comprised of human resource professionals with extensive experience solving complex HR challenges for businesses of all sizes.