Time and Attendance Software: Why It Matters for Behavioral Health

Entrepreneur happily using a tablet

Keeping track of your employees’ work hours and attendance is a must for managing labor costs and ensuring that all payments are processed accurately. But the old ways of tracking workday hours through time clocks or spreadsheets aren’t always the most efficient for behavioral health and human services.

That’s because these organizations have different needs than traditional profit-oriented businesses. As such, you need time tracking systems built to manage a wider array of employee attendance concerns, including remote work, working across different departments, and tracking time spent at offsite locations. 

Find out how time and attendance software within a unified HCM platform can help you better track employee hours and attendance.

A Quick Overview of Time and Attendance Software

Time and attendance software is designed to streamline employee time tracking and attendance. It acts as an alternative to typical physical time clocks for clocking in, taking breaks, and clocking out. Such software provides a convenient option for remote workforces or field-based staff who need the ability to clock in or clock out from home or offsite work locations. Many software solutions for time and attendance also include features for PTO tracking, employee scheduling, and timesheet approvals.

Why Do Behavioral Health Organizations Need Time and Attendance Software?

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Every business with hourly staff should prioritize time and attendance tracking for compliance and performance management purposes. However, behavioral health has some unique needs that require more advanced time tracking solutions.

Time Tracking for Dispersed Workforces

As behavioral health organizations embrace dispersed workforces, they often require more robust time tracking tools. Moreover, the rise of telehealth has allowed more clinicians to provide care to patients from home. 

Many behavioral health workers also make site visits to clients’ homes, schools, or other locations. Such flexibility can improve care outcomes for patients and provide a better employee experience for care providers. However, employers still need a way to track employee time and attendance. Time tracking software offers a better option than traditional time clocks or timekeeping methods for ensuring the accuracy of attendance data.

Many leaders worry that allowing employees to clock in from their mobile devices will lead to dishonest time reporting. How do you know that the employee actually arrived at the worksite on time or is really at home working? 

One solution is geofencing and IP tracking. A geofence is a geographical boundary around an approved work location, such as a client's home or school. When an employee clocks in using the mobile app, their location is captured with GPS tracking. If a manager has set a geofence, the employee must be within the set boundary for the punch to be accepted. 

Providing Data to Funders

Behavioral health organizations often have complex finances. Insurance reimbursement amounts are often lower for behavioral health than in other areas of health care. Many behavioral health and human services agencies rely on outside funding sources, such as nonprofit and government grants, to provide continued high-quality care. 

The reporting data from time and attendance software can provide essential information to report back to funders. This can include a number of workforce metrics, including breakdowns of the number of hours worked in each program, job costs for specific initiatives, overtime hours worked, and other real-time staffing analytics. These funders want to see how their money is being spent and employee payroll is often one of the biggest costs that you need to account for.

Unified HCM Software as a Time Tracking Solution

Time and attendance software: entrepreneur happily using a laptop

Time tracking solutions can be helpful on their own, but organizations can get even more functionality when they’re bundled with payroll, benefits administration, and workforce management features on a single platform. Let’s take a closer look at how a unified human capital management (HCM) system can streamline processes.

Simplified Timesheets

Despite advancements in technology, many companies still use outdated methods that can make it hard to keep track of outstanding timesheets. Behavioral health employees are incredibly busy, so it can be easy to forget to submit a timesheet at the end of the week. With ContinuumCloud’s HCM, all employees receive notifications when the deadline for timesheet submission is approaching. Managers can track which employees have not submitted their timesheets and follow up with them.

HCMs also simplify the timesheet process for employees so they can spend more time on patient care and less time filling out their timecards. Any time punches, department transfers, and approved PTO will automatically populate the timesheet. This eliminates the need for extra data entry and allows employees to quickly review and submit their timesheets from any device.

Shift Differentials and Labor Allocations

While many employees tend to spend most of their time in one set location or department, behavioral health employees often move around. Team members are no strangers to working across different positions, programs, or locations throughout the week (even within a single workday). Shift differentials for evening or overnight shifts can also make timekeeping and payroll more complex and time-consuming. 

ContinuumCloud’s HCM platform was built for behavioral health organizations. That’s why the system makes it easy to manage different labor allocations. Employees who regularly work across different programs or cost centers can have their time automatically allocated using percentages. Employees who work across different departments with less predictable schedules can be prompted to complete an effort report to properly allocate their time and calculate their pay. If an employee works under multiple supervisors across different programs or locations, each supervisor will be prompted to approve the employee’s hours once their timesheet is submitted.

Payroll Integration

In the 2022 Tech Experiences & Impact Report, we found that most companies are using multiple tech solutions to handle their HR and payroll processes. There are a couple of issues with that. 

The first is that it provides an undesirable experience when it comes to employee-self service. Employees don’t want to log into one system to track their time or check their PTO accruals and then log into a separate payroll system to view their pay stubs or request time off. Payroll and timekeeping are closely related mechanisms that should be managed within the same software solution.

Using an all-in-one HCM platform as your company’s time and attendance software can help you automate your payroll process. With timekeeping, payroll, onboarding, and other functions in one central HR hub, all of the relevant data can be seamlessly populated into payroll. The hours from the timesheet will be pulled in for payment once approved by the employees’ supervisors, making payroll more efficient and reducing errors.

Manage Time and Attendance With ContinuumCloud 

Whether you’re a mid-size or large organization, ContinuumCloud’s HCM and payroll software lets you track time and employee attendance from anywhere. Made specifically for behavioral health and human services, the user-friendly platform lets you streamline timesheet approval workflows, manage labor allocations, and better track time data for reporting purposes. Plus, it eliminates the need for separate solutions and provides a better experience for human resources staff and employees alike. 

Contact us to learn how ContinuumCloud can help your organization manage time and attendance to better meet your business needs.

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