Keeping track of employee work hours is an important task for a number of reasons, but it’s not always easy for those in behavioral health and human services. With increasingly dispersed workforces and nontraditional work schedules, it can be challenging to maintain accurate time and attendance data without the right workforce management clock. Find out how using a workforce management clock can help organizations track employee time and attendance to streamline processes like payroll as well as compliance.
Timekeeping in Behavioral Health: Why It Matters
Maintaining accurate time and attendance records is a crucial aspect of workforce management. Using time and attendance software serves a variety of purposes, including managing employee scheduling, time-off requests, and attendance tracking. In behavioral health, these solutions also support regulatory compliance.
Behavioral health organizations generally have more complex schedules and time-tracking needs than standard office-based businesses. Employees often work nontraditional shifts and schedules, including overtime and on-call shifts. Many also help out in several departments or across multiple programs within the organization.
Maintaining accurate time records ensures that employers stay compliant with employee compensation laws related to overtime and breaks. It also helps human resource administrators to accurately track labor costs in real time. Behavioral health organizations don’t have the same profitability as other medical specialties due to lower insurance reimbursement rates, so they need to more closely watch their expenses to remain financially sustainable.
The recent rise in remote work and telehealth also makes traditional time clock options or attendance systems less practical, leading companies to look for new ways to keep time with time clock software solutions. Behavioral health agencies must be able to track absences and attendance precisely for remote employees. This not only ensures that team members are being paid accurately but that they’re also showing up on time for virtual patient appointments.
Finding a Workforce Management Clock Solution
There are a number of key features to consider when shopping for a workforce management clock. Here are some of the top elements to keep in mind when sorting through digital solutions.
Time Allocation Features
The behavioral health and human services industry can present some unique challenges when it comes to timekeeping and payroll processing compared to more standard corporate offices. One of the major challenges is accurately allocating and tracking labor costs.
In many industries, employees are hired to work in one department and spend all of their time there. However, in behavioral health, employees tend to move around. A provider may split time between different departments, locations, or programs. If you don’t accurately report these different activities on the employee’s timesheet, it’s difficult to get an accurate view of your labor costs for each segment. Employees working in different departments may also need to get their time approved by different supervisors, adding another hurdle.
ContinuumCloud’s human capital management (HCM) platform simplifies labor allocations. Employees who frequently split their time between different departments, programs, or cost centers can have their time automatically allocated based on the percentage of time that they’re scheduled in each place. Employees with less predictable schedules can complete an effort report to allocate their time and calculate their pay.
Automated Shift Differential Calculations
Another unique timekeeping challenge in the behavioral health and human services field is calculating shift differentials. Shift differentials are an extra pay rate added to an employee’s hourly wage when they work certain harder-to-staff shifts. A common example would be paying overnight workers at a mental health facility at a higher rate.
These differentials can help incentivize employees to work less traditional shifts and schedules, so it’s imperative that they’re calculated and paid properly. ContinuumCloud’s HCM automates shift differential calculations. This eliminates the need to manually add the differential, which results in less room for errors and more accurate payroll processing.
Mobile Time Entries
Behavioral health and human services have increasingly embraced remote work and telehealth over the past several years. Telehealth currently accounts for about 39% of outpatient visits for mental health and substance use care. There are also many field-based behavioral health and human services workers that conduct client visits rather than working from a consistent office location. To address both of these populations, employers now need more flexible workforce management clock options that allow mobile time entries.
ContinuumCloud offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android users. Unlike many other employee time clock software options, ContinuumCloud also supports manual timecard submissions, online ePunch, and RFID systems.
Geofencing and GPS Tracking
Geofencing is a feature that can help employers verify that an employee is clocking in from the right location. This is helpful for businesses that allow mobile clock-ins or online time entries.
A geofence is a geographical boundary set around an employee’s work location. When an employee clocks in on their mobile device, the application can capture their location with GPS tracking. If a geofence has been set, the employee will need to be within the set boundary for the punch to be accepted.
Even without geofencing, it can be helpful to collect location data when your employees clock in. For example, many behavioral health workers, such as social workers or case managers, spend time conducting client visits at their homes or schools. Without location data, it may be hard to tell whether an employee is clocking in from a satellite office, client location, their home, or a local Starbucks. With GPS tracking, managers can more easily verify that employees arrived at the proper location on time.
Having an efficient timesheet approval process cuts down on administrative time and ensures that payments are processed on schedule. Behavioral health employees are often very busy and focused on patients rather than paperwork. As such, it’s easy for them to forget about timesheets at the end of the week. With ContinuumCloud’s HCM, employees automatically receive notifications to remind them when timesheet submission deadlines are approaching. Managers can then track which employees have submitted their timesheets and follow up with them as needed.
ContinuumCloud also makes it easy to configure custom approval processes so that timesheets are always routed to the correct approver. If employees report to multiple supervisors across different departments or locations, timesheets can be routed to all applicable supervisors for approval of the relevant hours each pay period.
Compliance Data Tracking
Maintaining an accurate log of hours worked and payments is vital in all industries. There are a variety of laws and regulations that employers need to comply with regarding employee pay, breaks, and hours. ContinuumCloud’s HCM provides an auditable electronic history of time in and out compliance, differential pay, overtime, leave requests, and other key factors. With this data, organizations can ensure compliance with applicable regulations and maintain accurate records in case they need to prove their compliance during audits.
Explore ContinuumCloud’s Workforce Management Clock Solutions
ContinuumCloud’s HCM and payroll software provides seamless time tracking and attendance management. It offers a user-friendly platform that allows leaders to easily manage timesheet approvals, PTO requests, and labor cost forecasting. ContinuumCloud’s HCM also provides a unified solution that eliminates the need for separate systems to track time, payroll, and benefits. This provides a better experience for both human resources personnel and employees.
And because ContinuumCloud’s HCM platform is made specifically for those in behavioral health and human services, the workforce management clock addresses common behavioral health challenges such as managing a dispersed workforce, shift differentials, and labor allocations. Contact us today to learn more about how ContinuumCloud can help your company.