Ahh, the IT department - a team crucial to any modern establishment, and schools are no exception. They are constantly putting out fires behind the scenes and have an ...
Here at Touchpoint, we love the idea of focus. We try to be laser-focused in every area of our company, whether it’s in how James preps and ships the final product or how Jake approaches our discovery questions with potential customers.
Because we’re so focused on K12 time collection, we hear many of the same questions from school district employees like you! So, rather than keep that knowledge to ourselves, we want to live out one of our core values and lead by serving you, school district administrators, in your fight to serve the front lines of education.
Without further ado, here are 7 of the most common questions we hear about time collection in school districts!
1. How many time clock kiosks should I plan for?
Short answer: About 2 per building
Less short answer: In our experience, the number of kiosks you need depends on the number of entrances you have.
We find that elementary schools generally have 1-2 entrances that staff regularly use, while middle and high schools tend to have 2-3 entrances that the various employee groups use.
You want kiosks at any entrance that employees who clock in and out use so that they are less likely to forget to clock in or out.
2. Can’t my employees just clock in on their phones?
The lowdown: Sure, with most modern time and attendance systems, employees have the ability to use a mobile app on their devices and clock in from there.
However, we have found that time and time again (no pun intended), districts prefer to provide dedicated devices for their employees. Especially for the types of employees who are typically required to have their time tracked, they often work at different locations and times every day. So, the habit of clocking in on their phone is difficult to develop.
It also makes it more challenging to hold employees accountable for being at the right place at the right time when they can clock in anywhere.
So most districts prefer to either go all-in and set up kiosks for all of their employees or at least set up a hybrid model with some kiosks while also allowing employees to use their mobile devices.
3. What types of time collection kiosks will work best for my different employee groups?
The scoop: All-in-one devices best cover most of your employee groups.
The bigger scoop: Certain areas require durable, reliable devices. Any high-traffic stations will need a device that’s always on. And devices used by your less tech-savvy employees must be easy to use, with no support.
The areas that would work for a DIY kiosk would be areas where employees already have their own computers and are used to interacting with technology, like district offices or teachers’ lounges.
4. Can employees with multiple job codes use time clocks?
The skinny: Yes!
The not-so-skinny: With any time clock worth its salt, employees with multiple job codes simply have to clock in using their existing badge or ID/pin, and before registering their punch, the time and attendance system should prompt them to choose their pay code. Easy as that!
5. What kind of scanning method should I use?
The answer to this largely depends on whether you already have a door access system with proximity cards.
We find that using a door access system’s proximity cards is the most efficient way to set up scanning for your employees. They already have to keep their prox cards with them at all times, so it’s not an extra effort for them to remember. It also reinforces the security measures that you have in place!
If your employees don’t currently use any kind of proximity cards, the next best option would be to use their current ID cards and add a barcode to the back of them. That way, it’s still part of something they currently keep with them.
6. With using a digital time-keeping system, what happens when the power or internet goes out?
For power outages, there is really only one way to mitigate that risk: a battery backup, either built into the device itself or attached externally.
There are a couple of strategies for internet outages, depending on how the time and attendance system you’re using is structured.
If your time and attendance system allows for offline clocking, then as long as your device is on, your employees can continue clocking in and out, and once the internet is back, their clock events will sync up accurately.
If your time and attendance system doesn’t allow for offline clocking, you’ll need devices that have 4G built-in, so they can tap into cellular networks whenever the internet goes down. Touchpoint's time clocks are designed with NeverDown 4G technology, so you never have to worry!
7. How can I get my employees to adopt a new time clock system?
We get this question a lot. And it makes sense. There’s nothing worse than investing in a bunch of new devices, only to have employees not actually use them.
There are usually a couple of reasons employees might be hesitant to utilize time clocks.
Some see clocking in on a dedicated device as a bit “big brother.” They don’t want to feel that their school district is spying on them or tracking them.
We would argue that rather than seeing it as intrusive, employees should be encouraged to see clocking in and out as protecting them and their pay. Removing manual processes allows for more accurate payroll, which is what everybody wants!
For others, if the new clock is difficult to use, they will give up very quickly. With any new technology adoption, you have a limited number of tries before someone completely gives up on the technology.
The easier the new time clocks are to use, the more likely you will get complete adoption from your employees.
Another common objection is that clocking in and out is perceived as demeaning. It can feel a little bit like your first job in high school, having to punch in and out.
But as we mentioned above, we firmly believe that having your employees clock in and out provides reciprocal accountability. Not only are your employees accountable to the district for fulfilling their responsibilities, the district is also accountable for paying them accurately for every minute they worked.
Which is only made easier and more accurate by utilizing a time and attendance system with amazing time collection!
Any questions we didn’t answer? Reach out and let us know. We’re here to help!