Curbing Absenteeism,
the Biometrics Way
By Ms. Norana Johar
You had a great party last night and came home 4 hours after midnight, with your head still throbbing, body still aching. Nothing seems better at that moment than your comfortable bed and duvet. Alas, you suddenly remember that you got to get ready to be at the office in 3 hours! That’s usually when your body says you need to lie down, while your body says you need to lie to your office now. See, though your conscience may tell you to do the right thing, most of the time you’d still be contemplating that mystical ‘emergency leave’ and your conscience somehow ends up losing.
Apparently, you are not alone in committing this workplace ‘crime’. Researches have shown (yeah, people actually did researches on this matter, mind you) that low-level employees are not the only common perpetrators of absenteeism. Even doctors can’t run from being amongst one of the occupations that experience high levels of non-attendance. It’s a little ironic, isn’t it?
Taking leaves from work is within the rights of every employee but absenteeism is taking it to another level as Merriam-Webster defines the word as chronic absence. Failure to appear at work without a valid reason is indeed absenteeism and this could happen through chronic tardiness, falsely using other colleague to report to work under your name or dishonestly cheating time in between working hours.
Some might see this issue as trivial.
“Ah, so what if I’m not there today. I’ll be there tomorrow and nobody’s dead.”
“It’s just a few hours, what’s the fuss?”
But when absenteeism involves many employees and it happens frequently, the business suffers. Operations get delayed, tasks get postponed, and deadlines need to get stretched. More so in the service industry, which requires actual human interaction while attending to customers, non-attendance is simply not acceptable. Unfortunately, in reality the job that involves “emotional labor” such as service industry suffers a 20% higher absenteeism rate than other industries. This explains why we are always kept on the line whenever we call one of their ‘help-lines’. An automated machine with a beautiful woman’s voice is apparently more reliable than an actual beautiful woman with a voice these days.
For Human Resources departments, absenteeism is like a pain in the neck and over the years they have tried and applied various ways to curb these occurrences. One such method is using positive reinforcements by encouraging employee to appear at work according to the company’s attendance policy. Examples of this type of reinforcement could be a one-month bonus or eligibility to claim full annual medical benefits to reward full attendance. Another such method is to use punitive reinforcements such as, deducting work hours or disqualifying the absent staff from bonus/reward eligibility. Some companies has used a combination of methods, but nonetheless, absenteeism never ceases to vanish.
While these methods work under different circumstances, biometric attendance systems have been proven to curb absenteeism from its root cause. Biometric time clock is a machine that identifies your identity based on your body part’s identification. It could be fingerprint, face, voice, iris and etc. When the machine verifies that you-are-indeed-you, you can’t possible assign your colleague Joe to punch your time card for you, can you? The time recorded by the machine is truly yours and you need to clock out at the end of the day with your identity as well to prove that you have serviced your job the whole day. These machines are bundled with software that can track your overall performance when it comes to tardiness and absence. They provide individual reports on these issues and if you are a serious offender, these documents will definitely haunt you during appraisals.
Biometrics time clock for attendance is a must-buy system for every office especially in labor-intensive industries such as factory and plantation. When employees know that there is a foolproof system in place that can track their lax attitude at work, management will witness improvement in employee’s discipline as a whole and in time, improve productivity as well.
So now, it’s 7am in the morning, do you want to get out of bed?
Time to color your presence with
                      Fingerprint Color Time Attendance
For more fun office articles, visit our fanpage at