Employee Attendance Tracker: What It Is & How to Use One [+ Free Template]
An employee attendance tracker is a way for you to track your employee’s attendance, tardiness, absenteeism, and time off—a major part of managing employees. Often set up like an employee attendance calendar, you can track employee attendance by manually inputting data on a spreadsheet or through attendance tracking software. A good employee attendance tracker allows you to quickly identify repeat attendance-related offenses and act swiftly to discipline and coach your staff to correct such behavior.
If you choose to track manually, download our free attendance tracker template to get started.
Let’s take a closer look at how to use manual and software-based employee attendance trackers.
Manually Tracking Employee Attendance
Our free employee attendance tracker template simplifies your life by providing you with just the relevant information and nothing more. It requires manual entry on your part to input the data, but it will help in managing employees by showing each employee’s attendance history in one tracker.
Tip: We recommend you use a template that records attendance for each pay period. Aligning your attendance tracker with your payroll will allow you to easily compile and review necessary data.
We’ve set up our free attendance tracker template as a two-week view, which works well with companies that run payroll every two weeks. We have also started the template with four payroll periods for your convenience. You are free to change the template to fit your needs.
Your first step when using our free template is to fill in the necessary information in Column A, particularly the employee’s name and the date of each day being tracked. You can duplicate tabs at the bottom for each of your employees.
The drop-down fields in columns B-F are where you will record your employee’s attendance-related behaviors and actions. You will need to manually select from each of the fields whether an employee met a certain condition on each day.
- Late Arrival: For each day in the pay period, select “Yes” if the employee was late to work. If they were on time, you can leave the field blank, or select “No.”
- Early Departure – If an employee left work early without giving notice or receiving prior approval, select “Yes” in the drop-down on the date the employee left early. Make sure you are only marking an employee as “Yes” if they have left early in violation of your company’s attendance policy.
- Paid Time Off – When an employee takes paid time off (PTO), mark that day as “Yes.” While your team’s PTO and vacation days should not be a penalty against them, it does help you manage your team to see how frequently an employee is out in a pay period.
- Sick Days – If an employee calls their manager or supervisor to let them know they are sick and cannot come to work, mark that day as “Yes” in the appropriate drop-down. Recording sick days is important to accurately track how often an employee calls out.
- No Call, No Show – Sometimes, employees do not show up to work and don’t call out. When this happens, mark the appropriate day as “Yes” to record them as a no call, no show. This information is vital if you need to reprimand or terminate an employee for excessive absenteeism.
For each column, the totals will automatically be calculated. The totals for “Late Arrival,” “Early Departure,” and “No Call, No Show” are triggered to shade the box red if there are too many “Yes” selections. You can change the number that triggers a red color by right-clicking on the corresponding total field and selecting “Conditional Formatting” to change the value.
Ultimately, this sheet gives you a quick snapshot of your team’s attendance and whether you need to take action and discuss concerns with any particular team member. Modifying this sheet to fit your needs will help you keep track of whether you have any attendance problems with employees.
Note: An employee attendance tracker is not a time sheet. On a time sheet, you are recording hours worked so that you know what to pay your employees. An attendance tracker goes hand-in-hand with your employee attendance policy and can show you relevant attendance-related statistics.
Using Software to Track Employee Attendance
While manually tracking employee attendance can be fairly straightforward, attendance tracking software is the most efficient way to track your employees’ attendance.
With it, you can:
- Let employees punch in and out electronically
- Use verification methods for employee punches (like GPS restriction)
- Approve PTO requests electronically at your leisure
- Run reports to see employee attendance issues
The best part of using employee attendance tracking software is that it helps you streamline your processes. It combines time sheets and attendance tracking, giving you a one-stop shop for all of your payroll and attendance-related data.
The right software will automate data entry, integrate with your time tracking system, and generate easy-to-view reports—making employee management easy for you while helping you save time. We recommend the following software:
Homebase is free for businesses with one location and ideal for mom-and-pop shops that not only need to track their employees’ time for payroll but keep track of attendance, too.
With this platform, managers can track when employees clock in and out for work, take breaks, or are on PTO. Managers can log in to the Homebase dashboard or download the app for easy access to their employees’ attendance directly from their mobile devices.
Deputy is ideal for businesses with a rotating schedule, such as restaurants and retail shops, and affordably priced at $4.20 per user per month (billed annually).
This software will allow you to view real-time attendance—see who’s logged in, who’s running late, and who’s on break. When employees log their times, managers and supervisors will receive immediate notifications.
Buddy Punch allows you to schedule employees and then view in real time when they clock in and out or request PTO.
At $2.99 per user per month, plus a base fee of $19 per month (billed annually), Buddy Punch offers something for both employers and employees. Employees are notified when they should be at work or forgot to punch in, and employers can run customizable reports to see the hours each employee is working per day.
If you want more options, then check out our guide to the best time and attendance software for small businesses.
Employee attendance tracking gives you vital information about how your business operates. It makes it easy to keep track of the days each employee comes to work—and when they don’t. You can track manually by downloading our free employee attendance tracker, or by using attendance tracking software.
Using a tracker to keep attendance-related concerns in check will also help in counteracting a drop in employee engagement before it blows up into a major problem. For instance, when employees continually show up for work tardy, that causes a ripple effect—affecting not only business productivity but also employee morale. If other employees see one employee show up late consistently and not suffer any consequences, they may start acting the same way and not care as much about their work.