Employee Attendance Tracker: Template and Software Options [2024]

Employee Attendance Tracker: Template and Software Options [2024]

Author Swathi Bhat
Author Swathi Bhat

Swathi B.

April 22, 2024


Apr 22, 2024


15 min read

Payroll called. Another mistake with employee attendance has left them frustrated and your employees less than impressed.

Filling out your employee attendance information is already tedious and time-consuming. But an even bigger issue is how prone to error it is. You need to invest in the right tracker to streamline your processes safely, accurately, and compliantly.

This article outlines the most important reasons for correctly tracking employee attendance. We also share templates and software solutions to help you optimize attendance tracking for your team.

Why should you keep track of your employees’ attendance?

Accurate and compliant tracking of your employees’ attendance is critical. In doing so, you can:

Employee reaching for sign on chair

Ensure workloads are equitable

Correct tracking ensures managers allocate and distribute the workload equally among team members. You can also check overtime hours and ensure employees aren’t going overboard.

Work overload is a key contributor to an employee’s stress level at work. If left unchecked, employees with high work stress tend to burn out more quickly — and seek employment elsewhere as a result.

Analyze employee productivity

With an accurate employee attendance tracker, you can also analyze productivity among your employees. Specifically, you can see which employees are working, when they are on the books, and how much they accomplish during their workdays.

Workload and compensation profoundly affect productivity, so you want to get a handle on which employees are high achievers and why.

Address issues proactively

Tracking your employees’ attendance increases your ability to identify any attendance or absence problems before they become significant issues.

For example, you may be able to zero in on why certain workers are frequently out of the office. Chronic absenteeism is correlated with high levels of job stress and role ambiguity in the workplace. If you know why they are out, you can take action to address the issue.

Monitor for signs of burnout

Knowing your employees’ working hours also allows you to track their time on the clock and monitor for signs of burnout.

Forty-four percent of employees report feeling stressed, and these numbers have steadily increased in the past few years. Conversely, employees who feel engaged in the workplace are less likely to report experiencing serious stress.

Monitoring employees’ working hours through attendance tracking is just one way you can show support for their overall well-being.

Process requests quickly

You’ll notice improved productivity and morale when employees’ requests for paid time off (PTO) and leave are processed and responded to quickly. Addressing PTO requests right away boosts morale by supporting a positive work-life balance.

Additionally, you’ll keep your business running smoothly when you track employee time-off requests and ensure you have adequate staff on site at all times.

Complete payroll efficiently

A robust employee attendance tracker ensures employees are paid accurately and on time.

You can’t afford to make mistakes a habit, especially since 50% of employees seek new employment after just two payroll errors.

Improve the customer experience

Customers notice when employees are rushed, distracted, or inattentive.

Overworked employees won’t have the time to give your customers the attention they deserve or consistently deliver a high-quality product. As a result, customer satisfaction will decrease, and you may see the impact of negative reviews, customer attrition, or fewer referrals.

With an effective tracking process, you can better manage workloads and prevent distracted or tired employees from impacting the customer experience.

Relieve the burden on management

Employees consistently calling off work or failing to show up places a burden on management. They have to work to fill the void, spending additional time assigning tasks and responsibilities to other employees or tracking down last-minute replacements.

An efficient employee tracking system not only saves managers time and energy but also reduces friction between them and the employees who consistently show up (and are asked to take on more work as a result).

Want even greater boosts in efficiency? Link attendance tracking to a comprehensive attendance management system

Now that you know the importance of an employee attendance tracker, let’s turn to the most efficient options.

How to track your employees’ attendance

Templates and software are the two best ways to easily implement an employee attendance tracking system. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Paper template and software options

1. Employee attendance tracker templates

If you’re looking for a customizable and user-friendly solution, consider implementing an attendance tracking template.

Templates are spreadsheets with preformatted layouts that help to streamline data entry. The type of template you select will depend on your business needs and the information you want to keep track of.

Direct supervisors, managers, team leaders, and HR personnel typically track employee attendance.

Here are a few examples of employee attendance tracker templates:

Daily employee attendance tracker

This type of attendance sheet simply tracks employee attendance by day. Here’s how to get one going:

  1. Create a row for each employee you’re tracking.

  2. In the left-hand column, add their name, job title, department, and any other relevant information.

  3. The next column will reflect their attendance. Create simple codes to reflect “in attendance,” “personal leave,” “sick leave,” “vacation leave,” and “no-show.”

  4. Then, add two columns: one for “Time In” and another for “Time Out.” If your employees are entitled to breaks, you may want to add a final “Break Time” column.

Monthly employee attendance tracker

To get a broader view of employee attendance, you might prefer tracking every month instead. The tracker will automatically tally employees’ absence rates, giving you a clear picture of who is in the office and why others are out.

  1. Identify the month and year.

  2. Create a row for each employee.

  3. In the left-hand column, add the employee’s name, job title, department, and any other relevant information.

  4. Add columns for each day of the month in question.

  5. Use your preferred codes to reflect whether employees are in attendance, out on leave, or no-shows.

Daily shift-based attendance tracker

A shift-based attendance tracker works well for those who manage multiple shifts.

  1. Identify the day in question.

  2. Create a row for each employee.

  3. In the left-hand column, add the employee’s name, job title, department, and any relevant information.

  4. Add columns for the relevant shifts. You can specify by the type of shift (e.g., day, swing, night) or the shift times (e.g., 8 am to 8 pm, 8 pm to 8 am, etc.).

  5. Use your preferred codes to reflect when employees are in attendance. You can either grayscale or add a code for “not scheduled” for the other columns if you’d prefer.

Employee leave attendance tracker

You might want to track your employees’ leave requests separately, too.

  1. Identify the year in question.

  2. Create a row for each employee.

  3. In the left-hand column, add the employee’s name, job title, department, and any other relevant information.

  4. Add columns for each leave type you’re tracking, such as sick, vacation, personal, jury, or FMLA.

  5. Add sub-rows for Spent Leave and Available Leave within each column for each employee. These sub-rows will then generate monthly totals for review in the final column.

Pros of attendance tracker templates

There are some advantages to using employee attendance sheets or employee attendance tracker templates:

  • Tracking templates are easy to implement and use, with only a small learning curve.

  • Managers and HR personnel can quickly access the templates through shared cloud-based systems.

  • Templates are customizable and adaptable to any type of tracking system.

  • Templates are an affordable option for smaller or budget-conscious businesses tracking their employee attendance.

Challenges of using attendance tracker templates

Using tracker templates does come with challenges:

  • The manual entry required is time-consuming.

  • Manually entering data is more prone to human error and inaccuracies.

  • Templates stored in cloud-based systems may be more susceptible to data breaches.

  • Users don’t have access to advanced features and analytics with templates.

How to set up an employee attendance tracker template

Setting up an employee attendance tracker template is quick and easy, especially with the range of free offerings available.

Lark’s Employee Attendance Sheet is easy to set up, monitor, and maintain. With it, you can:

  • Monitor your employees’ punctuality for each scheduled workday or shift.

  • Maintain compliance with labor and employment laws by monitoring overtime and avoiding overwork.

  • Calculate each employee’s work hours and leave time for payroll.

  • Quickly identify signs of absenteeism or other attendance-related issues.

  • Maintain accurate records for performance evaluations, disciplinary reasons, or audits.

  • Streamline attendance management (and save valuable time) with just a few clicks.

Screenshot of Lark attendance sheet template

Here’s how to get started with the Lark Employee Attendance Sheet:

1. Click the blue “Use template” button in the top-right corner to sign up for Lark.

2. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see the Lark Attendance Sheet Template on Lark Base. Click “Use template” again to copy it to your workspace.

3. Customize the template according to your business needs.

With Lark’s attendance sheet, you can be up and running in just a few easy steps. You’ll have everything you need to maintain accurate and compliant employee attendance records.

2. Employee attendance tracker software

While templates are a quick and easy way to track employee attendance, they have limitations. Consider employee attendance tracking software if you’re looking for an even better solution.

The Lark Attendance app allows HR personnel and managers to manage shifts, record attendance, review leave and overtime requests, and gain data-driven insights. Employees can use the Attendance app to clock in and out, check their attendance history, and submit requests for leave, overtime, or corrections.

Need more proof? Here’s why the Lark Attendance app is the best way to track employee attendance:

Pros of attendance tracker software

This app offers a number of clear benefits for managers and employees:

  • Administrators set up the company rules for employee attendance from the outset.

  • Both employers and employees can manage and review onsite and offsite attendance in real time.

  • Employees can clock in and out of their workdays in multiple ways.

  • Leave and overtime requests are all submitted, reviewed, and approved or denied through the app.

  • Managers can customize and export reports based on desired attendance data immediately.

Features of attendance tracker software

The Lark Attendance app also includes multiple features that streamline the attendance-tracking process:

  • Establish employee clock-in/out rules.

  • Determine location and GPS rules for employee arrival and departure.

  • Enable a photo clock-in/out method.

  • Provide a mobile or desktop clock-in/out system.

  • Make, review, and approve requests for attendance corrections, leave, overtime, business trips, and more.

  • Add multiple administrators, depending on your monitoring and approval needs.

  • Export attendance data, leave balance, and overtime accrual as needed.

Types of attendance tracking

The Lark Attendance app makes it easy to track different types of employee attendance, including the following:

  • Fixed shift attendance

  • Big/small shift attendance

  • Remote or offsite attendance

  • Free shift attendance

  • Express attendance

Records and statistical reporting

Lark Attendance allows you to access employee attendance data and run reports based on your business needs. With it, you can:

  • Customize the settings for your attendance reports by filtering for a specific time range, attendance group, department, terminated or transferred employees, or current employees only.

  • Generate daily statistics, including up-to-date information on each employee’s job description, department, and direct supervisor.

  • Gather information about attendance time, results, and any notes. For example, you’ll see whether an employee has requested an attendance correction.

  • Review employee attendance duration statistics, including required duration, actual duration, and payable duration. Monitor issues such as late clock-ins, very late clock-ins, and early clock-outs.

  • Look at the exceptions, such as leave type and duration, business trip days, day and number of shift swaps, offsite and overtime duration, and more.

  • Generate monthly statistics for employees, including required days, actual work durations, and exceptions.

  • View an entire team’s attendance data.

  • Set the different time zone rules for remote or global employees.

  • Send out timesheet verification requests for employees to quickly complete and submit corrections if needed.

How to set up the Lark Attendance tracking feature

Once you’ve established your Lark account, follow these steps to start your attendance management.

1. From the desktop, click on your Lark profile picture in the top-right corner and select “Admin Console.”

Screenshot of how to access the Lark admin console

2. Select “Workplace” from the left-side menu, then click on “App Management.” From there, find and click on the Attendance app.

Screenshot of Lark attendance app page

3. The app will automatically include all members or employees. If you’d prefer to limit access, click on “Configuration” and change the scope to select the number of employees you want.

4. Click “Go to App Admin Console” on the main app page to set your attendance admin.

Screenshot of setting up a group in Lark

5. You can now use the left-side menu from this page to complete the following actions.

  • Set attendance rules for groups or shifts.

  • View attendance reports, including daily and monthly statistics.

  • Manage leave and overtime requests.

  • Determine the attendance administrators who must have access.

Here’s how to complete these actions in more detail:

Set attendance rules

1. Create a new attendance group.

Screenshot of how to create a new attendance group

2. Fill out the Basic Info for the group, including the group name and the relevant departments.

3. Continue to Shift Selection, where you can choose from Fixed, Scheduled, or Free shift options. You can keep the default selections for each or adjust accordingly.

Complete the prompts according to the shift, keeping in mind that you won’t be able to change the type once you’ve established a group.

4. Identify the Attendance Method for your group. You can choose from Clock-in/out by GPS or WiFi.

Set multiple attendance methods per group if you’d like the members to have an option.

5. Head to Attendance Settings if you’d like additional rules. For example, if your company offers a remote work option, you can establish that setting here.

Once you complete your information, click “Confirm” to give your employees access.

View attendance data

Go to “Attendance Admin,” then “Attendance Statistics.”

1. Set your filter conditions, including the time range and attendance group.

2. Select “Daily Statistics” or “Monthly Summary.”

3. View each employee’s basic information, including their name, employee type, date of employment, status, direct supervisor, department, and employee ID and contact information.

4. View attendance information:

Attendance time is when each clock-in/out record is generated.

Attendance results provide additional information, such as “no attendance needed” for an employee day off or non-work day.

Attendance notes include information about late arrivals or early clock-outs and employee requests for corrections.

5. View duration statistics:

Required duration or working duration won’t change with leave, overtime, or shift swap.

Actual attendance duration reflects clock-in and out times.

Payable duration combines the required and actual durations to ensure that employees are paid accurately for their work. For example, if they clock in an hour later than the required duration indicates, they won’t be automatically paid for that non-work hour.

6. Exception statistics include leave duration, leave type, days and number of shift swaps, offsite and overtime duration, corrections, and no clock-in/out records.

You can also customize your attendance reports.

1. In the upper-right corner, select “Report Settings” to view the available options.

2. Select (or deselect) your desired fields, and click “Save.”

Screenshot of how to customize attendance reports in Lark

3. Adjust the field order by clicking and dragging it to your preferred location.

4. Edit the fields as needed by placing your mouse over each one and clicking the “Edit” icon.

Screenshot of editing report fields in Lark

5. Once you’re satisfied, click “Confirm” to save your changes.

Manage employee leave and overtime

From the Attendance Admin page, select “Leave Management” and “Leave Type” to manage employee leave.

1. Create a leave type by clicking “New leave type” and choosing the appropriate template.

Screenshot of managing employee leave in Lark

2. Follow the steps to create the type of leave you want. For example, if you want to choose “General Leave,” you’ll first select the General template and complete the settings on the edit page. You’ll then add the accrual rules for limited leave and set the leave rules.

You can set up leave for annual leave, nursing breaks, and compensatory leave, too.

3. Select “Edit” on the right of the Leave Type page to change the leave rules.

Managing leave type and rules in Lark

You can also sort and turn off different leave types. Plus, you can manage leave balances through Attendance Admin by selecting “Leave Management” and then “Leave Balance.”

Screenshot of employee leave balances in Lark

View and update leave balances or export data directly from an Excel document.

Determine attendance administrators

In Administrator Settings, click the bright blue button that says, “Add Administrator.” Then, select each person’s management scope and authority within the group.

Screenshot of the four attendance administrators in Lark

Best practices for managing and tracking your employee attendance

Now that you know how to incorporate an employee attendance tracker into your organization, here are some best practices to keep in mind moving forward:

Establish a robust and well-connected company culture

Employees who feel connected to their workplace and believe that the work they do matters want to be there. This means they’ll be less likely to leave team members or coworkers in the lurch by not showing up.

Ensure you have an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable communicating any absence-related needs or concerns.

Train supervisors, managers, and HR personnel on attendance tracking

Ensure these individuals understand attendance guidelines, consequences, and enforcement procedures.

Knowing these expectations not only eases the attendance management process but also cuts down on the time and energy managers have to spend on it.

Be transparent with your attendance policies

Employees should know when they are expected to clock in and out and take their lunch and breaks. They should also have a clear and accessible method to report last-minute absences.

Set clear guidelines on what employees can expect if they continually show up late, clock out early, or fail to show up at all.

Employees should know when and how to request leave, whether for vacation, FMLA, or jury duty. They should also understand if certain times are unavailable for leave requests (e.g., during seasonal rushes) or if there is a suggested notification period.

Assess whether your PTO policies are affecting employee absenteeism

PTO should include vacation, sick, and personal/family leave to address burnout, take care of individual and family needs, and help maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Encourage your employees to take this earned time off, too. Overwork and stress can lower productivity and weaken morale.

Provide incentives and recognition programs for employees with stellar attendance records

You can tie employee rewards programs to the number of consecutive days or hours employees have been at work.

Keep this recognition simple and specific. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten or verbal “thank you” or a gift card to a favorite shop or restaurant.

Promote employee well-being and morale

When asked, employees report experiencing the most positive impact from initiatives related to a 4-day workweek, the provision of mental health days, and limiting work-related expectations outside of the workday.

Implement these strategies, along with a robust attendance tracker, and your organization’s attendance issues could soon be a thing of the past.

Level up your employee attendance tracking with Lark

Now that you know the basics of employee attendance tracker templates and software, you can assess their capabilities, pros, and challenges to make the best decision for your business needs.

But why not turn to a solution that offers you even more?

With Lark, you can ramp up your productivity and efficiency on one easy platform. Shift your Excel timesheets into Lark Base or use the Lark Attendance app to gain immediate, actionable insights from your data. For example, you’ll find out immediately if trends are emerging with employee absences.

You’ll also have a comprehensive platform with Messenger, Documents, Meetings, and Calendars (plus more) in one handy place.

Lark makes it easy for colleagues to collaborate, report progress, and take action. Try it now to start reaping the benefits of a more efficient and productive workspace.

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