The inefficient use of working hours by employees is one of the main problems of any business and size, whether it is a small coffee shop or a large corporation. On daily ten-minute delays, large companies can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in money annually. Kazakh startupers have developed Clockster, an HR platform, which allows business owners and HR-managers to track employee workplace attendance: the system records all late arrivals, early departures, no-shows, etc.
Using the Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) case as an example, we will tell you how Clockster functions in practice. We also will discuss whether it actually helps to improve the employee efficiency during the working hours.
How it was before: attendance checked by sending photos on WhatsApp
Home Credit Bank in Kazakhstan has about 600 customer service facilities. They include full-fledged bank branches, micro-offices, as well as small service points based in Kazpost offices (postal service in Kazakhstan; has the highest number of rural branches for multi use where HCB rents space). Prior, working hours of the bank’s credit consultants had to send photos via WhatsApp:
“In large branches and micro-offices local managers were responsible for the discipline. But our employees at Kazpost, especially from remote regions, small towns and rural areas, had to take a picture of themselves at the workplace every day and send the picture to their regional manager via WhatsApp,” says Almat Sugirbaev, Sales Channel Development Manager at Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) Sales Department.
With the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Kazakhstan, the bank faced a new problem. People began to get sick, and sometimes managers could not know about the actual attendance, i.e. if all the employees would come in for work.
To solve this problem, Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) entered into a contract with Clockster in the spring of 2021. The service operates on a monthly subscription basis, and the price depends on the number of employees connected to the system.
Implementation: employees were afraid that the service would control their every step
All regional offices of Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) provided codes and names of outlets, as well as exact addresses and locations. With the help of this data, the bank input the coordinates of all its points in Kazakhstan into the Clockster app.
Employees downloaded the app into their personal smartphones, registered in the system and connected to their work office. After that, all they needed to do is clock in using the app when they come to the workplace.
Almat Sugirbaev admits that initially employees reacted with hostility towards the integration of Clockster into their lives:
“People were afraid that the service would control their every step, as well as expose a lot of personal information to the public. However, Clockster does not in any way restrict personal freedoms of employees: they can go out for lunch and there will be no problems. In our case, the program is set up to only track arrivals and departures: we set the working hours in the application, which employees must strictly adhere to. As for statistics, they are available only to managers.”
Trying to deceive Clockster in any way is a very difficult task: the application is programmed in such a way that you can check in only at a certain location. Taking into account the possible accuracy error (geolocation does not function well on all phones), bank admins set a radius of 200 meters around the workplace, and if an employee is further away, they will not be able to check in at the workplace.
Getting a second phone to leave it at work, to then check in remotely is also not an option. The program can connect to only one smartphone. It is impossible to log into your account on another device without the manager’s permission.
Results: the number of late arrivals and early departures of employees from work has significantly decreased
There are now more than 2,000 Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) employees registered in Clockster. The bank is generally happy with the service:
“We conducted surveys among our managers. Many say that the number of late arrivals and early departures of employees from work has noticeably decreased. People understand that now it is much more difficult to get away with it. They will not be paid for unworked hours. It has also become more convenient for managers to control employees who have a 6-day work week. The branch manager can see right from home whether everyone has arrived for work and whether there are latecomers,” Almat Sugirbaev shares his impressions.
The Clockster platform also allows managers to check the dress code of credit consultants. When requested, employees can attach a photo of their appearance in the app along with their attendance.
To evaluate the work effectiveness of credit consultants, Home Credit Bank (Kazakhstan) uses other programs. They also motivate employees with bonuses: a consultant receives a certain percentage from each issued loan. Therefore people themselves are interested in serving as many clients as possible.
Text: Vadim Banny
Photo: courtesy of Almat Sugirbaev