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Attendance refers not only to the employee turning up for work, attending compulsory workplace meetings and activities, and enforcement of such requirements through absenteeism policies. It also includes an employee's being in the right place, as well as at the right time, e.g., working where expected, and with the required authorization. It also includes the issue of "over-attendance", e.g., working longer hours than authorized or needlessly working on an overtime shift. For the organization and tracking of employee attendance, various kinds of software are available, a comparison of which usefully identifies the multifarious parameters of attendance management.

An effective attendance policy or absenteeism policy can help an organization ensure regular employee attendance so that work is accomplished in a timely and competent manner. Moreover, a good attendance policy, buttressed with software support, provides employees and supervisors with clearly-defined guidelines on what is acceptable and important attendance for performance appraisal purposes. It also provides the supervisors with a uniform and consistent standard when handling attendance deficiencies and other attendance related issues.

In general, employees are expected to report to work on time and remain at their assigned duty station as scheduled. Attendance software can be a valuable adjunct to the monitoring and enforcement policies of the HR department. They are also to manage their own personal matters in a way that will allow them to report to work on time.

At the supervisory level, besides explaining to the employees the basic attendance requirements and sanctions of the organization, supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that employees abide by the software and administrative systems for monitoring and recording staff attendance. They are also expected to manage the staff's attendance, while using appropriate discipline (i.e., verbal and written counseling, reprimands and suspensions) to correct any attendance deficiencies. They are also to incorporate the employee's attendance record into the performance appraisal system.