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The forgetting curve

Supplier: Mitrefinch Australia By: Katrina Hall
31 December, 2015

Do you know what you were doing an hour ago? What about at 11:15am yesterday? What if we asked if you can recall exactly what time you finished work on Wednesday last week? What about every start and finish time for the whole week?

Things are starting to get a little more difficult, right?

In 1885, a German by the name of Hermann Ebbinghaus published his theory of the exponential nature of forgetting. For the mathematically inclined, the formula R = e (–t/s) describes the theory, where ‘R’ is memory retention, ‘t’ stands for time and ‘s’ is the relative strength of memory.

It is typically represented by the graph (pictured), and is a neat explanation of how our memory deteriorates over time.

Yet with all we know about memory getting worse over time from Ebbinghaus and his snazzy formula, many Australian businesses continue to rely on the memory, and the honesty of their employees to report times worked via paper-based systems.

Unfortunately, even the most honest of your employees may be prone to making errors when reporting on their times worked if they are using after-the-fact, paper-based timesheets to record work. Such errors can be extremely costly to a business over time, especially when the number of employees in your company starts nearing the 100 mark and beyond.

Implementing a Mitrefinch employee time and attendance system can instantly eliminate time-consuming paperwork both for your staff and your payroll and human resources department, by having employees’ comings and goings recorded automatically.

Biometric (finger scanning) devices provide the additional benefits of cutting out ‘buddy punching’, where one employee takes another’s card and clocks in or out on his or her behalf, covering up for a late arrival or allowing the second person to make a fraudulent overtime claim.