As Oscar Wilde said, “I can avoid anything but temptation.” For too many employees, time theft is one such temptation, and it’s expensive for employers.
Time theft costs businesses an estimated $400 billion every year, according to one study. It occurs in many forms, from buddy punching to unauthorized break time. And if you manage a distributed or mobile workforce, it’s even worse, because supervisors aren’t always around to keep an eye out.
The big question isn’t how much time theft is costing your business, but how to stop it.
While every employer has its own vulnerabilities, there are three universal best practices that can effectively stop time theft.
- Communicate Your Time and Attendance Policies
Do all your employees have a clear understanding of your time and attendance rules? It’s important to explain your precise definition of time theft—tardiness, unauthorized breaks, cell phone use, etc.—as well as their consequences.
Time and attendance policies should be covered thoroughly during orientation/training sessions, in your HR handbook, and via periodic refreshers. Managers need to be thoroughly trained on how to both spot and address time theft.
- Develop a Process for Enforcing Time Theft Policies
It’s not enough to talk the talk. Managers need to be ready to take action. Having a step-by-step process in place—verbal warnings, written warnings, probation, etc.—makes this easier to enforce consistently.
The flip side is to reward employees who demonstrate outstanding time and attendance. Consider a rewards program. Find out if your time and attendance system includes an automated points system, sometimes called Ticks and Points, that tracks for you. Make good time and attendance part of your culture.
- Use Time Tracking Technology Geared to Your Business
If your company relies on paper timesheets, upgrading to an automated time and attendance system would eliminate a big chunk of your time theft loses. Manual self-reporting enables fudging, rounding, and fraud that automation doesn’t allow.
If your company has an automated system but is still battling time theft, reevaluate. Where are the problems occurring? For example, if buddy punching at the time clock is a problem, a biometric time clock—such as those with fingerprint recognition technology—may be a better choice than swipe card system.
And if time clocks aren’t an option for part of your workforce because it’s scattered or mobile, look into mobile time tracking apps with GPS.
In summary, there’s no question that time theft costs your business. And there’s no reason to let it continue when effective solutions are within reach.
Ask EPAY for Help Stopping Time Theft
EPAY’s cloud based time and attendance system is the leading choice for employers with a decentralized workforce, which is particularly prone to time theft losses. We offer flexible data collection options for hard-to-track employees, including biometric time clocks and advanced mobile time tracking with GPS and more. Tell us about your time theft problems, and ask how we can help.