Workplace dynamics are changing rapidly. Easy access to the internet, flexible work hours, and an ever-increasing number of a mobile workforce constitute modern work scene. As a result, employee time theft has emerged as a stumbling block for employers across the globe. Logging a few minutes late, escaping early, spending time on the internet, and socializing may not mean such a big deal to the employees. But can really add up as a liability for your business. Employee theft costs much more than the surface view of the problem. According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, approximately 75% of all employees steal from work in some way, and about 30% of all corporate bankruptcies are a direct result of employee theft.
This blog is an effort to explicate the reality of time theft and workable measures to reduce it employing advanced attendance and clocking systems.
By definition, time theft can be characterized as an employee being paid for work that they did not actually do, or for the time they were not working. Also known as, time stealing, time theft can happen in a lot of ways, few of which include:
Despite its pervasiveness, time theft is certainly preventable. Let's look at some of the possible solutions to nip this evil in the bud.
Honesty and open communication is always the best policy! Take your employees into confidence and tell them how time theft hurts your business. Welcome dialogue and openness between the management and the employees. An employee experiencing a time-related difficulty must feel comfortable in discussing it with the management, instead of opting for time theft. Ensure that your employees take full responsibility for clocking in and out when they arrive and leave work as well as when starting or ending their breaks. Reinforce by developing a clear and comprehensive time tracking program. This plan should clearly sketch how employees must record their time and the penalties for violating the policy.
Trust your employees, however, at the same time, device a thorough accountability framework. This will enable you to, at all times through the workday, be aware of your workforce's schedules and whereabouts. Accountability is a great tool for linking performance to incentives. Employees with clearly defined goals are more likely to act productively and refrain from indulging in time theft. A thorough system of accountability will include a proper reporting structure, devising employee-wise goals and targets and monitoring their performance. Establishing this type of accountability system becomes easier with a digital time and attendance solution. It automates a large number of tasks and automatically records all the time-related information.
As an employer, you welcome openness and are willing to address employees' time-related problems with an open mindset, you have set up proper performance goals. However, that’s not enough. You have to back these measures up with a sound time tracking policy which must be included in the employee handbook. Institute a clear time management policy that clearly outlines company expectations about clocking in and out, tardiness, break periods, as well as, social media and phone use. Make sure that the policy also includes disciplinary actions that will ensue the violation of the above rules. Last but not least, make certain that each employee acknowledges and signs this policy.
Old-fashioned and paper-based time tracking systems are a hotbed for time theft. Consider, a team lead with a large number of reports that includes some remote members also. It is almost impossible for them to know the exact time each report logs in and out of work. That is why more and more employers are switching to electronic attendance apps. These apps automatically monitor and record the hours worked by each employee each day, ascertaining that employees only receive the pay they have earned. Such type of digital time tracking solutions are not only extremely accurate but also make time theft impossible. Moreover, they track employee patterns like absence periods and peak productivity time.
Try the Nock App! It features a broad array of attendance related functions. These features include, but are not limited to, location-based attendance, leave management¸ employee profile builder, document manager, management's dashboard, in addition to reporting and team management. This cloud-based tool is ideal for all sorts of businesses. Say goodbye manual attendance registers by turning your smartphone into an attendance device and track any number of employees working across different locations.