How to Eliminate Buddy Punching

53953713_s.jpgAlmost 19 percent of employees admit that they’ve buddy punched a coworker, Nucleus Research shows. This activity, as innocent as it may seem, accounts for 2.2 percent of payroll losses and nearly 75 percent of all companies are affected, the American Payroll Association reports. 

Through buddy punching, employees “steal” about 4.5 hours per week. These statistics show just how detrimental for productivity buddy punching is. As an employer, you may be wondering whether a suitable option exists for eliminating the behavior. The good news is that you have several good approaches to try.

Choose Biometrics
A manual punch system is outdated and ineffective. Going for a newer piece of equipment will give you access to measures against buddy punching that are highly effective. Biometric scanning is one of them. 

Biometric clocks, as these devices are known, require a fingerprint or a face scan. This scan takes place every time an employee wants to punch in or out. Needless to say, biometric data is unique to every single person. Relying on such technology makes it virtually impossible for a person to punch in or out for somebody else.

While biometric scanning may seem like science fiction, it’s already here and the technology is becoming more and more affordable. Implementing such a system for attendance control will actually help you save money in the long run, maximizing the return on investment from the purchase.

Choose the Right Software
Apart from installing the right hardware to control attendance, you can avoid buddy punching through the selection of reliable software, as well.

Such programs are particularly beneficial for the human resources department. An attendance tracking program will analyze patterns in punching in and out to detect abnormalities. It will eliminate manual labor and the risk of error that stems from it.

What’s even better, an automated management system will provide warnings about suspicious activity. Such a program can easily be paired with surveillance technology to paint a complete picture and identify the individuals who are guilty of buddy punching.

Back Technology up with the Right Policies
All of the technology in the world will be insufficient to eliminate buddy punching if you don’t have a zero tolerance policy in place.

Hardware and software will provide information about the behavior of employees and biometric scanning can be used to reduce faulty practices significantly. When a transgression occurs, however, it’s very important to act adequately and deal with the situation in an uncompromising way.

A warning the first time will be sufficient to let an employee know you’re aware of the situation. If a second transgression occurs, you’ll have to implement stricter measures. Fines and even termination may be required to enforce attendance rules.

Review Breaks and Overtime Rules
The final thing you can do is modify lunch break/overtime policies to provide workers with better incentives for avoiding buddy punching and fraud.

The length of the lunchbreak is very important. An hour-long lunchbreak, for example, may encourage tardiness. Instead, you may want to give employees two 30-minute long breaks. These are sufficient, plus they’ll encourage workers to stay in the building.

You may also want to review the company’s overtime policy. Instead of doing buddy punching, workers may report overtime work that they haven’t done in an attempt to increase their earnings. Make it impossible for people to change records. Also, implement an approval program for a significant increase in work hours. Overtime requests should be audited manually and if necessary, interviews should be conducted with the respective workers to discourage such forms of payroll fraud in the future.
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