How to Prevent Time Theft In The Workplace

52453381_s.jpgEmployee time theft is a major problem for businesses of all shapes and sizes. From flubbing their timesheets to browsing social media, it’s all too easy for workers to steal your most valuable asset as a business owner: time.

The good news is there are new technologies that make it difficult, if not impossible, for staff members to get away with time theft. If you’re diligent about working to prevent it, you could save yourself a lot of wasted money and productivity. Here are 5 simple ways to stop time thieves in the workplace. 

Do Away with Outdated Systems

Manual tracking systems like paper timesheets (and even punch cards) are relatively easy to manipulate. When writing, or typing in their times by hand, employees can simply round to the nearest low or high number to tilt the time worked in their favor. Similarly, when using a timeclock, an employee can use the excuse of losing a time clock or system malfunction to get away with clocking in late. In addition, “buddy punching” is a common occurrence where one employee punches in for another, without one of them actually being at work. To prevent dishonest practices, update your system and get rid of manual tracking all together.

Take Advantage of Technology

From marketing practices to customer interactions, modern technology has changed the way people do business. However, many companies fail to use the latest technology within their businesses.

For an accurate, theft-proof time tracking system, consider using biometrics. Things like retinal scans and fingerprints accurately track employee hours and prevent buddy punching, saving organizations from lost productivity.

Limit Internet Access

Browsing social media, checking personal emails and playing online games are huge distractions for employees. Even the most well-intentioned worker can be swayed when hopping on the internet.

Most likely, internet access is a necessity for your team, but there are ways to better control browsing activity. By blocking certain websites on work computers, you can help keep staff members honest.

Monitor Personal Calls

Making personal phone calls at work has always been frowned upon, but with the availability of cell phones, it has become increasingly common. Situations do occasionally arise when an employee truly needs to make a personal call (whether it be about a sick child or other pressing matter) that’s why it’s important to offer a solution to employees without risking time theft.

Consider implementing a rule that all urgent calls be made through the company phone. Allowing emergency-only calls on the company phones eliminates the need for cell phones to be out while staff members are working, thus preventing the temptation of time theft.

Be Clear about Consequences

In order to effectively get rid of time-sucking employee actions, there needs to be tangible consequences. Implement guidelines and rules that make it crystal clear there will be repercussions for time theft. Add these statements to your employee handbook, post them in the break room, make them known. Time theft isn’t going anywhere unless you do something about it. With these tips, employers can certainly lower time theft behavior and increase productivity significantly.

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