Be it in small or big company, businesses are at risk of suffering from significant financial loss from employee time theft. As the name suggests, time theft refers to a concept when employees still receive payment for the time they have not actually put in for work-related matters. According to Software Advice, companies could give away up to $400 billion in lost productivity because of time theft per year.
Time theft can be hard to detect as it comes in many forms and levels of severity. Among the most common acts of time theft include rounding/leniency, timesheet fraud, buddy punching, late starts, early finishes, long breaks, and other personal activities. A survey revealed that there are 43 percent employees exaggerated hours worked. The average time employee steals from company is 50 minutes to 4.5 hours per week by showing up late, leaving early, or taking extended breaks or lunches.
Not only affecting business productivity and inflicting financial loss, time theft can hamper your company culture and can be demoralizing for employees. Here’s how you can minimise time theft.
Punch clocks –
Using time or punch clock can accurately record employees’ accountability and punctuality. It tells you clearly when their work day begins and ends. However, punch clock gives your employee chance of doing buddy punching and thus it does not improve their morale or engagement towards their job.
You can use this app to keep a check on whether the employees are showing up late or leaving early. Biometrics will scan your workers’ retina or fingerprint so you will get an accurate time tracking for your employee. This device will prevent an occurrence of time card fraud and “buddy punching” when an employee clock in for another absent employee.
Biometric time clocks are the most effective way to prevent time theft, yet they are less utilised time tracking method due to its expensive cost. Moreover, this app does not always work and can cause employee frustration.
Internet monitoring software –
Using this software will allow you to trace what your employees are doing with their computer. It can detect how often your employee work on their projects based on their online status or how active their computer is. It also shows you what and when non-work-related browsing happens.
If you want to purchase one, you should use it wisely as monitoring too much of your employees computer can cause a lack of trust. Thus, it might decrease your employees’ morale. Not to mention, it is also quite expensive app to purchase.
Time theft awareness program –
The last thing you can do is to increase employees’ awareness about time theft. You can encourage communication and motivate your employee to strive in improving job performance and punctuality. In this case, not only you can increase your employees’ productivity, but you make them feel satisfied and contented of being nurtured by their leader. If possible, you should do this session regularly once in six months or once in a month. It helps them remember and will likely not continue to round their hours.
All in all, time theft can cost you many if you do not know how to manage it accordingly. The tips above have its own advantage and disadvantage, you can choose which suits your company best. Moreover, if you do not want your employee to feel that they are being micromanaged because you always keep an eye on them, you should give them a little freedom so they can do the best in their job. Always manage your employee to be what you want is bad for their well-being and can induce stress.