Payroll is one of the bigger expenses that employers have to deal with, and if you’re paying too much, it could seriously impact your profitability. And losses hurt your employees too – if you’re losing money where you shouldn’t be, you may not be able to fund raises or bonuses that could make a big difference to your employees. That’s why it’s to everyone’s benefit to cut down on time theft. Time theft is what happens when employers pay employees for time that they aren’t spending on work, and it can cost thousands or tens of thousands a year. Studies show that the average employee steals around four and a half hours per week. Take a look at what you can do to prevent time theft in your company.
Reconsider Your Timekeeping Strategies
Does your timekeeping process allow employees to steal time? Technology can help.
The first thing that you can do to stop time theft in your company is to take a look at how you’re keeping track of the hours your employees work. Time theft is a crime of opportunity, and some methods of timekeeping provide more opportunity than others.
For example, when employees can just write down their time on time sheets, they have ample opportunity to put in any times they like. Punch cards are better, but they still allow for one employee to punch in or out for a coworker, which still results in you paying wages for employees who aren’t actually there. Consider using biometric time clocks that clock employees in and out with a fingerprint. This gives you accurate times and ensures that your employees have to be physically present to be clocked in.
Use Monitoring Tools
Monitoring tools can keep your employees on task and provide you with valuable input.
You can ensure that your employees are present and clocked in, but how do you ensure that they’re working when they’re on your time? Much time theft occurs when employees take unsanctioned breaks, get distracted by the internet or their phones, or have downtime because they simply don’t have enough work.
Monitoring tools can help give you an idea of how your employees are using their time on the clock. You can install software on computers, tablets, and phones that can track your employee’s actions so that you can see when they’re working and when they’re not. This allows you to retrain or discipline employees who are slacking, easily distracted, or managing their time poorly. It also gives you the information you need to review how you give assignments – you may find that some employees simply aren’t being given enough work and have excessive downtime, while others are overloaded. When you’re aware of that, you’ll be able to spread assignments out more evenly, which means that work will be done more efficiently.
Treat Employees Fairly
Employees who are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated have more incentive to steal time than employees who feel that they’re valued, paid fairly, and held to reasonable expectations are less likely to try to get away with things.
Inform your employees about timekeeping, attendance, and monitoring policies up front. Make your expectations clear. Give your employees opportunities to give input about tasks or aspects of the company that they’re struggling with. Monitor your managers and supervisors, and make sure that they aren’t setting a bad example by taking overlong breaks and lunches or dumping their work on junior employees. Management sets the tone for the rest of the workforce, and junior employees will follow their lead.