5 Ways to Prevent Time Theft in the Workplace

By Vivianna Saldanha
Biometric

Time theft is a common issue for many modern businesses, especially those that place their trust in remote employees who spend much of their working day under no supervision and away from the workplace. This blog addresses how time theft can be reduced in the workplace, thanks to a mixture of innovative clocking systems and management techniques.

Install time and attendance software

There are many ways of tracking time and attendance, the most popular options being the following:
Spreadsheets
Mobile Attendance
Badges and ID’s
Desktop Attendance
Biometric Time Clocks

Although some of these methods are better than others, the truth is that they all work to achieve the same goal — track an employee’s time and attendance.
Businesses that have no methods of checking and verifying the hours that their remote staff have worked are leaving themselves wide open to time theft. Time and attendance solutions are crucial in ensuring that employees aren’t attending to personal matters on work time; they help to guarantee that employees are only paid what they have earned, and they also help to keep track of things like regular absence, patterns of productivity and other factors that can help identify time theft.

Open lines of communication between all staff
It may seem obvious, but telling your employees all your rules and expectations will prevent time theft. Employers must be clear on the expectations and company policies that their team must adhere to when out working remotely. Teach them how to punch in and out, how to request time off, and if you have a points system make sure they are aware and understand the consequences. Likewise, if employees have a problem, they must also feel they can talk to the management about it rather than attempting to disguise it with time theft.

Improve accountability at work
Sometimes managers will let employees avoid accountability at work because they dislike confrontation. But a lack of individual accountability is bad all around. This links in with performance management; employees often need to be incentivised to be accountable for what they do at work. This means setting targets, monitoring goals and making employees feel like they are part of a team. If they feel they are not going to hit their targets, or if they feel they are ‘letting the side down’, they are less likely to indulge in time theft and more likely to become productive members of the workforce.

Be understanding
Employers need to understand that everyone needs a rest now and then. Their team will function better if they are not working their hands to the bone, and productivity will rise if break structures are flexible. If employees are aware that they can take breaks and relax when they need to, they will be less likely to use company time to recharge their batteries.
A one-off break or timesheet fudge of five or 10 minutes might not make much of a difference, but repeated offenses, added up over weeks and months, can make a major dent in a company’s bottom line.

Do away with paperwork
Human error is actually one of the most common reasons for time theft – making mistakes on hand-written timesheets can end up costing businesses thousands and it can all be put down to a simple lack of concentration from one staff member. Switch to an automated electronic system that keeps track of everything and frees up valuable time in the HR department.

When it is time to reconsider your time and attendance options, keep in mind that having an online, cloud-based software is the best option. As for the actual time tracking method, again, I recommend using biometric time clocks. PulseHRM’s time and attendance software allows hours to automatically and seamlessly flow into payroll, which means no dual entry between platforms. PulseHRM also offers multiple input options such as biometric time clocks, mobile punching, web punching and PC punching to collect time.

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