It may not seem like much, but employee time theft impacts your business in a big way. Unlike stationary or office ware theft, time theft is difficult to detect and quantify. It may be the employee who walks into the office 10 minutes late every day because of traffic or the one who occasionally has to leave early to attend to emergencies.
Time theft is when an employee gets paid for the time they haven’t worked. Every industry is affected by employee time theft. This problem is even more difficult to manage as employees work from home.
Spotting and stopping employee time theft is key to realizing better margins and increased overall performance. This simple guide will teach you how to detect and stop employee time theft. Keep reading.
How to Spot Time Theft
As we said, it is not easy to spot time theft. However, certain tools can help you detect when the problem gets out of hand.
These tools will certainly not be foolproof and as such, do not offer 100% time theft detection. All the same, having one or two is better than having none at all.
We can only list a few tools that have been tested and proven to work. The weekly timesheet logbook is a simple and cheap way to monitor employee clock in and clock out times. With proper manning and a bit of honesty, it can tell which employees come in late or leave early.
Employers can also use CCTV footage to spot time theft. Other than these, several applications detect time theft.
Finally, you can implement cloud-based employee monitoring applications such as Soft Activity that routinely checks on idle time, social media usage, and log-on times.
It is infuriating to discover an employee is getting paid for hours, not work. Naturally, you would want to confront them and maybe issue a stern warning. However, this is not advisable.
Sometimes time theft happens innocently. An employee might take a few minutes to answer a non-work-related call or pay a bill.
In some instances, there may be rampant time theft stemming from unresolved work issues. How you approach such a situation will play a big role in resolving the problem.
Communicate with your employees to fully grasp the situation. Avoid being combative or issuing threats. Get to the bottom of the issue by communicating with the concerned employee. Be clear about what you expect of them regarding time management.
However, you may have to opt for stern actions if time theft becomes malicious.
Invest in Monitoring Tools
An employee might get to work on time but spend more than an hour doing non-work-related tasks on their computer. The best way to nip such behaviors is by using monitoring software tools.
While at it, it’s important to understand that a lot of employees will not be happy about having a ‘spyware’ look at their activity. To prevent collisions and encourage compliance, inform the employee about it. Let them know it is in their interest and that of the company that their activities during work hours are monitored.
These tools do more than monitor if the employee is logged on and working. Some send alerts on social media usage and the duration spent on given tasks.
Link Payroll with Time and Attendance
The most effective way of stopping time theft is by linking payroll to employee monitoring software. If you have an accurate system, your employees will be paid based on actual work hours.
Employees will take it upon themselves to put in real work hours to earn a better wage at the end of the month. The best thing about it is that it frees the employer from constantly monitoring employee activities.
Have it in employees’ Interest
Your business can save a lot by curbing time theft. You can use part of the savings to motivate your employees. Offer them a raise or get them gifts. In doing this, your employees will take it upon themselves to do real work during work hours.
Additionally, you will be creating a workforce that is motivated to work. This will save you from unnecessary supervision work.
Employee time theft is a rampant yet overlooked aspect in the workplace. Losses can run up to thousands of dollars if not managed.
The bad news is it can be so hard to detect and quantify employee time theft. But with the help of modern tools and savvy management skills, you can quickly detect idle hours and non-work-related activities and ultimately stop time theft. Good luck!