Employee time theft is a reality of any business. This can take the form of anything from falsifying hours, handling personal business while on the clock, or partake in “buddy punching,” which is when an employee clocks in or out for a friend who is not on site yet. This can be done through sharing an employee code used to clock in, or by giving another employee your badge to scan. Sometimes employees don’t even realize that they are misusing company time by doing things such as checking their social media accounts or making personal calls. A staggering forty-three percent of hourly workers have admitted to exaggerating their hours worked during their shift. With nearly half of the hourly workforce admitting to this, employers need to know how to combat it. The first step of doing this is being aware of what the most common methods of committing time theft are.
Forms of Time Theft
While there are the obvious forms of time theft such as punching in early, staying late, or simply exaggerating your hours worked, there are other ways employees steal time that might not be as apparent at first. According to Software Advice, the average employee steals anywhere from fifty minutes to 4.5 hours per week by showing up late, leaving early, and taking extended breaks and lunches. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, it definitely adds up over time. 25% of employees who admit to committing time theft say they do so for about 75 to 100% of their shifts.
There are a number of ways you can track employee hours, and of those methods, not one of them works for every business across the board. However, they each contribute to time theft in their own way. Of these, the largest method used to steal company time is punching in through an online web portal, with nearly 40% of employees using this tactic. The runner up for time theft is mounted wall clocks, which comes in at 18%. Paper forms account for 17% of those who are exaggerating their hours. Coming in last are mobile devices at 10%, paper punch cards at 5%, and biometric clocks at 3%. With those numbers, you can clearly see that biometric clocks are a smart option when looking to decrease employee time theft.
The Value of Biometric Clocks
Employers who utilize time and attendance software with biometric clocks are best protected against employee time theft. Only 3% of employees who punch in with biometric clocks report that they were able to steal time through this method. The reason biometric clocks are so effective in preventing employee time theft is because they eliminate the ability to “buddy punch”. Biometric clocks require a punch using methods such as reading your finger or face. As you can imagine, it is nearly impossible to punch someone else in if they are not present.
Once you have identified the time theft occurring in your business, you can start taking the steps necessary to cut back on it. Introducing biometric time clocks is a great start, but you can also implement policies that track personal time while your employees are on the clock. Of course, it’s unrealistic to demand your employees never take a personal call or check their emails, but by cutting back even a little on some of that wasted time can show drastic improvements on your company overall.
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