How To Stop Employee Time Theft

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

Most employers would probably like to think that they can trust their employees and employees will be honest for the most part. However, we can never be entirely sure that the people working for us won’t take advantage if given the opportunity. Indeed, a study showed that 43% of employees who have filled in timesheets had exaggerated the length of time they worked. Studies have also shown that around $400 billion is lost every year in lost productivity in the United States, further highlighting the need to address the problem.

Employee time theft comes in several types, and not all of them are necessarily deliberate. Some of the most common include: 

  • Charging for time spent on personal tasks
  • Buddy punching is a practice that involves an employee’s co-worker punching in for them despite the employee not being at work. Buddy punching alone is thought to cost approximately $373 million alone every year
  • Employees deliberately adding extra time to their worksheets
  • Employees not clocking out for breaks
  • Field employees claiming to have been working but performing other tasks, or even staying at home instead
  • Accidentally overestimating time worked.

Time theft is a real problem for many companies, especially in times of uncertainty. However, one of the most significant difficulties companies face regarding employee theft is that it’s challenging to detect. Managers cannot monitor all employees at all times, especially where field workers are concerned, and honest errors can be particularly difficult to identify. However, you can take some steps to overcome the issue.

Establish Clear Policies

One way you can help overcome some of the issues is to put a deterrent in place. Your managers can let employees know that they’re aware of problems like buddy punching and that employees will be reprimanded if caught doing so. The act of bringing up the topic alone can avoid complacency among employees and deter them from punching in for friends. Make sure to be polite and respectful when reminding your employees about your policies, but also make sure that you’re firm. Acting on indiscretions will help to send the message that you will not tolerate time theft.  

Educate Management

Quite often, the signs of time theft are right in front of us, but we won’t spot them if we don’t know what we’re looking for. For example, what might appear to be a case of an employee working later than others could easily mean that they’re not being honest about their time sheet. After all, it’s a lot easier to be dishonest on your time sheets when there’s nobody around because they’ve already gone home for the day.

Educate Employees

In many cases, time theft might be down to misunderstandings that you can easily clear up with simple communication. You should also make it clear to employees when it’s reasonable for them to record to add time and when it isn’t. You can also educate your employees on the potential harm that time theft can cause businesses, potentially even placing their jobs and their colleagues’ jobs at risk.

Use Time Tracking Software

Software like the PK4 TimeTracker will help to ensure that time is tracked accurately and fairly. For example, the buddy punching system won’t work with time tracking software because employees have to be logged into their computers or on their own mobile devices to track time. The system also helps prevent forms from being filled in erroneously, while it also helps management see which tasks their employees have been working on.

Time tracking software will also help ensure time is recorded accurately for field workers. The time tracking app can record an employee’s location through GPS, so you know they were in the right place. The software is also easy for employees and managers to use, while reviewing and approving timesheets is also made simple, further helping to ensure accurately recorded time. 

Overall, time tracker software will help to empower teams to work better and be more productive. Time sheets will more accurately reflect work that has been done while also giving management access to helpful information such as how much time employees spent on particular tasks. Such information will help management see if time is being spent effectively, helping them make their teams more productive while also helping to reduce frustrations.

 

 

6 Reasons Why Time Tracking Is Important For Your Business

6 Reasons Why Time Tracking Is Important For Your Business

Let’s face it – time tracking isn’t easy. It doesn’t come naturally for most people, and you may be afraid that your employees won’t be open to the idea. But even if it looks tedious at first, it’s a habit that, once enforced, will bring tremendous benefits for your business.

Time tracking is more than just checking on individual employees – it creates a complex picture of how your projects are doing, and it even helps you determine whether you’re charging what your business is worth.

Here are 6 reasons why adopting time tracking is important in most lines of work:

1. Time tracking helps spot productivity issues.

Tracking your employees’ time is the best way to track their behavior and spot potential problems. With the help of a simple product like the  Time Tracker, you can identify who’s late, who’s going on breaks more than they should, or taking too many sick days.

Going into the specifics, you can easily check how much time your employees spend on their assigned tasks and make sure that they’re actually doing something productive.

Which leads us to our next point: measuring time is just the first step – it’s how your employees spend that time that matters.

2. Time tracking helps management find employees who are open to new tasks.

So your employees have come into the office, they’ve punched their virtual cards – but are they really there to do the work? It’s easy to waste time and hide behind easy tasks instead of tackling challenging projects.

This is where your task management skills come in. It’s your job to discover those employees with light workloads, and time tracking software will allow you to see what your workers are doing. With one glance, you can get an idea of who is working on essential tasks and who isn’t and reprioritize to fit your new goals.

3. Time tracking ensures fair payroll.

When handling payroll, you have to be careful about many things: overtime, paid leave, paid or unpaid breaks, etc. Nobody likes to be exploited, and without time tracking in place, it’s nearly impossible to pay your employees fairly: either them or your business will suffer.

Time tracking software takes a lot of the guesswork out of payroll and streamlines many management and HR processes.

4. With time tracking in place, you can bill clients accurately.

Is your business strategy based on “guesstimations”? When charging their clients, many business owners scratch their heads and estimate a value that would be good for the company and satisfactory for the client.

But is this number based on actual data?

With time tracking, you’ll have a detailed record of your work. Based on this record, you can accurately bill your client with an invoice that reflects your efforts. Should any arguments arise, you can show your client the actual work that went into the project.

5. Time tracking helps you make better estimates for future projects.

Estimating how much time and effort should go into specific projects is a tricky business. Even if you have solid work experience, you might still end up overloading your team with extra work and exceeding the costs and hours assigned for a project.

Clients change their minds, and unexpected problems derail projects all the time. However, you can still significantly improve your project estimates and learn from your mistakes by tracking the time spent on specific tasks and projects and making adjustments for future similar work.

6. Time tracking will enable you to quote fair prices.

Once you go through all the steps above and analyze your company’s budget and expenses, you may realize that you’re charging far too little for your company’s products or services.

That may sting at first – but it’s for the best. Your employees’ time is costing you, so why not have better rates that reflect your company’s efforts? With time tracking, you’ll find that charging more is evidence-based, rather than just covering black holes intuitively.

More profit and happy employees? Yes, please.

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, time tracking is all about creating new opportunities. When areas that need improvement are staring you right in the face, it’s easy to take steps for better productivity.

Enabling your employees to log their time may need some troubleshooting at first, but rest assured that you can always make the necessary adjustments inside our Time Tracker for when workers forget to log in or enter the wrong data. So embrace the process, and watch how time tracking transforms your business.

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

Are your employees committed, motivated and efficient? Or do you have to be that annoying boss constantly breathing down their neck?

Whether you like it or not, accountability is at the core of how things get done in the workplace. And if your team is lacking in accountability, you’ll have to fix it first thing. When people don’t care enough to take responsibility, this lousy attitude will spread to all aspects of your business.

But sometimes, a lack of accountability isn’t always the employee’s fault. It could be yours. Our 6 tips will help you identify where you can improve as a manager to have accountable, superstar employees.

1. Involve your employees in defining project goals

An intriguing study from Gallup states that more than half of employees don’t know what’s expected of them at work. Managers fail to clearly explain tasks and help employees set goals. And to make it worse, many employees don’t feel comfortable approaching their boss for help or assistance.

But if you create the kind of environment where you empower your team, the work atmosphere instantly changes. When setting goals for a project, ask your team if the goals are attainable and realistic and discuss a deadline that works for them and the company.

It’s easy for your team to stay accountable when they’ve been involved in the decision-making process.

2. Perfect your prioritization skills

Unclear priorities are just as bad as unclear tasks. When employees start pointing fingers, all accountability goes down the drain.

If you’re in a state of constantly putting out fires at work, you have to accept that you can’t do everything – and neither can your employees. So learn to focus on the most important things.

Work on your prioritization skills and allow more time than you normally would for important tasks because we often tend to grossly underestimate how long they take. Your team will stop feeling like they’re constantly behind, and this will boost their confidence and productivity levels.

3. Establish trust and empower your team

There’s nothing worse than a micromanaging boss. So don’t be that guy (or gal). Here’s how you can change your team management style for the better:

  • Balance your “constructive” criticism with praise
  • Acknowledge your own mistakes – hold yourself accountable
  • Lead by example

The best way to empower your team is to give them the freedom to solve problems in their own way. Allow for flexibility over their schedule, and you’ll have motivated employees that feel trusted and appreciated.

Especially during this time of widespread remote work, allowing your team to log work hours manually will encourage them to get things done on their own terms. You can do this, and much more, with our PK4 TimeTracker.

4. Leverage attendance and scheduling software

Another way to increase accountability in the workplace is through the use of attendance and scheduling software. Hold your employees accountable and make sure they arrive on time and work on what they’re supposed to be working.

Using a product like the PK4 TimeTracker can help you achieve this in a number of ways:

  • The Clock In (Kiosk mode) serves as a virtual time punching tool;
  • Workers with flexible schedules can log their hours within the time tracker app using the Check-In / Check-Out to mark the beginning and end of a work session;
  • As a team leader, you can easily manage your team’s project inside Time Tracker’s project management tool and approve or reject timesheets.

5. Keep an eye on your team and follow up frequently

Setting goals is exciting, but that’s just the beginning. Your role as a team leader will include checking with your team frequently.

Maybe you have a bad apple in your team – a toxic employee that’s bringing everybody down and hurting the team’s accountability. Or perhaps one of your employees is falling behind because of personal issues at home. It’s your duty to be aware of all these things.

Follow-up is essential to a project’s success, and many employees are happy to have their manager follow up on their tasks. It gives them a chance to ask questions or show off their progress.

6. Give honest feedback

If you’re the kind of manager who hates confrontation, you won’t like giving honest feedback to your employees. Because, inevitably, some of your employees will need some tough love.

But if you get over your nerves, you’ll soon learn that providing frequent and candid feedback will make you a better manager. Show your employees where they can improve, but try to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Your team members will act more accountable if they feel like their boss genuinely cares about their success.

Accountability isn’t just about owning your mistakes. It’s about taking responsibility for your work, knowing your role in the company, and proactively striving to get better. The best way to inspire accountability within your team is to practice it yourself.