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.

 

 

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

Timesheets help to ensure that you pay employees accurately. They help ensure that you’re not overpaying while also allowing employees to get a fair salary. As valuable as timesheets are, however, there is quite a lot of work involved in processing them, making project management harder. For example, time sheet approval is often a manual, time-consuming process, especially if you need to check and correct errors.

The good news is that thanks to PK4 TimeTracker, time review and approval is now made easier than ever before. The easy to use platform makes time sheet approval faster and easier than traditional methods while also helping to eliminate or at least reduce some of the other drawbacks.

Traditional Timesheet Tracking Methods

Over the years, companies have tried numerous team management methods regarding tracking, reviewing, and approving timesheets. Unfortunately, these methods have numerous flaws that can result in you putting many hours into the time review and approval process. Some of these flaws include:

  • Employees forgetting to complete timesheets
  • Employees deliberately filling in the wrong details
  • Dishonest practices like ‘buddy punching’
  • Lost timesheets
  • Difficulty verifying information
  • Difficulty reading handwriting
  • High paper use
  • Employees forgetting badges and punch cards etc.
  • Employees having to queue to use punch cards and similar.

Many of these problems are reduced or even eliminated with time management tools like the PK4 TimeTracker, however.

Time Tracking Software

The PK4 TimeTracker is a powerful yet easy to use time tracking platform that makes it easier for employees to record working hours clearly and accurately. With the data stored safely in Salesforce,  it is a lot easier to work with. And the software provides a range of helpful project management features that take a lot of the work out of time review and approval.

Easily Verifiable Hours

The PK4 platform has team management features that help make it easy for managers to verify that employees were working according to their timesheets. For example, geo-tracking technology will let managers know that employees were in the location they were supposed to be.

Timesheets are Not Lost

With data recorded digitally and synced in real time to Salesforce (for the mobile and web apps), companies no longer have to overcome problems caused by lost timesheets. The information is also available immediately in real-time, instead of waiting for employees to bring their timesheets to the office.

Easy to Read

Because your employees record everything digitally, timesheets created with the PK4 TimeTracker are easy to read. Gone are issues over not being able to read somebody’s handwriting and problems such as paper documents becoming ruined.

Human Error

People make mistakes; they can also forget to track time, and a study has shown that just over 25% of people never track time reading or answering emails. The PK4 TimeTracker software helps to reduce human error both from the employee and from the person reviewing and approving the timesheet.

Reduced Paper Usage

You won’t have to use any paper when working with digital time trackers. A paperless system will help reduce your costs in the long term while also helping you do your part for the environment.

Additional Tools and Functionality

Time tracking software will also help the time review and time sheet approval process in other ways. With the PK4 TimeTracker, project management has all the information it needs right in front of them on a single screen. Timesheets can be approved with the click of a button or sent back to the employee for amendments if required, with a message stating why the timesheet has been returned.

The PK4 time sheet approval software works seamlessly inside Salesforce, helping to keep all relevant data in a single location. Additionally, users that don’t use Salesforce can still use the PK4 TimeTracker web app OR mobile app OR the Chrome Extension for employees to track their time. This is especially great for time tracking for employees working out in the field. All these timesheet entries are also directly synced to Salesforce for analysis, reporting and integration with payroll and invoicing.

The benefits of using PK4 TimeTracker don’t end there, either. For example, for people tracking time within Salesforce, you can install lightning components where a timer starts automatically when employees start working on a specific record. The timesheet can also be broken down in terms of which tasks the employee was working on. Comprehensive reports are also available, and dashboards that help to make it easy to see relevant details at a glance.

Overall, the PK4 TimeTracker offers an impressive array of functionality and streamlining the work involved and helping to reduce time sheet approval errors and other problems. Check out how simple it is to enter, review and approve time with this powerful yet easy to use platform.

5 workplace time wasters (and how to eliminate them)

5 workplace time wasters (and how to eliminate them)

Time wasters at workIf you think of your workplace as an obstacle course filled with distractions, you’re not alone. Between long meetings, emails, social platform notifications, alerts from your mobile phone, and loud colleagues, most of us are inundated with potential time-wasters. But the killer is not just the distraction, it’s how much time it takes to get your focus back on the task at hand. According to a UC Irvine study, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to where you left off, after an interruption. Honestly, it’s a wonderful work gets done at all!

But maximizing your productivity at work can mean the difference between leaving at a reasonable time or being endlessly chained to your desk. Work-life balance is important to maintain your sanity and actually have a life outside work. So let’s identify some of the biggest time wasters in the workplace and see how we can address them.

Time Waster # 1: Email

We’ve all become addicted to email. It’s a great way of asynchronous

Too much email

Too much email

communication. Chances are checking email is the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to bed. But emails can also lead to lots of unnecessary back-and-forth communication that wastes time. And with trigger-happy Reply All co-workers, your Inbox is probably full all the time!

Solution:

  • If it’s something that needs to be discussed, talk face to face with the person and get the issue resolved.
  • If you can’t do face to face, then call them on the phone and get the issue sorted out.
  • Follow the call with a quick email detailing what you discussed.
  • If you are not the person to whom the email is addressed, set it aside for later.
  • Check emails at specific times during the day. Respond to urgent ones quickly. Set aside others and Reply All emails to be dealt with at a later time.

Hack: If you are not the person to whom the email is addressed (you have only been CC:d), then don’t feel obliged to respond. Use the same logic when you send out emails too.

Time Waster #2: Meetings

Meandering Meetings

Meandering Meetings

Meetings can be a huge time-sink. And if they are poorly planned and executed, then they are doubly so.  Doodle (an online scheduling service) just released the results of its study of 19 million meetings in the US, UK, and Germany. The cost of poorly organized meetings just in the US in 2019 is estimated at $ 399 billion.

Solution:

  • Make sure that every meeting host has a set agenda to be discussed and that it’s distributed to attendees before the meeting starts.
  • Talk to the meeting host and ask why you should attend. If you feel that someone else from your team would be able to contribute more to the task at hand, then get them to go and give you an update.
  • If you are hosting the meeting, make sure that everything is set up and visual aids are up and running before people walk into the meeting.

Hack: Set up all your meetings to be stand-ups. Schedule them for 20-30 minutes. Very little chance that they’ll go over. 🙂

Time Waster # 3: Smartphones and Social distractions

Smartphones enable us to be more connected and tuned in. But it also comes

Social distractions on your phone

Social distractions on your phone

with a built-in productivity sink. US adults spent an average of 3 hours 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018. Recent research shows that 58% of staff spend at least 4 hours per week on non-work websites. That’s a lot of your work time that’s going into unproductive stuff.

Solution: 

  • Turn off all notifications on your phone during work hours. Believe me, you’ll get a lot more done.
  • If you can’t resist checking your social media accounts every 5 minutes, block them.
  • Give yourself a proper lunch-break. Use that time to check all your social media accounts and non-work websites, without feeling guilty about it.

Hack: Put your phone face down when you’re working. Stops all calls and notifications. Most smartphones let you set up some numbers (family) that will still ring when your phone is face down. But all other distractions will stop.

Time Waster #4: Chatty coworkers and a noisy office

It’s hard not to talk to colleagues. After all, you spend 40 hours (perhaps more)

Chatty coworkers

Chatty coworkers

with them every week. But chatting with colleagues is one of the biggest time wasters. And with open plan offices, even if you aren’t chatting, the noise of others chatting, laughter, phone ring-tones can all contribute to stopping you from staying focused.

Solution:

  • See if you can move or work in an empty conference area/room when you need to do focused work.
  • Limit banter to lunchtime or break time.
  • If possible, see if you can work remotely when you have important things to complete.

Hack: Wear headphones while you work. Signals to your coworkers that you are busy and they’ll only disturb you if it’s work-related and important. Also, several studies state that listening to calming sounds like flowing water or rain can help you focus.

Time Waster #5: Failed multi-tasking

You probably think that multitasking makes you more productive. But the reality

Failed multi-tasking

Failed multi-tasking

is very different. Studies have consistently proved that the majority of people have lower performance when trying to do multiple tasks. So if you find yourself juggling 3 or more tasks at a time, it’s time to reevaluate your work habits.

Solution:

  • Spend some time creating a daily task list that promotes single-tasking.
  • Prioritize and then break up your day accordingly.  If possible, assign a set time to do each task, based on importance.
  • Complete one task before moving on to the next.

Hack: Put specific tasks at specific times on your calendar (phone/desktop/paper). Make sure that you do the tasks at those times.

While each one of these time wasters probably doesn’t seem that serious, collectively they can be a huge drain on your productivity and work time. They can prevent you from focusing on real work, causing you to stay late, or taking unfinished work home to your family. I hope this list helps you identify your personal time-wasters. And gives you some pointers on how you can get more quality time with your family and on things that you really enjoy. Good luck! And do share your tricks to eliminate time wasters.