Employees are the backbone of any business and hence deserve our utmost trust. But sometimes some employees take undue advantage of this trust and try to make money at the expense of the company’s resources. Employee time theft is one of these menaces.
What is Employee Time Theft?
Employee Time Theft occurs when employees get paid for work which they didn’t actually do. There are many ways in which such time thefts occur. Time Clock theft occurs when employees manipulate their entry/exit times. Extended breaks are also a type of time theft when people prolong their break times by a considerable amount. Many employees also do their personal tasks during office hours, which also count as time theft.
Now that we know what employee time theft is, let’s see how we can tackle them:
Keep an eye on employees
Most managers and supervisors think it beneath themselves to check upon their employees; this couldn’t be more wrong. Among its numerous benefits is the ability to prevent time theft. By checking upon the employees randomly and periodically, you can see if the employees are present during office hours and aren’t doing anything unrelated to their job. It is important to not overdo this otherwise employees tend to consider it intrusive and distracting. Just be vigilant enough to notify the employees that you are overseeing them.
Make it common knowledge
Preventing time theft is not a confidential operation; on the contrary, making it public would do more good. You must have a talk with your employees about how much worth your time is for the company and how it is being stolen, often unintentionally. Employees must be made to realize that when they steal work hours, it has a tangible effect on everyone else in the unit. Also, inform employees about the consequences of getting caught in time theft and let them ponder if it is worth the risk. Such talk might seem patronizing but have shown to impact employees positively. As a side note, you can also consider posting notifications around the office about the same.
Make rules and act upon them
It is important to have a clear set of rules (and penalties) in case of time theft. But despite all the rules and regulations, it is natural to expect some people to violate it. What should you do when that happens? Well, the correct way to go about it is taking disciplinary actions. Letting go of such violations would only encourage the violators and others to repeat the offence. However, it is important to not be too strict, else the employees are bound to form grudges against the company. Generally a gradual progression is suggested you begin with a verbal warning, followed by a written warning, and finally a suspension. If the employee continues to repeat it, you have the justification to terminate him.
Use tools and software
There is only so much you could achieve through your vigilance and your trust in your employees. Fortunately, there are certain tools and software that could aid you a lot in preventing time theft. For example, ETApp is an app that manages the timesheet of employees and generates smart reports. These reports are “smart” because they come with actionable insights; like which employees had been consistently coming late, leaving early or running behind their required work hours. With such insights, it becomes very easy for you to identify the violators and take actions upon them. Most of this software and tools integrate easily with your existing framework, making them easy-to-use.
Employee time theft not only costs your capital but also lowers the productivity of your organization. However, with some efforts and the right steps, you can put a stop to this issue.
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