Employee Time Theft and How You Can Stop It

BY Therese Pempeña Articles

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Employee Time Theft and How You Can Stop It

Time theft occurs when an employee is paid for any amount of time they haven’t actually worked. According to Forbes, the average employee steals approximately 4.5 hours per week from their employers. Although some workers admit to rounding up their hours on their timesheets or going on extended breaks, most time theft is not committed maliciously. For instance, an employee may have just forgotten to clock out for their break or put in the right numbers because your office tracks time manually.

Whether it’s done deliberately or not, time theft causes business around the world significant losses. In fact, a study claims that employers lose more than $400 billion per year. Worse still, most companies are not aware that this issue exists in the workplace. But fortunately for you, we’ve got some tips to help you reduce instances of time theft.

Implement Policies on Time Theft

Addressing a company-wide time theft problem has to start with policies. Is it included in your employee handbook or explained in the employment contract? To prevent time theft, intentional or not, businesses should analyze first all opportunities that can be exploited. Can employees alter their timesheets without approval of their superior? Do you have a clear policy on approving overtimes? Are there always lines forming on the way to the biometrics machine, delaying employees from clocking in or out on time? Once you’ve rooted out the issues, you can then begin to come up with rules and guidelines HR can implement.

Foolproof Time Data Collection

Errors are not uncommon when it comes to completing paper timesheets. And it’s sometimes not just the employee’s fault when hours go unaccounted for. Manual timekeeping causes problems for HR and accounting too. A Spark article advises employers to utilize big data to their advantage, using improved time data collection. If you’re still using manual means for timekeeping, consider upgrading to digital time-tracking solutions such as biometrics devices, web timesheets and mobile timesheets. Your choice should depend on the size and needs of your workforce as well as their technological capabilities.

Use Self-Service Platforms

While it may be HR’s task to see to the accuracy of attendance data, they’re not always able to recognize employee behavior as well as direct supervisors do. Using a mobile accessible self-service platform with your digital time-tracking solution of choice allows managers to participate in the efforts to validate time data. Even the workers themselves can see if there are discrepancies with actual attendance and recorded time data so they can be reported to HR. With enough time and information gathered, you can even reveal time theft trends by generating and analyzing payroll data.

Utilizing HR technology and putting strong policies in place can make a huge difference in managing attendance problems in any workplace. Doing so may also help you proactively control costs.

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