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EdgeNetworksExpert Speak Keep a check on ‘Employee Time Theft’ with these practices!

Keep a check on ‘Employee Time Theft’ with these practices!

We keep hearing about wage-theft by employers every now and then, a common complaint of employees and perhaps a big push towards high attrition rates at organizations. This is when an employer doesn’t pay an employee what they owe- be it by withholding their overtime dues or illogical deductions. But one very common problem that employers face, but are not sure how to address is employee time theft. ‘Time theft’, sounds funny, isn’t it? However, funny as it may sound, this has a direct impact of an employee’s performance and the organization’s business.

Employee time theft refers to an employee getting paid for the work he/she hasn’t done. This could be by asking someone else to do your work and earn credit for it, or by asking someone else to clock him/her in before actually showing up at work (buddy punching). Or, doing other activities (like reading novels, watching movies, etc.) at work. There could also be unintentional cases like when an employee forgets to clock in their break times, or so on.

According to the American Payroll Association, employers lose 4.5 hours per week per employee in time theft.  An independent survey reports that 43% of hourly workers admit to time theft. A few minutes here and there may not sound fatal, but when added up it could be a hefty price that employers are paying for work not done.

Here are a few ways how you as an employer can check time theft by your employees:

  • Set clear company HR policies: Make a clear definition of time theft in the HR policies and state the time theft policies in the company handbook for employees. Many a times, employees do not even realize that some of their actions might constitute time theft. A clear perspective might help in realization and stating the consequences will help in curbing such uncalled-for practices at workplace. Also, it is very important to adhere to the policies and follow strict disciplinary actions when an employee is caught stealing time despite the clear objectives.
  • Provide time-management training: Most of the employees struggle to manage time adeptly and thus end up in time theft without intending to do so. Providing time management training as a part of the corporate training modules would help them make proper use of their time and help in curbing time theft at workplace.
  • Set employee goals: Another useful tactic to check time theft is setting employee goals or targets. Employees with clear objectives of achievable goals are found to perform better and end up wasting less time at work.
  • Introduce flexibility: Work-life balance is a key factor for employees, especially the younger generation. The more flexible arrangements you provide at work, the less they are going to spend on personal matters. Studies have also affirmed that companies with better flexibility at workplace also witness a higher performance morale among employees. A win-win situation for all.
  • Set good examples: Last but not the least, you as an employer or boss must set a good example for your employees to follow. When employees/juniors see their seniors or managers, who are often their role models at work, adhere to the company principles and discipline, they feel inspired and follow the same path. Likewise, when they see the leaders not living by good examples, they seem to develop a misconception.

Great practices make great teams. So, keep up the good work and inspire you employees to work more diligently. Hope our tips help you save on time and money!

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