Talking about workplace theft, the first thing to pop in our heads is an employee doing away with office cash, supplies, etc. The fact is it goes a lot beyond that! Ever heard of employee time theft? Yes, employee time theft is allegedly the biggest concern for businesses around the world when it comes to workplace fraud/theft.
Payroll is we all know is unarguably the most daunting yet quintessential aspects of a business, be it small or big. It task can quickly escalate before turning into the worst nightmare for an HR when it includes manual attendance and time tracking, which is prone to blunders thus, leaving void space for employees to commit time theft.
Did you know: Nearly Half of the Employees Commit Time Theft!
Here are few signs that might help uproot employee time theft in your organization:
- Repeated overtime: For any business that remunerates its employees on an hourly basis, unwanted and repeated overtime is something that it cannot afford to overlook. Yes, employees who take frequent overtime shouldn’t be overlooked. If the timesheet record of a particular employee reflects repeated overtime, it is time to mull over. A robust HR software with integrated time and attendance management system or module can help you track a dubious overtime pattern, if any.
- Buddy punching: John’s timesheet states he punched in for work at 9, but how true is that? Ever heard of buddy punching or tag teaming? Colleagues often help each other in this game of mispresenting work time. It can be as simple as punching in with someone else’s access card or employee code. If your attendance and timesheet reports is flooded with such misrepresentations every month, it can be a flashing sign that some of your employees are committing time theft.
- Repeated personal business: We all have our very own personal space and lives. Though it is quite acceptable to engage in personal calls in the mid of work, but repeated personal space means reduced focus at work and productivity problems. It can be social media, extended personal phone calls, texting, etc. Repeated and frequent personal business is something that calls for contemplation.
- Frequent on-site visits: Yes! Salespeople often on the pretext of onsite or client visits have been observed to commit time theft. Now for a multinational organization, it is extremely daunting for its HR and accounts department to keep a track of onsite visits by some standalone or legacy payroll tool, as it makes it easier for employees to commit time theft. A good HR solution with intelligent time tracking and attendance management system can help uncover a typical pattern of such visits that call for further exploration.
A good time and attendance management system can prevent inaccurate clock punching. Yes, most of the HR software solutions available today allow ‘rule-setting’ i.e. Using this functionality in your HR system that is integrated with your biometric device, you can set a specific time-window to allow employees to clock -in or –out. Further, admin permissions would be needed to clock -in or -out outside the specified time-window. This can greatly curb inaccurate punching.
Employee time theft is a widespread problem faced by businesses all over the world. Aforementioned are few neon signs to help you identify a possible time theft plot in your company. Time theft leads to your HR and accounts department spending extended time in tracking attendance and time of employees. Luckily, we have automated timesheet and attendance management system to curb this grave problem and save cost as well as time.
Another handy advantage is that most of the HR solutions available these days are cloud-based (SaaS) and easy to set up. All you ought to do is get the software and integrate it with your attendance-tracking device. Did I mention plug-and-play and lighter on the pocket?
Right from punching in few minutes late and out a few minutes early to fudging timesheets with buddy punching, to repeated overtime, to extended breaks or personal business in order to check social media, make personal calls or text, employees have formulated novel ways to forge work time over the years. Luckily, today we have intelligent attendance management system to curb the problem of employee time theft to a great extent.
Lastly, yet importantly, it is imperative to have a stringent HR policy in place, which states a zero tolerance action for time theft and payroll fraud. Remember, it all begins with company culture and ethics.
Is your business armed with the right set of HR tools and strategies to address employee time theft? If not, then it’s time you mull over.