We are a comprehensive HR outsourcing company here at PacWest HR Solutions, and we offer a full range of support! From Sacramento payroll services to onboarding new employees, and from worker’s compensation to business consulting, we are experts at outsourcing HR activities! Our experienced team also believes in the importance of educating our clients about how to save time and money to make their own companies more successful.
One common threat to a business’s bottom line is time theft, which consists of a variety of employee theft actions that can lead to a loss of money for your company. According to a study done by Small Biz Genius, 75% of all businesses are impacted by time theft, and at PacWest we want to help you learn how to eliminate the problem in your business, save money, and build trust with employees.
What exactly does time theft mean?
Time theft can come in many different forms, but essentially it boils down to an employee being paid for time they are not putting in at work. Whether distracted on social media, wasting time while working from home, or asking a coworker to amend their time card, employees that take advantage of time theft can cause big problems for a company’s efficiency.
The Top Four Time Theft Examples
#1. Social Media Use:
We all know how easy it is to get distracted by social media, and whether an employee works from home or in an office, it’s easy to become overly-engaged with social media during the workday. According to several recent studies, nearly 50% of all time spent on non-work websites or platforms during the workday is spent on social media.
#2. Personal Tasks or Taking Advantage of Break Time
While breaks are often mandatory based on federal and state laws, many people abuse how much time they take for lunch or breaks, and those hours add up, increasing time that employees are being paid for not working. In addition, personal tasks done during the workday such as answering personal phone calls, paying bills online, or shopping on websites like Amazon can all cost your company money in lost time.
#3. “Buddy Punching” Time Cards
If your workplace still uses an older punch system for time cards, the age-old trick of buddy punching can still be a big problem. Buddy punching is when an employee asks a colleague to clock him or her in early, before they actually arrive at work, so they are being paid for time they are not present.
#4. Falsifying The Amount of Time Spent on Work
When employees provide false information about how many hours they worked in a given pay period, it is hard to know whether or not they are telling the truth, especially if they are working from home. If companies use paper time cards, it can be easier to accurately keep track of hours, but more and more often as companies move to digital and work-from-home situations, employees can report more hours than they actually work with little fear of being caught.
How to Effectively Prevent Time Theft?
While it’s not possible to prevent 100% of time theft, there are certainly things that companies can do to be proactive about this common problem. The following are several solutions that we at PacWest HR solutions recommend and that our customers have found helpful:
- Update your time card system: While paper time cards can help with the issue of inaccurately reporting time, they also cause other issues like an increase in buddy punching. Automated timekeeping systems that utilize technology can be better at keeping accurate records of when employees actually arrive at work, and when they leave. Because every single user has a unique login code, it is difficult to log in for a friend and falsify hours. This innovative timekeeping software can also include location services, such as Geotagging that shows an employer where an employee clocked in or clocked out on a mobile device.
- Improve employee morale and truthfulness: Usually employees who are happy, satisfied, and respect their boss, coworkers, and company are less likely to commit time theft. Productivity can generally be increased by simply increasing employee morale and building relationships with those who work at your company. If employees are motivated to work hard and feel like they are part of a team, then they are more likely to make a concerted effort during the workday and can feel more engaged and satisfied while doing their jobs as well.
- Be clear about policies and expectations: Employees will often take advantage of unclear expectations, so make sure you update your employee handbook with exceptionally clear expectations and policies about when employees are on and off the clock. Add information about breaks, lunch, procedures for clocking in and clocking out, and be sure to provide professional development or gentle reminders around your expectations at regular times throughout the year.
PacWest HR Solutions Can Help With All of Your HR Needs
At PacWest HR Solutions, we are the premier company for Sacramento payroll services and outsourcing HR activities. When you choose to work with us, outsourcing your HR activities can benefit you not only in streamlining your processes, but in saving you time, and providing you with a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.
Our Sacramento payroll services also include the surrounding communities and can be set up easily over the phone with no in-person appointment required. Give us a call at (925) 734-9400, or feel free to request an appointment online by using our digital form provided here.