Time theft has become a common term throughout the hourly, distributed workforce world. However, many employers still struggle to identify this costly phenomenon, let alone calculate and take action to resolve it! As an industry leader in time theft prevention and workforce optimization, we have developed a Time Theft Calculator as a tool for employers to determine how much time theft costs your business!
Nationally, time theft costs employers over $400 billion dollars on average in productivity each year. Whether you’re redefining time theft for a policy update or looking for actionable solutions to boost your bottom line, here are answers to the questions we hear most often.
Q: What is considered time theft in the workplace?
A: Time theft is most frequently defined as the paying of an employee for work that they have not done (or, time when they weren’t actually working). This occurrence comes in a variety of forms, so each incident must be largely handled on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Who typically commits time theft?
While hourly, distributed employees are the most likely group to commit some form of time theft, salaried managers, administrative personnel and other supervisors are just as capable of altering time sheets, unknowingly supporting false punches, or buddy-punching for workers they are overseeing.
Here’s an eye-opener: our 2020 Analytics Benchmark Report found that 80% of all timecard touches are made by just 10-20% of managers!
Q: What are the most common ways employees steal time?
- Rounding up manual timesheet entries, especially early or late arrivals
- Buddy punching (when one employee punches in for another)
- Taking longer-than-allowed breaks
- Checking social media or making personal calls on the clock
- Excessive socializing or goofing off on the clock
- Lying about forgotten or lost swipe cards
- Taking detours, especially if traveling between multiple worksites
At the end of the day, if an employee is getting paid for anything other than the job they’ve been charged to complete – it’s time theft.
Q: How can the cost of time theft be calculated?
Due to the various forms of time theft, drilling down to a single formula or methodology for identifying the costs of time theft is easier said than done. However, there are few convenient ways to gain insight into the relative impact time theft is having on your overall bottom line and productivity. These include:
- EPAY’s Time Theft Calculator – Using our time theft calculator, you can measure the total productivity of your workforce against the time they actually worked and were paid for. Just input your total number of employees and follow the instructions regarding total time worked, and you’ll gain immediate insight into the total weekly employee time theft in your payroll expenses- as well as the total yearly human error rate in your total payroll expense.
- Analytics – Examining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as missed punches or time card corrections from a well-integrated analytics system allows you to identify instances where employees are chronically missing punches, managers are consistently altering data, and so much more. (Check out our webinar on workforce analytics for more specifics on how this works.)
Q: How can employers reduce time theft?
Cutting-edge time and attendance technologies eliminate time theft opportunities—and smart employers are taking advantage of them in ever-increasing numbers, especially these top three solutions:
- Time and Attendance Software: If you’re still using handwritten timesheets to track employee work time, you’re likely paying for work that never happened. Automated time and attendance software keeps—and records—employees’ hours electronically, eliminating opportunities for mis-recorded times and other discrepancies.
- Biometric Time Clocks: Biometric time clocks use advanced technologies to verify employee identity, which helps prevent the occurrence of buddy punching. Biometric time clocks work by measuring employee’s unique physical characteristics like fingerprints or facial features, so you know exactly who is working.
- Advanced Mobile Time Tracking Tools: These may include a mobile tracking application with tools like GPS verification, geo-tracking (for automatically capturing employee GPS locations at defined intervals), and geo-fencing (which instantly clocks out employees when they leave designated work areas). The app lives on the employees’ smart phones.
Beat Time Theft with EPAY Systems
EPAY’s advanced time and attendance software—part of our unified HCM platform—offers some of the most advanced time theft solutions available to employers, including biometric time clocks, a mobile time tracking application, and a robust workforce management system.
For more information on tactics to use to reduce time theft, check out our webinar “Time Theft Take Down: Combating Time Theft for the Hourly Workforce” and request a personalized demo today.