We all know that employee theft is wrong, but what about employee time theft? This means you have an employee who may be reporting time and getting paid for hours they didn’t work. What happens when you catch an employee in the act? Here are some tips to help you solve this significant problem and prevent it from happening again.
Remind Employees of Repercussions
It may sound like common sense, but it’s important to let your employees know that padding their time is against your company policy. You need to remind your team what will happen if employees take advantage of the situation. You need to have consequences written in your policies and enforce them.
Often, padding hours happen due to not understanding the expectations of how they should handle their time. By simply letting your team know what they should be doing while on the job, they may not waste time and need to add hours to complete their work.
A big challenge for employers is to stay consistent in reinforcing the rules. And this can become frustrating for employees who see some people get away with it when they simply can’t. You will want to have consequences that are appropriate to the behavior. Spending too much time on social media is very different than falsifying time cards.
Lead by Example
Of course, you can’t expect your team to follow the rules if you don’t as well. A management approach of “do as I say, not as I do” is untenable. When they see you take unexpected time out of the workplace during the day, they may not know that you’ve made your time up in other ways.
Caught in the Act?
What happens when you catch an employee falsifying their time? If it can be proven that an employee didn’t come into work at the time they reported, you don’t have to pay them for the hour. But wasted time on the job is a different matter; if they are in your business, they will need to be paid. Your next step is to discuss their performance and your expectations.
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