The average business spends between 40% and 80% of gross annual income and employee wages.

While your employees are an integral part of your business success, there are ways your staff can take advantage of you.

Time theft is one of the most common examples. Time theft is when an employee receives payment for work or time that they did not do.

The most common example is when the employee is clocked in but doesn’t work. Instead, they perform another task, take a break while still clocked in, or are just lazy while on the clock.

Your staff member can also ask another employee to clock in for them on their day off.

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce employee time theft.

Train Properly and Set Expectations

Do you notice your staff is standing around doing nothing? Many employees don’t mean to steal time. They may not know their duties, especially when business is slow.

Let’s say you own a clothing store.

During slow hours, train the cashier to fold clothes and make the store look presentable. They can also perform small maintenance tasks such as taking out the trash and cleaning the fitting rooms.

You’ll also want to enforce strict rules, such as not using mobile phones will on the clock.

Enforce Rules That Can Cause Termination

No employee wants to get fired. But some employees may not realize careless actions could force them out of a job.

Enforce rules such as clocking in on days off, unless the employee is called into work. If the employee is scheduled for a break, state they must clock out.

Clearly identify time theft. Enforce punishments for time theft, such as suspension or termination.

It’s also important to follow these procedures. While firing an employee isn’t easy, doing so for their actions will set an example on current staff members.

Improve Your Time Tracking

The best way to catch your employees stealing time is by exercising effective time tracking skills.

Start with schedule creation. Maybe an employee clocks in on their day off because they don’t know when they’re working or the schedule is incorrect.

Human error can cause these scheduling errors, which is why shift planning software is effective.

Tracking the time your staff works is also key, ideally before payroll.

Track the hours they’re clocked in and when the employee works. You should also track each employee’s performance. If you weren’t the manager on shift, ask the manager who was on shift.

Never Let Employee Time Theft Impact Your Business

Employee time theft is when employees are clocked in and aren’t working.

This can cause your business lots of money in unnecessary wages. This also leaves a bad impression on your business, especially if you work in a customer-facing business.

This is why you must enforce strict work rules and prevent time theft.

If any of your staff members commit time theft, take action to set an example for other employees.

However, you want to avoid micromanaging. Click here and understand the dangers of being a helicopter manager.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.