Whether it’s intentional or accidental, sometimes employee time tracking records don’t line up with the actual amount of time worked. It can be difficult to recognize discrepancies, especially when an employee is working from a remote location, but if you do notice a problem, it’s important that you address it.
Time clock errors aren’t always the result of employees intentionally misleading you. Unless you’re positive that the mistakes are due to purposeful dishonesty, it’s important that you handle time tracking mistakes as if they’re just that: mistakes. Falsely or even justifiably accusing an employee can severely damage employee relations, so be sure to tread lightly while still remaining firm.
The best way to handle time tracking issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place. One of the most common errors is not having and consistently enforcing an attendance and time tracking policy. Your employees should know exactly what punishment to expect if their time tracking is off. Of course, there is a difference between an honest mistake and intentional deception, so make sure your policy distinguishes between both scenarios. When employees know what’s at stake, they’re much more likely to be careful when punching in or out.
Another common employee tracking error is not following through with discipline. If one employee sees that a team member was able to get away with falsifying records, they might be inclined to do the same. Sometimes even honest mistakes require discipline to prevent them from occurring again and to set an example. That doesn’t mean you need to terminate an employee or take other drastic measures. A suitable punishment for an honest error is simply requiring the employee in question to check in with a supervisor when clocking in and out for a predetermined amount of time.
Talking to an employee about time tracking errors can be a daunting prospect, but it’s absolutely necessary. Address the situation as quickly as possible, and be kind but firm. Consider upgrading your time tracking software to further reduce errors. As long as you communicate with your staff effectively and provide a reliable way for them to track time, you should see a decline in time clock errors.