Time Theft or more importantly Time Creep is a multifaceted problem which can be experienced by any business.
As we have have seen in many businesses we have worked with it’s not always intentional, it can be hard to detect, and it requires diligence and oversight to eliminate it.
Time Creep is among the largest hidden costs to any business.
It happens when employees misrepresent the actual amount of time they’ve worked and been paid for, intentionally or otherwise.
Often is not as blatant as the term Time Theft implies. More often than not it is more subtle and it caused by employees naively thinking "it's ok" to crib a bit of time here and there or a manager turning a blind eye because it is easier than confronting the situation.
It can also be caused by simple miscalculations or miskeyed data.
This is where Time Creep comes in as it is often numerous small incidents which, in their own right don't seem important but when added together over a year can lead to massive cost.
Interestingly we have also seen situations where management have either contributed to or compounded the problem. These include:
1. Lack of a clear policy on Attendance
Not having a written and signed Time and Attendance policy, with specific instructions on honesty and fraud.
(If you would like a free copy of our Time and Attendance policy template email firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Untrained Managers
Not training managers on why actively managing employee attendance is important and how to spot issues.
3. Inaction by Managers
Not raising Time Keeping issues with employees as soon as they happen.
Favouritism can happen where managers or supervisors apply different rules for different employees.
5. Using Manual Systems
Using manual systems such as time sheets that are open to interpretation if not abuse.
6. Out of Sight out of Mind
Not having suitable processes and procedures for employees who work remotely or who work in the field to ensure the reliability of time records.
Whether the issue is blatant time theft or more insidious Time Creep the impact in terms of actual cost or more importantly the effect on staff morale, can be huge.
The good news is there is a solution and it is not as difficult as you may think.
But it will take a proactive approach on the part of everyone in the business.
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