Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time Theft, Are Your Employees Stealing From You?

It's called, "Time Theft," and it's becoming a colossal issue.
There have been all kinds of antics by lazy employees throughout the history of business. The idea of "time theft" includes everything from having someone else punch a time-card on your behalf to falsifying your attendance. It's an enormous issue. It's a disparaging issue, but is this the same as when an employee is caught spending too much time online doing things that have nothing to do with work? Are they, in fact, stealing time from the company? It pains me to even think about this. Does this really happen, of course it does. Are people so pensive with their jobs and their day-to-day lives that they spend their day browsing around online instead of doing everything possible to make their work lives better?

Internet Usage

Internet surfing is a frequent time-waster for employees. If your office needs the Internet for business purposes, it might not be practical to entirely eliminate Internet usage by employees, but you can curb personal usage by blocking select sites, especially social media sites. Point out to employees what the company policy is as it pertains to personal Internet usage and inform them that Internet usage is being monitored.

Socializing with Co-Workers
Chit Chatting with co-workers might seem harmless, but if your employees spend more time talking than working, performance and your business can suffer. Socializing plays a vital role in maintaining a team atmosphere and shouldn’t be eliminated completely. Managers can reduce the amount of socializing without affecting morale by bringing conversations back on topic during meetings, encouraging staff members to socialize during lunch and other breaks.

Employees who frequently arrive late to work or take long lunches are costing your company valuable time. While occasional lateness may not be a problem, employees who are habitually late will affect your department's productivity and morale. Chronic offenders may have difficulty completing tasks on time and may create animosity among co-workers who are on time. Discussing tardiness with your staff may help you determine whether there is anything you can do to help your employee avoid being late. Offering a delayed start time to an employee whose personal obligations or commute make it difficult to arrive on time may be a solution for both of you. Emphasize to your staff the company policies and an employee who consistently violates policy will be written up.

Personal Telephone Calls

We all have a personal life, but some employees have more trouble than others separating work time from personal time and are abusing company time. Cell phones make it notably easy to make personal calls and text message without anyone knowing. Asking employees to limit personal calls to lunch hours and breaks, except in case of emergency, may help mitigate the problem. If an employee must deal with a time-consuming personal issue, suggest that he/she take personal or vacation time to handle the problem. 

 The key is to be aware of the situation and let your employees know how much you are willing to tolerate. Specify the ramifications should they fail to modify their activities, and consistently enforce the penalty you have set.