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If your business is struggling to make consistent profits, then it may be time to look at your employee time tracking process. Now you may be thinking, “What does my employee time tracking process have to do with the success of my business?” 

The truth is, your time tracking process can have a significant impact on the success of your business. This is especially true in today’s modern age, where labor law compliance, if not adhered to, can lead to potentially hefty fines and lawsuits. If your company is continually running into labor law compliance issues, this can deter customers from giving you their business and can even impact future hiring options.

In this article, we’ll be going over the main employee time tracking mistakes many employers make and how to avoid them.

Treating Employee Time Tracking Like It’s Optional

There once was a time when team time tracking was done half-heartedly. Employers didn’t have to adhere to strict labor laws, and they certainly wouldn’t get into big trouble if they weren’t accurately tracking employees’ hours.

However, in today’s modern world, timesheet management is an essential part of running a successful business, and it’s no longer optional or something you can do only when you feel like it. Thankfully, there are many different time tracking solutions available to make this process as easy, efficient, and cost-effective as possible.

Each time and attendance app comes with a diverse set of features, so be sure to test the different options available and ensure you find one that will meet your business needs. Your business will benefit by lowering labor costs, and your employees will benefit from accurate paychecks.

Giving Employees Too Much Control

Many employers have opted to give employees complete control over their time tracking process. They believe that if employees are in control of their time tracking they are more likely to be honest and forthcoming about their hours worked. They also hope this will take some of the time tracking workload off the plate of management. While this a bold and commemorable move, it can quickly turn disastrous.

1 in 2 employees commits time theft in the United States, whether accidental or intentional. There are several different reasons why a worker might commit time theft. Some of those reasons might include trying to get overtime, or maybe they have been dinged a few times for being late and don’t want to get in trouble again. No matter the reason, time theft is prevalent in every business and is likely costing you money.

It is not unreasonable to give employees a certain amount of control over their time tracking process. However, there are some things, such as allowing employees to enter their time worked manually with zero oversight, that should be kicked to the curb. Instead, allow employees to manually enter their time, but have their manager be notified when they do.

Most time clock solutions come with flexible features that give employees a certain amount of control without going overboard. If you are not taking advantage of these features in your current time keeper app, then now may be the time to review which options are available and implement them based on need. 

Not Reviewing Your Time Tracking Practices

Business operations are ever-changing. This means that you need to frequently review your processes to ensure they align with your objectives. The employee time tracking process is no exception and should be reviewed, at the very least, on an annual basis.

Not only do processes change within your business, but employee timesheet software is continually coming out with new features and functionality. Perhaps you’re using a solution that previously didn’t offer scheduling capabilities, but oh no! You missed the email letting you know about the new scheduling option. 

Time tracking and time off policies change over time as well. You will want to make sure that the time tracking solution you’re using aligns with your in-house policies or at least helps your employees adhere to the policies. 

Changing Employee Hours To Avoid Overtime

Changing employee hours to avoid overtime or help save on your labor costs is a huge no-no. It can lead to significant labor law fines if reported and can damage the employee-employer relationship. Employees work to earn money, and if they are being shorted money they work hard to earn, they can quickly become upset and have no desire to continue their employment at your business.

There are circumstances under which an employer can change an employee’s work hours. For example, if an employee forgets to punch in or punches in late, their supervisor can update their punch times to match the employee’s actual arrival time. However, it’s important to note that any changes made need to be documented along with a sufficient reason as to why the changes were made.

If you make a change to an employee’s time card without sufficient cause, this can be considered wage theft. Wage theft can cost your business thousands of dollars in fines and also bring down the morale of your entire organization.

Why would an employee want to work for a business that doesn’t value the work they’re doing? They wouldn’t. If you want to keep your employees, ensure that you’re only changing their work hours when necessary and accurately documenting all changes through your online time clock software.

Not Keeping Adequate Time Tracking Records

The FLSA, Fair Labor Standards Act, which outlines labor law compliance, states that records which include wage, timecard, or work and schedule information have to be retained for two years. This doesn’t just stop with employees you’re currently employing, but also extends to terminated employees as well. 

If you’re not maintaining employee time records now, then it’s only a matter of time before you experience the fall out of choice. To help combat this issue, you can invest in a time tracking solution to store this information for you. You no longer have to worry about cabinet fires or theft as your records will be stored securely in the cloud. If you are audited, you can quickly access your files and present them to the auditor for review.

In short, employee time tracking mistakes can destroy your business, but luckily there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the chances of them occurring. Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent time tracking mistakes is to invest in time clock software. It takes away having to micromanage employees and their time while still keeping some time tracking restrictions in place. It also allows you to store employee records for the appropriate time, ensuring you remain compliant with labor laws.