It’s easy to be forgetful, especially in 2014. People seem to work longer and harder, while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Our memories and attention spans have shortened, so remembering to clock in and out may fall to the wayside from time to time. There are some helpful and simple ways for employers to get forgetful employees to remember their time tracking responsibilities.
Embrace Personal Responsibility
While the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) places the burden on business owners to stay on top of employee time management, this is a tough undertaking without some assistance from your team members. To remedy this, embrace personal responsibility in your company policy.
For example, you can suggest that employees set a five-minute reminder prior to their clock in time on their phones. Chances are your employees may be glued to their smartphones when they step into the workplace, probably skimming through their Facebook page or texting a loved one, so the clock in reminder will appear in their field of vision. If their phone is not in hand, they should still be able to hear and/or feel (if on vibrate) the reminder.
Use Time Clock Systems
Install time punch clock software, an online timecard software, or time clock software. Having a digital access point on the computers of your employees will make it easy for them to clock in. While they’re going through their morning emails, they’ll be able to take care of clocking in as they settle into their workday.
Additionally, time tracking apps can help eliminate cases where employees might exaggerate their punch in and out times to inflate how much they make in the pay period (also referred to as time theft). Using these apps can also help you manage time off and other aspects of workforce management, cut down on lateness, and encourage your team to be more honest and productive with their employee hours.
Instate Visual Aids
We’ve grown used to digital notifications, but sometimes the classic methods can be incredibly effective. For example, try hanging a picture by the office entry door of a clock. You can easily find a clip art image on the web of a clock. Once you have printed and hung the clock picture, have a brief meeting with your staff to explain the purpose of the new artwork hanging by the entry door.
Once they’ve been informed that the clock picture is serving as a clock in reminder picture, they’ll be more likely to remember to clock in upon arrival to work, if the clock picture has been placed in in an area that can be seen effortlessly. Images are more concrete when it comes to the act of remembering than text alone.
You could even hang a clock image in your break room – it might serve as a subconscious reminder for employees on their lunch breaks to make the most of their time when they’re done.
Make Use of Team Members
Assign clock in reminder buddies. Have workers pair up, and agree to ask one another each work day if they’ve remembered to clock in. This will promote inner office relationships, in addition to an increase of employees remembering to clock in.
Offer monthly incentives for employees who clock in accordingly. Have a monthly raffle or giveaway for employees who have been able to consistently clock in on time without having to be reminded. This will foster some healthy competition at the office, as well as generate more effort towards the act of clocking in. Sometimes dangling a carrot will get the rabbit to spin the wheel!
Disciplinary action is something we consider to be a last resort, but if you’re having trouble getting your team to take accounting for their work hours seriously, you might have to escalate. Emailed or written warnings would be the first step to take on the onset, followed by calls to your office to deliver a verbal warning if face-to-face communication is deemed necessary. From there, it will depend on your company policy and human resources department how you handle an employee who isn’t clocking in and out, but accurate timesheets are so critical to running your business smoothly that the best option at the end of the day may be termination and replacement.
Once you’ve established your system, make sure it’s all outlined in the employee handbook – ignorance is no excuse for hurting your business’s profitability.
Clocking in should be the first thing an employee remembers upon starting their workday, but it’s the little things that always seem to get overlooked. With assertion, patience, a little time to plan, and full cooperation from your staff, you will be able to achieve a reasonable decrease in employees forgetting to clock in.