Of course you want to trust your workers and maintain goodwill throughout your company. No one wants to play the part of time clock Nazi.

But you operate in the real world, and you understand that what constitutes “time theft” can be open to interpretation by different employees. The statistics don’t lie. In a 2014 survey by loss prevention firm Jack L. Hayes International, for example, retailers said 30 percent of their workers had falsified time records.

Unintentional inaccuracy was the reason for 45 percent of reported time theft incidents in a recent study by Software Advice. Next most common? Personal activity (43 percent), frequent breaks (42 percent) and the fraudulent punching in and out of co-workers (23 percent).

An automated system like Buddy Punch virtually eliminates margins for error, keeping you from constantly having to play bad cop and speculate on who is and isn’t honest.  The system virtually eliminates fraud through strategies like logging photos and GPS coordinates for punchers-in, and sending heads-ups to supervisors letting them know the scoop.

What some workers don’t realize is that such systems also work in their favor by keeping supervisors up to speed on their compiled overtime and vacation requests in addition to government- and union-mandated regulations. And paying attention to what workers are entitled to is crucial, since establishing integrity is a primary way for employers to improve their work force relations.

“Do others trust you to keep your commitments and promises?” asks consultant Jack Zenger in a recent  Forbes article.  “Are others confident you will be fair and do the right thing? We like those we trust, we dislike those we distrust.”

Automated records also forecast the need for additional staffing when workloads are set to increase, managing absences so employees aren’t overwhelmed.  That can lead to better employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.

Finally, systems like Buddy Punch can improve tension resulting when honest workers observe cheating.

“If an honest employee sees a coworker regularly getting away with time theft, they may feel discouraged about their own commitment,” explains Danielle Richards in Rmagazine.com.