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Buddy punching: What you need to know

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Employee buddy punching is an expensive problem for many business owners! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, buddy punching costs US employers upwards of $373 million a year. What’s more, Sixteen percent of US employees who track time openly admit to buddy punching. It’s essential to identify the signs of this behavior so that managers can take steps to prevent it. This blog post will discuss some of the most common signs of employee buddy punching. We’ll also provide tips on how to stop it from happening. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a “Buddy Punch”?

A buddy punch occurs when one employee asks a coworker to clock in or out for them. For example, buddy punching could be used to clock in for a person running late or to cover for someone who wants to leave work early. Additionally, buddy punching occurs when employees try to get paid extra for hours they have not worked, aka, time theft.

The adverse effects of buddy punching on businesses

Buddy punching can have several negative effects on businesses. For one, it can lead to lost time, productivity and money. This is due to companies paying for employees who aren’t working. And, if buddy punching is not controlled, absenteeism and tardiness can also increase.

 

How to stop buddy punching

The goal of a buddy punching policy is to make buddy punching difficult and undesirable to participate in.The first step is to start monitoring employee punches, clarify and communicate your attendance policy then set up systems and rules designed to prevent employees from engaging in buddy punching. Here are a few best practices, technologies, and time tracking software, all designed to monitor employee time and behavior allowing managers to get ahead of time theft:

Installing Time Clocks at work

Time clocks can prevent buddy punching by ensuring that employees are only punching in and out for themselves. For instance, time clocks require employees to physically punch in and out, preventing one employee from doing it for another. Time tracking software can also help avoid time theft, as it can track when employees are working.

Using Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software can help companies identify which employees are not at work. It can also help managers see if an employee takes breaks at regularly scheduled times. This information can help businesses better understand their employees’ work habits and identify potential problems. In addition, time tracking software can track employee activity, which can help to manage business coverage and employee attendance.

GPS Tracking

Time clock software can help prevent time theft by ensuring that the employee is at the business location when they punch in. Also, time clock software can track the time that employees punch-in and spend on tasks, which prevents someone else from punching in and out for them. GPS tracking can also help prevent buddy punching, as it can track employee activity, which shows if employees are working the hours they are scheduled to work.

Installing a Biometric time clock

A biometric time clock is a time clock that uses fingerprint scanning to identify employees. What’s more, some biometric time clocks have facial recognition features, preventing buddy punching by identifying employees by their faces. Biometric time clocks are the most secure way to prevent buddy punching, as it requires employees to be physically present to scan biometric data to engage the time tracking system.

Signs that your employees might be buddy punching

There are several signs that managers should watch for. For example, obvious signs of buddy punching include,

● Employees are not at work when they are supposed to be
● Employees are taking more breaks than usual,
● Employees are working longer hours than usual
● Employees are coming in early or staying late but not working,

These could all be a sign of time theft. Monitoring the employee behavior and knowing the signs can go a long way toward preventing buddy punching.

Establishing Buddy Punching Rules

Creating a set of employee time clock rules and procedures deter buddy punching in three ways:

1. Establishing the consequences of participating in employee time theft.
2. Communicating expectations and repercussions to employees facilitates the proper force and effect of rules and consequences.
3. Locating the clock in the manager’s office is good way of deterring time theft

What to do if you suspect someone of buddy punching

If you catch multiple employees buddy punching, you should first confront them about the situation. Let them know that you are aware of what they are doing and that it is unacceptable. You may also want to consider disciplinary action, such as a warning or suspension. If the employee continues to buddy punch after receiving a warning, you may want to consider firing them. Buddy punching can be costly for businesses, and it is crucial to take disciplinary action to prevent and deter it from happening.

Buddy punching is a big deal, but it is one that businesses can control and manage. However, if left unchecked, it can cost your business a lot of money and loss of productivity. So it’s essential to be able to identify the signs. We’ve outlined some of the most common signs of buddy punching in this blog post. We also provided tips for how to stop it from happening. Have you experienced buddy punching in your workplace?

At TimeWellScheduled.com our software can help you develop scheduling practices to avoid buddy punching and time theft.

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