No matter how big or small, almost every business meets the buddy punching problem now and then. It’s a serious issue that affects not only your revenue but also the motivation and overall satisfaction of your employees. As such, it’s an issue that’s better dealt with sooner rather than later.

Of course, tackling this problem seems like a daunting task for many managers, especially if they also have to deal with remote workers. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to make buddy punching completely manageable.

Here they are.

Practice open communication

Don’t be afraid to let your employees know you won’t tolerate any form of time theft. If they have a legitimate reason to miss work, but they don’t want to lose their hours, make sure you offer a solution. For example, ask them if they want to switch shifts with their other coworker, or allow for overtime in the future.

Oftentimes, employees will rely on buddy punching and other forms of time theft when they feel like they can’t bring up their work-related or personal issues to their employer. Practice an open communication policy at your company – be approachable and understanding. Once your employees feel like they can share their concerns with you, you’ll earn their respect. When they respect you, they also respect your business, which will certainly lead to fewer issues when it comes to time theft.

Actions must have consequences

While we encourage you to be kind and understanding towards your employees, there are times you’ll also need to be strict and show some “tough love”. Everyone needs to be aware of the consequences of buddy punching. You won’t stand for it and you won’t allow it.

If anyone feels like they’re disengaged enough to rely on such methods, they should approach you so you can fix whatever issues they’re having together. If, however, anyone attempts any kind of time theft, you need to stand your ground and follow through with the disciplinary actions you’ve decided to set.

Use relevant technology

Letting your employees write their names on spreadsheets is a thing of the past. Nowadays, there is such an abundance of different technologies that make buddy punching absolutely impossible. Face recognition time clock is just one of them, but it’s also one of our favorites. There’s just no way anyone can bypass face recognition time clocks – it’s absolutely foolproof.

Of course, face recognition time clocks aren’t the only technology available when it comes to the prevention of time theft. There are time clocks that work with fingerprints, and employee tracking software that ensures your remote workers are clocked in during their working hours. Explore different solutions until you find something that suits your business the best – you’ll be surprised at the variety of options that await you.

Issue warnings

As we’ve already mentioned before, your company should have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to time theft. To ensure that everyone knows you’re serious about it, remember to issue warning notes to employees that have relied on buddy punching before. If they continue with their behavior, even after a couple of warnings, then it’s time to look into more drastic measures.  

Always be on top of things

If buddy punching is an issue at your company, the first question you need to ask is: why? What makes your employees do that? How fast can you fix it? Again, the only way you can know for sure is by talking to your employees. Be there to listen to their concerns and problems, and we’re sure you’ll be able to get rid of this issue faster than you might think!

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