Monitoring employees for timecard fraud
One type of employee fraud is timecard fraud. No matter the size of your organization, having dedicated, hard-working employees is essential to your bottom line, reputation and business goals.
What is timecard fraud?
Timecard fraud is more colloquially known as “lowered productivity,” as well as “employee wage theft.” It occurs when employees misuse company time for personal benefit – whether physically at work, or not. For example, an employee may be technically at her desk, but if she is online shopping or perusing social media, she isn’t actually working. Therefore, those minutes or hours shouldn’t be compensated. Additionally, an employee might schedule an appointment or meeting during work hours, and take the hour(s) off but not report the missing time.
The average employee devotes 92.3 percent of their “on the job” time to work-related tasks, which seems like a pretty good number. However, if 7.7 percent of company time is wasted, that can lead to slower business growth and a loss of revenue. Therefore, it’s important to take the issue of timecard fraud seriously, watch for it, and establish measures to prevent lowered productivity.
How can you detect timecard fraud?
To detect timecard fraud, start by establishing baselines for your employees’ individual user activity. Employee monitoring software is an effective and efficient tool for gathering that user behavior information. Such software monitors employee activity and establishes what is “normal” for each employee. If their behavior ever falls outside of that individualized normal range, the software alerts you to a potential threat.
For example, if an employee consistently works 40 hours a week and then suddenly starts working late and on weekends, you will be alerted so you can investigate. The opposite behavior is also a cause for concern. If an employee usually logs in around 8:30am every day, and then their logins get later, you will be made aware of the potential for timecard fraud.
Software and baselines help you establish what to expect from each employee in terms of productivity. If they start to vary in their output/workload, these tools will alert you to the potential threat of timecard fraud.
How can you discourage timecard fraud?
Deploying monitoring software is a great way to discourage timecard fraud. Studies show that just the knowledge that one is being monitored for something reduces that negative behavior. Additionally, you can educate your employees on the importance of maintaining their productivity and the consequences of timecard theft. Goal-setting, performance reviews and education in techniques to boost productivity also contribute to a positive, productive culture.
Create a culture of positivity
Monitoring employees for timecard fraud protects your organization and your employees from the consequences of decreased output and a damaged bottom line. With the right tools and techniques, you can cultivate an environment that encourages productivity, and have the means to detect any lapses.
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