1. Setup clear rules about each shift and create an employee handbook. If the shift begins at 7 am, make it clear that the employee is required to be at their workstation at 7 am and not just on the premises. Make it clear that it is not allowed to clock in/out for another employee. Setting clearly defined rules will not only help employee time theft, but will also ensure that an employee will comply to these rules in order to keep his or her job.
2. Setup clear expectations of cell phone usage during work hours. For instance, retail employees may think it’s okay to play with their smartphones as long as no customer is standing directly in front of them. But, you want them to clean, straighten, and stock the store.
3. Follow through with disciplinary action. Sometimes employers let things go, which is fine. You’d be a huge ball of stress if you couldn’t let any mistake go. But, when you let employee time theft go unchecked, your employees start to think it’s okay, and it’s not.
So, follow your standard disciplinary proceedings. Generally, progressive discipline is the way to go: Verbal warning, written warning, suspension, and termination. Granted, you need to consider the seriousness of the offenses. Falsifying a time card is a far greater problem than goofing off on Facebook for a few minutes between customers. Clocking in 5 minutes before you start working is not nearly as bad as not clocking out for a two-hour lunch.
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