Early Employees As Costly As Late Ones

Hourglass time dollarsWe hear a lot about employee absenteeism. It can have a really negative impact on a business. Stores don’t open on time, customers don’t get the help they need, and since other employees have to bear the weight of it even their productivity suffers.

Absenteeism is definitely bad for business but so is prematurism (what would you call that anyway?), or in other words, early clock-in.

Managers carefully schedule coverage so there are never too many or too few employees. And so when an employee comes in early, someone ends up standing around wasting time. All that wasted time adds up and costs the company quite a bit of change. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Example: Clocking In Early Adds Up

Anne is scheduled to come in after the morning coffee rush at 10am. Joe is scheduled to take his lunch then and Kim is scheduled to go home. Anne decides to clock in early since her bus dropped her off at 9:45. The rush is over and the counter is clean so there’s not really anything for her to do. Kim doesn’t want to go home early because she needs her hours and Joe doesn’t want to mess up the break schedule so everyone stays put. Since Anne makes $11 per hour, she is being paid $2.75 to stand around.

What if every employee that works at the cafe clocked in early every day? Let’s say there are six scheduled employees per day. If they all clocked in 15 minutes early, the company would be paying $16.50 per day for people to stand around. At $115.50 per week, that’s an expensive problem!

Always Pay Working Employees

While you may not want to pay your employees for the time they clock in early, you are legally obligated to. If an employee is ready to work and on the floor, they must be paid even if the time was not authorized. The same goes for employees who stay late. You cannot withhold their pay, but what you can do is take disciplinary action. You can tell your employees that they only get so many chances before termination or suspension.

Thwart the Problem With Your Time Clock

Requiring that employees begin their shifts on time can really save a company a lot of money. Make it known to employees that early clock in is not allowed. Put it in the employee handbook and post it in the office.

Another strategy is to remove access to the time clock before an employee’s shift begins. If the employee can’t clock in, they will have to find something else to do like read or take a walk before their shift starts. If you need help setting this up in our online time clock, let us know.

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