Employee Punch Clock | 5 mins read

10 Tips to Using an Employee Punch Clock

10 tips to using an employee punch clock
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

10 Best Practices for Using an Employee Punch Clock

In order to properly perform time tracking and compensate employees appropriately, employee time clocks are essential. From buddy punching to compliance issues, there is a lot for business owners to consider in regards to employee time tracking and recording.

One common time tracking concern is whether employers are obligated to compensate employees who forget to punch time in or out. The answer is that employees cannot have their pay docked for failing to clock in or out but management can pursue alternative disciplinary measures in accordance with the employee handbook.

Buddy punching is another time clock concern that occurs when one employee uses the punch clock for another employee. Usually, buddy punching occurs when an employee is running late and wants to avoid disciplinary measures from human resources or the business owner.

10 employee time clock best practices that all business professionals should know include-

1. Trustworthiness

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A shocking 16% of hourly employees admit that they have performed a buddy punch for a coworker. Although a buddy punch may not be performed with malicious intent, buddy punching costs United States employers over $373 million each year.

One common misconception is that a buddy punch occurs only with physical time cards through older systems like Pyramid time clocks and Lathem time clocks. This is incorrect as employees can share private information like usernames and passwords to use each other's electronic time system credentials.

With more advanced time tracking and time clock systems available than ever before, some options to deter buddy punching may include-

  • Biometric time clocks
  • Fingerprint time clocks
  • Facial recognition time clocks

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2. Automation

Employers can let employees clock out in and out with minimal effort by utilizing time clock systems that are automated. Instead of employers or human resource professionals having to track time on spreadsheets and print time records out for review, the right software will track employee hours worked automatically.

With an excellent time clock software or a time clock system in place, both employees and employers can optimize hours worked and stay focused.

3. Exactness

With so many heavy duty clock systems available, employee time should be as exact as possible. Previously, older time card systems like Lathem time clocks and Pyramid time clocks may round up employee time to the minute.

Contemporarily, there are time clock software programs available that show time attendance all the way to the precise second. For both a small business and large corporation owner, an excellent clock system can make time tracking efforts the most accurate they can be.

4. Control

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The ethics of GPS time tracking practices are hotly contested due to their implications on employee privacy and the overall employee experience. However, some business owners choose to track employee clock punches with GPS functionality.

These cloud based clock systems require that an employee clocks time from a specific location.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5. Data

Instead of nervously anticipating the cost of hours worked throughout the entire employee pay period, employers can see time attendance data in real time. As such, an electronic time clock and great clock system are well worth the investment for small business and large company owners alike.

6. Accuracy

Studies show that an estimated of employers commit payroll errors in some capacity. In fact, these errors make up an estimated 1-8% of total payroll.

Whether at a small business or large corporation, these errors add up into significant labor costs over time. Having the right time clock systems in place may not completely stop errors from occurring, but they will definitely decrease them.

7. Organization

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Previously, employee time off requests remained separate from time cards used or clock systems in place. However, now electronic time clock systems can allow employees to request time off straight from their mobile applications or desktop.

8. Alertness

Employee overtime can be a significant issue for both a small business and large corporation owner. Employee overtime can result in expensive labor costs or even more significant labor compliance issues.

Thankfully, a great clock software or clock system can not only track hours worked overtime, but also instantly alert business owners. As a result, employers or human resource professionals can directly contact team members in order to understand why any overtime hours worked occurred.

9. Simplicity

Clock systems help keep businesses organized through categories and tags. Both categories and tags include important information that assists with time tracking efforts.

Categories can differentiate where an employee is working, for example, from home or on site. Or categories can help designate what type of work an employee is doing, for example, training or meetings.

Tags, like categories, are also very versatile and helpful clock system tools. Tags are essentially keywords that designate information such as project names or locations.

10. Consistency

A clock system brings consistency into the workplace in various ways. One way is by avoiding perceptions of favoritism, when each employee is required to use time clocks to track hours worked, it avoids certain employees getting off early or working fewer hours than required.

Additionally, when employees see their top management professionals engaging with the same time clock software, they are less likely to feel uncomfortable using it.

Employers must make sure to reiterate that the goal of time clocks and time tracking is not to micromanage, but to best utilize resources and properly compensate employees.

Key Takeaways

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  • Punch clocks have been used for many years for time tracking and employee time recording.
  • Best practices to clock time employees spend working range from optimized organization to increased accuracy.

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