Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
11/12/19 7:37 p.m.

Any tips on how to get hourly employees to consistently clock in and out?

Chasing them down to get the payroll right is something my wife (solo veterinarian practice owner) gets to spend a couple of hours on every time period, when she has much better things to do.

Apparently by law, you have to pay employees for every hour worked, whether they clock in and out or not, so you can't dock pay.  As far as we can tell, the only punitive measures she can take is to give them less hours or fire them.  Neither of those are terribly attractive in our local employment environment.

We've tried reward type measures like if everyone successfully clocks in and out for a time period bringing in a meal, but they just can't pull that off either.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
11/12/19 7:48 p.m.

I find that management involves a certain amount of time spent telling perfectly capable people to do the same things over and over. That's the job, and you can either let it burn you up, or you can realize that this is also the same thing that is glorified about every great coach in every sports movie, ever. ("Run it again. And again." Cue swelling soundtrack music and close-up of legs pounding up the bleachers.) The only difference is that Vince Lombardi wore a cool hat and was deified for repeating himself ad infinitum.  Pretend that is you. Strip the process to its cleanest (single ask, same time same way every week), mentally perch a cool hat on your head and maybe a pipe in your mouth, continue on your merry way.

 

jamscal
jamscal Dork
11/12/19 8:21 p.m.

So don't dock them...but pay them only for the time they're clocked in. It's really the only way a busy manager is going to know if X number of people are there and there on time.

If there is a discrepency: 1. Wait until they bring it to your attention. 2. Say you'll look into it. 3. Pay what's owed. 

This will necessarily be X days after payday because you don't have time to drop what you're doing at the moment.

(FYI I have 3 employees, no timeclock, and know when they are there and keep notes on days off, late or leave early situtions.)

 

 

 

 

Eurotrash_Ranch
Eurotrash_Ranch New Reader
11/12/19 8:25 p.m.

I used to use a payroll service that offered smartphone clock-in/clock-out. As I only had one employee, I did not use it.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle SuperDork
11/12/19 8:28 p.m.

Are they reliable enough to use the honor system?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
11/12/19 9:29 p.m.

I'm not sure I understand how you can pay them if they don't clock in and out, how do you know how many hours they worked?  My understanding of how it works at my company is if I don't turn in a timesheet by the deadline each week, they can't cut me a check (I would eventually get paid, but it would be added to the next pay period.)

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Reader
11/12/19 9:31 p.m.
Eurotrash_Ranch said:

I used to use a payroll service that offered smartphone clock-in/clock-out. As I only had one employee, I did not use it.

Get it on their phone and they’ll use it. Homebase works well. You can set schedules and they will get a reminder on the phone. Integrates with most payroll systems. 

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
11/12/19 9:32 p.m.

My boss had the same issue with a few people. Now we clock in 10 minutes before shift starts and adding the extra free 10 minutes seems to have got even those two to clock in. We are usually busy right at 830 when we open so it makes sense in our job 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
11/12/19 9:49 p.m.

I had this problem when I was a practice owner. It's been long enough that I don't recall specifically how we handled it. I will say this, though. You don't have to fire someone, but you can write them up for repeat infractions. Eventually, they're going to get the idea, and you may find the problem solves itself.

The biggest lesson I learned was that if I was even considering whether to retain a specific employee, it was time to replace that person.

I also found it helpful to keep an ad running for hiring positions, and regularly interview applicants. Even If I didn't hire very often, it worked for keeping the employees on their toes to know that I was regularly interviewing.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
11/12/19 9:51 p.m.

Maybe set it up so they can't get in the building until they clock in? Probably more trouble than it's worth though...

Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
11/12/19 9:52 p.m.

Cat herding, you are herding cats here..

 

I vote just pay them what the time clock shows, and have her take a note for when they leave so they don't leave the clock running.

 

I assume she makes a schedule too, right? Say the person is scheduled for 9-3. Their time stops regardless at 3 and how much time they get depends on how good they are at clocking in

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/12/19 10:36 p.m.

Paper cards.

Clock in and not out they "left early" and vice versa. Nothing will get them to always clock in and out than missed $. Also before doing such, formal written out policy stating such will happen. You are not their parents.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/12/19 10:50 p.m.

we have 6000+ employees where I work and over 77,000 total company wide. We both write in our hours on a sheet and clock in and out. If you fail to do either, you don't get paid until you bring it up with your manager and have the clock adjusted. It's perfectly legal that way, you are still paying your employee for the hours worked, but penalizing them by making them wait for the money.

Bubbal
Bubbal New Reader
11/13/19 1:25 p.m.

Pay a bonus weekly for compliance, maybe $25.  Bonus paid only if 100% compliance.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
11/15/19 10:48 a.m.

The passive-aggressive side of me wants to say hold 'remedial time card punching' trainings on a weekly, transitioning to daily, basis until you get the desired results.

"What is this?  Anybody?...This is a time card. It's what keeps track of your hours worked so you can get paid.

Now, what is this?...That's right. It's a time clock. This is the machine used by the punch card to keep track of your hours worked so you can get paid.

And what about this? This a door. It's what you walk through at least twice every day as you arrive for work and leave from work.

Each and every time you arrive and leave for the day, you place the time card in the time clock like this. Notice how it's placed in a location that you have to walk past immediately after arriving and immediately before leaving. This is so you might occasionally happen to see it out of the corner of your eye as you're looking at your phone while walking past it."

.

Honestly though, I've found it is easiest to enact change (without decreasing morale) by engaging people collaboratively as stakeholders and allowing them to have some level of ownership for enacting the change. First I'd sit everybody down and discuss it like adults and have a two-sided discussion about it. Try to understand why it's so challenging for them to remember, and try to get them to understand why it's so important for them to remember. Get feedback on non-punative things that they think might help them remember (like signs, alarms, verbal reminders to each other) and have them largely take responsibility for implementing these themselves with assistance only as necessary. 

Then let them know up front that should these attempts fail, the only alternative proposal that can be enacted on their behalf is putting into written policy the above noted method of not getting paid for work that has not been both clocked in AND out correctly until after they go out of their own way to get the discrepancy cleared out...And this will likely result in the wages for those days being delayed.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
11/15/19 10:59 a.m.

This is exactly what you want to do.

 

Floating Doc said:

I had this problem when I was a practice owner. It's been long enough that I don't recall specifically how we handled it. I will say this, though. You don't have to fire someone, but you can write them up for repeat infractions. Eventually, they're going to get the idea, and you may find the problem solves itself.

Progressive discipline.  With the 3rd warning you get a 1 day suspension. Next warning is 3 days off and the next you're out the door.  People will start playing by the rules.

 

This is precisely opposite of what you want to do

Bubbal said:

Pay a bonus weekly for compliance, maybe $25.  Bonus paid only if 100% compliance.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/15/19 1:28 p.m.

1- You are not docking pay if you pay them exactly what is on their time card. 

2- You are not docking pay if you pay them belated because they missed the deadline to turn in their time cards. 

3- Sometimes you have to kill a hostage. Sounds harsh, but if you let someone go, the rest of the staff will learn quickly. 

I think your wife has a big heart and is assuming some things about the laws that are probably not accurate.  The time cards are the method for reporting the hours worked. Anyone who is not capable of turning in their time card in a timely manner is not qualified for the job. 

It’s  a really low bar. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/15/19 1:31 p.m.

BTW...

I’m salaried.  My time sheet always says the same thing- 40 hrs. Even if I work 80.  They know exactly what it will say every single week.

Doesn't change the fact that if I don’t turn in my time sheet when it is due, I won’t get a paycheck on Friday. 

JesseWolfe
JesseWolfe New Reader
11/15/19 3:48 p.m.

Do a points system.  1 point for not clocking in or out, you get to "X" amount of points and it's a day off without pay.   In 7+ years at my current job I've missed clocking in or out one time.

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