• Jack Chan

Buddy Punching: What It Is and How To Eliminate It?

The reality is that buddy punching is common in any business. Being unable to accurately measure the clock-in and clock-out times of your workforce can definitely affect the productivity of your business. The working environment can only truly thrive with output from every team member.

If you're running a commercial cleaning business, you'll need to use a remote workforce management tool to manage your team better. TalentTap is the preferred tool for business in Australia and New Zealand. Eliminate buddy punching for good with TalentTap.

If you're still using traditional clock-in and clock-out methods like timesheets or time cards, this is probably something all too familiar to you.

Haven't heard of buddy punching? Let's explore it together.

What is it?

To put it simply, one employee will be punching in for another employee. This is a problem that many businesses have experienced. Here's an example:

There are two employees at your commercial cleaning business who are friendly with each other. Their working hours start at 7:00 a.m. and they're required to be there on time. Now one of them is early while the other is going to be late for unforeseen reasons.

The latecomer calls his friend and asks for his help to "cover for him". Just stamp my card at the same time as yours. Nobody is any the wiser. Their manager won't notice, no one is going to report their behavior and everything is good. After all, it's only 10-minutes.

That is buddy punching.

This type of behavior may seem harmless on the surface level but consistent tardiness may escalate to bigger issues down the line. At the same time, sensitive information is shared amongst your team members like login IDs and passwords, opening your business to possible fraud cases. As an employer, you'll need to eliminate the risk of buddy punching within your business.

How to eliminate buddy punching

If you're worried about this issue or is currently experiencing it in your business, here are a few ways to combat it.

  • Lay down the ground rules

  • Any solid business should have a set of rules that the workforce should abide by. State it clearly that buddy punching is not tolerated. Implement strict punishments for those that are caught.

  • Use suspension and a salary cut as punishment for this bad behavior.

  • Zero tolerance policy

  • Implementing a zero tolerance policy against buddy punching is pretty straight forward. It's a matter of cutting out the bad apples immediately when the action takes place.

  • This ensures that your company culture is retained and only the positive employees remain. After all, you'd want to have team members that are trustworthy and accountable.

  • Open door policy

  • Implementing an open door policy is also a great way to combat buddy punching. In doing so, you're providing your workforce with an open line of communication without judgement.

  • This brings more transparency into the workforce. In doing so, your team members are more willing to be honest with you. If they're arriving late for a valid reason, they can report it to you directly knowing full well that you'll be understanding and can create a workaround strategy to help them reach their full potential.

  • Geo-tagging time tracker

  • While the last few methods relate to operational strategies, this last one is a tool. By using technology, you'll get to eliminate the temptation to buddy punch completely. Using a remote workforce management tool like TalentTap can protect your business.

  • Find out their exact location when they clock-in and clock-out during their shift. Doing it somewhere besides their expected location will immediately ping the system and show you the discrepancy.

  • Each employee is provided with a unique login that's installed on their very own app. These unique identifiers will help you track your workforce every step of the way during their shift via GPS.

When you remove the uncertainties and redundancy of using paper timesheets or the traditional way of punching in and out of work, business is just going to be easier.

Left unchecked, buddy punching can punch a hole in your productivity and affect your bottom line. As a team, your workforce should be aware of how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Help them understand how valuable their time is to the business and motivate them to deliver their best. By eliminating buddy punching, you'll have more time to work on and scale your business.

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