Time clocks are a big mistake. Here’s why:
In 2007 I purchased a technologically advanced swipe card time clock system for our medium size manufacturing plant which employed around one hundred and fifty people.
At the time it seemed like a good idea as we were experiencing many problems with employees adjusting their time sheets without approval and our payroll administration was becoming a nightmare.
Unfortunately for anyone “on the clock”, the scary, time munching monster we just unleashed was about to elevate many blood pressures while voraciously chewing through more LIFE than anyone dared measure.
All Aboard to Frustration City
Employee time tracking problems increased unmanageably immediately following our time-clock implementation and as time dragged on (no pun intended) continually required more supervisory / administrative involvement AFTER we installed the system.
Prior to time clock: attempted to manually alter time sheet.
After time clock: has a buddy swipe him in or out.
Prior to time clock: supervisor noted absence
After time clock: a buddy swipes employee in and out.
Amount of Time Wasted
Prior to time clock: only time required was to record start / finish
After time clock: hundreds of visits to payroll office by employees questioning hours
Prior to time clock: saw time keeping as a necessary evil
After time clock: overall feeling was that we didn’t trust employees so they trusted us less
Prior to time clock: 3 or 4 percent of workforce was a continuous problem
After time clock: 95 percent of employees negatively affected by waiting for swipe in, payroll problems or technical glitches.
Misconception of Advancement
One of the most baffling challenges I had with the time clock system is that once I alerted top managers and owners about the fact that the system was costing us dearly, I could not get them to reconsider the decision and remove the system. The managers were so sold on some remote process improving production that they feared admitting a mistake and opted to continue frustrating employees and administration staff alike.
I soon learned that time was not the aspect of our business we should have been tracking. Nope, we should have be focusing on results rather than start and quit times.
Please don’t measure your employees by how much time they put in.
Instead, measure them by what they accomplish, that’s a better yardstick and it requires less tracking.
Time is gone either way – it’s what’s left that matters.
Thank you, friend.
Sheeoot brother, they even have a name for what we did!