As a provider of time & attendance solutions how many times have I heard this? More often than I care to mention!
Today, I rarely offer any advice in this matter because, like the employees, the management have their own reasons why solutions cannot work for them and they rarely listen to advice.
In my client base there are many companies who do not have this issue. Employees remember to clock in and out unfailingly but its not for the reasons suggested by those companies who fail in this area. Those reasons are usually directed squarely at the employees who are apparently too lazy or intellectually challenged to remember this simple task.
Aside from the fact that is unlikely employees are incapable of this task it is an extremely derogatory and perhaps reflective of an attitude to employees that would play out negatively in other areas in the business.
In those companies where the employees reliably clock in and out there is one common factor and that is to make employees responsible for their actions and for there to be enforceable consequences. As an employer you are well within you rights to insist that employees clock in and out each day and to process for payroll only those records which are complete for the payroll period.
If an employee fails to clock out they will be short paid and, once the attendance has been verified for the missing clocking then the pay will be adjusted for the following period. This policy is the common factor in all those companies who have little or no issues with employees clocking in and out.
However, if you want to continue making exceptions, chasing up employees for their missed clockings or guesstimating their hours and adjusting them in the next pay period then by all means continue to do so… but this and this only is the reason why your employees can’t get it right.
When you introduce electronic time and attendance it is a great opportunity to address the management practices which feed the problem. Let the employees know that the new system is automated for improved accuracy and processing speed but it does mean that if you forget to clock you will not be paid for the day. Blame the system if you like but what you will see is an rapid and permanent change in the reliability of employee clocking.