Posted on August 25, 2014


For any employee to excel, he needs to understand his company’s expectations. Because every organization handles scheduling, lateness and lunch breaks a little differently, it can be daunting for employees to figure out exact expectations if they are not plainly presented.

Of course for employers, developing and enforcing timekeeping policies can seem just as daunting! Here are five issues to consider when creating your organization’s time policies:

1. Lateness grace period

Many employers choose not to reprimand employees for being a few minutes late here or there. Ask yourself:

* Would you like to allow employees the flexibility to show up a few minutes late on occasion?
* To how many minutes should this grace period extend?
* How many times can an employee clock in within the grace period before getting a warning?

2. Clocking in

Some employees are going to try to skirt the rules, so recognizing potential issues in advance is key.

* How will you prevent one employee from clocking in for another (sometimes referred to as "buddy-punching")?
* If you use an online time clock system, can employees clock in from home or their smartphone if they’re running late?


3. Lunch breaks

Lunch breaks are an important part of the day. Not only are they required by law for hourly workers, but they provide a social, relaxing time for employees.

* Do you want your employees to take their lunch break at the same time each day?
* Are you open to flexible lunch times based upon the individual day?

4. Planned vs. unplanned absences

Many employers prefer planned paid time off (PTO) policies because unplanned absences can leave a team in the lurch if there is no one to cover the work of a missing employee.

* Do you want to set a maximum number of unplanned absences per year before an employee will be reprimanded?


5. Flexibility

More companies are allowing for greater flexibility for their employees. Some employees prefer starting their day before 7 a.m., whereas others have no problem working well into the night.

* Do you want each employee in the office from 8-5?
* Are you willing to adjust schedules based upon the needs of an individual employee or situation?

Recognizing potential issues and determining how your company should handle each is the first step in creating and implementing strong, enforceable policies. Employees need this information from day 1 in order to thrive, so lay out the warning and punishment process clearly in your company handbook.

Having a strong policy alone is not enough. You need an easy way to keep track of scheduling issues, and employees need to know you have the technology necessary to enforce your policies. Paycor’s timekeeping solutions can be customized to fit the individual situations your organization faces, including web-based solutions that allow for greater flexibility for you and your employees. Get in touch with us for more information.

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