You’ve heard the phrase, “Time is money.”
This is especially true for employers. When you hire someone to work for you, you’re essentially buying their time. The expectation is that they will spend that time working for you.
When your drivers perform tasks that are not related to their work while on the job, they’re stealing time. In fact, employee time theft is a huge problem in the United States. Experts estimate that employers lose $400 billion a year due to this practice.
The challenges of fleet monitoring can make it difficult for fleet managers to keep tabs on their drivers. Let’s look at some strategies that can help you better identify and prevent theft.
What Constitutes Time Theft?
Managers don’t necessarily expect employees to spend every second of their day working. In fact, the law typically requires that employees get paid breaks at work.
So how can managers distinguish between taking a break and stealing time?
Simply put, theft occurs when employees accept pay for work they have not completed. If your employee’s downtime prevents them from doing their assigned tasks, then they’re stealing time.
How Employees Steal Time
One of the most common ways employees steal time is by fudging numbers when they clock in and out. For instance, maybe you have an employee who habitually shows up five minutes late, and leaves five minutes early. Over the course of a week, this adds up to almost an hour of stolen time.
Sometimes, employees mislead their bosses about where they are. For instance, when a driver is dispatched, they are expected to head directly to their destination. Without a manager there to monitor them, they may decide to stop for a cup of coffee or to meet some friends for lunch.
Even if the driver is paid by mileage, it’s still a problem for them to take these detours. Even if they’re not being paid for the extra time, they’re making the delivery process less efficient.
Most truck drivers are paid by their mileage, rather than by an hourly rate. For this reason, one of the main ways drivers steal time is by inflating their mileage.
For example, a driver could add mileage to their trip by taking a complicated route, rather than a direct one. This way, the odometer will show more mileage than was actually necessary to complete the trip.
How to Better Monitor your Employees
Employees are less likely to steal time when they know managers are watching. Of course, this can be difficult for fleet managers, since they monitor their drivers remotely.
Luckily, technology has made it easier for fleet managers to monitor this behavior. By installing a GPS tracking system in your vehicle, you can see the exact route that a driver takes to get to a particular location.
This way, you’ll know right away if a driver takes an unnecessary route. You can also track whether a particular driver has a pattern of this behavior. This will allow you to address problems as they arise.
What strategies have you used to combat time theft? Feel free to get in touch and share your strategies with us. We’d love to hear from you!