Time is Money: Practice Good Clock Management

In a world filled with lawsuits, it’s absolutely vital that employers have “good clock management”. This is a term I’ve taken from my favorite sport, football (the real kind where 300 lb guys go after it and not the kind that is rightfully called Soccer). In football, the term “clock management” means the coach knows when to call a time out, when to tell the quarterback to spike the ball to stop the clock, and when to call a play that leads the running back or receiver out of bounds, therefore conserving time. The coach in this scenario is like the CEO, branch manager, or any other manager in the company whose job it is to know how much time is left, and when to stop the clock.

While there are many areas that can lead to poor clock management, a biggie is off the clock work. Allowing any off the clock work is a big no-no and must be strictly prohibited. An employer must never allow any type or off the clock work and should anyone become aware of such practices they must be reported immediately. The bottom line is that in business there is no such thing as being off the clock when it comes to wages and hours.

Here are a few more simple rules to follow to protect your company and improve your clock management.

HAVE A CRYSTAL CLEAR POLICY – The best place to start with good clock management is to make sure there is a very clear policy in place regarding overtime and off the clock work. Everything should be explicitly spelled out, such as “Off the clock work is strictly prohibited and is not allowed. Should you be requested to perform work off the clock please report this violation to the HR department immediately”.

TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN – Proper training must be given to all managers and employees. Once they have had the proper training, train them again. At the very least managers and employees should be trained on overtime management and other wage and hour policies yearly.

TRACK EVERYTHING – Keep track of employee hours religiously! This is something employers must be a stickler about. If an employee comes back from lunch early or leaves work a few minutes late, all of these instances must be accounted for. This can be facilitated with a good time and attendance system.

DEFINE AND ENFORCE CONSEQUENCES – Make sure managers and supervisors know that there will be consequences if the policies and procedures regarding overtime and off the clock work are not followed. The most severe of these violations — such as altering the time an employee has worked to avoid paying overtime — may constitute grounds for dismissal.

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