Timecards can be a pain because employees don’t like to complete them, complete them incorrectly, or don’t turn them in on time. However, you need to take them seriously for 3 basic reasons:

1) They let you know how much your employees are working. This information is used to ensure you are paying them correctly and can also be used to let you know when it might be time to hire more people or how efficient your employees are. For example, 2 employees each work 40 hours and one produces 100 widgets and the other produces 60 widgets… what does that tell you? Learn to use the metrics!

2) They protect your company on legal claims by providing backup you may need to prove your employees were paid for all hours worked, any overtime worked, and that your employees took meal and rest breaks in accordance with CA law.

3) They can be used for job costing so you know how much a particular project truly costs you in labor. In this situation, both exempt and non-exempt employees track their time based on projects.

If you’re spending a lot of time calculating the hours, look into web-based systems, time clocks, or just an Excel spreadsheet to save you time by doing the math for you. Develop a penalty for late or incomplete timecards, such as a temporary reduction in pay, unpaid suspension or write-ups. Bottom line, timekeeping is part of owning a business.

About Your Columnist

CJ Westrick is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers all things human resources and managing people in the workplace. CJ Westrick, SPHR, has been in human resources (HR) management for over 20 years and has maintained her SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) national certification since 2002. She started HR Jungle, a human resources consulting firm, in 2006 to provide senior-level HR expertise to businesses without internal HR.

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