In any business, buddy punching (or sweethearting) can be a serious problem. Joe is running late, so Jill clocks in for him so that he won’t get in trouble with the managers. On another day, Jill might need to leave early, so Joe clocks her out when she was supposed to leave. They’re trying to help each other out, but they may not realize the cost of what they’re doing! These small amounts of time can add up to big costs for employers. You could be wasting thousands of dollars paying employees who aren’t even there! Fortunately, biometrics protect your business from issues just like these.
What are biometrics, and how do they protect your business?
Biometric technology takes into account a person’s unique physical attributes, such as a fingerprint; it then uses that information to verify their identity. In other words, biometric time clocks use stored data to ensure that the person at the clock is who they say they are. No two people have the same fingerprint, so biometric time clocks are a reliable way for employers to eliminate buddy punching. These time clocks ensure that employees are physically at the clock in order to clock in. Not all time clocks work the same way, however, so keep reading. We’ll tell you what to look for in a solid clock.
What if my employees are worried about giving away their personal identifiable information (PII)?
Preventing buddy punching may sound great to employers, but not all employees are comfortable scanning their fingerprint. We get it. They’re worried about their personal identifiable information (PII) ending up in the wrong hands. Out there on the internet, where they have no control over it. And they’re right to be concerned: some time clocks are true biometric clocks. They collect and store actual fingerprints and save them on the machine or in the cloud. Businesses should avoid these kinds of clocks if they care about keeping their employees’ PII safe.
Other clocks, like TimeForge’s Biopad and Time Machine time clocks, do not store fingerprint data. What they do is scan the print to create a series of unintellible numbers and letters, called a hash. It’s basically gibberish – it doesn’t mean anything and can’t be reverse engineered. You can think of it like a strong password that’s unique to you. That gibberish code is what the TimeForge time clock saves instead of a fingerprint. Then, the next time you use the clock, it rehashes your print and looks for a match between gibberish codes in the database. If it finds one, it logs you in. It’s much safer and more secure than a time clock that stores actual fingerprints.
Tip: If you’re looking for a time clock solution to prevent buddy punching, make sure to do your homework. Ask the manufacturer whether the clock stores actual fingerprints or fingerprint scans. If it does, cross it off the list and look for something that won’t be a liability or put your employees at risk.
How else do biometrics help?
Not only will biometric time clocks help protect your business from buddy punching or sweethearting, but they can actually make tracking time and attendance faster and more efficient. You won’t need to manually write out time sheets, and you won’t have to waste time logging into software. All your employees need to do is walk up to the time clock, place their finger on the scanner, and click the clock-in option. This helps you get your employees on the floor fast.
By using biometric technology, the money you’ve saved by eliminating buddy punching can be invested into opening new locations, hiring more employees, or ordering more inventory. Biometric time clocks help make your business more profitable in the long run, which helps to justify the upfront cost.
If you think you might be interested in biometric time clocks or fingerprint scanners for your business, TimeForge can help! We offer time clocks that sync with TimeForge’s labor management suite, which can make it easier for you or your managers to track attendance. If you’d like to know more information, feel free to email us or give us a call at 866-684-7191. You can start using TimeForge Attendance by signing up for a free trial.