Something’s Gotta Give!
Competition is fierce in the FM industry. You may use the best products, employ the best staff, have the best reputation, but your customers also demand the best price. Something’s gotta give!
In order to retain service quality and remain competitive every opportunity must be taken to maximise efficiencies. Bulk buying cleaning products, maintaining machinery, and keeping on top of your debtors are all important. However your greatest expense is your payroll and statistically it’s where the most slippage occurs.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 27% of all businesses experience payroll fraud. Organisations with less than 100 employees are twice as vulnerable as larger ones, and the average length of time the fraudulent episodes occur is around 3 years. That’s a lot of slippage.
Let’s take a look at a typical fraudulent example like short shifts. Your cleaner arrives on site for a 3-hour shift but leaves after 2. By the end of the year you’ve overpaid that employee by as much as $5000. Furthermore you’re at risk of losing a valuable contract, and your company reputation could be in tatters.
Then there’s behaviour not typically considered fraudulent but can be equally dangerous – the tardy employee. Arriving 15 minutes late once in a while isn’t a problem, but research shows that an average 16% of workers arrive late at least once a week, 27% at least once a month.
Good management goes a long way to avoiding undesirable behaviour, but it can only go so far. Unless supervisors are physically on site, the reality of actual site attendance can be a far cry from planned activity. In fact, a recent survey by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that the number of hours people claim to work was exaggerated from actual clocked attendance by as much as 26%.
Allowing tardy and fraudulent activities to continue can have a catastrophic effect on your more trustworthy staff. They are on site, and fully aware of their colleague’s conduct. Relationships within the team become strained, and productivity declines as respect for each other and the business deteriorates. With early detection you can “nip it in the bud” before the corruption spreads.
Initiating a means to record when staff arrive and leave the contract site can be a simple and cost effective solution, especially when you weigh it up against the payroll savings you can expect to incur.
There are several systems that capture time & attendance at the work site using a variety of login/out methods including the client’s telephone, smart mobile phones or biometric units. Each method has their own benefits to suit staff, site or both. It’s a good idea to ensure that login methods are interchangeable. That way you can register staff with multiple login options, giving you greater flexibility when preparing work schedules.
You may not be able to prevent all deceptive activities, but having actual site attendance data to hand should allow you to identify staff that may need corrective management, as well as recognise commendable behaviour that can be rewarded accordingly.
Maximising workforce efficiencies may be easier than you think and should generate some notable benefits in other aspects of your business. Service teams that get along are more stable and productive, reducing recruitment and training costs.Customers are pleased with service performance, increasing the chance of maintaining and even winning more contracts. Managers can now spend less time on staff administration, allowing time for more lucrative duties.