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For such a situation what I suggest is that you install a seperate card punching machine at canteen. Anyone comes to canteen must punch in time and out time. Later you can calculate the time difference in outime from office and intime in canteen and vice versa.
This might solve your problem up to a great extent.
29th August 2009 From Nigeria, Lagos
All the best for your efforts though :-)
2nd September 2009 From India, Delhi
There is no easy (or foolproof) electronic/technological way of tracking break times. After several days of discussions with a range of technology and retail partners, our conclusion was that the only way to enforce honest timekeeping is to provide for a techno-manual solution. Implement a time punching system that takes employee's ID number (or a punch card in your case) to punch time in and out. This time is then approved by their immediate supervisor. We need to put in enough HR processes to make it mandatory for the supervisors to track and approve time correctly. Tying the time tracking, approval and following the HR processes activities to the individual's performance reviews would help incentivize employees at all levels to follow the processes.
Since the time tracking technology is tied to the individual's employee ID, each employee is responsible for time logging. If one employee gains access to another's ID or badge or punch card to punch time for him or her, then the individual whose time is being punched is held accountable - not the one who is actually punching.
All this, at the end of each day (or payroll period) is verified and approved by the supervisor, who then becomes accountable for accurate time logging of his or her staff. There would be multiple levels of such checks and balances, all the way up to VP or Senior VP level in the retail organization.
This system was widely discussed and implemented in over 15,000 stores nationwide (in the US) for this company I was working for. It is still not 100% foolproof, but pretty close to it - because the chain of accountability goes all the way from individual store representatives up to Regional VPs, to corporate VP to Senior VP in the Retail space. There have to be many broken links in this chain for someone to break the rules and effectively get away with it. Further, because this is tied to individual's performance reviews at every level in the organization, everyone would be incentivized to log their time accurately as well as ensure their staff is logging their time correctly.
That said, it is easier to track an employee's movements in a store by a store supervisor. However, it may not be just as simple in your organization to do so (if you are running an office or a factory or a manufacturing plant. However, it could be a possibility to adapt the above idea and tailor it to your specific needs and constraints. Regardless, this would be a large project if you have to run this for an entire corporation (depending on the size of your company) and at any size, it would require the sponsorship and commitment of the senior leaders and top brass of the company.
All the best.
2nd September 2009 From United States, Woodinville
To avoide this organization specially HR department has to ensure that employee's they target shall possess minimum standards as below:
should exhibit panctualness
should be from good acadamic background
should be well mannered.
shluld have good educated and disciplined family background
should have good communication skills
Must have good sense iof humor
should good intellect quality
Only then employee can show some degree of respect to your systems and procedures. We recruit people from campus like picking up from street corners of any town and without giving importance to his above mentioned credentials then you are bound to face problems and every solution become genisis of next problem only discipline workforce can make things work in an enviornment where lorge workforce is employed because you cannot counsel each and every individual employee.
2nd September 2009 From Saudi Arabia
It is but natural with 1200 employees there has to be a perfect system of discipline enforced. The lack of this shows up in different ways.
Your organisation must be having its own certified standing orders. If it is in existence you will surely be having mention about timings and grace timings.
There are factories where they punch at the gate and take time to reach their work place because of the huge size of the premises. So a period of grace time is given. Say for example if you punch in at 8.30am as per the rule then you are given 5 to 10 minutes to start your work. This grace time is dependant on the travelling time a normal person would take to reach the work location.
Similarly coming to the dining hall, you could install a rotating gate(turnstile) which unlocks only when they swipe their card and lets in one person at a time.
Have the grace time fixed for reaching the work place after lunch hours.
Have the security at the gate insist on signed gate pass from each person going out of the premises at times other the closing time.
Start deducting pay for delayed work start beyond the grace time. Enforce the rule of marking a person absent if he reports later than the time limit given.
There will be some struggle to accept this. But then this has to be done or else management's suffering will increase. Remember without discipline your business enterprise will undergo loss and the innocent will also suffer. Remember to be fair but also firm.
2nd September 2009 From India, Bangalore