Tracking Employees' Time

February 2006

What is the best way you have found to track your employees’ time?

Electronic scanners with job codes.—Glen Riffe, Denver Drywall Co., Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

I have wondered how other companies do this also.

We have the employee fill out a timecard for the week, rounding to the nearest 1/2 hour. We rely on a trust between employee and employer, but I’m sure we are paying more than we would if we had some kind of clock that they had to punch in at.

We have looked at a mobile timekeeping system that uses handheld units that can be carried by the foremen, but it seems somewhat cumbersome. Has anyone implemented the "About Time” System? One of our principal owners is reluctant to change. I think we are throwing $$$ out the window.—Elizabeth Traut Bosio, RSI/Restoration Specialists, Inc., Broomfield, CO

Have a competent and loyal foreman on the job—Frank Omboli, Omboli Interiors, Reno, NV

Keep the crew small and work with them on a regular basis.—Lee Burningham, Lee Burningham Company, North Logan, UT

We have been using Nextel tracking on our phones and refreshing it throughout the day, then printing them out each day so we can compare them to where our employees say they were (about every two weeks).—Israel Watkins

Our firm uses sub jobs from an established budget on a project. Time and production footage is turned in each day for every employee working on the job. The info is turned in electronically from a laptop or PDA into the company job cost system. The project foreman and superintendent oversee correct turn in information.—Rusty Plowman, Delta Drywall Inc., Denver, CO

We have on-site job clocks we purchased. Each man or woman is given sets of keys that are used to clock in and out. They are retrieved with a Palm Pilot and transferred into our computers and then processed to pay checks.—Diana Fike, Seattle Paint & Drywall Inc., Bothell, WA

I am the only employee so I use a wrist watch and Day Planner.—Mike Wilson, Wilson Repairs

I am a small operator. Each payday the employees get a new time card with the week’s check. I ask them to round to the next quarter hour each day. But we work side by side so I know if they are fudging. I try not to work more than eight hours daily and they know it.—John McElwee, John Mcelwee Plastering, Fresno, CA

I used to check their cell phone usage—but that got too painful.—Thomas R. Blood, Long Beach Acoustics, Inc., Long Beach, CA

Per employee—Tosser See, Coastal ADS Inc., Corpus Christi, TX

I am still waiting. I have tried GPS tracking, key fobs. We are at the mercy of our guys—honesty and personal integrity (and memories). I will welcome any creative ideas.—Ken Huber, Snap-Tex Northwest Inc., Seattle, WA

Timeclock.—Leslie Welch, Chartier Drywall LLC, Prescott, AZ

Time is called into a recording machine daily by each employee and processed into the payroll and job cost weekly.—Claude Amerson, T-P Acoustics Inc., Scottsdale, AZ

To keep from going crazy I just keep focused on my bottom line. In residential drywall it’s a hard job to track their time. I simply track their production.—Duane Richter, Duane D. Richter Drywall, San Antonio, TX

Attach a large rubber band to their belt loop. That way, when they stray from eyesite, they will "pop” right back.—L.K. DeGeorge, L.K. DeGeorge & Associates, Montgomery, TX

Post time cards weekly. Pay on Friday, have time posted on Monday for review on Tuesday.—Jerry Screws, General Connection, Inc., Denver, CO

We have been using the job clock system from Exaktime, Inc. for over three years now. It has been wonderful and amazingly easy!! I recommend this system, especially for general contractors!!—Judy Mason, S&J Plastering Contractors, Inc., Buena Park, CA