As someone who runs a veterinarian practice, your main passion is to take care of pets and other animals. However, you know full well that being in charge requires more than that. You need to manage a wide range of human resources tasks, one of which is supervising employee timesheets.
In this supervision, you may sometimes be tempted to personally adjust employee timesheets. However, this is a bad idea for two reasons:
- They may claim you reported their time worked incorrectly.
- You may be more vulnerable to claims of wage theft when all reporting of hours is tracked back to you or the supervisor.
In this article, you'll learn employee timekeeping best practices for your veterinary office and how to run an efficient and productive practice.
Veterinary Employee Timekeeping Best Practices
What are some employee timekeeping best practices to use in your veterinary practice?
First, you should set up an approval process for timesheet edits or entries that your employees make, so that you are aware of these changes. Instead of making the changes for your employees or allowing them to make changes without your approval, this strikes a good balance and is also less risky. You give your team members the freedom to make adjustments, but you still know about them.
Second, you should prevent employees from rounding their hours worked. If a veterinary assistant leaves work at 5:55pm but intentionally waits to clock out at 6:00pm, that is employee time theft. If it happens over and over again across the practice, and you don’t coach your employee, you could lose thousands of dollars and other employees may consider doing the same thing since their colleague isn’t getting held accountable.
The best solution is to have an accurate timekeeping system. Fortunately, HR for Health's timekeeping system is accurate and meets compliance standards. It can easily track hours worked, down to the second, with a clock-in/clock-out system, and employees can change their hours and make edits, all the while allowing you to see those edits and approve or deny them.
How To Save Time While Working
For veterinary employees, it's important to keep accurate time while on the job. There are also some timekeeping practices for veterinary employees that help everyone in the practice.
First, it's vital to automate your processes as much as possible, going paperless where you can. If you've been using a paper appointment book, consider using an electronic one.
Second, employees need to pay attention to what they're doing. In an age of screens, browsers, and open tabs, there are so many ways to get distracted. Undivided attention to the task at hand is now at a premium. If they fill out a form, they should focus on that task until it's complete.
Track Time, Make It Easy To Do So, and Lead By Example
Beyond having an accurate timekeeping system, there are several other timekeeping practices for veterinary employees that they would do well to follow.
First, your employees must track their time while it's happening, not later. In other words, it's bad practice for an employee to record their time every week or every two weeks. It's far too easy to forget or be imprecise, and this practice can open you up to claims of inaccurate hours reporting and/or litigation . Instead, especially if using an electronic timekeeper, they should clock in and out every day.
Second, the system you use should be user-friendly. Timekeeping should not be a time drain. Adopt a system that allows employees to spend just a few minutes every day tracking their time. This cuts down on wasted time, and frees them up to do the work they should be doing.
Third, ensure supervisors and employees follow the same rules. If you're requiring your employees to avoid clocking in early, you shouldn't do that either. You can have all the rules and regulations you want, but if there's a double standard, your assistants and front office receptionist will follow your lead.
Tips to Being More Efficient at Work
While customer and animal care is the most important goal for any veterinary practice, efficiency is also vital. What are some good ways to become more efficient?
First, and perhaps paradoxically, it's important to take regular breaks. Studies show that regular, short breaks throughout the workday increase focus and improve mental health. Overall, it makes you more efficient and productive. Furthermore, some states require meal and rest breaks if employees work a certain amount of time. You should familiarize yourself with these laws. Alternatively, you can connect with HR for Health’s expert team members to get you information about your state’s specific laws and ensure that you are compliant.
Perhaps your veterinary assistant's job includes administering medicine to animals. If she's unable to focus on that task, it wastes time and does not provide adequate care to the animals.
Second, consider adopting the two-minute rule. Perhaps your front office receptionist can't stay organized. Instead of trying to organize their entire desk all at once, they should try doing one simple thing that takes under two minutes—like placing one pile of related documents in a stack. Eventually, that two-minute task will become a habit, and they'll find it easier to keep their desk clean, and their work will become more efficient.
Third, encourage time blocking employees' schedules. Everyone benefits from some structure. It's easy for one task to take several hours, when it should only take two. Sometimes it helps create blocks of time throughout the day that help people stay motivated and on task. This is another area where HR for Health can help. Our meal and break tracking software ensures that employees receive an automated notification about when they clock in and reminders to take their breaks. This is not only good for the management of your practice, but can protect you if a timekeeping dispute ever goes to court.
Saving Time at Work is Good for Everyone
As the practice owner or supervisor of a busy veterinarian office, we understand you experience plenty of HR headaches. However, there's no reason to make accurate timekeeping one of those headaches. More importantly, saving time at work is beneficial for the whole practice. It saves you money, makes employees more efficient and productive, and improves the health of the animals you serve.
How HR for Health Can Help With Accurate Timekeeping
HR for Health, the all-in-one HR software solution, is dedicated to helping practices maintain accurate timekeeping. With its state-of-the-art software, you can track things like:
- Total hours worked
- Overtime hours based on your state’s rules
- Different rates of pay for situations like business travel and/or training time
Interested in learning more about how HR for Health can help your practice grow and thrive? Contact HR for Health today.