I work for a small medium business (SMB) that pays its staff hourly. We record our hours worked with an online time accounting system that is based on the honor system. Employees enter there Time In and Time Out entries to complete a virtual punch card that keeps track of their total hours worked, breaks, vacations, etc. I am the direct supervisor for a small team of office professionals and one of my direct reports (we'll call him Mike) is using the time accounting system improperly.
We are expected to "Punch In" when we start our day and "Punch Out" when we take a break or leave for the day. When Mike arrives in the morning he will often forget to "Punch In" and when leaving on his break it is very common for Mike to forget to "Punch Out." To compound matters, Mike's estimated arrival and departure times are always incorrect and always in his favor.
For example, this morning Mike forgot to punch in for the day. When I informed him of the oversight, he back filled his time sheet with a start time of 7:29 AM. I happen to know for a fact that he wasn't at his desk at 7:30 because I was looking for him at the time. In fact, he didn't arrive until 7:38. Admittedly it is a very minor discrepancy, but it struck me as odd that he was so specific and yet demonstrably inaccurate. He didn't put in an estimated time of 7:30, instead it was 7:29.
My spidey-senses were tingling, so I paid closer attention to Mike's coming and going today. The window in my office overlooks the parking lot, which made it easy for me to make a note of Mike's arrival and departure times.
Mike left for a morning break at 11:00 on the nose, but on his time sheet it says he left at 11:09. He didn't get back from break until 11:47 but his time sheet says he returned at 11:43. It seems like this may be a pattern of behavior that has gone unnoticed before now.
Mike and I have talked in the past about the importance of following the company's time accounting procedure. On three separate occasions I have made it clear to Mike that he needs to Punch In when he arrives and Punch Out when he departs. I don't want to lose an otherwise valuable member of the team over something so small, but the dishonesty is really bothering me.
How should I deal with this situation with Mike?