Starting a new job can be overwhelming, especially at a large company like Walmart with established systems and processes. As a Walmart associate, one of the first things you need to learn is how to properly clock in and out of your shifts using Walmart‘s preferred timekeeping methods.
Failing to adhere to Walmart‘s clock-in and clock-out policies can result in missed pay, points against your attendance record, or even termination. With over 1.5 million U.S. associates working at Walmart‘s over 5,000 stores, accurately tracking time is crucial for the company‘s scheduling and payroll operations.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know as a Walmart associate about clocking in and out in 2023 using Walmart‘s Electronic Time Clock (ETC) terminals and the Me@Walmart mobile app. I‘ll provide expert tips for avoiding common new hire mistakes and make sure you get paid for all hours worked.
Overview of Walmart‘s Time Tracking Systems
Walmart associates can use two main methods for clocking in and out:
- Electronic Time Clock (ETC): The traditional terminals located in stores that associates tap their badge on to clock in, go to meal, return from meal, and clock out.
- Me@Walmart App: Allows associates to use their smartphones to clock in when arriving onsite using geofencing technology. Also displays schedules.
Both systems feed data to Walmart‘s mainframe to automatically track associates‘ work hours for payroll and scheduling. The table below compares some pros and cons of each system:
|Electronic Time Clock||– Direct interaction proves you are onsite |
– Easy for new hires to understand
|– Requires physically finding a terminal |
– May experience technical issues
|Me@Walmart App||– Convenient clock-in from your phone |
– Access schedule anytime
|– Spotty GPS tracking |
– Phone issues can cause problems
Now let‘s get into the specifics on how to properly use each system.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using Walmart‘s Electronic Time Clock (ETC)
The ETC terminals are placed throughout your assigned Walmart store – often near the entrances, break rooms, and timekeeping departments.
When you arrive:
- Tap your personal badge on the ETC terminal screen.
- Select the "Clock-in" option from the menu.
This will log your arrival time in the system. At the end of your shift:
- Tap your badge again.
- Select the "Clock-out" option.
This logs you out and captures your total hours for the day.
If taking a meal break:
- Select "Going to meal" when you start your break.
- Choose "Back from meal" when the break ends.
Tips for ETC Success
- Locate terminals in your store during orientation. Know where your closest one is.
- Gently tap badge – pressing too hard can cause issues.
- Always double check you tapped the right option – "Clock-in" vs. "Clock-out"
- Ask a manager if your store‘s ETC is malfunctioning.
Avoid clocking in over 8 minutes before your shift start time, as this may trigger an unauthorized overtime situation.
Mastering the Me@Walmart App for Clock-In
The Me@Walmart app uses your phone‘s geolocation services to detect when you enter your store‘s perimeter and clock you in.
Here‘s how to use it properly:
- Enable location services for the app in your phone‘s settings.
- Open the app when approaching the store for your shift.
- You will see a button to "Clock-in" – tap it when within the geofence.
The app will default to clocking you out when you leave the geofenced area after your shift. You can also manually clock out within the app.
- Ensure your phone battery is charged so the app can run.
- Position phone so the app is open and active when nearing the store.
- Check the app confirmed your clock-in, and manually clock if needed.
- Preview your schedule regularly in the app and adjust availability.
While convenient, the app can have issues with GPS connectivity or phone performance. Always have a backup plan like using the ETC if needed.
What To Do After Clocking In
Once successfully clocked in by either method, you are ready to start your work duties for the day! Proceed to your department or assigned station to begin your shift.
Some key things to remember during your shift:
- Take your full scheduled meal and rest breaks and clock out/in for them using the same system you clocked in with that day. This ensures you get paid for the time.
- Communicate with managers if you need to extend a break due to an emergency or other reason to avoid clock-in issues.
- Do not clock out until your scheduled shift end time, excluding approved breaks. This can lead to points assessed against you.
- Check your schedule the night before your next shift so you know your start time and assigned department.
Avoiding Common New Hire Clock-In/Out Mistakes
It takes a bit of training and experience to become completely comfortable with Walmart‘s timekeeping systems. It‘s normal to make a few slip-ups as a new associate. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Forgetting to clock back in after a meal break – set a reminder alarm on your phone.
- Clocking in significantly early without approval – only within 8 minutes early maximum.
- Using the wrong system throughout your shift – use only ETC or app, not both.
- Relying on the Me@Walmart app without a backup plan – make sure to know the nearest ETC terminal location.
- Not clocking out for restroom breaks over 10 minutes – follow policy to avoid infractions.
- Distractedly choosing the wrong clock-in/out option – double check you chose "clock-in"/"clock-out" carefully.
With practice, clocking in and out will become second nature. Never hesitate to ask managers when you need help.
Walmart‘s Timekeeping and Attendance Policies
As one of the world‘s largest private employers, Walmart needs to apply standardized timekeeping and attendance rules fairly across its massive workforce. While learning a new job is always challenging, it‘s important associates understand these policies right from the start:
You must clock in/out for all shifts – This includes arriving on time, at the end of your shift, and for meal breaks. Missed clock-ins can lead to incorrect pay.
No working off the clock – All time worked must be captured through proper clock-in protocols for compensation reasons. Off the clock work is prohibited.
Ten minute late arrival/leave rule – Arriving more than 10 minutes late or leaving more than 10 minutes early accrues 0.5 or 1 point against your record per infraction, leading to possible termination if too high.
Meal break compliance – Take your scheduled breaks, but do not extend breaks beyond allotted time without approval. Clock out/in for all.
While Walmart aims to be accommodating within reason, consistently failing to adhere to these policies can negatively impact your employment status.
Correcting Missed Clock-Ins or Outs
Despite your best efforts, you may occasionally forget to clock in or out. Here are some best practices to resolve these issues:
Realize your mistake quickly – Whether it‘s noticing you forgot to clock out or being prompted to clock the previous shift on your next one.
Communicate with management ASAP – Explain the situation to your manager and request they amend your timesheet.
Provide timestamps – If possible, note the actual clock-in/out time to correct to. For example, security footage could verify.
Submit time adjustment form – Formalize needed revisions through the proper paperwork.
Don‘t make a habit of it – While occasional missed clock events occur, make sure they are rare exceptions and not the norm.
Being proactive helps minimize any payroll errors or performance impacts.
Key Takeaways for New Walmart Associates
Mastering Walmart‘s timekeeping processes takes some adjustment from day one. Keep these tips in mind:
- Choose an authorized clock-in method and use it consistently.
- Double check all clock entries for accuracy.
- Adhere to attendance and break policies to avoid infractions.
- Fix any errors immediately by communicating with management.
- Ask for help when unsure – managers are there to guide you.
With this comprehensive guide, you now have an expert-level understanding of how to properly clock in at Walmart using the available systems. Being diligent with your time tracking ensures you get paid accurately for all hours worked. Welcome to the Walmart associate team – you‘ve got this!