Usually, employees are against time tracking. Or are they? A recent survey by AIN business magazine showed that 60% of respondents are neutral about time tracking. 14.6% said that this practice has a positive impact on the quality of work and helps to get more things done. Special time tracking programs are becoming more and more popular, although 51.7% of respondents still fill in the amount of time worked on their own.
We decided to raise the issue of automated time tracking because its popularity is only a matter of time. Let's take the changes in business over the past year. Do you really think anyone will waste time filling out paperwork? Especially if they've already figured out how to automate it a long time ago. Lost time costs money. Let's see what ways there are to implement automated time tracking so that the number of opposers from 27.6% can be reduced to zero. And at the same time not to lose efficiency.
What is this time tracking anyway?
Time tracking is a way for employers to track employee activity and engagement. Most often, companies use services that take into account only the time worked. Some programs offer advanced functionality, with the ability to:
- record the websites and programs used;
- analyze how productively an employee uses working time;
- take screenshots of the screen and webcam;
- automatically calculate hourly wages;
- create tasks and projects and see not only the “closed” status, but also the execution statistics; take into account the time spent on breaks, meetings and work outside the computer.
How to implement time tracking without stressing employees?
We've compiled a step-by-step guide to help managers communicate the value of time tracking and motivate employees to use it. The tips we share here are based on feedback from our clients and our own experience.
№1. Talk about the benefits of time tracking
Time tracking is primarily about the work of your employees and only then about the success of your business. Sometimes it's enough to explain the reason for time tracking to your team in advance. A simple understanding of the “why” can make a big difference in their motivation. Make sure everyone on your team realizes the value of time tracking and how it will benefit them. Build a trusting and transparent relationship. If you do this right, you may not need the following tips.
№2. Set clear rules
The only thing worse than total control is irregular control – “I want it today, I don't want it tomorrow.” To help employees track their time in a meaningful way, you need a system. Before you start tracking, explain to all team members how to do it correctly and who will check the results. As in the first point, understanding why something should be done in a certain way will make it easier to implement the system.
№3. Help each employee with the basic settings
If you want your employees to use time tracking, it's important that they feel like you're meeting them halfway. Moreover, the fewer obstacles there are between the user and the system, the more likely they are to successfully adopt it. Therefore, choose a time tracker that does not need to be started and stopped. It is important that all changes to the settings are automatically updated on all computers. In fact, staff should make 2-3 clicks and see everything they need.
№4. Share reports
Sharing information is a great way to build trust. If you have a screen on your office wall, use it to showcase your time tracker data. The only thing you shouldn't do is use public condemnation if you're unhappy with a person's work habits.
№5. Ask, listen, and hear
Your employees are business professionals. As they work with the intricacies day in and day out, their feedback is invaluable for making the right decisions and adjustments. Watch how your team adapts to time tracking. If they have any problems, concerns, or suggestions, use that feedback to improve your system. The easier it is for them, the more likely they are to keep the habit.
Stress-free time tracking is the key to long-term cooperation
Many time trackers offer both overt and covert monitoring. Our tips are more related to the first method, as we use it in our company and see real results. There's nothing wrong with the hidden mode, you just have to choose the right one for you and take into account the goals set for the program.
The essence of time tracking is that employees consciously keep track of their working hours. A person works productively for about 5 hours. The rest of the time is stolen by distractions, such as browsing social media, reading the news, and socializing with colleagues outside of work – these are the top three. If the value of time tracking is not conveyed to the employee, and it is to learn how to use time productively, he or she will think that he or she can stay on top of his or her job by simply coming in and extending the green bar. (This is how productive time is defined in Yaware.TimeTracker).
We hope these tips will help you succeed with time tracking and find a system that works for your team. You may encounter some resistance, but don't stop! Once people start tracking time, you'll be surprised how painless it is. And, of course, much of the success depends on the right tool.
As with any software, don't just go for the first one you see. First, test a couple of time trackers and see which one is right for your current and future business. Luckily, Yaware.TimeTracker offers a free 2 week trial, so you can try out the full functionality without any restrictions.