Igor contacted our support team. His company's management has been testing the time tracking program for 2 weeks. Listening to their feedback, Igor decided to implement the program in all departments. But, one question remained open… How to implement it as painlessly as possible for the staff? How to convey the value of time tracking to employees and enlist their support? Our manager recommended using the “fair process” methodology described in this article.
The unfair process
Many employees spend time on social media. This does not always mean that they are negligent. Sometimes, they just don't know how to manage time properly, and Google articles about fighting procrastination only steal precious time. Some even don't mind using additional time management tools, such as a tracker. Meanwhile, the manager orders the program to be installed on all computers.
The staff seems to approve of the idea, but they don't like the implementation process itself – no explanation, no conversations, no open questions. They are worried that the manager is not interacting, but only presenting a fact. Not having enough information about what will happen, employees begin to discuss it among themselves and have discussions about the legality of using time tracking programs. Rumors start to circulate that everyone will be fired, that a list of the most unproductive employees will be drawn up at the end of the day.
As they begin to worry, dissatisfaction with the situation grows. Distrust of management grows like a snowball. And when employees don't trust, they question the manager's ability to make good and fair decisions. Their motivation is undermined.
A fair process
A huge and unrecognized problem in most organizations is the lack of employee involvement in strategic decision-making. The more changes are made quietly, without putting the staff in front of the facts, the higher the level of staff distrust. This issue is important because companies are completely dependent on the commitment and ideas of their employees.
A fair process involves active interaction with each person involved in the project. Its advantage is that staff will follow the manager's decision – even if they disagree with it – if they believe the process the manager used to make the decision is fair. It sounds simple, but only a few managers practice it.
For example, they explain to the staff the reasons for installing the tracker and outline expectations for how each team member's performance will be evaluated. That is, they make significant changes to the work not by force, but by involving the employee in this process. Therefore, they feel like a person whose opinion is taken into account regardless of the official hierarchy. This reduces the level of suspicion that arises in the process of implementing the working time accounting program.
Three principles of justice
A fair process meets basic human needs. All of us, regardless of our role in the company, want to be valued as people, not as “labor.” We want others to respect our intelligence. We want our ideas to be taken seriously. And we want to understand the reasons behind specific decisions. If you ask any person what they need to feel that a process is fair, most will name three elements:
This means that an employee, regardless of their position, is involved in the strategic decision-making process. They openly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the tracker, generate ideas, and feel that their opinions are listened to. The result is the installation of the program and the sincere commitment of everyone involved in its implementation.
Why did the company decide to use Yaware.TimeTracker? If the employee knows the answer to this question, the explanation stage was successful. The explanation gives the staff confidence that managers have taken into account their opinion and are acting impartially in the overall interests of the company.
№3. Clarity of expectations
After installing the tracker, new rules of the game are formed – employees must know the standards by which their work will be evaluated, in advance . Although the expectations may be high – for example, 8 productive hours – even then, sabotage and dissatisfaction are minimized, and people are able to focus on the rapid implementation of the program.
Together, these three criteria lead to a fair process and influence employee behavior.
At the beginning of the conversation, Igor mentioned equal exchange and why it was important for him to implement the tracker in the company painlessly. He is one of those managers who build transparent relationships with their staff from the very beginning. They are interested in open and honest cooperation. Therefore, after testing the tracker, Igor was worried about how to implement the program in his company without stress and undermining motivation. And it can't be otherwise, given that he approached the issue transparently and openly from the very beginning. But, very often, managers act differently. When installing the program, they do not explain anything to the staff, and the latter sees the innovation as a tool for monitoring and control. But this can be avoided. To make the process less painful, we recommend using the principle of a fair process and gradually introducing the program.This is an alternative to positive and negative staff motivation.
This additional method is used to get employees on your side even before the implementation of the plan. When people know what is expected of them and agree that it is important, they will voluntarily perform the necessary actions to achieve the result.