The number of hours employees spend on work can tell businesses owners and managers a lot about their workforce. It can answer questions about engagement, cost of labor versus productivity, and if tasks are taking too long to complete. Therefore, it is essential for workers to see the value of tracking their time. These statistics are enough to inspire any manager to get their team on board with time tracking:
- 70 percent of workers are disengaged with their workday.
- 96 percent of professionals say employees make mistakes when it comes to time tracking.
- Actively disengaged employees cost the US $450 to $550 billion per year in lost productivity.
- Over 85 percent of best-in-class companies integrate their attendance and payroll systems.
It is essential for managers to keep track of work time, not for the purposes of playing Big Brother, but keeping an eye on productivity can help managers better track budgets and worker engagement. Read on for eight ways managers can get their team on board with time tracking.
Tell Them Why it is Important
Those stats above are excellent reasons workers should commit time to track their activity during the day. Managers should tell workers that their dedication to tracking time can help management better understand their engagement levels, fix procedural or technical issues hindering work, and provide incentives for those who stay on task. Giving them reasons why the company is doing this keeps workers in the know, and presents a case for why it is crucial.
Pick a Convenient Time-Tracking Software or App
The last thing workers want to hear is that they have another task to complete during their workday. The calls, emails, and project deadlines are enough to keep the most diligent worker busy. Therefore, managers need to purchase software or an app that is quick to load and easy to use. Finding a system that allows workers to quickly input their time as they work, and not even have to open up a new window, will encourage them to better track their time.
Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their efforts? Even with the most convenient software, tracking time is still an extra task on top of the various other duties workers have to handle. Providing an incentive for entering time can prove fruitful. Offering a free lunch or breakfast, company swag, or even a work-from-home day can inspire workers to get into the habit of tracking their time.
Provide Multiple Ways for Workers to Track Time
Workers are not always at the office when they have to work on a project. Therefore, they need a number of ways to keep track of their time. Using a system with a mobile app allows workers to input their time on the go, while integrations with other applications like your project management software, expense management software or ERP software enable workers to track time even if they are using another program to complete their work. Managers will get the best results if they use an app that brings time monitoring to employees instead of the other way around.
Give Workers a Personalized Remote Work Report
Even the best employees will forget to enter their time. Managers can provide a gentle reminder to input time by giving each employee a report of the previous week. There, employees can see if they missed out on entering their time. It keeps managers from having to nag and allows employees to get in the habit of remembering to enter their work.
Take Action When You Find Hiccups
Are certain employees taking their time to make it back to work for lunch? Are there a lot of callouts throughout the week? Are certain employees overtasked while others do not seem to have as much to do? These are problems that time tracking can give some insight into. If dedicated and committed employees know that managers will take action if results are showing problems, then they will feel more invested in being honest with their time. This development can help managers make decisions about procedural or staffing changes that may need to be made.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways to motivate workers to track their time is for managers to take it upon themselves to start the trend. When managers actively use apps or systems they require workers to use; it shows commitment and transparency. They are not only asking others to do something, but they are willing to do it themselves. This act can go a long way to push employees to do the same. Have managers and C-levels share their time tracking with the team members to build solidarity and to remind them that this is about process improvement, not micromanaging.
Show Them the Impact on Their Professional Growth
Time tracking tools also lend insight to the kind of work employees are doing. Savvy managers can use this as an advantage to help workers see where they can improve by implementing time-saving measures that contribute to a more streamlined workday. Tracking time can also be used as a way to monitor progress toward new professional goals set by employees.
There are many benefits to time tracking, the challenge most managers face is convincing workers of how time tracking can also help them. Managers should be transparent about why they are implementing these systems, provide incentives for workers to engage, and make time tracking a regular part of the daily workflow. The goal is to get as much investment and buy-in from workers. The more natural the process for employees to get involved, then the better time managers will have to make time tracking a regular procedure in the office.
Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.