It can be difficult to keep track of exactly how your employees are using their time. More specifically, you want to be sure that they are making the best use of their time. You don't want to cross the fine line between time tracking and micromanagement, so time tracking software could be a good option for you. There are a number of advantages to be gained by using time-management software, ultimately making your business more productive.
- Improved workload management
If you have employees who work on a variety of different tasks, software allowing them to track the amount of time they spend on specific tasks lets them (and you) see clearly whether they are portioning their time appropriately or if adjustments need to be made to the amount of time they are spending on each aspect of their job
- Save time and effort with the payroll
Some time management software will not only allow employees to track their time, but will also create timesheets, which can be a huge timesaver for you in calculating each employee’s pay. This is particularly useful for businesses with employees working variable hours.
- Increased focus
Having employees track their time will make them more aware of how they are using their time at work. This should help them to take more responsibility for managing their time, and keep them more focused on meeting deadlines and using their time as efficiently as possible, which should minimise time spent procrastinating!
- Improved workflow
Another advantage of using time tracking software is that you can easily compare how all of your employees are managing their time. The benefit of this is twofold. Firstly, it will allow you to easily see when workload needs to be redistributed across the team, which will make your team more efficient. Secondly, this will also allow you to see how your most productive employees manage their time, so that (a) you can give credit where credit is due, and (b) you can encourage those who seem to be struggling with time management to mimic the working habits of their more productive colleagues.
- Minimise wasted time and money
Being able to clearly see where your company’s time goes means you can clearly see any inefficiencies, which allows you to correct them, cutting down on unnecessary costs.
- More accurate client billing
When you are charging clients by the hour, it is crucial that you track time accurately. Time tracking software means you are able to account for exactly what the client is paying for, which they will appreciate. It can also help you to ensure that you are not over- or under-charge your clients, both of which are equally bad for business; an over-charged client is unlikely to be a returning customer, and undercharging clients means a financial loss for your company.
A word of warning, however – remember that some of your employees may be resistant to time tracking software, as it can make them feel that you don’t trust them, or that you are trying to catch them out doing something wrong. This, of course, is not productive for your business, as it could make your employees nervous or resentful, which in turn will impact on the quality of their work. To avoid this type of negativity, make sure that your entire workforce understands why the time tracking software is being used. Emphasise that you are not introducing it because of anything anyone has done wrong, but to ensure that the company as a whole is as productive as possible, making sure that tasks are allocated across the team fairly, and that the team is working together as a whole, as well as to ensure accurate client billing and employee pay.
Small Business Trends offer some ideas for positive ways to explain the importance of time-tracking to your employees:
- “We are going to automate our payroll in order to reduce errors, improve efficiency and make sure you get paid on time. To do that, we need to have accurate time data from you.”
- “In order to make sure we correctly bill our clients for all of the hard work you put in, we need to track your time on projects.”
- “We don’t want you to waste your time on projects that aren’t successful. In order to know this information, we need to know how much time you’re putting toward what projects.”
Ultimately, to get your employees on board with time tracking software, you need them to feel that it is beneficial to them. Emphasise that you want to use it to improve the success of the company, which will in turn benefit them. People want to work for a successful company, as if the company isn’t successful, neither are its employees. So, be clear in your ambitions, and the valuable roles that each of your employees play in these ambitions; as Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review, points out: “For goals to be meaningful and effective in motivating employees, they must be tied to larger organizational ambitions. Employees who don’t understand the roles they play in company success are more likely to become disengaged.”