Some of the main reasons companies are implementing office and remote employee time tracking software are:
- Better workload organization and management;
- Improved project management;
- Increased productivity;
- Staying on top of employees’ work;
- More accurate payments and billings.
On a most basic level these tools give you the details about how long each project or task takes, which are the most used apps and websites within different teams, etc. However, companies can go a step further and carefully analyze this data in order to improve different aspects of their organizations.
Unfortunately, apps like these have a bad reputation and despite the increase in their popularity, employees still feel like their privacy is invaded, or that a tool like this will increase micromanagement. Therefore, the questions most employers have on their minds is “How can I implement a time tracking software without alienating my employees and lowering their morale?”
If employees aren’t on your side once you decide to track work time you could risk having a workforce with one foot at the door. Luckily, there are several ways you can get employee buy-in and keep your work time tracking seamless.
Whatever changes you need or want to make in your company, you must know how to present the value to your employees if you want to have them on board. The best way to do this is by putting yourself in their shoes and asking “what’s in it for me?”
Lay out all the ways time tracking software will help your employees. Whether it means they won’t have to worry about miscalculated payments, having too many projects on their hands, having the data that will help them get a promotion based on their results and improvements, etc. When they see that a time tracking system will help with their own goals or challenges, they’ll be more interested in the software. They’ll see how it helps the company’s bottom line, but also how they can use it to their own advantage.
Since one of the worries employees have then it comes to tracking practices is more micromanagement, explaining how the software will do a completely opposite thing. Yes, you’ll be able to see what everyone is doing anytime during the day, but that means that you won’t have to interrupt them by asking questions about how far along they’ve come.
Also, if you are thinking of giving your employees more flexibility, a time tracker will help you. The software will show you exactly how long each type of project will take, as well as when your employees are usually the most (un)productive, so you can organize working hours around the data.
Focus on Improvement
While explaining the benefits of tracking will surely put your employees at ease, and you’ll get their buy-in for the implementation, that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy with the software once you start using it.
Use the software exactly how you’ve planned, and told your employees you’ll use it. If you’ve told them their workload will be more optimized, then review everyone’s current workload before dumping another project on them. Use the data you’re collecting to find out which of your team members excel at a specific task, and make sure they get more of it. Mix the quantitative data with insights your employees share with you about the things they enjoy doing at work.
When you see that an employee is being less productive than usual, don’t punish them. Talk to them, figure out what’s happening, are they having issues with the current project, is something affecting their focus. Work together to find a resolution and help them get back on track.
Use your employee reviews to set new goals and targets for the following period based on the data you already have. This way, you’ll give them a realistic chance of achieving objectives, which are specifically tailored for them and the way they work.
It’s all about the way you present the software, and the way you’re using it. Very few employees are against time tracking specifically, most of them actually worry about the way you’ll use the data you’re collecting. So, if you’ve tried to implement a time tracker, but you’ve run into backlash from your employees, maybe it’s time to review the relationship you have with your collective.
This article was originally written on May 3rd, 2016 by Marija Grgur. It was updated on May 21st by Bojana Djordjevic.