Three most common myths about time tracking and why they are wrong
When it comes to time tracking, businesses and freelancers alike either love it or hate it. While today you can find many organizations who’ve significantly improved their HR management by implementing automated software solutions for it, there still exist some arguments about whether that way of managing people is acceptable and effective. Let us now try to analyze these tales by listing some of the proposed dangers of time-tracking technology and see how they can be managed in the best possible way.
Myth #1 – Measuring employees’ time indicates that you don’t trust them.
Yes, this could be one of the reasons for tracking time in large companies and corporations with rigid procedures and a formalized time normative. However, for most organizations implementing time-tracking software doesn’t come from the lack of trust in employees, but from a need to organize the workflow in accordance to their capacity, becoming a natural way of getting an insight into the course of their actions, habits and needs. You can see what their peak hours are and organize working time or breaks according to that. You can see if they need additional training in certain areas of expertise. You can be sure of how your remote employees are doing. And you can go on a vacation or a business trip and still know what’s going on in your office. It’s so much more than a simple surveillance tool.
Myth #2 – Time-tracking software invades privacy.
A lot of people are offended by the thought of using time-tracking software because they feel “watched”. People would rather not have to expose the contents of their computer screens at any time, to anyone. While employees seem to mind being tracked by their employer, they usually have no issue with working in front of other people in the real world. That is to say, the thing people really fear is their actions being documented – they see it as an invitation for criticism on their working methods. Now, there’s no shame if they occasionally switch to some “funny cat video” tabs, and one way to let them know that is to say that you already know they do it anyway. Except now with time-tracking software you don’t worry about it anymore, because you can see they don’t do it all the time, but only for a certain amount of minutes per day.
Myth #3 – Most businesses charge their customers not by time, but for the product or service; so if you’re measuring your employees based on time, you’re incentivizing them for the wrong things.
Although some companies have developed a way to pay their employees by performance, for most industries it simply isn’t possible – which is exactly why paying by hours spent at work became a predominant method in almost all parts of the world. Still, the fact that you can’t pay people for their performance doesn’t mean you can’t measure it. In fact, every serious organization has some sort of indicators that show how much each employee has contributed over time. If you have a way to quantify their output and then get an opportunity to gather precise data of the time spent on it, you are actually able to measure their (individual or group) productivity. Now this is an indicator that can be tracked over time, compared and even become a factor for calculating wages or bonuses. This means that the purpose of time-tracking software in this case is to give you an accurate representation of the value that your employees have produced.
Like any other technology, automated time-tracking brings many advantages and opportunities, while at the same time simplifying some evaluation processes. Yet, when misused, it can be just as counterproductive as any other tool. This is why the entire process of preparing your staff for it, buying it, implementing and taking actions based on it, must be well-planned and in accordance with the results you want to achieve. Avoid common mistakes, make sure you implement time-tracking in the best possible way and choose your actions wisely; this will ensure that you’ll do your bit to debunk these myths once for all.