How to Stop Worrying and Start Time Tracking
Why do so many managers look on time tracking so incredulously?
Let’s face the truth: they have already tried it and failed. According to recent surveys, up to 87% of companies in USA experience problems with installing a time tracking software. However, it’s not tech problems. Start cultural changes: this is the problem. And it will not be greeted since it stresses a company’s staff.
The key to victory lies in the right change in administration. Perhaps the best decision is to identify key stress drivers, then think how to address them. This will form your step-by-step time tracker realization strategy.
Communicate Your Goals
Doubtless it is hard for your staff to see wood for the trees. Well, start with explaining your goal for time tracking. It’s important to understand that time tracker by itself is not your goal. It is a tool to perform some business tasks. Are you going to improve efficiency or simplify accounting? Do you need information for better cost calculation? Think about your own reasons!
Explaining the Profits
Many employees really think that a time tracker is a step to total surveillance in an office, which is a huge source of worry for a staff. Calm your team down and bring them to a positive view.
For example, you may bring these facts forward:
- There will be more pay transparency, mostly if you are paid on an hourly basis
- You now may easily track your overtime and get paid respectively
- You will see how much time you work on every task or project and it will help you to plan work assignments
- You will better focus on a single work task rather than switching back and forth between several tasks
- It will be easier to ask for support with time-consuming task. Your time track will be a compelling reason why you need more resources or colleagues’ help
Choosing and Setting Up Your Time Tracker
Many time tracking experiments went wrong because tracking took too much effort and, ironically, ate too much time. So make sure that time tracker you are going to use is not too time-consuming.
Ideally, a solution should allow you to configure interfaces according to the user role (work position). A regular employee, for example, would not need all those bells and whistles. The work process has to be simple. Think over several questions: how will you organize your information? Will you need integration with other tools or software? Who will be responsible for approving the time tracker? And who of the employees will have the rights to peep into their own time track? (The true answer is “nobody”).
Feedback from Your Employees
During the early implementation phase, you can expect to see errors and gaps in your workers’ time tracks. See that as a call to gather feedback. It is a very important step, because it helps you to see potential defects in your implementation. Knowing what the problem is you can make needful adjustments.
For example, if your employees forget to fill in their timesheets, you can set up an automatic in-app or e-mail reminder. Or, if they struggle with interfaces a good idea would be to have your time tracker’s vendor organize a user education session.
If everything seems to be running just right, do the same: pick feedback from your employees. That is to make sure there are no problems lying below your look.
The Key to Smooth Implementation
The cool thing about time tracking is that it can in fact bring positive changes to your business. Sadly, this case is not so obvious to most employees. That is why a manager should prepare them for this change. Help your team: share your goals, explain the advantages, simplify user experience and collect feedback. That will help to remove most of the stress.
And since it’s impossible to cover all the bases, do as swimmers do: take a deep breath and dive under the wave.