Tracking time is the key to understanding how you and your employees spend time, work-wise. It is also important to track time and attendance to comply with legal requirements, timely and correct payroll processing and creating invoices for billable hours from a client.
But to ensure that the employees track and follow the system for time tracking is a tough task to get done as it is quite monotonous and, by itself, does not contribute to productivity; oftentimes, this process might hamper productivity. It becomes the responsibility of the team manager and HR to ensure that the employee remains motivated and abides by the required process.
Use timekeeping software to ease the process for all the stakeholders and the employees. Ensure that the software is user-friendly. Automation not only takes care of smooth payroll processing but also ensures high quality and compliance at every stage of the process.
Following the steps mentioned below can help ensure that the process is followed successfully:
Define the Purpose
Being transparent is the simplest and surest way to motivate employees. Communicate the need and focus on the benefits that the employee is going to get from the system. Some of the benefits include:
- Equal distribution of work
- Regulate overtime
- Track overtime with clear visibility
- Visibility on time offs and work hours
- Clarity on payroll
- Ensuring correct billable hours
Address the Fears
While you explain the benefits, discussing the fears that the employees may have is also equally important. No one likes to work with a fear that they are being watched all the time. Creative people like to work with a free mind and at their own convenience. Reassure them that time tracking is not meant for this. Emphasize the fact that no one is going to judge based on the number of working hours only. There will be no penalty for not completing a certain number of work hours.
Onboard the Team
Invest time in explaining the whole process in a simple manner. Keep the process simple. The easier the process, the more likely people will do it. Provide them access to log in from multiple devices like phones, laptops or desktops. Keep some buffer time for updates later in case someone has forgotten to log in for the day.
Use the data to enforce a good work-life balance. If employees are constantly working for more than the required number of hours, it means they have been assigned more work than they can get done in a reasonable amount of time. Managers can reassign the tasks to equalize the workload among the team members.
Set automatic reminders with a friendly note in case someone forgets to log the time for the previous day or for the time when they were on outdoor duty.
Provide a Guide
Set up an easy reference guide/tutorial with the steps to follow while tracking your time. List the commonly tracked activities like “answer emails,” “team meeting,” “client meeting,” etc., so that people can start the timer with one click. Mention the gist of the required policies of time tracking. Mention the approval matrix clearly. Include the process while inducting the new hires.
Taking constant feedbacks helps to make the process smoother and builds trust. This will lead to ensuring the time tracking process is being followed.
Getting employees into the habit of time tacking is not an easy task especially if it is imposed without a good reason. But by having a transparent and fair process, gaining trust and goodwill will not be a problem. It all starts with finding out the right software for tracking time and communicating its benefits.