It is not easy to be a boss. Even harder to be a professional project manager. First of all, it requires a perfect time and employee management. Behaving in a professional manner at every opportunity requires self-sacrifice. We would like to treat our staff as good friends but at the same time, we have demands and expectations. We often have to rush them, keep under pressure, and even scold. Between a manager and an employee, there is this invisible gap that never disappears, even if our relations are family-like, it is more a father/mother-son/daughter relationship than brother-sister one. The hierarchy must be there. Otherwise, the company may crumble (like a family, where kids got the upper hand and started to disrespect their parents.)
So, what should project managers do when their expectations of the work and attitude of their team collide with the not-so-good reality? Let’s discuss some of the most common problems and see how time tracking software can help with them and what solutions/ideas can we implement to boost the productivity of our team:
Estimated hours vs. real working time
There are not many people who have the ability to be 100% focused all of the time. What is more, most of the people have the tendency to sluggishness, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Where PC and network connections are involved, Facebook appears! And YouTube, and Twitter and (you name it) pretty much one of the hundreds of thousands of websites that mostly steal our (and our employees’) time (which, to be honest, is at least partially hours too). The statistics are chilling – for example, people watch 100 via Facebook 100 hours of video DAILY. They probably spent ten times this amount just browsing it, and this is just one website! (The biggest in the world, though)
We must face the fact that at least some percentage of that time is taken from us, from our work and our company. How can we prevent it? Some corporations and enterprises use software to block pages with particular content – this is a bit too much. After all, social media are mostly helpful when it comes to running the business. Also, such restriction may undermine our team’s morale and we’ll lose a part of our authority in the eyes of our workers. With TimeCamp you do not impose anything on your team, but at the same time, you have the ability to check how much time they ACTUALLY work. Knowing that you can monitor their activities, your workers will ACTUALLY work! And the perspective of showing the results of their contribution to the completing of the project should be an additional motivation.
If we work with freelancers, especially new ones, asking them to use time tracking software is a great way to control if they are doing, what we are paying them for.
Time tracking vs. deceiving
Unfortunately, though installing employee hour tracking software on your employees’ computers is beneficial – and not only for you and your company but workers as well – there may be individuals who will find this ‘invigilation.’ They will express their dissatisfaction in various ways – searching for the means to go round the tracker, deliberately slow their work down or perhaps try to convince their co-workers, that what we are doing is wrong.
The fact is that time tracking apps are not ‘evil’ – they are not there for the invigilation but the productivity. We know that, and most of our employees know that too. Still, there are people who don’t, and they will usher chaos into our company. Should we fire them? Absolutely not! Imagine the negative PR we’d got for doing something like this. Instead, we have solid arguments to prove that when it comes to effective time management, such software is nothing but helpful.
How can we convince somebody to try it? Our blog post may help in this case; there you will find some excellent ideas for managing the time that you can introduce to your employees. These ideas and activities are easier to apply, when one uses a time tracking tool, this can be our evidence. Even simpler would be to just present TimeCamp to your employees before implementing it.
Presentation should include features like:
- Time entry notes
- Time entry from/to time
- Graphical timesheet
- Computer activities assigned to time entries
- Automatic time tracking with rules and keywords
- Away time detection
- Five report types
- Unlimited hierarchy
- Roles and permissions
- Billing rates
- Per employee
- Per task
- Per project
- Online payments
- Tracking open
- Invoice based on project hours
- Custom taxes
- Multi-currency support
- Email reminders
- Tasks synchronization
- People synchronization
- Tracking time directly in software
- Invoicing synchronization
And those are not all! Skeptics should realize how many possibilities such software may offer. If not, then it simply means they only want to fool around and get paid, better have a serious discussion with them and listen to their arguments, then fire them! (joking!) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
An employee time tracker system needs balance. As a manager, we have to realize that our employees may not work on their tasks in a way that we would like them to and as efficient as they should. Or that they do not devote to the project enough commitment. Expectations always differ from reality. We must be able to control our team – find the balance between pressure and encouragement. This way we will gain the respect of our employees and in result the confidence, that even if they finished the project after a deadline, they at least honestly tried and gave their best to make it on time.
Perhaps the key to managing our business in the most efficient way is to adopt this attitude of a ‘strict parent’ who knows when to point an important thing out or to scold his or her kids. But we have to remember that our employees need this sense of belonging to the ‘family.’ Thus, we must let them know that they can always turn to us for help, and they will receive it.