How to Make Sure You’re Implementing Time Tracking in The Right Way?
These days time tracking becomes mandatory in many companies, especially when they operate in an area where gathering data on projects is a necessity. Even though implementing time tracking seems to be easy, in fact, often it is problematic and challenging. For this reason, a significant number of organizations gives up and comes back to standard and less efficient methods of monitoring employees work. At the same time, they are losing the benefits accruing from the use of team time tracking software
Implementing time tracking should be considered as a process which has to be constantly maintained and improved. But as every process, this one also should start from the basics. And that is onboarding your team and acquiring them with the process.
It doesn’t matter which software you use, the problem is not in time tracking app, it’s in an organization’s wrong assumption that it’s enough to tell people to start tracking their time.
How to Successfully Onboard Your Team?
As a matter of fact, your team needs proper onboarding to be able to fully use the software and make the most out of their work.
Our clients often complain that they fail to onboard their team to use time tracking software. And so we gathered feedback from our users on what went wrong.
Here are 10 mistakes that cause time tracking implementation to fail. If you see at least one point that corresponds to the process of implementing time tracking in your organization, it’s time to reevaluate and change it.
1. We didn’t explain why it is important to track time
Implementing time tracking in an organization always has a reason. It can be to monitor employee’s working hours and how they use their time during work, it can be to manage leave and attendance, to make sure that the budget for certain projects is not being exceeded, etc.
No matter the case, it’s always for the good of the organization and its employees. That’s why you should clearly communicate why you’re going to be using time tracking so that everybody understands it. So when you call your employees in the middle of the night and ask them why you use time tracking in your company, they will answer you even having their eyes closed.
Also, if you skip this point, it will be more difficult to enforce the other components.
2. We didn’t all agree on the clear structure of projects and tasks
Time tracking works well only when it is addressed properly. In other words, there has to be a unified system applying to every employee which will make it clear how projects and tasks should be approached.
How should projects be divided into tasks? Wich projects and tasks should be entered as trackable? How will they be allocated to people? These are just some basic questions that should be asked when adding new projects or tasks.
One of the biggest mistakes is adding all projects to time tracking software and not working on them. It can quickly create a mess.
3. Everyone could add new tasks and projects it was a mess
Let’s add everything your employees do to the list of tasks and projects – coffee break, lunch break, time for cleaning the desk, writing a new e-mail, conference call… While it’s important to track time for tasks included in a project, time tracking software shouldn’t be treated as a personal task manager.
You can easily avoid the mess in tasks and projects by appointing one person responsible for creating new ones, for example, a project manager or the head of the department. It will help to keep order and transparency as well as efficacy of the team.
4. We didn’t clearly tell that this is an obligation
If you don’t tell your employees that time tracking is obligatory, they will treat it as another unnecessary task. It’s important that they treat it as their daily work obligation, not a voluntary assignment.
5. They didn’t see clear benefits – people have never seen how valuable the timesheet reports are
Do your employees know all the benefits coming from implementing time tracking? No? That’s probably because you’ve never told or shown them.
People usually just do the work but they may not see the bigger picture. Show them how it timesheet reports help your company stay on track, make sure the budget is under control, and how easy it is to manage attendance with them. These are just some basic benefits. There’s much more to it!
6. There was no single person responsible for this implementation to succeed
You should appoint one person in your company who would take care of time tracking implementation. And later such a person would control time tracking on a daily basis. It will guarantee that employees obey the rules of monitoring their work and everything works seamlessly.
Also, it will help to prevent chaos and misinformation. You can’t expect everyone to adopt time tracking on their own, especially in a large organization.
7. We didn’t check how people are filling out their timesheets – every single week with approvals
Timesheets are a headache but they are necessary. Even though time tracking helps to eliminate the tedious work of filling them, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Before they are approved, they should always be checked by the project manager in terms of accuracy. Even the tiniest mistake can have negative consequences.
8. We didn’t share best practices of how to track time
There are many proven time management practices which apply to time tracking. Making sure people use them is going to contribute to the better use of the software. As a result, your employees will not only be able to properly allocate their time but will also become highly productive.
10. We didn’t have a clear image of what a perfect timesheet looks like
What do you want your perfect timesheet to look like? Do you want it to include billable or non-billable hours, or maybe both? Should it show the project progress, budget, and specific time of work?
Timesheets can have various forms but if you unify them for all employees, it will be easier to get crystal-clear picture of how long, when, and how people work. That’s why they should use time tracking in the first place.
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