Time-tracking implementation should be easy. In theory. However, the truth is that many companies do it wrong, and they end up quitting tracking time. Managers say that’s a time-tracking software that was a problem, employees start hating the idea of the time-tracking process completely, and financial departments get crazy because of another pointless cost.
If you want to avoid failing and wish to implement time-tracking software successfully at your company, keep reading. Time spent on this article will pay off in the future.
I will show you the proper time-tracking approach and the right tracking system to implement. You will also learn how to manage the entire process painlessly.
Why time-tracking implementation fails
Time-tracking implementation fails too often. When you aim to implement time tracking successfully, you should avoid the most common mistakes. Here’s a list for you. Take a closer look and start tracking time in your organization.
👉 You’re using the wrong time-tracking system
There are many time-tracking apps on the market, and let’s be honest: not all of them are worth trying. Implementing time tracking is impossible even for the best team leaders if the new software doesn’t suit their needs.
The right tool should help the business owner, HR department, team leaders, and every single employee. Tracking time is supposed to boost productivity, not scare or ruin the whole time management process.
That is why, if you want to implement time-tracking at your company, browse through the best time-keeping apps.
👉 The vision is unclear
The first step in any successful implementation is to clearly define your vision for the change. This means you’ll need to do some research and identify the business benefits of time tracking, as well as understand how it can help your organization reach its goals.
If you don’t clearly understand why you want to implement time tracking at your company, then it’s unlikely that an individual team member or department will feel motivated enough to adopt the new system. Why would employees care about something, you don’t show as important?
All managers create projects and tasks, having some goals in their minds. Treat introducing time-tracking at your company as another project and take good care of the process.
👉 Time-tracking tools are purchased for the wrong reasons
It’s essential to understand that time-tracking tools are often purchased for the wrong reasons. The two most common reasons a business would want to track employee time are cost savings and greater efficiency.
If you’re simply looking for a way to save money on your payroll, time tracking won’t actually help you do that.
Tracking work hours isn’t enough. What will you do with all the data if you don’t have any plan?
To implement time-tracking software properly, you must remember that the software is just a tool. Introducing time-tracking to your employees just like that won’t make them work faster or help the accounting department.
You need to create the right business processes and implement them into your company culture with a help of your employees.
👉 There’s no internal champion to drive the adoption and implementation process
You’re not alone. When it comes to time tracking, many organizations have failed because they have no internal champion who can drive the adoption and implementation process. You should make someone responsible for it.
As I mentioned before, to implement time-tracking at your organization, you should treat it as any other project. And every project needs a project manager, of course.
The best candidate for this role is someone who:
- is a leader in your organization,
- has credibility with everyone (not just their own team),
- understand the reason you want to track time,
- knows the time-tracking software you’re gonna use,
- is good at time management,
- cares about project efficiency.
Sign up for TimeCamp app now and start using online timesheets!
The best time-tracking software providers also offer a dedicated consultant to their enterprise customers (as bigger companies meet more complications during the implementation).
At TimeCamp, we offer such help, of course.
👉 Business units resist the idea of time tracking for various reasons
If you want to implement time-tracking effectively, business units and teams need to share their data with each other. That’s a big step for many businesses, especially when they’re not sure how this will be used or what it will mean for them.
This can also be problematic if your organization does not have a culture of collaboration across business units and organizations. If you have several small divisions that run independently of one another, then it might not make sense for them to share data with each other or even the company as a whole.
Maybe that’s a good moment for you not just to implement time-tracking but also transparency in the workplace.
If your company has been around for a while, yet hasn’t had the resources needed to invest in technology solutions like this, some employees may feel threatened by this sudden change.
They think things are just fine as they are now and don’t want to see any changes made because “the way we’ve always done things” isn’t working!
“Why would we track time now if we haven’t until now and everything’s fine?”
Does it sound familiar to you? Well, don’t get mad at your people. Keeping the status quo is just being human. Both you and your employees need some time to adjust.
👉 Employees aren’t on board with tracking their time, citing it kills their productivity and motivation
Many employees don’t like tracking their time because it feels like they are being watched and controlled. If the boss knows when you are supposed to start working and for how many hours, then why track? It would be better if the boss just trusted that we do our jobs.
Employees want to choose how they track their time, whether it’s a physical clock or an app on their phone. They find automatic trackers scary and see them as unnecessary employee monitoring.
But there’s no need to feel uncomfortable if you show them that you respect their privacy. Pay attention to the software you pick and focus on employee performance, not on spying on them.
Tracking working hours, and billable hours, and analyzing how much time the project and tasks need will help everyone. Spying on what your employees do exactly during every second of the day… that’s just not cool.
Pick the software that sets a line at the right place. Like TimeCamp.
👉 Employees say a tool isn’t an accurate reflection of how much work is being done
Time-tracking software is not accurate according to employees. That’s a common problem when implementing time-tracking software, but it’s also easily addressed if you have the right tools in place.
The first step to resolving this issue is making sure that employees understand how to use the time-tracking tool correctly and that they understand its full potential. If they feel that they need to track time just because the human resources department wants it… they won’t treat time trackers seriously and with care.
If there’s no one to teach them how to assign people to tasks properly, what is a good practice and what’s bad, how to treat different projects, or how to create a proper task… then also chances for success are pretty low.
First, you need to teach your managers how to use software, and later they will teach one department by one, so you can all feel happy about it.
Furthermore, some employees may simply be using an outdated version of the software, so make sure to keep track of when new updates are released (and make sure those updates are applied).
👉 Managers who have never tracked time don’t understand how to manage it effectively
To be successful, managers need to understand how to use the time tracking tool, manage their teams’ time, and use the data from time tracking. It’s a bit different from the knowledge about time-tracking the rest of the employees need to have.
These are not skills that everyone has. Some managers have never tracked time before, so they don’t understand how to do it or why it’s important. They just create tasks without a time management approach.
Others may have tracked time in the past but haven’t done so recently and don’t know how much technology has changed since then—or if there are better tools out there now. They remember simple timesheet software, where keeping track of time wasn’t so easy.
It’s up to organizations to make sure their leaders have all the resources they need to succeed in implementing a new system: training materials; support from other departments (like HR); access to experts who can answer questions when things go wrong, etc.
That’s another reason why you need to carefully choose a time management company with the right tool.
👉 Employees are making mistakes when they log time, leading to incorrect project estimates or invoicing amounts
Do you know what happens when you don’t track your time? You end up with inaccurate estimates, incorrect invoicing amounts, and a lot of frustration for everyone involved.
If your employees aren’t logging their time correctly when they’re actually working on projects, then there’s no way to know how much time has been spent on each project.
If a person doesn’t log their actual work in the system, there’s no way for another person to review it later or use it as an estimate for future projects. Employees may also forget about tasks that were assigned but not completed because they weren’t properly recorded in the system!
Another mistake people make is logging hours in the wrong place—for example, if an employee needs to take care of something personal during business hours (like picking up kids from school), they might log that as “Misc.” instead of putting those personal hours in their PTO category (if they have one). This will lead to inaccurate reporting at best and totally incorrect estimates at worst!
Teaching your employees how to track time spent on individual tasks is one solution.
Choosing an automated time-tracker system is a second – and easier one. And guess what? Yes, we offer fully automated time-tracking software at TimeCamp.
Don’t get nervous because of human mistakes. Simply avoid them with us. Most companies that have tried TimeCamp, never switched to another time-tracking software. Our automation may be the reason 😉
👉 Employees work independently
That’s extremely common practice. Time tracking is supposed to increase the productivity of the whole organization. Not a single department, not a single person. To achieve this goal, everyone needs to feel like an integral part of the entire company and stop alienation.
The process needs to include everyone in a team, starting with the content writer and finishing with the team leader. Tasks must be named correctly and explained to everyone.
This way, every employee will be able to benefit from the tool. For example, by understanding how busy is a graphic designer and how much time is needed to finish something, a content writer will be able to adjust the graphics request better.
Imputing data is one thing. Checking them, and using them for good, is a second.
Remember that, after all, the entire company is a huge team.
The right time-tracking software for you
To implement time tracking, you need to avoid the most common mistakes, right? The one you just can’t let go of is picking the software. There’s no option for you to succeed – even with the best team ever – if the solution is not ok.
If you want to read more about the best time-tracking tools, go ahead. Knowledge is the key and nice research is its child.
But if you would rather not spend more time researching, and you already feel that you can trust me… just go for TimeCamp. It’s free, so there’s no possibility to make a painful mistake.
As I’ve also already addressed, the problem that scares many people – is the morality of time-tracking solutions. We’re not a spying company, and we don’t recommend this kind of approach.
Another important thing for you? Time spent on using the soft. TimeCamp has an automated time tracker – available for desktop, of course. Avoid human mistakes and save your employees time (and nerves).
If you’re not so sure yet, don’t worry. There’s no rush. We have time for you, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions. Book a free demo, and learn more about our solution, so you know that you make the best decision.
Often time tracking implementation fails because in most organizations there isn’t a clear vision, employees didn’t buy in, or managers don’t know what they are doing.
If you want to avoid these mistakes, start by having an open and honest conversation with your team about why they should track their time. If your business unit doesn’t have an internal champion to drive the adoption process, then it’s up to you as a manager or project lead to take on this role.
You’ll also need some training. When employees come up with objections like ‘it kills our productivity’ or ‘it’s not accurate’, you can confidently address them with facts and data from other teams who’ve successfully implemented their time tracking programs.
The best idea, then, is to choose a time-tracking solution that’s easy to use and/or offers automation, and if you have a big company… offers a dedicated manager to help you with the implementation. Sounds sensible? Let’s talk!