It’s 4 p.m. on the 14th of the month and you’re waiting for employee timesheets. Tomorrow is payday. Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall — literally or virtually — your employees are scrambling to enter their time per client or project.
Some are struggling to account for extra hours not allocated in the budget. Some are figuring out hours spent per project. Others simply can’t recall the amount of time spent on actual work versus administrative work. If this sounds like your company, you’re not alone.
In Workflow’s 2016 U.S. State of Enterprise Work report, 606 workers were asked how much time they spent on “non-work” or administrative tasks like sending e-mails and attending meetings.
The answer? Sixty-one percent, meaning less than half of time spent “working” was spent on primary job functions. Out of this, 8 percent of employees said their time was spent on interruptions like timesheets.
Trading timesheets for employee time tracking software
Why do employees spend so much time simply recording time? Because the process isn’t easy or enjoyable. But while time tracking may never be fun, it is necessary and there are solutions to make the process more efficient.
Time tracking software lets your employees click a button and automatically log time as they work. This removes the need for manually logging hours. It also helps you and your employees see which tasks time is being spent on.
However, there is a stigma attached to time tracking software that you’ll have to dispel if you want to build and maintain employee trust. To do this, you can’t say something like It makes you more productive! Employees don’t care much about this. There are other tools that can make them more productive that don’t require them to install time tracking software.
So what can you say to ease the hesitation of time tracking among employees? In this post we’ll tell you what we tell our own employees at Hubstaff.
Tell them about your primary reason last
You’ll need to tell your employees why you decided to use time tracking software. Your real reason is probably more for you and the business than for them, which is why you should save it for last. Tell them about the stuff that directly impacts and benefits them first (see below).
Most likely, you want employees to use time tracking software because you suspect a lack of productivity on your team. Or you want to confirm that everyone is as productive as you think. These reasons aren’t that appealing to employees, but they’re true.
Stating the real reason is important. If you hired smart people, they’ll appreciate you being upfront.
Tell them about the direct impacts first
After mentioning the direct impacts and benefits listed below, not only will most employees comply; some of them may even rally behind time tracking software. As you’ll see, it means less boring meetings, more frequent pay, and more flexibility.
Time tracking software means less meetings
When your employees track time on projects, managers can see where time is being spent. This cuts down on the amount of meetings your employees need to attend, as well as back-and-forth emails.
If you’re using screenshots, you can easily scroll through them once a week and see the progress made in minutes. Instead of employees going through the monotony of telling you what they did, you can just open up their screenshots and see for yourself.
Time tracking software means getting paid more often
Instead of waiting until the 14th or month’s end, your employees can get paid more frequently if you use time tracking software with a payroll solution. For instance, at Hubstaff, we use our own time tracking and payroll solution and everyone gets paid every Monday.
Being able to pay people weekly is also great if you employ contractors or freelancers. Paying them sooner rather than later helps you attract great talent at a lower price point.
Time tracking software doesn’t mean micro-managing
Your employees may view time tracking software as an invasion of privacy, but really, it’s a tool to find out where employees excel and like to spend their time. After reviewing time recorded, you’ll see where employees are productive and where others are stumbling.
Time reports give you an accurate assessment of what employees like to do and what true strengths they possess. On the other hand, an employee that spends a lot of time on a task is either not engaged or doesn’t understand the task.
You can use time tracking software to move them away from overly complicated tasks to ones they excel at and enjoy. Let them know this is one of the things you’re using it for and that you’re not using it to constantly monitor them.
It’s also important to remind employees that they use tracking devices as part of their personal lives. Take these personal apps for example that track your activity:
- Snapshot from Progressive: Good driving tracking = Savings
- Shopkick: Shopping tracking = Savings
- Waze: GPS tracking = Savings
None of these apps are used to micro-manage you. They are simply used to gather data and inspire better decision-making. The same is true for time tracking.
Time tracking software means more flexibility
Though this isn’t applicable to every employer, time tracking software lets you offer employees a more flexible schedule.
For instance, because managers at Hubstaff know what’s being worked on and how far along tasks are, employees are able to work whenever they want. If the work gets done on time and is tracked, it doesn’t matter when or how it’s completed.
Time tracking software doesn’t hog resources
Your employees, especially developers, may question new software being installed on their computers. Will this time tracking software slow down their computer? Will their system be at an increased risk of attracting bugs?
Take the Hubstaff download for Mac OS X for instance. The download size is 5MB and the average CPU utilization is 0.31% on a Macbook Pro.
For the amount of benefits the software offers, the amount of resources it utilizes is minimal. Additionally, most time tracking software businesses have support teams that have a goal of preventing bugs and removing them as fast as possible.
How did your employees react?
Time tracking software doesn’t only track time automatically; it gives employees more autonomy and an instant look at how they spend their work hours. By offering employees the “why” and some benefits, they’ll be more inclined to see the value of the software and less inclined to feel like they’re “being watched.”
If you’re currently use time tracking software, have you run into employee buy-in issues? If so, what were they? How did you resolve them? Let us know in the comments below.