Man engaging in employee task tracking best practices on laptop | Hubstaff

Employee task tracking
best practices

No matter what field they’re in, every manager is responsible for employee task tracking. Whether it’s a small-scale administrative responsibility or a massive quarterly project, every task needs to be accounted for.

Employee task tracking is a system for organizing, assigning, and tracking all of an employee's tasks. This obviously takes a lot of forethought and planning, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Let’s take a look at the different ways managers can track tasks and employees.

How do you track employees?

How your business operates has a profound effect on tracking employees and their workloads.

In-office businesses can conduct in-house task management with relative ease — even without the use of technology. Filing cabinets, whiteboards, and in-person stand-ups help teams keep track of their work.

On the other hand, remote-based businesses frequently use task management software to keep track of employees' duties regardless of their physical location or working hours.

Companies can track employees manually or through workforce project management software, integrations, and automation apps, depending on the workplace environment and company requirements. Here are a few of the top ways you can track employees.

Time tracking

Employee time tracking is a type of task tracking that looks at hours worked and activity done while tracking time. This is how companies keep track of the hours each employee works, whether they’re hourly or salaried. Time tracking also guarantees that employees are compensated appropriately and that they keep track of any overtime pay.

Some industries require time tracking so they can bill clients accurately and pay their teams. Agencies, software developers, law firms, and any company with hourly workers need time tracking for this reason.

Managers use time tracking software to record how much time is spent on a project or task. This allows them to estimate hours for future work and know when they'll complete the project.

Even beyond those reasons, companies can benefit from keeping track of how their employees spend their time. If you want to better understand how productive your team is or where projects are getting stuck, time tracking can give you detailed reports on hours spent per project or task.

GPS location tracking

Man using Hubstaff GPS location tracking using tablet inside vehicle | Hubstaff

GPS time tracking helps field teams track tasks when they’re on the go. This kind of tracking is ideal for those who spend a lot of time on the road, like truck drivers, delivery drivers, and service providers.

GPS tracking allows managers to see how their mobile staff go from one client site to the next in these jobs. It can also help identify areas where employees could improve productivity or their routes.

At the end of the day, managers and team members can see time spent at each job site, travel time, and total hours.

Task tracking with project management

Employee task tracking is a type of project management that monitors employee performance through task completion. Employers can use task tracking in any workplace because most people have different daily tasks. Companies can easily keep track of and organize all of their employees' tasks with project management tools.

A manager can track how many tasks are finished and how many tasks an employee can handle. Other task tracking values include which tasks an employee is good at and which ones they need more help with. This helps managers see where each person does their best so they can better assign tasks in the future.

Quality tracking

Quality tracking is the final type of employee tracking we’ll cover here. It focuses on the numbers that show how good an employee's work is. These numbers are often found in reports on employee productivity.

Many businesses use feedback from their clients or customers to improve.

A customizable customer experience survey is sufficient for managers to determine which employees are associated with more positive customer feedback and which are related to negative customer feedback.

Customer support teams and client-facing professionals often use these metrics to help them track tasks and performance.

Tips for tracking individual and team tasks

There are many metrics for keeping track of what employees are doing, so here are some tips for doing it right. These tips should make it easier for both big and small businesses to keep track of individuals and teams.

Set your team up for success

The first thing you can do to make it easier to keep track of employee tasks is to set your team up for success. Without the right training and support, employees are much less likely to stay with the company and work hard.

Make sure everyone on your team knows what the expectations are around delivering work, communicating with the team, and any other aspect of your business that relates to their job. They should have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, as well.

Here are some additional tips for effectively leading and supporting a team.

Set appropriate goals

As a manager, you need to set achievable and realistic goals so that your employees don't get discouraged and quit caring. Employees should have goals that they can reach with a reasonable amount of work.

These goals should also consider how long it takes to finish a specific task, how often important deadlines come up, and how busy an employee is. Each of these things affects how realistic a goal is, and it usually depends on the employee.

Document expectations and goals

Managers should document these goals to ensure that they and their employees are on the same page. Some strategies include creating checklists, templates, or workflows so employees can visualize their responsibilities ahead of time.

Even with recurring tasks, they provide an easy-to-follow layout that assists employees in understanding what their managers’ expectations are.

Documentation can also streamline processes, highlight milestones, and allow employees and managers to track progress towards a goal.

Screenshot of Hubstaff time tracking to-do list | Hubstaff

Provide training

By giving employees the proper training from the start, you can ensure that everyone is ready to do their jobs well. If employees have access to adequate training, they can learn whatever they need to accomplish their work correctly and on time.

Offer ongoing training so that employees can keep learning as processes change or as new software and tools are introduced into the workflow. You can also assign a mentor or ambassador, so they have a designated professional to help them out along the way.

Allow employees to give feedback

Setting up a team for success also means making sure they can talk to each other openly and honestly. Managers often give feedback to their employees, but it's just as important for employees to be able to say what they feel and think.

Managers should listen to their employees' comments, suggestions, and complaints. This will avoid employees feeling like they have too much to do or that their tasks are unrealistic. Just being open to feedback can go a long way in employees knowing that they are being heard.

Make yourself available

Keeping communication open makes it easier for employees to share how they feel at work or about things in their personal lives that could be hurting their work. For this reason, managers should take extra steps to be available. You could have set “office hours” where you won’t have meetings scheduled but can be available to your team.

This kind of honest communication is essential for building trust between employees and their managers, which can help the company by making employees more productive at their jobs.

Manage employees effectively

Another crucial part of keeping track of people and teams is managing employees effectively. A company's productivity suffers without a clear framework and workflow. Here are some tips on how to efficiently manage your employees.

Set realistic goals and expectations

One of the essential parts of managing employees well is making sure they know what is expected. Without clear goals to reach, it's hard for employees to see if they're doing their jobs right and up to the company's standards.

Communication also ensures that employees are prepared for the amount of work and intensity their position will require.

Schedule daily updates

Setting aside time every day to check in with employees is another crucial part of managing a team. These meetings can be concise, but they are helpful because they give people a chance to talk about any worries or problems that may come up with the tasks for that day.

Daily check-ins such as automated stand-ups help get around these problems in real-time so that all employees know what they need to do on a given project. They also encourage teamwork to keep tasks moving smoothly and at a good pace.

Track time management

Even though employees are expected to manage their own time, managers sometimes have to step in when employees don't use effective time management skills.

Manual or software-managed timesheets can usually demonstrate whether an employee isn't making the most use of their time. Managers can monitor if tasks are taking too long. The manager must then address the employee's time management issue by re-evaluating the employee's workload and, if necessary, offering better projects or more training.

Boost teamwork and team collaboration

Team collaboration between women at an office | Hubstaff

Managing employees well also means encouraging team collaboration in the workspace. Making sure that team members work well together and know each other's strengths and weaknesses are good ways for a company to encourage teamwork.

Since the pandemic, there are many more digital collaboration tools that make it easier to work in remote teams. Even if you’re not in the same physical location, you can still work together and get things done.

One way to encourage collaboration is to assign shared tasks that a cross-functional team can take and tackle together. Allocating team tasks like this encourages problem-solving and increases productivity since employees may build on each other's ideas.

Help with meeting deadlines

A manager also has to help employees know and meet their deadlines, especially if they want to ensure that all tasks are done by their due dates. Managers can encourage team members to participate in daily check-ins, make a to-do list, and keep the lines of communication open for the best chance at on-time delivery.

If unexpected requests come up, the manager can move tasks around as needed to lighten the employee’s load and ensure that essential deadlines are still met.

Maintain work quality

Managers can help discover issues by implementing a quality assurance approach. Quality assurance personnel or task management software can accomplish this task.

With QA, customer interactions with the company are tracked and evaluated. Suppose there is a reduction in the quality or a negative impact on the customer experience. In that case, these QA strategies can pinpoint the issue and provide a diagnostic, allowing the error to be corrected in the future.

Celebrate big wins

Finally, effectively managing employees involves recognizing and praising their achievements. Making employees feel good about achieving goals, both individually and in groups, is critical. It shows employees that they are valued and encourages them to keep working hard and exceeding the company's objectives.

Track tasks effectively

Organizing employee workloads and activities can be difficult, especially when multiple employees have a diverse set of tasks to fulfill. However, following the suggestions below can make the process much easier.

Organize your tasks properly

First, it's important to divide tasks among employees in the right way so that some don't have too much work and others have too much free time. So no one is overburdened, it is helpful to know how much work each of your employees is already doing and how many tasks they can take on.

It's also a good idea to consider each employee's strengths when delegating tasks. You can then assign each employee the tasks that best suit their capabilities.

Maintain a high-level view

To organize tasks well, managers need to keep an overview of every project or task their employees are working on. A task list can help a manager keep track of what tasks are due and how far along they are. Additionally, managers should be aware of all task dependencies and check that projects are completed in the proper order.

Using a task management system or software can help make sure that tasks are never forgotten. This can be done by following a project management workflow where every employee knows their job.

Create and communicate a risk zone

Managers should also set up alerts for tasks with due dates coming up or for tasks that have missed their deadline. This way, employees won't forget to do their jobs, and managers will know if an employee is having trouble or needs help.

Employees should know about this risk zone, so they are more likely to stay on top of their responsibilities and not feel singled out when a manager steps in to help them.

Measure and reward progress

It's essential to track how well employees are doing with their individual and team tasks. Managers can evaluate their success and look back when it's review time. The tips below will help you measure progress more effectively.

Track task stages

One method of measuring task progress is tracking employees as they move through different stages of their tasks.

By keeping track of how long each step takes, managers can determine if anyone is spending too much or too little time on a particular action. Managers can compare the time spent on each stage to the quality or outcome of that stage. This will help managers understand if an employee needs to spend more or less time on that area in the future.

Measure task completion

Another metric of progress is task completion. Managers can track whether employees' tasks are complete or incomplete. This will help to determine where employees are in their projects and gauge how their progress improves as they begin to complete tasks more efficiently.

Track timeliness

Timeliness is another thing that employers can watch to get a sense of how their employees are doing. Timelines are not just about finishing project tasks on time but also about how many tasks or subtasks are finished on time. Timeliness also includes employees' work hours because they show how well they can keep to schedules and manage their time.

Managers can watch how things are going if more tasks are done on time or if employees learn how to use their time better.

Measure task accuracy

Progress can also be measured by looking at task accuracy, similar to quality. It is based on feedback from a quality assurance employee or a customer service survey. Progress from either of these two sources shows that the employee is getting better at doing a task correctly.

Reward progress

In the same way that managers should celebrate employee wins, they should also keep an eye on employee progress and reward them when they need to.

Managers can easily keep track of their employees' progress with all of the tips we've talked about so far. Track progress on different projects or individual tasks to see when employee productivity improves.

Rewarding project progress will make people more likely to work hard and be dedicated in the future.

Features to look for in a task management tool

Task and project management software can help with all of the previously mentioned critical functions of employee task management. Different tools have different task management features, so it's crucial to play around with them to see if they provide the features you need for your organization.

Screenshot of Hubstaff task and project management software | Hubstaff

Features for organizing and completing tasks

The functionality of an online task management software is the first thing to consider. Some offer configurable features that allow a business to tailor it to its requirements. This includes ease of use, as the management solution must be easy enough for all staff to understand if it is to be applied across a business.

Another feature to think about while looking at task management software is the platform's mobility. Some project management interfaces are accessible as mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

These task management apps may be great for those businesses that do more work on the go. Apps also benefit from notifications, which can be used as deadline reminders.

Most task management apps also have templates or ways to track workflow and share files. Some examples are Kanban boards, which show how work looks at different stages of a process, and Gantt charts, which show project schedules.

You might also want to look for features like organizing invoicing, file sharing between employees, and sending messages throughout the company. These added features can be integrated smoothly into the company's current processes.

Popular task management software apps

Popular task management software platforms include Asana, Trello, Slack, Hubstaff Tasks, and Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. For a deeper dive, check out our top 16 best task management tools.

Even though each of these options can be used to keep track of employee tasks, Hubstaff combined with Agile PM software Hubstaff Tasks offers an easier way to keep track of employee productivity along with their work.

Hubstaff screenshots of desktop and iOS apps | Hubstaff

Hubstaff automatically tracks time with a simple start and stop timer, then provides data on activity rates, tasks completed, budgets, and more. By integrating with Hubstaff Tasks, you’ll gain Agile features that can help you better manage and track tasks, including Sprints, Epics, Kanban boards, and daily Stand-ups.

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