How to motivate employees to track time
While time tracking might not feel totally natural to everyone at first, with the right explanations and clear practices you can get your team’s buy-in.
1. Explain to employees what’s in for them
First and foremost, people have to know why logging hours accurately is necessary. They have to see the point of doing it, and the information should be presented in a logical and reasonable way. This means that you need to explain (and usually more than once) the purpose of time tracking.
Be transparent about the real reasons for doing it. This is also the time to address potential emotional issues about how you’ll use the collected data. You should clearly state what you will do with it (pay them accurately), and what you won’t do with it (spy on them).
Outline why time tracking is also useful for employees. One of the key points here is that with solid time tracking, companies and individuals can better tackle issues like burnout and unnecessary overworking. Accurate logging of hours also has an impact on fair payment practices.
You shouldn’t shy away from noting the benefits of time tracking for your business as well. Most employees genuinely want the company to prosper, and if you make them feel included want to contribute to your communal success.
Detail why it’s necessary for adequate accounting of billable time
of external projects and for improvement of productivity. For many companies, time tracking is essential for billing clients, or may even be a legal requirement for certain projects. You can also mention the ability to create stronger estimates with good data.
2. Make time tracking as easy as possible
Once you’ve clarified why you’re time tracking, you have to properly onboard people to take part in the process. It’s important to set clear rules around when and how they have to track time. This includes how often it should be done, as well as how to categorize their different activities when logging them. Hold a training session and show people exactly how to log their hours and the devices they can use. The best approach is to create a time tracking system that fluently fits in your company’s workflows instead of disrupting them.
You need to make tracking as easy as possible. It shouldn’t take a lot of time and shouldn’t be complex. This means automating it as much as you can, which you can easily do with an employee time tracking app
Using a solid time tracking software like Hubstaff can make logging hours a breeze. Employees just have to turn their timer on when they start work, and switch it off when they stop. Easy as that.
They can also manually add hours to their timesheets, if necessary. Teams can access the app from desktop, web, or mobile apps on their own devices — making it perfect for people who are on the go.
3. Transform time tracking into a rewarding experience
The key approach to getting your staff to track time is to make it pleasant (or as pleasant as it can get). Some companies incentivize people by offering rewards for properly logging their hours on time.
The important thing is to make time tracking enjoyable and simple. You should never use it as a tool to punish or shame people, as they’ll hate it — and won’t do it.
4. Be open for two-way communication
It’s a good idea to invite employees to give feedback on the time tracking process so you know about potential problems before they arise. When you let people have an input, they’ll feel more connected and willing to participate.
That’s how you can help them see time tracking as something they want to proactively be a part of, rather than a command that’s handed down to them.
Your employees’ input opens the way for improving time tracking in your company. Staff members are the ones who are using the system, so they know best what’s working and what’s not. They’re your first-hand source for improvements. Collect their suggestions and concerns through meetings, or online surveys, and regularly schedule a time to discuss your time tracking policy in group meetings.
5. Celebrate time tracking wins
Managers understand the importance of positive reinforcement
when it comes to implementing new policies.
Tracking time is no different. If you can, create opportunities to show your appreciation for your team’s hard work. If it’s tied to time tracking, that’s even better.
Some time tracking tools offer achievement badges
that are automatically sent when your team members log a certain number of hours or if they maintain or increase productivity levels. They’re customizable to your team and goals while still providing ongoing recognition.