How to Make Your Staff Love Tracking Working Hours
For an organization to be successful, no matter if it is a non-profit, government organization or private company, knowing how time is spent is essential.
In this article we will explore the challenges and pitfalls when looking for a solution, what to look for when finding one, and also how you can make your users actually love doing their time tracking.
The Challenge When Reporting Time
Everybody knows that it is essential for all businesses and organizations to track their working hours, so that they can see how time is being spent and on which projects and activities.
However, if you have ever worked in an office where the workforce needed to input the hours worked manually into a system, this being for example a spreadsheet, you know how cumbersome this can be. This is especially the case if you have to enter your work hours manually, where you need to remember what you did when.
This not only becomes inaccurate, but will very often result in people not liking to report their work time at all.
If the time reporting is also used for payroll so that users are compensated and get paid for their work related hours, this is an even bigger issue, since nobody likes to get an inaccurate paycheck. If you also use your time tracking for billing clients and this is inaccurate, the financial side of business will suffer.
If staff have furthermore not been told what the time reporting is for, people may feel that managers are breathing down their necks and not trusting them.
All this will result in pushback, which is not ideal if you want a successful and thriving organization.
So is it possible to find a solution that your users will love using and benefits both employees as well as the company overall? Luckily, yes…
Tracking Working Hours the Right Way
So to keep the company productive and a happy place to be, you need a solution that users will enjoy using and which the organization will benefit from.
No matter the occupation, most professional companies and organizations today use the Microsoft Outlook calendar for their work schedules, and is where users typically plan their workweek. You should therefore find a solution that builds on this, which is to say, you should find a time tracking solution that lets you track your working hours based on your calendar appointments, no matter if it is project time for a client, internal projects, time off (including sick leave and medical leave), and so forth.
The solution should be easy for your users to use, and should allow for optional approval of submitted time by supervisors.
It should also include powerful reporting capabilities so that you can easily see how much time has been spent on individual activities and projects, as well as overall. In this way you can easily determine if you have spent hours in excess of what was agreed on a project or if more time is needed, to comply with what was agreed.
If you have the need for it, you should also have the option of having hourly rates in the system, as well as being able to track expenses on your time entries.
So, you should find a solution that lets you use your Outlook calendar appointments as the basis for your time tracking, and also provides you with easy overview of how time has been spent.
Now that you have found the solution, how do you ensure that your users will also like and use it?
How to Make Users Love Time Tracking
To have your employees really use the time tracking solution and also get them to actually enjoy doing it, it is paramount that you include them from the beginning and show them the benefits.
This can be done in various ways.
It is important to keep communication open and show them how easy it is to use the system compared to alternative ways of reporting time.
Also show them how they can easily get an overview of how they have spent their time, so that they can see if they spent too much time in one area and too little in another.
Ensure that you communicate clearly that this solution is not to breathe down their necks and follow their every move, but it is there to make their work life easier.
When they can see for themselves how they spent their time and optimize, so they can be more successful, the organization as a whole becomes more successful, which benefits everybody, both employees, managers and clients.
When the time tracking solution at the same time is really easy to use, it does not really get any better than this.
Imagine that you have a time tracking solution that your users enjoy using, since they can clearly see how it benefits them and helps them prioritize. Imagine at the same time that the solution is easy to use, easy to implement and also provides management with the reports and tools it needs.
This is all possible if you just follow the guidelines in this article.
So keep in mind the following when you are looking for a solution to track your working hours:
- The solution should be user-friendly
- It should use your Outlook calendar appointments as the basis for your time tracking
- Optional hourly rates and expense tracking
- Strong reporting and data sharing capabilities
- Clearly communicate benefits to users
- Involve users early
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