How to make your employees track their time

The number of service providers that offer services billed by hour increased over the years, as technology had an exponential growth. Nowadays, there are tons of web agencies, seo agencies and freelancers that bill their customers by the time they spent to do the work provided.

To present proper reports of their work to the final customer, a service provider may use a time tracking tool. These tools are meant to make the process easier by keeping a record of all the time spent on each task/project by each employee of a company and making it accessible for them to export or bill these time records.

Now this sounds amazing in theory, but one of the main problems that you might face when using such a software, is that people forget to start their counter, and they do not track all of their time at work.

If you are facing this problem, our article will offer you a few tips on how to make your employees track their time.

1. Explain the importance of time tracking

The first thing to do when you start using a time tracking solution in your company, is to explain the importance of everyone tracking their time and adding it in the software you use. You can do that by having a meeting in the first day with your employees and telling them exactly why you decided to use the software.

Explain as clear as possible that this will reduce time wasting as invoicing will be faster, that it will help have a better understanding of what are the most time expensive tasks, and overall it’s a win for everyone, as this will provide better managment over time.

Try to sell it to them but don’t forget to be honest!

2. Be flexible

Some employees might prefer to track their time differently than others. While some may find it better to add their time as they’re working on the tasks, others will find it easier to manually add at the end of the day, all the ranges of times they spent on each task. Both of these options are good. Even though the second one will not have his time records as accurate as in the first case, his records will still give you a good glance of how he spent his time at the desk.

Therefore, letting your employees manually add their time, is definetly a very good idea. And you shouldn’t worry about them adding extra time records, since they will be aware that this is a way you can see how productive they were.

3. Send them notifications

Some time tracking softwares offer ways of sending notifications to the employees when they’re not adding their time. These can be either via email or via browser notifications. While employees shouldn’t count on the notifications to remember them to add their time, this is definetly a good way to give them a small poke when they forget.

4. Transform it into a habit

You can make it easier for everyone in your company to track their time by transforming it into a habit, similarly with telling them to complete their tasks in Asana or joining the daily meeting. Give them tips to keep a pinned tab with your time tracker in their browser, and always when they finish working on something, to take the few seconds to add their time there.

While this is hard to do, it is possible. Don’t be afraid to give them a notice now and then when you see that they didn’t add their time. This will only make them understand that it is important to do it. Also sometimes, if you give them a notice at the right time, they might even remember what they worked on and when, and add their time on spot.

5. Give them rewards

Tracking time might reveal some cool things about your employees as well. If you notice overtime, you should pay it properly. The same should happen when you notice somebody adding a time at 9 in the evening, because there was an emergency. This shows that your employees are really passionate about what they’re doing, and you need to keep this kind of employees close.

If you cannot give them financial rewards, at least notice their effort by giving them some praise. While this does not have much impact on them being more eager to add time records, it might make them think that this could have not been noticed without using the time tracker.

In conclusion, making your employees track their time it’s not an easy thing to do. In the end you might even fail with some of them, in case they don’t respect the company’s decision and they do not understand the importance of time tracking.

However, for most individuals, applying these tips will definetly bring an increase in time records. Don’t forget that to convince them about the importance of time tracking, you need to be honest and explain the process as clear as possible. Transparency is key! Good luck!

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