You’re one step closer to seeing how employee time tracking software solutions can help you save time and money. You’ve got all the stakeholders to agree that time tracking can help the company tremendously. Everything’s falling into place, but there’s one obstacle left that you have to face.
And that’s motivating your employees to track their time.
The truth is it would be nearly impossible for you to notice the benefits of time tracking software if you can’t motivate them to start using one. Without their participation, you wouldn’t be able to save time on payroll and administrative tasks. Also, since your employees are the ones interacting with clients and working on projects, you wouldn’t have enough data to make insight project reports either.
So, without them, time tracking software solutions aren’t beneficial to business growth. However, just because they are skeptical now, doesn’t mean they’ll be that way forever.
Discussed below are steps you can take to help motivate your employees and get them to start using time tracking software.
Explain that it’s mutually beneficial
Don’t approach the conversation with your salary employees about them using a time tracker and make it seem like the new arrangement is one-sided. Your employees won’t feel important or valued if they believe you’re ‘watching their every move’ so the company can prosper.
Instead, when discussing this with your employees, explain to them how an employee time tracking software solution benefits both business and employee alike. Tell them how using one can help them avoid:
- Under or overworking.
- Scope creep.
- Working on projects that they dread.
No one wants to be forced into an arrangement that doesn’t benefit them. Least of all your employees, especially when it involves time tracking. So, when you’re presenting this to your staff, make sure to describe the benefits in a positive light.
Ease their concerns
Most of the fear surrounding employee time tracking software is that it’s intrusive and you’re using it so you can micromanage them. If you’re not, then let them know why you are using it and that it’s not intended to invade their privacy or make them feel like you don’t trust them.
To show them that you do trust them, you can disable screenshots of their activity unless you notice suspicious behavior. Your primary goal is to help them become more comfortable with the idea of time tracking without wasting money or time. So think about compromises you can make with them that’ll help you reach your goal.
Set clear guidelines
Another reason employees are skeptical about time tracking software solutions is because they’re not sure how to use it or what you expect them to track. It can be discouraging to your employees if they’re required to use the system and they weren’t given any instructions or training on what to do. To help ease their frustrations, create a system that your employees can refer to that’ll help them track their hours correctly.
Make it easy
Besides not knowing what to do, it’s easy to feel resentful when you’re not sure how to do it. So, make the time tracking system easy for your employees to use. When first implementing the system, arrange for a basic training session about how to use it. Keep the atmosphere light and allow employers to ask questions. You can also consider letting your employees anonymously email you any concerns or questions they might have about the system in private.
Use employee time tracking software yourself
There’s nothing more powerful than leading by example. As Marshall Goldsmith said, “One of the most important actions, things a leader can do is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first!”
Your employees follow and listen to you. If you tell them to track their time and productivity, they’ll do it, even if they don’t want to. However, they’ll always, even if subconsciously, be resentful towards you for making them do it.
But if you’re using employee time tracking software yourself, you’ll inspire and motivate your employees to use it as well. Because, how can they be skeptical about using it if their employer did it without complaining? How can they believe their feelings are justifiable if you also track your time, capture screenshots of what you’re doing, and monitor your productivity?
Besides influencing your employees to track their hours, using employee time tracking software can also help you create realistic expectations. It’s easy to believe that:
- You’ll see an immediate increase in your employees’ productivity.
- Your employees will always remember to track their time, now that they’re doing it digitally.
- Their activity levels will remain around the 80-100% level, regardless of their job.
- They’ll never be distracted by anything again.
…when you’ve never used the system yourself. By using it, you’ll have a general idea of what’s normal, then you can set a rough standard of what you can expect.
Ask for their feedback
Even if you used it yourself, you’ll only have a basic understanding of it. Because you don’t work in every department, you don’t know what’s realistic for each team.
So, instead of trying to figure it out by yourself and be disappointed with the results you receive, ask them for their analysis of the system. Not only will this help you create better baselines, but it’ll show your employees that you value and respect their feedback. And at a time where they feel like their privacy is being invaded, they’ll greatly appreciate that you’re trying to make this work for everyone involved.
Be strategic with the incentives you offer
Who doesn’t love incentives? They’ve always been a catalyst for various outcomes that employers wanted. Especially when it involved increasing employees’ productivity. Nothing can make an employee work towards a goal faster than knowing there’s a reward on the line.
Using incentives, money is most cases, to motivate your employees to do something is a fine line to tread. One outcome is that your employees will only track their time if they know they’ll receive a reward. And before you know it, the rewards you’re offering won’t be enough. They’ll eventually expect you to offer more money to them so that they’ll continue tracking their time. And unless you intend to offer monetary rewards to them indefinitely, this might not be the right approach for you.
On the other hand, offering incentives can be a great method for motivating your employees. However, that doesn’t mean all your employees want money. When given a choice, most will choose money. But others might want additional time off, freedom to choose what they work on, an increased budget to help them get better at their job, etc.
Only you can tell whether offering financial incentives or otherwise will hurt or strengthen your employees’ resolve to track their time in the long run.
Time tracking has its benefits. But it’ll be hard to reap them if your employers – the people who ultimately are your business’ backbone – aren’t using it.
So, motivate your employees by helping them see that time tracking is beneficial to them, easing their concerns, and showing them that you value their feedback. In return, you’ll eventually see the advantages that employee time tracking software solutions offer. And the changes that both your business and employees will experience.
Did you face any challenges when trying to get your employees to use a time tracking system? How did you motivate them to give it a try? Share your tips in the comments section below!