In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of implementing time-tracking systems for employees to record and analyze how they spend their time. These include identifying inefficiencies, focusing time on value-add activities, and developing effective time management strategies. Here, we’ll discuss some strategies and tips for implementing a time-tracking program for staff.
Communicate the Purpose
One of your employees’ most likely reactions to a time-tracking initiative is feeling like they’re being spied on or micromanaged. It’s crucial for managers to clearly communicate the intention of the initiative.
The goals should be to help employees use their time more effectively and spend more time focusing on where they can excel rather than on administrative and other time-wasting activities.
Make It Easy
The last thing you want with a time-tracking program is for the time tracking to be a source of wasted time itself. Instead, you want a system that’s easy and efficient to use. This will not only avoid wasting additional time but also encourage use of the tool and compliance with the time-tracking initiative.
There are a number of software tools available for time tracking that can be used in place of or in addition to homegrown tools using already available programs like Excel.
Iteration and Process Improvement
Time tracking by itself won’t help boost efficiency and greater focus on value-add activities. Managers also need to periodically review the data and help staff identify areas for improvement and help them actually make those improvements. This can include delegating administrative and other lower-level tasks to other staff and helping improve processes for other labor-intensive activities.
As process changes are made, the manager and staff should review the time tracking to see if those process changes are leading to time savings, as well. In addition to reviewing the qualitative feedback gleaned from the time-tracking reports, managers should also take the time to discuss how employees feel about the changes and if any additional adjustments may make sense.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of a time-tracking program. The next step for companies that acknowledge these benefits is to get one of these programs implemented for their own staff.
The key strategies to ensure an effective rollout are applicable to virtually any initiative: effective communication, ease of use, and iteration.