Introducing time tracking to employees can be challenging as they may see it as micro-management, which isn’t the best approach to retaining them in the long run. However, time tracking is important not just for businesses but for employees themselves. They can stay on task and be more productive during the day. And for businesses, managers can now discover which project has brought the most revenue while taking up a lot of time to process.
As a result, tracking time with tools has been in the talk lately, specifically right after the pandemic hit. As people have no choice but to work from home, keeping anyone on track with little to no supervision can be daunting. Those companies who have never experienced/applied remote working can struggle to adapt and fit in with this new policy.
That is why time tracking software has seen an increase during this outbreak as the number of remote employees suddenly rises.
When introducing time tracking to your team, it’s essential that both parties understand the purpose of this tool for their work. Getting a tracking app installed on your team members all of a sudden can lead to mistrust, something you should avoid in teamwork.
So, here are the top ten best practices you can use to properly introduce time tracking apps to your team.
1. Hold an internal meeting
You don’t contact your team members one by one to introduce the time tracking tool for work. Although it’s great to personalize meetings with each member, this is not efficient as you have to repeat the same information over again.
Not to mention, connecting with every member isn’t feasible for a bigger company with over 50+ employees. In this case, organizing an internal meeting specifically to introduce new tools will be more effective.
Make sure to keep this meeting as personal as possible even though it’s held on a bigger scale. You can communicate the problem more intimately if you speak by understanding the team member’s perspectives. That way, they would be more likely to engage and listen to your proposal.
2. Let them know the company’s concern
Before you ask your team members to install time tracking software on their desktops, you should address a few reasons why the company needs this tool. Time tracking is usually introduced to help with productivity, but you can also use it for invoicing, budgeting, and more. You should also emphasize that time tracking is not a way to micromanage your employees but to help the business become more efficient.
3. Explain the benefits for your employees
Now that you have addressed the company’s concerns, you can explain the benefits that time tracking will have on your employees.
Time tracking will help them stay on task and be more productive with their time. They can use the software to see how long tasks take them, so they can plan their day better. Additionally, time tracking can help prevent burnout as employees will be able to better manage their time.
4. Get their feedback
After explaining the company’s reasons for introducing time tracking, get your team members’ perspectives on the matter. Ask them if they see any benefits of using this software or if they have any concerns about it.
This will show that you’re interested in what they think and that you value their opinion. It’ll also help you understand their point of view before proceeding with the next steps.
5. Choose the right tool
There are many time tracking software available on the market, so you’ll need to pick one that meets your company’s needs. If you’re not sure which tool to choose, ask your team members for suggestions.
Once you’ve decided on a tool, make sure to test it out yourself first before implementing it company-wide. This way, you can identify any potential issues and address them before they become a problem.
After choosing and testing the time tracking software, it’s time to set it up for your team. This includes creating accounts for each member, setting up permissions, and more.
6. Train your team members with the new tool
Now that the tool is set up, it’s time to train your team on how to use it. This includes showing them how to start and stop the timer, take screenshots, add notes, and more. You can either do this yourself or have someone from the customer support team do it for you.
Or, use training videos to help your team members understand how to effectively use the time tracking app. Either way, make sure that everyone understands how to use the tool before moving on.
7. Explain the rules
Addressing the rules when using this time tracking software can minimize misunderstandings between team members and managers. Since everyone works without physically seeing their teammates doing the job, people can have different interpretations of the rules.
For example, some team members might think that taking longer lunch breaks is okay as long as they make up for it by working later. However, this isn’t always the case and can lead to conflict down the line.
Before using the time tracking software, sit down with your team and explain the company’s rules regarding work hours and breaks. Make sure that everyone is on the same page to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
8. Set up a pilot program
A pilot program is a great way to test out the new time tracking software before implementing it company-wide. This allows you to iron out any issues that arise and make sure that the tool works well for your team.
To set up a pilot program, choose a small group of employees to test out the software. This can be done by department or by location. Once you’ve selected the group, train them on how to use the tool and let them use it for a few weeks.
After the pilot program is over, gather feedback from the participants. Use this feedback to improve the time tracking software before rolling it out to the rest of the company.
9. Evaluate and adjust the program
Once you’ve introduced time tracking to your team, take some time to evaluate its effectiveness. This can be done by looking at metrics such as productivity, project completion rates, and more.
If you see that there’s room for improvement, make the necessary adjustments. This includes changing the way the tool is used, modifying company rules, and more.
10. Have an open-door policy
Last but not least, it’s important to have an open-door policy when it comes to time tracking. This means that employees should feel comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns they have about the software.
Additionally, they should know that they can approach you if they’re facing any issues with using the tool. By having an open-door policy, you can build trust and improve communication within your team.
Implementing time tracking in your company can be a daunting task. Employees may perceive this as a lack of trust from management or see it as an invasion of privacy.
There may be a misunderstanding from when you start tracking time because not everyone is used to being monitored all the time, especially when they are working from home.
To avoid any negative backlash, it’s important to introduce the time tracking software to your team the right way. By following these best practices, you can set your team up for success and ensure that the transition goes smoothly.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro