In today’s workplace, it has become more common for employers to check in the time they spend on their work versus the billing hours through systems of time tracking. The system may be more or less sophisticated depending on the sector of business, size of the company, pressure to meet deadlines, type of projects etc.

How to convince employees to track their time

  • Communication: should be kept open and free and employers should make sure employees are correctly and completely informed of the benefits of time-tracking and its goals. Whereas the reasons are often related to managing client accounts, employees may feel a personal scrutinizing.
  • General guidelines: these rules should be clear and applicable to everyone, therefore the way the time-tracking system functions should be explained to all employees in order to make sure correct data is inserted from the beginning as it costs more resources to rectify mistakes.
  • Initial training: as easy as the adopted system may be, it is worth investing some time before its implementation to assert whether employees have understood the system. By adopting an easy and user-friendly interface, the more chances there will be that the system will be used adequately.
  • Sharing data: depending on the method of publicly sharing the data between the team, it may act as an enabler for building trust and rewarding the correct use of the system. Where the results are not satisfactory, the company should make sure to keep the data anonymous or focus on the mistake rather than the person who made it.
  • Rewards for accurate tracking: also known as “positive reinforcement”, it is an incentive for a job well-made, thus some companies offer small rewards or plans (e.g. company discounts or time off) for employees who have correctly and timely inserted their data in the system. This could lead to friendly competition between team members which can also boost productivity.
  • Follow-up and feedback: businesses should accept feedback from the employees regarding the time-tracking system, particularly constructive criticism. Since the employees are the ones filling in the data, they should feel comfortable with the system, and the company should try its best to ensure a positive experience, which eventually transposes into active management.

The biggest challenge comes from the employees themselves who consider time-tracking a chore that costs them additional time and does not grant them sufficient benefits. By investing time and money into a well-developed time-tracking system, the company saves resources long-term and strengthens productivity.