Implementing a time tracking obligation within a company is not an easy task to deal with. Recording hours spent on specific assignment is kind of activity your employees are not really excited about. They consider it as useless and time consuming or they simply forget about it. Moreover, they associate it with overtime control. It is not surprising then, they avoid it.
As a manager of the company which bills its clients hourly, you can’t just drop the idea. One thing is you respond in front of your clients, another is that it would cause terrible losses in your financial flow. It’s because time units are the basis of your revenues, good business relations and as a result of the whole company soundness. Though encouraging employees to time tracking is a tough battle, it is not unfeasible. There is a bunch of ideas which may help you to motivate your team to start measuring their time and filling the timesheets.
Make It Meaningful
Regarding employees’ approach to time recording, it is not enough to make it an obligation. Each new process should be followed by strong reasons. You need to explain your team what is expected from them and why. You need to be clear about how does the time tracking influence the whole organization and why it is so valuable.
Remember to mention that billable hours bring revenues and maintain the company in good financial soundness. Filling timesheets in turn, helps to reduce delays in project delivery and better plan resources to avoid multi-tasking and overwork within your teams. Your employees need to understand that this is mutually beneficial. This way they’ll be more willing to co-operate.
Make It Easy
Most time tracking tools appear to be very complicated. They are too difficult for the average person. Completing timesheets should not take too much time and demand any effort from the users. Otherwise, your employees get frustrated and are tend to skip this activity in their daily routine. This, of course, would mean missing valuable minutes or even hours that could be translated to bigger money.
To do so, simplify the process. Provide your team an easy software and automate filling timesheets. This will help your workers save time and focus on their work. While the application logs the time on its own, you can forget about delays, complaints and blanks in your reports.
Share the Results
Once the vision of time tracking is clear for everyone, your employees will probably expect to see some reports. It will be a good practice to share the results during regular meetings. It will enable to discuss the findings and talk about the possible ways to plan limited resources more effectively.
Your team will learn about their time allocation and see in which areas they are more and less productive. What is more, you will be able to estimate the project profitability. This makes your company more transparent and your workers feel more engaged, not only in recording billable hours, but also in improving self and overall efficiency.
Even if every team member knows exactly what you require from them and they know the reasons of that, human memory is not perfect. In the heat of everyday work, it is easy to forget about such activity as filling timesheets. You can remind them about it from time to time, but let’s be honest, it’s not the best solution. First, you have better things to do than stalking your employees all the time. Second, you don’t want to be considered as a kind of dictator or staggler.
Try to automate this process and get the software that will send reminders to your employees. This will help you receive all the data on time.
Be a Good Example
Finally, there is nothing more demotivating than the person who tells you what to do, but who doesn’t follow its own rules. Even though you’re the one who decide, when you don’t care, neither would your workers.
So if you want your employees to record their time, you need to set an example and start doing this on your own. It would be good practice to convince more top managers. This is why the idea of time tracking will become more valid and people will fill timesheets more eagerly.
Changing one’s attitude is not easy. However, if you make it clear and simple, there is a huge possibility that you will convince your employees to time tracking activities. Recording billable hours brings mutual benefits and that’s the thing they should understand. Once they do, they will notice a bigger sense in it and will be more eager to time recording.