Productivity precedes profit. Thus, every business manager needs to improve productivity and keep their employees productive.
Some create lavish break rooms equipped with game consoles, snacks, and cold drinks. Others resort to scrutinizing behavior and applying constant pressure.
However, there are cheaper and friendlier ways to improve your employees’ day-to-day productivity. Chief among these is time tracking. In this post, you’ll learn how you can track employees’ time without insulting them. At the same time, we will discuss ways of motivating your workers to achieve greater efficiency.
Can Time Tracking Improve Productivity?
Productivity isn’t just about someone going to work, sitting at a desk, and doing something deemed important. For example, your employee might do something they believe to be necessary while not being productive at all.
That’s because at the heart of productivity lies the notion of efficiency. When your employees are working on crucial tasks, you don’t value their productivity based on the activity itself. Instead, it’s about the relationship between input and output.
Since we aren’t able to effectively measure the neurological or other physical processes behind employees’ input, we have to use the easiest measurements. Those are: How much time are employees using for particular tasks and what are the results?
But time tracking isn’t only about clocking your employees’ work time. Depending on your industry and reach, you might also want to incorporate data such as arriving late to work, taking sick leave, and using vacation days. This will enable you to see wider trends in employee behavior. Meanwhile, you can also zoom in on particular people to see their habits.
A Case in Point
Let’s imagine that you discover that someone is consistently late to work. However, this same person continually produces results that are much higher than those of your punctual employees.
If you used only a part of the available data, you might jump to conclusions. But remember that the age of simple punch clocks and whistles, the symbols of industrial period factories, is mostly over. Therefore, a deeper look could have you asking some questions.
For example, maybe this person’s lack of punctuality stems from her individual sleep pattern. Is this employee more productive because she chooses to sleep as much she needs, resulting in her getting more work done throughout rest of the day? All of your assumptions can be confirmed or overturned after you conduct an interview with the person.
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You aren’t going to ace any of your plans to improve productivity if you aren’t able to bring most of your employees on board. New ways of doing things can give rise to doubt and disbelief in an organizational setting. But how do you actually motivate employees to track their time, improve productivity, and fulfill the highest potential of a time clock system?
First of all, you can’t just send a manual to all your workers and expect them to figure it out on their own. Worse yet, should they discover that this is a dictum from on high, you’re bound to get some push back.
It’s important, then, to stand by their side and go over the basics of time tracking with them. Along the way, explain the system’s features. Describe the implications of these functions in the context of the whole organization.
Endeavor to have employees understand that using the new system will help the overall cause of the organization. This is especially important in companies that boast a sense of ownership among their workers.
Also, it’s good to pinpoint particular features that help employees be more efficient. Explain to them that having an overview of their time use can help them manage their own workflow better. This will help them to reduce stress and boost creativity as they go about solving problems and completing daily tasks.
Be Open and Honest
Communication is essential in all organizational changes. As you implement your new time tracking software, focus on carefully designed messages to your employees that highlight the main benefits.
Ideally, start the communication work a few months before the actual execution. Internal communications experts are your best partners to ensure that you excel at this task.
Furthermore, be honest in your messages. Tell employees about the benefits to the organization as a whole. Let them know how management, clients, stakeholders, and employees themselves will benefit.
Additionally, touch upon the subject of possible complications and annoyances of time tracking. Honesty is a virtue and it pays off in the corporate world.
Ask for Feedback
Is your time clock rollout already underway? Then implement a feedback system immediately. There might be problems that you and your team never even thought about beforehand.
Don’t wait for people to get vocal on their own. Ask for feedback instead. This will help you to make improvements and get things right. What’s more, your employees will feel that you value them. Plus, their perception of management will get a boost.
Of course, asking for feedback is only part of the picture. Use what you learn from feedback to enhance your time tracking goal. If you don’t, you will miss out on useful recommendations.
Use Positive Incentives
Some people will need an extra push. However, even these recalcitrant ones will generally opt for a carrot instead of a stick. In other words, frame the change in a positive way and come up with positive incentives.
Resistant employees may well start to track their time if you offer a bonus percentage or other monetary incentives. Also, bring attention to coworkers’ successful time tracking use. This could influence others to follow the crowd. Bigger companies can even invest in gamification solutions. Often a bit of fun will pique interest, even among the most reluctant employees.
Reap the Rewards of Improved Productivity
Motivating employees by way of thorough communication, friendly support, collecting feedback, and handing out incentives for continuous use will pay off in the long run. In return, your employees and upper management will discover how time tracking will lead to flourishing productivity and a smarter handling of individual workflows.