Time tracking, nobody likes it
Time tracking, it feels like nobody wants to spent time on it. You selected a time tracking system, you created projects but alas, an eery silence has descended upon your time tracking effort.
But no despair, it doesn’t have to stay like that. With a few simple measures it is possible to include time tracking in the daily routine of your team. You will see that it is very wel possible to get your team to track time and create an accurate time tracking administration.
Steps for improving time tracking
- Explain the value om time tracking. Sometimes all it takes is to explain to your team why time tracking is important. Take some time and show what happens with all those time sheets that people enter. An example is to perhaps show some invoices with project totals. In this way everybody will understand that time tracking is an essential part of the business processes of your company.
- Take time to train your team. Make sure everyboy understands how to enter time. Maybe you can sit down and go through the tools together. In this way you can discuss questions and issues together. Perhaps you can create a short manual with the steps and options for your team on how to track time.
- Integrate time tracking in your work processes. Make it as easy as possible to track time. For instance to track time on your mobile phones instead of using a laptop. Also, make sure selection lists are as short as possible. For instance, you can limit lists of projects to only those projects users are working on. In this way they won’t have to browse throug long lists to enter time.
- Create extra value with time tracking data. A good integration in your way of working goes a long way but there are more ways to improve. For instance, use the information about your team’s activities to give your team more insight in what they are spending their time on. Most people are not really aware of how much time they spent on for instance reading email or attending meetings. Making this visible can help to improve productivity. Perhaps they can read and answer email only once a day so there is more focus on other activities.
Time tracking feels like an individual task, but it is team work. Time tracking is part of your business process and that will only work if everybody in your team cooperates. You can emphasize this by sharing project overviews with your team. Find a team member that wants to take up the responsibility for making sure everybody tracks their time.
What does not work is to publicly shame people for not filling in their time sheets! Instead, ask in a friendly way and give some praise when time tracking is completed. It does help to set a fixed time slot for entering hours and to send a few reminders. Use the reminders to explain why time tracking is important.
Give a reward. This is not easy, how to do this without becoming patronizing? What will work is not to address people in person but to explain that the team is responsible. For instance, thank the team for completing their time tracking administration in the past month.
There are many creative way to bring time tracking under attention. There are companies that require a completed time sheet from their employees for joining the company drinks! Check in your organisation how others manage to get attention, for instance, do they take time in a meeting for announcements? Do you get requests in Slack or Teams for completing tasks?
Tips & tops?
Hopefully you like our tips. Of course there are more ways to improve time tracking. Do you have a useful tip or do you want to tells us what works for you? Let us know by leaving a reply below, in that way we can all benefit!