Question of the day – How to motivate your employees to track their time?

Do you know the video Eddie Murphy screams as loud as he can “Timesheets!” during his stand-up show called Delirious? If you don’t, you should search it online. Once you see it, you will picture in your mind your image as the manager of the company, telling your employees daily they need to fill in the timesheet portal to track their time and activities. When people are stressed out with the same thing repeatedly, they tend to feel repulsion towards the person who stresses them. And you don’t want your employees to hate you. But you know that tracking time is important.

How can you improve the situation? The best method is to convince your employees that tracking time is essential for the success of the company.

But before doing it, you should better understand what the time tracking myth is all about.

Time tracking may be a myth

Everyone knows that time tracking is connected to enhanced productivity; a timesheet portal allows managers to see how effective their employees are at their work. When owning a business, the main target is to generate profit, and because time is money, things start to make sense. A Harvard Business Review stated that the US economy is losing more than 7 billion daily because of unregistered work hours.

What you’ll find even more surprising is a study from the UK that reveals that employees are productive only 2 hours and 53 minutes daily. People find easier to stay at the office for 8 hours and work little. What do they do for the rest of the time? They are talking with their colleagues, reading news, scrolling social media platforms, and playing online games. Your business cannot be successful if your workers only show up at work, and fill in timesheets with activities they never perform. When they have plenty of time available to complete a job, they will expand their tasks to use all the available time. Why? Because people usually are not able to estimate how long a job takes them. They can finish it faster, but they prefer to delay the work until the last minute. Time tracking can solve this problem if you motivate your employees to do it right. Filling timesheets is not enough, filling them with real activities is what your business needs to evolve.

And we got to the point we’re interested in. How can you motivate them to do it?

Tell them what benefits time tracking has

Time tracking brings benefits not only to your business but also to your team.

You can build cooperation only on trust, so you should not try to force your workers to track their time without explaining them why they should do it. If you do it, it will grow a culture of suspicion and employees will end up cheating.

The solution is to share with them the reasons behind your decision, what benefits it brings to the business, to their team, and to your clients. Communication is the tool you need to use to establish a trust relationship.

Offer guidelines

Time tracking is effective only if you set a system. The timesheet portal will prove useless if the employees don’t fill it with correct labels or activities. Before you implement the system, you should explain to them how they should track their time. They will accept the system easier if they understand how they have to do it. Tell them that they should fill in activities under the project they are working, and they should list all the tasks they complete.

Provide guidance

When using a time tracker, basic setups are simple and they don’t require complex guidance. And what’s great about it, is this system is online so they can access it from all their devices, no matter their location. But even if the system is easy to use and access, your employees should feel you are doing your best to assist them in the process. By explaining to them how to fill the timesheet and how certain features work, you help them accept the change easier.

The more straightforward the process, the more likely they are to track their time. They are less likely to use something they don’t understand.

Be transparent when sharing the reports

Some companies need to keep their employees’ logs private, but if this is not the case, then you should share the reports with all your employees. You can use the conference room to display the tracking data on a screen, or you can send the reports to every worker, via email. It allows them to see their work’s results and encourage them to search for new ways to improve their productivity.

Do not use this method to shame one of your employees in public if you are not happy with their results. You should have a private conversation to try to identify what is preventing them from having healthy work habits.

Ask for feedback regularly

Your employees are professionals in your industry so their feedback should be valuable when you make decisions. After installing the time tracking system you should ask them to offer feedback to understand how there are adapting to the change and if adjustments are needed. Encourage them to share their problems, suggestions, concerns and use the information to boost the system’s effectiveness. The easier their job is, the more likely they are to do it.

It’s a great way to show your employees that their opinions are important for you, and you value their expertise. Your employees should take part in data analysis when you complete the reports. This way they can identify their mistakes, and understand what they should do differently the following month.

Reward them for using the tracker correctly

You can modify their behaviour with rewards. They will easily adapt to the change if they can win certain prizes. You may not have enough funds to pay them for accurate time logs, but you can offer other gifts. From days off to free products, and services.

It’s crucial to convince your employees to fill the timesheet correctly because it can boost your business’ profit. Help them understand why they should do it, and they will make it a habit.

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