The workplace is quickly shifting into a highly-digitized future, making work-from-home setups more common across industries. The COVID-19 pandemic fast-tracked this adoption by showing people that remote work isn’t just possible, it’s actually helpful too.
As a result, 81% of US employees say they prefer a hybrid or remote work setup even after the pandemic. With remote work now in the picture, managers and business owners face some challenges admittedly, but none that aren’t without solutions.
One of the common issues with remote work is the lack of accountability structures. Meaning, since people aren’t in the office, supervisors can’t just walk in to check on their work progress.
That’s where time tracking or time management solutions come in handy. But not all workers are open to the idea of employers tracking their hours.
To some, it feels like an invasion of their privacy. To others, it seems like micromanagement.
But are these always the case? And if not, how can we better communicate tracking solutions as a great way to move forward as digitized and flexible organizations?
Only 18% of people have a time management system, and it leads to all sorts of problems like poor evaluation, lost productivity, and wage theft. Time tracking software can sometimes feel like the enemy to a virtual or hybrid team. Most of the time, this is the case because it’s not clear who gets to experience the benefits of time tracking.
Contrary to the common belief that only employers will be happy with time tracking software, both employers and employees can actually benefit when there is a time tracking and monitoring system in place. Here are the shared benefits that both parties win.
Implementing time management tools and keeping your workforce motivated aren’t mutually exclusive from one another. To get both benefits, focus on how to introduce time tracking to employees. Here are some ways to introduce time tracking solutions without demotivating your team.
Sometimes, employees don’t see why their managers apply time tracking tools. And unless management provides a clear why, personnel will only feel more uncertainty and ambiguity towards monitoring tools. Allowing that to happen will most likely cause demotivation in teams.
But when leaders are transparent about what they would like to get out of the policy and what’s in it for employees too, you can clear the air and move forward as a team faster.
Set a company town hall before rolling out the system and explain your case. Be ready to listen to grievances of your employees and try to find a common ground if you can. Offer some level of compromise, such as giving one day in the week to take a “break” from tracking if there’s too much friction in the beginning.
Implementing time tracking software for employees can create a rift between management and their subordinates. That divide will pull teams apart if kept unchecked.<[>So to bridge the gap, consider implementing time tracking software for supervisors and managers too. If a leader truly understands the advantages of using employee monitoring software, they shouldn’t have any problem being a part of the process too.
The principle of leadership by example is powerful for team building and culture cultivating. This applies in all aspects of the organization, including how we implement policies like time tracking solutions.
For time tracking to become frictionless for an organization, it has to be simple enough to use. When time tracking software takes up considerable time and effort to do, it can cause unwanted strain. Moreover, it defeats the purpose of time tracking software, which is to make staff more productive.
Use time tracking and monitoring software with a simple user experience. When possible, integrate them with your communication tools. Slack, for instance, can integrate with a wide variety of time monitoring software so team members can simply clock in and out from there.
Another time management tip that makes for a successful time monitoring policy roll-out is to focus on results.
Don’t just track hours. Track output and results too.
For example, check the number of issues resolved by customer service staff or the overall sales brought in by sales representatives. Bounce off work hours with the work output that comes out of it.
Sound time tracking best practices entails that you provide employees with the benefit of the doubt at all times. For example, you shouldn’t be quick to call out a worker for logging into Facebook during work hours given that they could probably be using it to contact clients or generate leads.
There’s no doubt that there will always be employees who take company policy for granted. But there will also be staff who are loyal to the company and policy. And to quickly dismiss someone for monitoring results could disregard the latter. Provide your team members with a no-judgment zone by giving them a chance to justify their performance or activities during work hours.
The last practice that can help soften a team’s heart towards time tracking software is to gamify it. Provide incentives to people who follow protocol. These incentives don’t have to be monetary or material in nature. Sometimes, even a simple word of honor can make all the difference.
Another great incentive idea is to include time tracking compliance to the criteria of the employee of the month award. You can also have groups work as a team and incentivize the teams who keep compliance perfectly to encourage collective accountability.
Trust and accountability are not enemies when creating strong team cultures. In fact, they are both necessary. When we leverage both of them in our organizations, we can effectively maximize productivity without lowering team member morale.