Whether a company has five employees or 500, time tracking is a frustrating issue unless the right system is in place. Employees want to know that their time is accurately accounted for and employers want to know everyone is honest about the time they spend working. They both want a successful time-tracking system that’s easy to use. Let’s look at the reasons why time tracking is essential for any size business and how to choose the right one for your company. We’ll begin by defining time tracking.
What Is Time Tracking?
Before we can discuss why time tracking is important, let’s talk about what it is. Time tracking is what companies use to keep track of employees’ time. This includes clocking in and out, paid time off, and whether other time is used or not.
There are several systems used for time tracking. The following are the most common:
- Punch clocks
- Pencil and paper
- Time-tracking software
- Scanning IDs
How Time Tracking Helps
Time tracking is a helpful tool for any business. It tracks time as well as produces other positive effects for the entire company. Let’s look at the reasons why time tracking is essential for any size business.
As time is easily recorded and accurately kept track of, efficiency improves. Using old time-tracking methods (or using none at all) results in inaccurate paychecks and employees going unaccounted for or unrecognized.
Time tracking makes the employees feel like their employer cares about them. They know their time is accurately accounted for and their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Morale increases even more when employers make it clear, their time is tracked as well.
As employees see time tracking positively affecting their day and overall experience at work, their productivity increases. They won’t waste time waiting in line to punch in or out or have to use the buddy system to keep each other accountable.
Potential Customers See It as Professional
In some businesses, pricing is related to time spent on a project. When you use time tracking, you can show customers how you came to a price decision. They can see how many hours go into one project. This is a professional choice, rather than estimating cost.
In the same way, time tracking allows the employer to see how much a project costs the company in terms of time.
Transparency and Accountability
It’s important to use a time-tracking system for every employee. If some are tracked and others aren’t, they could feel resentful. Use time tracking across the board and your employees will appreciate your transparency. Time tracking creates accountability for everyone.
Choosing the Right Time-Tracking System
Once you’ve decided to implement a time-tracking system or to improve the one you have, the next step is choosing the right one. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of time-tracking methods we mentioned earlier.
The punch clock is an old way of recording time. A card is used each day to punch in and out. The card is inserted and the time is recorded. A big downside to this method is the time wasted as employees wait in line to punch in their cards.
Pen and Paper
Tracking the time with pen and paper is just what it sounds like. Time is recorded each day on a piece of paper, then given to payroll when needed. This method requires extreme trust and honesty and leaves plenty of room for errors.
Employees use spreadsheets on Excel to record time. These are then easily forwarded to payroll or management. Unfortunately, when people use this method, they’re prone to making simple mistakes.
Employees scan the ID they wear every day. It’s scanned by a machine that recognizes the ID and records the time. When this method is used, employees must always remember to bring their IDs to work—they can’t clock in if they left the card at home.
The most efficient out of all the time-tracking methods is to use time-tracking software. Time-tracking software is installed on any device, including desktops, pads, smartphones, and laptops. The software enables employees to record time from anywhere. This means all employees—including remote workers—can use the same system to clock in and out.
Because it’s a software program, time is tracked with complete accuracy. Thanks to technology, employees can set reminders, make the time-tracking program their browser homepage, mark their calendar, and use phone alarms.
For the most accuracy and ease of use, time-tracking software is the best bet.
Introducing Time Tracking To Your Employees
Anytime something new is introduced at work, employees have a right to know why it was chosen and how it benefits them. Time tracking can sound like a negative thing if someone hasn’t used it before. So, point out what time tracking is and what it is not. Since we’ve already discussed what time tracking is, here’s what it is not:
- Spyware. Unfortunately, if it’s never been used before, the words “time tracking” can sound like the employer wants to track an employee’s every move. Employees may wonder if they have to record every time they use the restroom or answer a call. Make it clear this isn’t the purpose and your time will be tracked as well.
- Busywork. Your employees have plenty to do and they may shudder at the fact that time tracking sounds like another task to complete. Let them know the new system isn’t busywork but a way to cut down on wasted time.
It’s understandable that employees would question a time tracking system if they’ve never used it before. Although, with the proper introduction and training, they’ll quickly enjoy the benefits.
Take your time choosing the right time tracking system for your business, whether it’s small or large. Then, you can enjoy the many positive effects it has on your employees and the entire company.
At TimeTrakGO we offer web-based time clock software, that makes the transition to or improvement of time tracking a simple one. An added benefit of our services is PTO time tracking software, helping employees easily track their needed time away. Contact TimeTrakGO or easily sign up on our website and start using efficient time tracking software today.