Why should I track my time everyday? I’m sure almost every manager has been asked this question at some point in their career. No employee wants to have that one manager looking over his or her shoulder during every minute of the day. So how do you motivate your team to track their time on a daily basis without being overbearing?
Explain the importance
Make sure your team understands how beneficial it can be for the company, as well as the employee by consistently tracking their time. Time tracking can be the ultimate insight into the progress of a project. Your team will become better at estimating and prioritizing tasks for future projects if they understand the importance. Daily time tracking will set clear objectives and increase performance by eliminating procrastination. It allows you to take appropriate action if scope creep occurs. It’s not about trust, but making sure the company remains healthy, and everyone is properly recognized for all their hard work.
Ease of use
First you must understand the team you are working with. Does your team work remote or onsite at a client? Do they already have to log time in other time management systems? Usually when a team member is working onsite at a client they have to log time in other time tracking systems. This can often create conflicts between systems for reporting. You want to make time tracking convenient and as easy as possible. Make sure the time tracking tool you pick is ideal for your industry and can easily integrate with company calendars or project management tools. We prefer to use Jira here at Karbyn for tracking time.
Jira is accessible from any mobile device and has plenty of add-ons for time tracking. We’ve created custom dashboards where users can log their time within seconds without having to search through projects and issues. This makes reporting extremely easy for managers but also gives team members insights into their own productivity.
Yes, there are times where team members become forgetful and need to either go back through old emails, check recent commits or rely on their fellow peers to remember what they worked on. If team members can stick to one time a day where they consistently log their time it will become routine. They will no longer have to spend multiple hours finding out what they spent their time on and instead use those hours to their benefit. If some people have trouble being consistent try to set reminders. We like to use Slack /remind here at Karbyn.
Adding time at the end of everyday ensures that your team members do not forget what they have done and the hours they have worked. Being disciplined with time entry, your team members will become more efficient. It will take less time and be less of a disruption to enter their time. The more everyone practices discipline the more accurate and actionable time records become.
Make logging time goal oriented so team members can see how well they perform against their personal goals. Praise team members who consistently enter their time. Keep track of streaks and make it more than simply entering time. Do not become negative should a team member forget to enter their time, rather reinforce the importance and try to be helpful. Pitch in and help team members if necessary by offering to enter their time should a project be very busy.
Make it personal
Get to know your team members outside of the work environment. Take the team out for a happy hour or host an event. Team members tend to open up more when they’re outside of the office and can give you some insight on why constant time tracking can be so disruptive during their day. If the team finds certain aspects of time entry monotonous, then maybe some automation can be built into the time tracking application. Listen to what they have to say and come up with a strategy that will help them follow the company guidelines.
In conclusion managing a team can be a difficult task without having the ability to look back on their progress throughout a project. Explaining the importance of time tracking to your team from the beginning of a project will go a long way. Knowing where you can improve and where you can excel are all major factors for logging time. Being consistent, disciplined, and goal oriented will help grow your team members professionally and set them up for success.