Time as a resource is something that can never be replaced. No matter how a company structures itself as time passes it is gone forever. This non-renewable resource must be effectively managed in order for a company to succeed. The company who finds an effective way to manage time is much better placed to succeed than their competitors. Often this attempt requires effective time management software.
What is the best way to manage time? Throughout history there have been many attempts at tracking employee time and correlating it to the actual activities within the company as a whole. Attempts at tracking time began with paper tracking sheets and eventually culminated with the current use of mobile-based platforms. Throughout the modern era the endeavor has been revisited over and over as companies try to find the perfect solution.
Having the ability to track work time easily and accurately is at the heart of any success. Old paper time sheets will work, but they increase the workload of everyone involved. The more integrated a solution is the better. Ideally, time tracking software connects directly to the invoice creation software. When this is done, accounting is also simplified and mistakes are reduced as human error is eliminated.
When a company finds and then implements an effective time management platform the benefits are felt throughout the entire company. Employees are assured that they are paid for the work that they do, and the company is assured they are only paying for the time the employees are working. When done properly this is a win-win situation.
Time tracking is key to time management. If an employee doesn’t know when they have worked, or what they have spent their time working on then they have no ability to effectively make informed decisions regarding when they should be doing things.
When the system is used correctly an employee can manage their time through time tracking. The right approach will allow them to better control how they do things and when. When time tracking information is made available to everyone involved the employee can see when they have worked, and anticipate the payment for their work. With this visibility they are more likely to fully participate as it is a benefit to them.
Employers can use time tracking software to better manage projects. By keeping track of how much time a job takes they are able to project this same work onto a new project and better plan for the job. Time tracking software that allows entry into the specific tasks that an employee is working on at any given time supports this most effectively.
There are general benefits to time management that time tracking supports. These benefits accrue to the company and the employee at the same time. As a more effective employee makes a more effective company.
By comparing the time that employees track, and fitting it into the overall work schedule the company can more effectively allocate resources to make tasks run more smoothly. When a company can determine what time is spent at a location, and how long it takes to complete a given task workers can be tasked according to workload that exists
Time management also allows a company to ensure that they are taking on jobs that are cost effective. By keeping a historical record of time spent on certain tasks the company can accurately forecast the amount of time a similar job will take. By using good time tracking software a company can build a firm basis for data.
Having the ability to track employee hour’s real time allows a project manager to determine if the project will be completed within the cost projections. By having a fully functioning time management system that integrates with the system the company uses for other purposes the ability to determine costs are greatly enhanced.
Time tracking software should never feel onerous to employees when it is used it will bring more focus to work. If an employee knows that their time is being tracked, and that this is compared occasionally to standard times for a task, it inevitably will lead to better focus on the task. This works only if the company occasionally recalculates these averages to account for changes in procedures and policies.
There must be employee buy in for a time tracking system to be completely useful. Employees must know why the data is being collected, or it will seem draconian. Moreover it will seem that the only use of the time tracking system is to punish them if it is determined they are not working fast enough. Inclusion of employees into the reasons for the system will often result in them making the extra effort to put the information in correctly.
To fully get employees involved it is often best to publish why the company wants to collect the information. Explain all of the uses for the information, and more importantly what it won’t be used for. When you give employees the whole reason why the data is being collected, it stops rumors and lets them fully appreciate their role in the process. This should be included in new employee training as well as periodically restated for the entire company.
The security of your time tracking system is also something that has to be kept in mind. Both for employee security, company security, and proper accounting. A timesheet needs to be something that once completed, is unchangeable without proper authority. Employee time sheets should only be accessible by the employee themselves, and those above them in the company structure.
Daily tracking of time is a must in most organizations. When employees attempt to enter time days after they work is completed details are inevitably lost. Additionally it interferes with the ability to provide accurate and timely reports of all work completed. Company policy should dictate work is entered each day onto the time sheet. The system itself should enforce this by not allowing time to be input for previous days. This will help to ensure employees are diligent about entering their daily time.
The goal of time tracking is to get honest results. For that to happen a company must develop a culture of honest reporting. When the expected results are simply filled in to comply with the company directive that an employee gets 8 hours a day, then the data obtained is relatively useless. A company must encourage honest results, and accurate labeling of what activity occurred during the time period reported. In the best case a company will reward honest reporting.
The timesheet and time management initiative of a company is something that should be pursued with diligence and patience. By having a robust time tracking system a company can manage their employees with intelligence. Managing based on actual data will result in cost savings to the company, and greater productivity for the employees.