By Jeff Broth
When the productivity of your employees skyrockets, there’s a good chance that your revenue will too.
You’d be able to double or triple your output. You can avoid having to hire more people. And you’d be able to finish your projects way earlier than your deadlines (among other things). No matter from which angle you look at it, you stand to gain from growing your team’s productivity.
That is why, in this guide, we’re going to look at one of the best ways you can grow your employees’ productivity—through employee time-tracking.
If you’ve tried countless strategies to improve your productivity, but to no avail, then it’s high time that you try employee time-tracking.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Uncover areas of improvement
Most time-tracking software require their users to input the task that they are going to work on. It may be for market research, creating progress reports, designing an email newsletter, or anything else.
Because the task and the amount of time the employee spent to work on it is tracked, the admin (or the managers) can see just how many hours it’s taking their employees to accomplish specific tasks. Assignments that are done longer than expected often indicate the need for improvement.
As they determine which tasks are taking too much time, managers, together with employees, can then come up with corrective actions or remedies to fill the gaps effectively.
Managers can do coaching to help the employees in areas where they’re struggling by connecting them with in-house or external experts, providing supplementary knowledge resources, and more.
Supervisors can also measure their employees’ performance in a more tangible manner, with reliable figures vis-a-vis the duration spent on tasks.
Data-supported tracking can help managers address the uncovered areas for improvement more effectively. After all, according to famous management thinker Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Time tracking, in this way, can allow employees to be more efficient and productive when doing the task moving forward.
Managers often leave employees to do their jobs with little micro-supervision. They don’t stand behind their employees, staring at them and watching their every move by the minute.
They let their employees do whatever they need so they can accomplish their assignments—and that includes however they spend their working hours and minutes.
Once in a while, employees can choose to take coffee breaks, chit chat with colleagues, check their phone notifications, and others if these help them re-energize for the remaining work.
Without prying eyes over their shoulders, though, employees can be tempted to take breaks longer than they intended to and lose track of their working hours. To avoid those instances, companies can record staff hours with a time clock app and promote a stronger sense of accountability among their employees.
With time tracking apps, employees would be more mindful of limiting the duration of their in-between breaks and other non-work related activities. As a result, they become more aware of their remaining hours at work, leaving them determined to complete their assignments for the day.
As the employees remain focused on doing actual work, their productivity and output increases, and they boost their work integrity and professionalism.
3. Avoid burnout
When left unchecked, employee burnout can do monstrous amounts of damage to a company. Your rate of absences will increase, your employees will lose their morale, and they will likely make more mistakes than they would have if they weren’t overworked.
This is why companies should protect their employees against performance burnout.
With time-tracking software, managers can monitor how effectively their employees are using their hours. They can gauge quickly if there are uneven task distributions that cause varying amounts of pressure among the staff throughout the week.
Managers can even find out if their staff has been working overtime frequently or consecutively over a considerable period, which can lead to overfatigue, stress, lack of sleep, and other bad outcomes.
By viewing the sum of hours logged weekly, supervisors can also determine each employee’s working capacity, and ensure they can maintain or handle just enough volume of tasks.
Supervisors can see if employees have not taken any breaks, an indication that the staff is overworked. Knowing this lets managers find ways for their employees to get sufficient, well-spaced, and quality downtime needed to reinvigorate them and recharge their productivity.
As they uncover patterns where the employee is likely to be overworked, they can give proper feedback, reduce hours (if need be), or encourage the employee to go on vacation.
4. Reduced administrative work
Time-tracking tools reduce administrative and financial work because they boost accuracy and efficiency in monitoring employees’ working hours.
They can give managers a clear picture of what each employee’s billable hours are—all without them having to manually ask every single employee or look into mounds of spreadsheets or reports.
These programs can generate both detailed and summarized reports that managers can simply approve individually or in bulk. That eases managers’ efforts to gather and verify employee attendance and saves up their time for more top-level work.
Time tracking tools also yield precise information that bookkeepers need for creating invoices and settling payroll accounts.
With these tools, the admin can even automate salary calculations, including overtime pay, in accordance with local regulations or employee contracts. The admin staff can also export data to payroll with a few clicks, especially if the time tracking tools integrate with financial software programs.
In this way, admin and managers can check for any discrepancies effortlessly and minimize the chances for human error as compared with manual tracking.
Time-tracking software programs significantly streamline and shorten the payroll process, give the admin staff more time to attend to other critical matters.
Automatic time trackers help skyrocket employees’ productivity by revealing performance and workload data and insights.
With this information, managers can identify bottlenecks, low-value assignments, unproductive habits and routines, lengthy processes, and a whole lot more.
From these time tracker findings, companies can enforce strategies that lead to better management of hours and responsibilities, excellence in employees’ performance, resource governance, business profitability, and others.
About the author
Jeff Broth is a business writer, mentor, and personal finance advisor. He has been consulting for SMB owners and entrepreneurs for the past seven years.