September 18, 2018

How to Convince Your Employees to Track Their Time (And Keep Them Happy)

The work day is equally defined by how much work a person can accomplish over a set course of time and by that chunk of time itself. From eight in the morning until five in the evening, or in any variation thereof, the folks who work for you have to see to it that they can complete the tasks that will keep the business afloat – and those hours pay off. Literally.

And still, punching the time clock is seen as one of those boring, unnecessary parts of the day. Why is it so difficult to convince the folks who work for you that their time is valuable enough to be recorded? How can you, as a small business owner, help them see the benefits of the practice?

The Value of a Minute

Helping your employees understand the value of a minute can begin to show them the importance of tracking the time they spend working. Easier said than done, though, right? You and your employees both know it is unlikely that, when you set out a list of tasks at the beginning of the day that you’d like to see accomplished, some of those tasks will fall by the wayside.

By coming to understand how long it takes your employees to perform particular activities – taking calls, sending emails, reporting production numbers, and so on – they can better outline a day to day schedule.

Understanding the value of their time, then, often results in improved time management skills. Emphasizing this notable uptick in employee productivity as a benefit to them as well as to yourself may lay the foundations for more productive conversations about time tracking and how your employees can more effectively track work hours.

Working With Employees Reluctant to Track Their Time

When your employees track their own hours, through any medium, they take on additional responsibility. That adds to the multiple other tasks they need to remember to complete over the course of a workday. This, of course, can result in employee resentment when you, as their employer, request that they take even more effort in managing their own schedules, and nobody wants that.

This reluctance can be addressed with this strategy: remind employees that, by handing them the responsibility of hour tracking, you’re giving them greater authority over the work they do every day. You are, in fact, enabling them to not only develop a better understanding of the schedules they’ve laid out for themselves, but to emphasize to you the projects on which they spend the bulk of their workday.

Time management becomes an even more notable factor in an employee’s day to day life, but so does the opportunity to communicate project importance to you, and subsequently to any clients that you and your employees may wish to discuss your projects with.

Time Tracking Aids

Persuading your employees to track their own time is the hard part. Luckily, finding a way for them to report their hours is much simpler! Kind of. By providing your employees with an accessible app for either phones or computers through which they can report their hours, you’ll make the transition into individual time tracking all the easier.

Of course, finding an app that is universally accessible is nearly impossible. You’ll need to address, in deciding what to use, a varied office in terms of what kind of technology your employees are using, what operating systems they’re most familiar with, and their own technological capabilities.

Timeneye, for example, is among the time tracking software that you may wish to introduce your employees to. Timeneye presents their tracked hours in the form of a calendar and enables them to report their hours without having to log into a computer. This kind of app ensures that your employees will find time tracking relatively stress-free as they work through a number of projects for your company. Talk about convenient, right?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Time Tracking Guidelines

In order to make the most of employee productivity through each worker’s time tracking, you might consider some of the following, both to better encourage your employees to take on personal management and to maintain a productive work environment.

Keep Things Easy

The easier something is to do, the more likely your employees are to do it, right? As such, you’ll want to make sure that the process of hour tracking is straightforward and accessible. Your employees will have products that operate on a number of operating systems and at a number of technological levels, so when you ask employees to track their own hours, you’ll need to allow them to do so through a medium that is almost universally accessible.

Again, try your best not to make the hour tracking process overly complicated. Create a template to share with your employees, if you like, that they can reference at their leisure, should they want a reminder of how hour tracking can be performed.

Lead By Example

Do as I say and not as I do, right? That’s not going to cut it here. Track your own hours in the same way that your employees do. Work with them through any hour tracking training that you may be looking to institute and address any difficulties with the medium you decide on with empathy. Leading by example pays off, in the long run!

Enforce Your Policies

Yikes – here’s the rough part. After your employees have had some time to adjust to the newness of tracking their hours themselves, it’ll be time to enforce your individual policies. This kind of supervision may be challenging, but it’s necessary.

It doesn’t have to be all harsh vibes, though. If one of your employees has unusual difficulty tracking hours themselves, work with that employee in order to integrate them into your new system. Do not, in an attempt to enforce your policies, withhold a person’s pay because they did not use your new system to track their hours. However, prepare to institute measures for employees that systematically miss tracking their time, so that happy workflow can resume.

Accept Workable Feedback

Finally, keep your ears open. If your employees report any issues with the medium you’ve chosen, accept their feedback and do what you can to attend to their needs. Be flexible with your expectations and willing to work with the new system over the course of its integration and after, as no system will work just as planned straight off the bat.

Your empathy in the face of the change they’re dealing with can make all the difference!


Marketing Manager at Timeneye. She’s passionate about technology and finding better, smarter ways to work. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and belting out tunes from Broadway musicals (although the neighbours don’t seem to appreciate that). Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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