Do you know where your time really goes? Here's how you should do a time audit, and how a time tracking tool like Timeneye can help you with that
How To Audit Your Team’s Time And Measure Productivity
Talking about “employee productivity” usually brings up a bad feeling.
Employees don’t like having their work scrutinized, and managers (at least, some of them) don’t want to be chasing people around to ask them about their work.
Yet, if teams want to improve, or at least have an idea of how their work’s been going. Monitoring and measuring productivity is necessary.
Thankfully, Timeneye gives managers the tools to do just that: help the manager find costs and time sinks, and also benefit the way the organization works as a whole.
What is Employee productivity?
It’s hard to measure employee productivity without knowing what to look at.
Is it the number of tasks completed? Is it the economic return of projects after employee costs?
Obviously, every business is different. This means that the idea of productivity may not be the same.
One way to start measuring could see how people spend their time. As the old saying goes, “time is money”, right?
“I know! I’ll simply count how much time they stay in the office and the one who spends more hours wins! Right?”
You don’t just have to count hours, you have to see where these hours actually go. You have to see if time aNd resources are being used effectively
This is why a time audit comes to help.
What are Time Audits?
Time audits are useful tools for personal productivity but can work really well on a team as a whole.
Basically a time audit is an analysis of how time is spent.
By conducting a time audit, it’s possible to identify time drains and see where improvements can be made. Managers can help employees with their time management skills and keep the whole team happy and productive.
For a full guide on how to do a time audit for personal productivity, read here.
Why you need to audit the team’s time
For some businesses who bill their work by the hour, keeping an eye on time is a no-brainer: there’s no other way of getting paid, and paid accurately for the work done.
But auditing time is useful in general to measure and analyze productivity.
- You understand exactly how much time a certain task/service takes;
- You see what’s working on the team’s current schedule and what doesn’t;
- It gives you an idea of workload and how it’s impacting your business;
- You can identify what’s wasting your time (and money).
What you need for a time audit
You can perform a time audit only using
- Pen and paper
However, we advise against spreadsheets, because on the long run they become unmanageable, prone to error, and difficult to read
Instead, it’s better to use a time tracking tool like Timeneye with his reporting features.
How to Audit the Team's time with Timeneye reporting features
Timeneye will give you exactly the tools and data you need to perform your evaluation.
What you need:
- A Timeneye team workspace
- Document (online or otherwise) for setting and tracking goals
How to time audit your team, step-by-step:
- Explain the “why”
- Onboard the team on the process
- Set goals
- Let the team track
Step 1: Explain the “why”
It’s important for your team to understand the reason why you’re evaluating their time. Otherwise, it just will feel like an imposition. The last thing you want is people stacking their timesheets with meaningless entries, just because they have to.
Also, include yourself in the evaluation: every good leader knows how important it is to lead by example. Not to mention, the evaluation for the team and business as a whole won’t be completed without you.
Step 2: Onboard the team
The team will need some time to adjust to the new tool, so give them the chance to get used to it. Timeneye thankfully offers a series of helpful guides and how-to posts on how to use Timeneye to track time every day.
Also, establish and explain some rules and good practices. (For example, it may be useful to add notes for every time entry registered for a more detailed evaluation).
Step 3: Set goals
Setting goals is important for any evaluation. It makes no difference if you’re evaluating yourself or your team. In the case of a time audit, you need to understand clearly the goals you're working towards and how a time audit fits in the scenario.
Make sure to write everything down so you can compare the results later on. If you don't know where to start, you could start from the SMART framework.
Step 4: Start tracking time
After the goals and setup have been laid out, it’s time for you and your team to track your time.
Consistency will be the key: tracking time every day will ensure you’ll have enough data to then carry out all the analysis you need.
Don’t forget to also think about when your team is on the field, in meetings, or switching between multiple projects. Make it easier for them to track time by activating the integrations with the tools they use, and recommending they use the Timeneye apps on their mobile phone.
Step 5: Monitor
Here comes the dirty work of the managers: keeping an eye on people.
Obviously watching your team like a hawk all the time would be a) a huge waste of your time and b) a huge bummer on the team’s morale.
Let technology lend you a hand. Schedule regular reports and weekly overviews from Timeneye on your team’s work, to be delivered to your email directly. This will allow you to keep an eye on the process without disrupting or interrupting your team’s rhythm.
Project status views will also help you see where the time efforts of teams has been going, and whether they’re sticking to their budgets or not.
Step 6: Run some reports
This is where you go to really dig into the data.
While you and your team track your time, it’s immediately organized in Timeneye and associated with the correct project, team members, group, and phase.
All this data can be visualized in one of the many reports in the reporting section.
You can run the following reports in Timeneye:
- Project report
- Team Report (Team or Me)
- Clients Report
- Billable hours Report
- Tag Report
- Custom Report
Whichever report you choose, you should also know that you can schedule reports so that they run automatically, at the frequency you decide. This will save you a lot of time and also help you keep up with your reporting on a regular basis.
A Team report will let you see how the team allocated their time, and you can also target specific members you included. Then compare the data with the goals you gave yourself and the team and you’ll know if they were met or not.
Step 7: The final evaluation
When the auditing period is finished, you can use all the data you gathered to understand the productivity and effectiveness of your team.
Where the goals met? How much time did they take? What projects and tasks usually took most of the time? Is your team overworked?
The time audit will open your eyes to all these aspects- and more.
How to Improve yours and your team’s time management
You’ve arrived this far. Good job!
But simply checking the boxes of your goals and counting hours will do nothing for the team's productivity.
Find out where the work can improve and strengthen what is already working.
If you have explained the importance of good time management for employees and colleagues alike, all of you should benefit from the time audit you carried out.
New to Time tracking? ⏱️
New to time tracking? Start improving your team’s productivity: create a Timeneye workspace today.