Employees generally don’t like the idea that the time they spend is being ‘tracked’. However seeing as untracked employee hours can lead to significant problems and losses for businesses, time tracking is essential.
For it to be successful however, time tracking needs to be carried out with clearly-defined guidelines. The onus is on you to come up with them, and to communicate to your employees what those guidelines are – and why they exist.
The one criteria that you should keep in mind when you create guidelines is to make sure they are reasonable and don’t ‘police’ employees too stringently. To ensure that is the case, there are a few areas that you should cover in your guidelines:
- Explain the system that is being used
Time tracking systems come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from conventional time cards to more modern employee monitoring software. It is best to kick your guidelines off by explaining the system your business will be using – and the reason why it is being used.
Be sure to note the benefits the system provides, such as how it simplifies HR-related actions significantly or requires less management on the part of employees.
- Identify how time will be tracked
Ideally you should let your employees know how time will be tracked, and what type of data will be monitored and recorded. That is especially true if you’re using monitoring software that is able to track a wide range of employee activities.
For example if you use WorkExaminer you should let employees know whether you’ll be tracking internet usage, PC activity, emails, social media use, or any other areas. It is important to disclose why you’re tracking each area.
- Set clear restrictions
Any restrictions should be set out clearly as well, and the reason for each should be explained. Try not to be overzealous in restricting employee activities or it will start to feel more like time policing than tracking.
For example although WorkExaminer can restrict access to various websites and social media platforms, it isn’t always good to take advantage of that. At the end of the day employees can access social media on their phones anyway, so restricting access on work computers wouldn’t really achieve much.
- Outline the enforcement
For time tracking to be effective, some enforcement is needed – but the shape that takes is up to you. Instead of using WorkExaminer to penalize errant employees, it could be used to reward achievements and improvements in a system of positive reinforcement.
That being said if WorkExaminer detects blatant cases of abuse or fraud some action will need to be taken. The guidelines you create should outline what actions will results in disciplinary steps – and what those steps will be.
Software such as WorkExaminer has made time tracking easy to deploy, and if subject to the right guidelines it could be a real asset for any business. Now that you know how to establish guidelines that are properly defined and clear – you should be on the right track.