How do you make sure that tracking time doesn’t actually disrupt you and your team? When implemented correctly, time tracking can really benefit everybody’s work. These time tracking best practices for managers explain how to do just that.
How to help employees to track their time
Nobody likes bosses breathing down their neck. And nobody enjoys chasing people around to bully them into submitting their timesheets.
The thing is, when poorly implemented time tracking can actually do harm instead of making people more efficient. And yet, by tracking and understanding how long it takes to perform a certain task, your team can better schedule their days and work more effectively.
By avoiding common mistakes and implementing good practices, managers can make sure tracking time is done correctly by everybody – and benefits the team as a whole.
The best practices of time tracking for managers
There are best practices for track time that you, the manager, can follow to make sure it’s correctly integrated with everybody’s workflow:
#1 Use the right tools
If you’re forcing you and your team to track time using clunky, inefficient tools, you’re already off to a bad start. Ironically, one of the reasons people hate tracking time is because it’s time-consuming.
But with the helping hand of technology, you can reduce any friction with integrating time tracking in the daily team workflow. Time tracking software is a better solution compared to, for example, spreadsheets because:
- It’s specifically designed for the purpose of tracking time;
- Usually light and easy to use;
- It typically offers mobile apps and browser extensions to help employees track time wherever they are;
- It includes a lot of management and reporting functionalities to reduce the manager’s input to a minimum.
#2 Organize the work so it’s easier to track time
Your team needs to know exactly what they should work on, and how to track time for it correctly. Otherwise, the risk is creating more confusion and having hours wrongly allocated. When teams work on multiple projects, a poor organization is one of the reasons work gets not done or is delivered in delay.
Break down projects in steps and make sure every task is allocated to the right one.
Not only this will help you know which steps are required to close the projects, but it will also help better understand which phases or departments are taking too much of your time, helping you make better estimates in the future.
#3 Communicate with employees
Tracking time should never feel like a useless imposition on your team. Your team members may resent you for trying to spy on their work and start to hate the very activity of time tracking.
Instead, explain why tracking time is important for the business. Share with them the business goals and let them know how time plays an important factor in those. Show them how tracking time is beneficial for their own work and productivity.
#4 Use the insights to improve
If tracking time ends and simply counting the daily hours to fill the timesheet, then your team is not going to really benefit for it.
What’s great about time tracking software like Timeneye is that it comes with a lot of reporting features. Reports help you really see where the time goes, to improve and make adjustments on how your employees are working. It also helps you make better estimates for future projects, and see where you could save time to do more amazing things.
#5 Don’t micromanage
If you’re going to spend your days chasing people around to get updates about their work, your employees might receive this behavior as a lack of trust in their capacity, and it will also be a huge waste of time for you.
Thankfully, time tracking tools like Timeneye have automated tools that help you get updates on the employees work from afar: for example, the weekly status email, that delivers a summary of the time tracked by the team, directly in your inbox.
#6 Review your own time
We’ve talked about your team members so far, but what about you? Tracking time can also help you work better and make you a better manager.
By knowing how you allocate your time during the day, you, too, can work more efficiently and more organized. You’ll also keep your projects under control and prevent them from falling to scope creep. Don’t forget: burnout is always around the corner, even for managers.
#7 Give a good example
Which brings us to a last, but very important best practice: practice what you preach. If you require your team to be accurate and consistent in tracking your time, you should do the same. After all, you’re a team and your projects depend on everybody’s work.
By using time tracking in your daily activities, you’ll show your team the benefits you’re gaining first-hand, and inspire trust. Giving a good example is the first rule of leadership, and definitely a time management best practice for managers – and you should never forget it.
Give you and tour team a productivity boost with the right time tracking tool: create a Timeneye workspace for your team today!
Cover image via Stocksnap.io