New Year is a time when many people reflect on the past year and resolve to make improvements for the coming year. Time tracking is one of the most effective strategies people turn to for increasing personal productivity, but it can also carry the same benefits at an organizational level. For those in management and HR, implementing a corporate time tracking strategy is a great way to start the New Year with higher productivity, motivation, and work satisfaction throughout the organization. Here are 6 steps to jump start productivity in 2018 with employee time tracking data.
1. Know how employees spend time
Whether at work or in their personal lives, many people are unaware of how much time they actually spend on particular activities. Inaccurate perception of how long certain tasks and projects really take often makes employees feel either unrealistically overwhelmed or complacent. This is a major contributor to both burn-out and procrastination. With an online employee time tracking system like TrackTime24, managers can track how much time employees actually spend on a particular task, and over time develop a realistic expectation of how long it should take. Collecting and analyzing this data creates the foundation for an overall time management strategy.
2. Identify inefficiencies
Once the data is in on how employees actually spend time, and how much time employee tasks realistically take, managers can start to identify where inefficiencies exist. Some parts of a project likely take longer than others, and lumping everything together into a single deadline can cause employees to waste time or procrastinate. This can also help managers discover if they’re packing too many tasks or project elements into any single day or week period.
3. Analyze data to create better estimates and expectations
After discovering how long particular elements of a project take, it’s easy to build a project timeline that cuts out inefficiencies such as too much or too little time allotted. Further, knowing how long certain tasks take on average gives managers the chance to spot employees who need additional support or training to keep up, thus boosting overall team effectiveness.
4. Build a smarter schedule
With more accurate time requirement expectations, managers can build a schedule that makes the most efficient use of work day and work week periods. Having employees start and stop tasks across breaks or work days means that time is wasted in closing and re-engaging with the work. A smart schedule shares work across a team of employees so that focused work time is maximized and deadlines for multi-step projects can be met on time. In short, analyzing time spent on a task or project allows managers to reverse engineer a schedule that most effectively uses employee work time.
5. Share reports and goals with employees
One of the most serious ways a time tracking strategy can backfire is if employees feel micromanaged or unfairly scrutinized. To avoid this, it’s important to be transparent about both the data and goals of the time tracking strategy. Get employees invested by showing how the strategy will make them better at their own work. Nobody likes to waste time, and maximizing productivity with realistic scheduling is a win-win for everybody. Sharing the time tracking data will also make employees feel included, and gives them a chance to reflect on their own efficiency and productivity at work.
6. Follow up and feedback
Building a smart, efficient schedule takes more than just analyzing raw time tracking data. It’s also important to factor in the human element. After sharing time tracking data reports with employees, get their feedback about how accurately the data matches their experience. When invited to share feedback as a collaborator in the time tracking strategy, employees are a terrific source of ground-level insights about how to improve the schedule and make more productive use of time.