Landscaping: Keeping Employees Productive using Digital Time Clocks
Are you a landscaping business using pen and paper time cards or simple punch clocks? If yes, then you have probably experienced time theft from crew members at some point in time. Landscaping businesses across the world have trouble keeping their crew on their toes during work hours. A simple google search for “how to keep track of landscaping crews work hours?” will prompt you with threads where people complain about their inefficient crew.
As an employer you are certainly preoccupied with high priority tasks, such as estimating, supply gathering, and meetings; as a result, you may not have the time to monitor employees, nor determine their efficiency. At this point, outdated time tracking methods will be causing more harm than good to your business.
Efficiency is a key component of any landscaping business. If you own or manage such a business than you understand how important resource management is. Considering the seasonal nature of the industry, business owners have to find ways to maximize efficiency during peak months.
One of the main components of productivity is time. As discussed, employee delay or absenteeism is an issue to which landscaping businesses are highly susceptible. Hence, why we think that we have the solution that will help you streamline workflow and grow your business.
Time Tracking and Management
Time tracking is an old concept that has helped businesses maintain productivity for decades. However, time tracking has greatly evolved over the past few years. Tracking the work hours via pen and paper or punch clocks is old news. Digitalization has paved the way for new digital solutions that are not only simple but also very effective.
The landscaping industry is highly competitive, from mid-size businesses to the neighbor who does lawn maintenance on the side, there are many others vying to win over your potential and existing customers. To prevent this, landscaping businesses have to gain an edge so that they can stay in the game.
So, why is time tracking and management important, you may ask?
Studies suggest that employee absenteeism and tardiness are a by-product of poor time management. In the absence of a proper time management system, businesses will have difficulties identifying those employees that are holding the business back.
For example, 4 out of 10 of your employees run 10 minutes late every day but records show that they have always been on time because that’s what they wrote down. A 5-day work week would add up the loss to approximately 5 hours. That translates to a financial loss of 20 hours per month. Let’s dive deeper and assume that the employees have an average wage of $16 per hour. Well, math tells us that that’s $320 loss every month – money which you could have to spend on supplies, better equipment, paying part of your rent and so on.
But, don’t worry! Every problem has a solution that we are going to look into. Here is how you can use time tracking as a means of boosting the productivity of your employees while saving money for your business.
1. Start Simple, Don’t Go Overload
Modern time tracking is a lot different from the techniques used in the past. Today, we can use our mobile phones to understand how much work employees have been doing, from where they clocked in or out, the duration of their breaks and more. Time tracking apps are extremely versatile and accurate; if an employee has been assigned a 30-minute break than any instance when they are late will be recorded and reported on the dot.
Moreover, these apps are really easy to operate. Landscaping businesses don’t necessarily need multi-functional apps, instead, they can rely on a simple and affordable time tracking app that does their bidding for them. In the case of Atto with a single touch of a button, your employees will be clocked in and ready to work. Similarly, when the workday ends, they can simply open their apps, hit a massive red button and they will be clocked out. All of the data recorded on the apps will be available for the business owners, system administrators or financial analysts to view through daily, weekly or monthly timesheet reports.
Time tracking has never been simpler
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2. Pick a Time Tracking Solution with Location Tracking Functionally
Landscaping businesses operate remotely across multiple job sites. As such, they are dependent on remote workers to complete the work. However, these workers – especially younger generations – tend to misuse the remote aspect of their job. In absence of a time and location tracking system employees will continue to:
Miss workdays and have colleagues punch their clock, and
All of the above lay a financial burden that stagnates the growth of your business. As such, why not minimize loss by investing in a platform that pays for itself in a matter of weeks?
Location tracking uses GPS technology to help guide employees on their workday. You, as the business owners can set multiple job sites with a specific radius on the map and assign your employees to their respective sites. Every time an employee walks-in or our the radius, a custom notification will alert the employee and administrator of the movement – unless the employee starts his break, in which case his location is not tracked. Read more on how you can manage your remote crew using time tracking apps here.
This feature promotes transparency and accountability throughout the organization. If an employee is late, you will know about it. If an employee tries clocking in outside of his job site, you will know about it. If an employee is missing, you will know about it. Time and location tracking doesn't just minimize losses but it also ensures that your employees are safe while on the clock!
But what about privacy? Am I allowed to track the whereabouts of my employees?
Yes, most time tracking platforms are dedicated to ensuring that the data of your employees are safe. Landscape timesheet apps track your location only when necessary. As soon as an employee clocks out, location tracking is turned off automatically.
3. Be Strict and Straightforward When it Comes to Systems
Time tracking is nothing more than a new system that complements the workflow of your business. Just like the other systems in your business, it needs to be followed by the crew. You, as the business owner are the individual responsible for the maintenance of every system within your landscaping business, and time tracking is no exception.
Be strict, be straightforward - just like a bull, head down, horns up and march forward. Don’t take system regulations to lightly because if you don't follow them, neither will your crew. If everyone needs to be at their job site at 09:00 AM than the timesheet report should indicate that everyone clocked in at that time. If breaks are 45-minutes long than the crew has to finish their food and drinks within that period. Enforcing regulations on-time tracking can ensure that people are complying with the system.
If you are looking to grow your landscaping business then you must first eliminate flaws. Your business shouldn't be incurring any losses due to a tardy, or absent employees, especially in today's digital time tracking era. Start saving money and time using a modern and simple time tracking solution that will help you keep crew members focused and productive.