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Time-tracking tool failures: Why it happens and how to avoid it
Advanced technology like AI and the cloud is replacing outdated systems such as the punch clock. Data Bridge Market Research predicts that the global time-tracking software market will be worth $31.9 billion by 2028, increasing at an annual rate of 20.40%.
Because of the recent growth of remote work, as well as companies needing to connect with their employees from any location, there is a need for efficient software to boost productivity and support transparency. Other than that, accurate billing processes are a must for any business that has workers on the road. This is where time-tracking software comes in to make all of these a breeze.
Time-tracking tools are a great way to make sure teams keep tabs on how much time and resources are being spent on each job they complete. Implementing it, however, can be a little tricky if there isn’t a solid plan in place. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a few steps to help you get started.
Before getting into the steps you need to take to ensure a successful implementation of time-tracking software, let’s take a quick look into why failures happen in the first place.
Reasons why time-tracking software fails
A lot of employees can be apprehensive about time tracking software. People worry it will be too invasive and that it could potentially lead to a breach of privacy. This could make the implementation process of time-tracking software a little difficult, and in a worst-case scenario, even fail.
Another reason why it may fail is that employees find them too inconvenient. One example of this is when some force workers have to start and stop timers manually for each task. The problem with this approach is that it ends up becoming another task that employees have to add to their to-do list. It may also feel like it’s taking up way too much mental space, as they have to always keep in mind to clock in and out of the app if they want to have their exact working hours accurately tracked.
Now that we’ve talked about the basis of the problem, it’s time to get into the solutions.
Three ways to prevent time-tracking software failure
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your time tracking software implementation is successful.
Have an efficient implementation plan in place
One of the first steps that you should take when implementing a time-tracking tool is having a good game plan. A good implementation plan starts long before the time tracking software is actually installed on company devices. This is why we’ve created a 4-step process that you can follow.
Step 1: Share the news!
After you’ve officially purchased or closed the deal on a time tracking tool and before you ask your employees to install it on their devices, have an “Announcement” session to go through the tool, the reason why it’s important, and a quick overview of its features. You can also give a brief demonstration of how to use it. But don’t go into too much detail, as this part should be reserved for the actual employee training.
There should ideally be a gap of at least a week from when you introduce the new tool to when you ask employees to begin using it. After your “Announcement” session, allow ample time for the new exciting news to settle in. It’s important to make it clear that any questions, concerns, and suggestions are always welcome and will be heard. The more information and transparency you provide, the more your employees will trust the tool and your company. And if they trust it, they will use it efficiently.
Step 2: Getting techy!
The second step is actually installing the tool on all company devices like laptops, tablets, and phones. Make sure that all of your employees have appropriate hardware and assist them through the process. Not everyone is tech-proficient, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be. Offer as many resources as you can with information on the installation process - a FAQ page here would be incredibly helpful.
Step 3: Training time!
After all of your workforce has the time tracking tool on their devices, it’s time for the official training. Usual training for company software can take anywhere from 1 hour to a whole day. This depends on your workforce, the number of employees, and the knowledge of your employees. The ball is in your court now, so you can decide what is best for your company.
Whatever time period you decide on for your training, it’s important to keep in mind different learning levels. Some may catch one quicker than others, and that’s okay. Don’t make your employees feel like they’re lacking behind - everyone is going towards the same goal. If there is more training needed for a few people, offer that too. The more people are comfortable with their time tracking tool, the less problems there will be in the future.
Step 4: Checking in!
The final step, after training, is checking in with your employees to see if everything is going smoothly. Star with a weekly check-in during the first month, then move to a monthly check-in for the next three months (more if you stumble across some issues), and then you can simply bring it up in your team meetings every now and then. The first two-three months are crucial, and after that everyone will be pretty much used to the time tracking tool and there won’t be any need for recurrent check-ins.
Deciding the best tools for your company
As previously mentioned, not using the best and most adequate time-tracking software is another reason that implementation fails. Because all time-tracking tools are so diverse and offer various perks, picking the right one for your company and employee is extremely important.
The first step would be choosing a tool that can easily integrate with your existing tech stack. Because each tool is not created the same way, some may be simpler or more complex to implement. Some things you might want to consider when deciding on software are automatic time tracking, an easy and user-friendly interface, good collaboration features, etc.
Bonus Tip 💡
Create a feature comparison list to help make the decision easier. This way, you’re able to cancel out the features that you may not need and filter the ones that would benefit your team.
Make sure your team members understand why you’re using time-tracking software
Unfortunately, time tracking can be understood as a tool that is used for purposes other than the ones for which it was designed. It isn’t meant to be misused as a tool to monitor employee behavior and productivity. This is why it’s important to make it clear to your team that time-tracking software should be used solely for data gathering and processing.
Data like this can help for all sorts of different purposes. For example, time data could be useful for invoices and schedules. Overloaded team members can also show up in the data in order to get more people and resources allocated.
During your team meetings, make sure to point out the advantages of having an efficient time-tracking tool and make it clear that this isn’t used to closely monitor them. This is why you need to choose your time-tracking tool wisely. Tools that use screen recording, for example, aren’t a good addition to a company.
When your employees fully understand what time tracking is and how you will be using tools to help gather more accurate data, they’ll be more inclined to accept it as a usual working tool and use it to their benefit as well.
Whatever time-tracking device you decide to use, it is normal to have a few hiccups down the road. Try to have a “preventive” approach, rather than a “preventive” one. It’s better to have some plans and processes in place before something goes wrong so that you can prevent major failures and get everything back up and running again in no time.