By Dean Mathews
Employees who readily welcome and accept time tracking in the workplace are a rare breed, if not unheard of. Using a time tracking software raises the following question: Is your right to know how your employees are spending their time more important than your employees’ right to privacy?
Of course, as a law-abiding business owner, it’s not really your intention to breach your employees’ privacy at work. You know the immense value of employees’ productivity and manpower resource allocation time tracking technology can bring to your business. However, you cannot dismiss the skepticism your employees may have against adopting this new technology, especially if their privacy is on the line.
How do you alleviate the possible employee resistance against time tracking and frame it in a more positive, acceptable light?
Here are five tested strategies you can implement:
1. Start with Transparency
It all begins with transparency. As explained by Human Capital Management (HCM) expert Marlo Hertling: “The most important thing to remember is to be transparent about how the technology works and why you are using it. This will help you maintain your employees’ trust, boost adoption of the new technology.”
You can begin by emphasizing that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to track the number of hours their employees worked. DOL’s Fact Sheet #21 which outlines the Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) clearly includes recording the hours worked each day and the total hours worked each workweek under its requirements.
Start involving your employees the moment you seriously consider implementing a time tracking software for your business. This will allow for ample time to collect feedback and suggestions, as well as compile a list of objections that need to be addressed.
To be 100% transparent and answer the following questions:
- Why do you need to implement time tracking? What’s in it for you and for them?
- What time tracking software are you going to use and what features are included?
- What activities are going to be tracked?
- How are you going to use the collected information?
- What activities are off limits to monitoring to ensure employee privacy?
At the end of the day, if you’re incorporating time tracking into your company for the right business objectives, there’s no reason to hide it.
2. Communicate Time Tracking as a Growth Driver for the Company
This is an often missed opportunity among business owners when it comes to positivizing the use of time tracking in the workplace. Many employees feel that time tracking is being implemented because their managers don’t trust them. However, when business owners implement time tracking, it’s because time tracking fulfills certain business needs.
Here are the key benefits to be gained from using time tracking in the workplace, and that your employees should know about:
- Better time management by identifying which tasks are taking too much time.
- Prevents multitasking which leads to better quality output.
- Determine how much time your employees are spending on creating specific products or services and whether your price points are commensurate to the amount of time spent.
- Proper project planning through accurate forecasting of time needed to complete a project.
Armed with this information, time tracking becomes a valuable asset. It can increase profits and drive business growth by identifying profit centers. This is also beneficial to employees because as your business grows, more opportunities become available to them. Isn’t this a great way to pitch time tracking to your team?
3. Highlight Accurate and Timely Payroll
Ask any HR manager and you will likely be told that payroll is a huge pain to prepare. Furthermore, employees are likely to tell you that dealing with paycheck disputes and untimely payroll is common in the workplace.
The payroll process can be a major workplace pain point and it’s primarily due to manual and outdated payroll preparation practices, primarily the use of manual timesheets. The IRS points out that 33% of employers make erroneous payroll calculations. This not only causes stress among employees, but it also costs businesses thousands of dollars in penalties.
That said, another way of convincing your employees on board with the implementation of a time tracking software is accurate and timely payroll. Most time tracking programs readily integrate with an array of payroll systems. It eliminates the need for payroll managers to manually calculate for salaries, thereby reducing if not eliminating payroll errors. At the same time, it saves HR teams and other managers time from verifying the veracity of time entries created by employees.
4. Offer More Opportunities for Employees to Work from Home
According to the 2018 Global Talent Trends conducted by Mercer, 51% of employees wished that their employers offered more flexible work options in the form of telecommuting. Guess what? Utilizing a time tracking software enables you to be more equipped to offer this perk to your employees.
How? A big precursor to allowing your employees to work remotely is trust. In the report mentioned above, Mercer recommends that “employers work on developing a culture of trust, as well as support remote working by providing the technology that remote workers need to get their job done.”
As counterintuitive as it may sound, having a time tracking software for employees to accurately log their work hours and activities can boost trust. Without being in the same physical space, you’re still able to monitor how employees’ time is being spent while on the clock. At the same time, they can trust that they will be properly compensated for the hard work they’re doing remotely.
5. Present It as a Solution to Scope Creep
Scope creep or project creep is something that plagues many types of businesses. Sometimes, it’s due to improper project planning. Sometimes, employee perfectionism prompts them to overdeliver beyond the project scope.
Either way, implementing time tracking software can put an end to the dreaded scope creep.
From where you stand as a business owner, time tracking software can serve as an early warning device when employees are spending too much time on a project. On the side of your employees, if a project ends up being more time-consuming and complicated than you initially projected, they will have the numbers to justify the extra time spent to accomplish certain tasks.
Likewise, you will know how much to charge future clients demanding the same requirements, and hire extra personnel if necessary.
Time Tracking is Not the Enemy
Due to a few businesses who misused workplace monitoring technologies in the past, time tracking is often viewed in a negative light, a tool for employers to spy on their staff. This makes the reluctance employees’ feel about time tracking a valid concern.
However, at its core, time tracking is a great technology that benefits both businesses and employees. The first step for companies who want to implement time tracking is to overcome the skepticism surrounding it and address any and all questions your employees might have. The above tips should help you convince employees how time tracking benefits the entire company.