Employees don't always understand the importance of logging their time accurately, and this assumption can cause alignment issues with their team, their clients, and with their supervisor. As an entrepreneur, you need to convey the importance of logging time and describing what was completed during that time to your employees. This two-fold system of time management allows you to pinpoint tasks that take longer than estimated to complete, update clients about when their project will be completed, and establish accountability within your team.
Key Points of Time Management
Most places work on billing their time, so employees must be able to log what they have completed from day to day in order for clients to be billed accordingly. However, a study documented by Harvard Business Review found that untracked time and incomplete timesheets costs the U.S. economy loses an estimate of 50 million hours, or $7.4 billion a day, in productivity.
In addition to the loss of revenue and productivity, employees who forget to log their time, try to complete their timesheet at the end of the week, or mistakenly log time under the wrong tasks can cause stress and frustration for both you and the client. To dispel any remaining false assumptions your employees may have about the importance of time management, hold a team meeting to discuss these key points:
- How will your team and I know that you’re working on the tasks you’re responsible for?
- How will your client feel confident that their project will be completed on time?
- How can you communicate to your client and your team if a task is taking you more time to complete than you expected?
Guideline for Time Logging
Any type of change can be difficult to establish in the workplace, but there are a few ways to make the process as easy and painless as possible. Try using some of these basic steps to encourage your employees to establish good time logging habits:
- Make sure expectations are clear and straightforward.
- Choose a convenient time-tracking app or system.
- Keep communication open if employees have any questions.
- Give small rewards to employees who complete their timesheets correctly.
- Regularly ask for feedback after you have implemented time management guidelines.
Make it fun! Some companies make time-logging a friendly competition by posting each employee’s timesheets in the breakroom so people will be motivated to “beat” their teammates in productivity.
Changing time management from a chore into a quick daily habit may take some time, but explaining the importance and benefits of it to your team can work wonders for your company.