It comes as no surprise that people waste time at work. What does come as a surprise is how much. The average employee squanders 2.9 hours of their workday, with 64% visiting nonwork websites daily.
Managers use every trick in the book to whip these disobedient employees into shape. They try writing them up, micromanaging them, or keeping track of their every bathroom break. But what if the solution was better management of a virtual time card?
Effective employee time tracking is not only a better use of your time, it helps diagnose the real cause of time wasting. In this guide, we take a look at five tips to better manage your employee’s virtual time card.
1. Have Easy-to-Use Virtual Time Card Management Software
Often the best way to streamline something isn’t to make big changes, but small ones. For example, many people copy and paste on their computer by right-clicking. If they instead use the ctrl + V shortcut, they can save a lot of time.
Many, many businesses use old, unsupported, and unintuitive time-tracking software. These are the classic employee clocks with technology that feels like it comes from the 90s. They are often frustrating to use at best, and detrimental to employee efficiency are worst.
However, the biggest problem with these old time tracking suites is what happens on the manager’s end. The manager often has to contend with an administrative backend that is baffling and frustrating to use. They have no choice, though, as that’s what their company uses.
This could include things like managing clocking in and clocking out time for employees who forgot. It might include fixing fraudulent time cards, or adding missed lunches later on. Whatever the case, a manager spends a lot of time using it despite its flaws.
Choosing Better Clocking Out Software
Simply upgrading to a better suite is often all it takes. Find an effective, easy-to-use, and efficient software for employee time management. Research time clock companies that can actually meet your needs, not just do the bare minimum.
2. Train and Retrain Employees
Think of how much time a business wastes when it comes to employee error. Even something as simple as adding an extra zero to daily expenses can take hours to correct. So can a failure to have use employee time tracking software effectively.
Many new hires get rushed training from an overburdened HR department. Learning how to use clocking-out software may have been an afterthought for them. As a result, they commit small – yet easy-to-fix – errors without realizing it.
Have Training Meetings
The easiest solution to fix employee errors like this is with training. All it takes is a quick 10-minute capacitation for everyone, or pulling aside problem employees as needed.
Give them a refresher course on how to use your company’s time-tracking software. Target pain points and mistakes they’ve made in the past. Who knows, that friendly little reminder could be all it takes.
3. Monitor and Approve Timecard Entries
Many time clocks simply report the time in and the time out. It’s only later in the analytics and report section that you can spot issues. At that point, it may be too late to fix them due to the legal repercussions of changing an employee’s worked hours.
Review Entries for Approval
Before submitting time cards, have a process for review and approval. This adds more administrative burden, but it is well worth the time and effort.
You can usually spot problems and nip them in the bud here before they snowball into worse. It also gives you a chance to speak with an employee and ask them to rectify their behavior.
4. Have Clear Communication and Standards
Many time clock problems result from simple misunderstandings. Suppose, for example, you have an employee taking abnormally short unpaid lunches. They seem to clock in late, then clock back in early.
Upon closer investigation, you discover that they clock in in the middle of lunch. Then, they clock in once arriving at the office and then proceed to take a long break before resuming their shift. You may discover that confronting them is all it takes to stop this bad behavior.
Communicate and Clarify Policy
Employees can’t be expected to remember the handbook rules or policies with perfection. Instead of requiring them to read it on a regular basis, send out policy reminders and clarifications by email. Reiterate the simple things, such as what the procedure is to clock out for lunch.
Whatever their reasons or motives, this usually succeeds in eliminating problematic behavior. It’s one of the many ways to improve employee productivity through a time clock.
5. Get Employee Feedback
Employees are your boots on the ground. They know how your operation works from the front lines, as it were. Logically, they will have important insights into how to make the system run better.
Unfortunately, many employees feel like their opinions or suggestions have no value to management. They may feel reticence to give their thoughts out of fear of repercussions. This can cause problems to get swept under the rug for a long time before a solution arises.
There may be a lot you can learn from your employees concerning their virtual time card. They just lack a platform to say it on.
Create an Avenue for Employee Feedback
The key is creating a working protocol and pipeline for employees to provide their feedback.
First, make sure feedback is easy to provide and easily accessible. This might be a link on the company website or in their computer bookmark bar. Remind them through correspondence to use the link whenever they have feedback to provide.
Second, make feedback anonymous. It’s very poor form to penalize employees for their candor. Retaliation after feedback will discourage worthwhile advice.
Get Employee Time Tracking with TimeTrak
The virtual time card is your best means of effective employee management. Make sure to upgrade to clocking out software that works, and then train employees to use it. Have clear communication and make use of employee feedback.
TimeTrak provides a full suite of time-tracking tools for employee management. Check out our pricing tiers to find the right solution for you.