Organizations thrive when employees at all levels take ownership of their work and outcomes. However, true accountability doesn’t happen on its own. It requires establishing clear expectations, tracking work, and having ongoing dialogues about performance. This is where time tracking software becomes an invaluable tool for managers.
Time tracking creates transparency into how work gets done. With data and analytics, teams can minimize wasted time, meet deadlines consistently, improve processes, and excel. Below we’ll explore the many benefits of time tracking for increasing accountability across an organization.
What Is Employee Accountability and Why It Matters
Accountability refers to employees taking personal responsibility for their actions and outputs at work. An accountable worker consistently meets expectations by:
- Completing tasks on time and meeting deadlines.
- Delivering work that adheres to quality standards.
- Being transparent about work status.
- Taking ownership over decisions and outcomes.
- Identifying opportunities for improvement.
For managers, developing a culture of accountability enables:
- On-time delivery of products and services.
- Excellence in customer service and support.
- Increased team productivity and goal achievement.
- High level of ethics and integrity.
- Continuous process improvements.
Lack of accountability manifests in missed deadlines, lack of visibility, finger-pointing, and an overall lack of reliability. Employees without accountability are disengaged, unlikely to achieve their full potential, and detrimental to organizational success.
The good news is accountability can be developed. It requires setting clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback, and tracking work processes – which is where time tracking technology plays such an important role.
Time Tracking Software Creates Transparency
At its core, time tracking software automatically captures data on how workers spend their time. Employees log time spent on specific projects, tasks, meetings, and other work activities.
This real-time time data shines a light on factors like how much time tasks actually take versus estimates and employee productivity levels across individuals and teams. It also shows work habits and can reveal how often team members face interruptions. With this data, managers can drive performance by assessing what areas can be improved and who has the capacity to take on more work. Time tracking eliminates guessing, assumptions, or relying on workers to self-report their time. In turn, this holds co-workers accountable, allows teams to set goals, and drives sales performance.
This unprecedented level of transparency enables managers to identify problems early and make better decisions. It also motivates employees to work efficiently when they know activities are being tracked. In field service work, like construction, this insight is invaluable to long-term success.
Pinpointing Inefficiencies and Wasted Time
One of the biggest benefits of time tracking is that it quickly highlights areas of misalignment or inefficiency. Managers can pinpoint practices that waste time and lead to lost productivity.
Common examples include:
- Meetings: Time tracking data can identify certain recurring meetings that consistently run over the allotted time or stray off the intended topic. These time wasters can then be restructured to be more efficient and productive.
- Interruptions: Time tracking often reveals frequent distractions throughout the day like impromptu conversations, internet browsing, personal phone calls, and more. With this data, workers can implement strategies to minimize interruptions and stay focused.
- Unclear Priorities: Lack of focus shows up when time is spread too thinly across many tasks and priorities. Time tracking enables managers to identify this issue and implement better prioritization and work strategies.
With clear data and facts about wasted time, managers have the opportunity to coach employees and implement process changes to be more efficient. Eliminating activities that waste time is a key part of developing an accountable workforce.
Setting Goals and Expectations Based on Time Data
Time tracking provides the data needed to have realistic discussions about goals and employee performance management. Rather than base targets on gut feel, guesses, or assumptions, managers can leverage documented time tracking data.
For example, if time logs show a certain recurring task typically takes 5 hours to complete, that can inform setting the expectation that the report takes 6 hours. Employees are far more likely to accept and meet goals that are grounded in actual past work patterns versus arbitrary estimates.
Time data is also critical for capacity planning – determining true employee availability and bandwidth. Understanding how much time an employee actually has helps assign work at a level that maximizes potential. Employees meet accountability standards more consistently when goals and expectations align with documented capacity. In construction work where employees may be switching job sites during the day, having clear standards and accountability processes laid out can help keep them focused and driven.
Keeping Employees On Track with Deadlines and Priorities
Time tracking software integrates with project management systems to provide real-time visibility and enhance productivity. Features like reminders, notifications, and automatic time tracking keep employees focused and aware.
Reminders can highlight upcoming deadlines or meetings. This real-time information keeps priorities top of mind all day long.
Key Features to Look For in Time Tracking Software
If implementing time tracking across an organization, look for tools that have the following key features to drive employee accountability:
- Dashboard Views: Provides an at-a-glance overview of team project status, individual time logs, capacity, and progress to goals. Enables managers to assess employee work.
- Smart Integrations: Integrates directly with existing workplace tools like project management software, calendars, email, and more to auto-log time and provide holistic data.
- Productivity Metrics: Ability to generate direct reports analyzing time spent, goals met, capacity, trends over time, and more to reveal insights.
- Notifications and Reminders: Prompts and reminds employees about upcoming meetings and deadlines or when they are spending excess time on certain tasks. This keeps priorities top of mind.
- Custom Reporting: Flexibility to filter data and create customized reports based on projects, individuals, time periods, and other parameters to get specific insights.
- Access Controls: Ability to manage user access to data to maintain privacy and confidentiality as appropriate.
Takeaways about Time Tracking
Developing a culture of accountability is foundational for business performance. Employees who take personal ownership over work outcomes will drive better results. Time tracking software plays a critical role by making work patterns transparent.
With documented data, managers can set clearer expectations, identify areas for efficiency, improve processes, uncover capacity, and keep employees focused. Workers are also more diligent knowing activities are being tracked.
For organizations, implementing time tracking lays the groundwork for accountable, productive teams by providing:
- Documentation of how work gets done
- Visibility into productivity and capacity
- Objective data to inform goals and expectations
- Guidance and focus for employees via notifications and reminders
- Insights from reports and analytics
However, technology alone is not the answer. Using time data effectively depends on leadership capabilities like coaching, communication, and the ability to drive change. It’s also important to listen to how employees feel and hear their honest feedback. With the right foundation, time tracking software leads to more fair, insightful, and ultimately human work management.
Why ExakTime is the Top Choice for Construction Time Management
If you’re looking for a time tracking solution to improve employee accountability, look to ExakTime. ExakTime is an industry-tailored time management platform that’s designed to meet the complex needs of construction and field service teams.
Exaktime provides robust functionality specifically designed for the job site:
- Complete Mobility: The ExakTime mobile app allows workers to clock in from any location with offline support and location stamping for compliance. iPad kiosks also empower convenient on-site clocking.
- Real-Time Insights: With live reporting through online dashboards and customizable reports, ExakTime enables real-time visibility into time usage as work is happening.
- Customized Alerts: Create alerts on cost overages, missed clocks, overtime, and more enable proactive course correction on projects.
- Seamless Payroll Integration: ExakTime integrates accounting and payroll systems like Viewpoint, Quickbooks, ConstructionPayroll.com, and more for automated validated hours transfer.
- Robust Field Note Capabilities: Time entries support text, photo, and video uploads to document work progress, safety issues, quality, and more.
- Tailored Support: ExakTime offers US-based construction experts for support and guidance optimized for industry needs.
As the leading purpose-built solution, ExakTime goes beyond basic time clocks to provide complete visibility and control over time management. If you’re looking to implement our industry-leading solution, contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Doesn’t time tracking create a culture of micro-management?
It certainly can if used incorrectly. The key is to focus the data on goals and development – not to punish or nitpick. Regular check-ins foster understanding vs accusations. Time tracking actually supports employees through reminders and notifications. Used right, it provides helpful guidance – not oppressive micromanagement.
Do employees really like being tracked?
Robust tools have security features like access controls, data filters, and privacy settings to protect sensitive information. Data can focus on projects rather than specific tasks. Concerns are usually minimal when time tracking is positioned as helpful versus punitive.
How long does time tracking implementation take?
Cloud-based time tracking solutions are designed for quick, simple rollout. It can be up and running company-wide in just days with no major infrastructure or training needed. Some ramp-up time is expected as teams adjust processes. However, organizations can start benefiting from time data in less than a month.