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2 min read

5 arguments for time tracking

It is one of the biggest challenges organisations face when implementing time tracking systems for the first time, since many employees see time tracking as an extra burden.

5 arguments for time tracking

Some employees see time tracking as surveillance and do not like that the manager can control precisely what they do and see how long their working days are. Implementing time tracking in an organization that has not used time tracking before is especially difficult since it demands discipline to track time accurately and on time. Due to this, the managers need to communicate the purpose of time tracking to everyone in the organisation to create a shared understanding of why it is essential.

But if you want to succeed with time tracking, the most important thing is to answer the employee's question:

"What's in it for me?"

Before this question is answered, it will be difficult to maintain daily time tracking without spending a lot of time on follow-up and reminders, which is no fun for the manager or the employees. 

It differs from person to person what motivates to do regular time tracking. Which type of motivation works for the individual depends on the employee's role and psychological profile. Project managers often react to the fact that they can keep track of their projects, and employees can use their time tracking to document why they cannot reach a deadline.

Here are some arguments compared to different motivational factors, which we have seen through the years and can help answer the question, "What's in it for me?"

The financial argument

Time tracking ensures that all hours are tracked on customers and creates more billable hours, creating more revenue. The result of this is a profitable company - and the more revenue you have, the better chance the company has to grow and avoid reductions, which benefits everyone.

The personal argument

Time tracking can be used for a staff development interview between the individual employee and manager. It is highly useful information, as it can help you set personal goals and account for a possibly too-high workload. This motivates the employee to do time tracking since it is no longer only project and department managers who benefit from it. Suddenly, employees can provide exact documentation for not reaching a deadline when constantly receiving additional tasks. In this way, time tracking can help improve the individual's everyday life.

The service-oriented argument

By creating an overview of how much time is spent on single tasks, the organization can adjust the project plans on an ongoing basis and have a good dialogue with the customer if a deadline cannot be kept. It can be dealt with upfront and documented to avoid handing over the project to an unsatisfied customer who does not want to do business with you again.

The (project) financial argument

Over time, an overview of your fixed-price projects will be possible. Are the projects profitable or not? In this way, you can adjust offers on similar projects to avoid losing money on future projects. Furthermore, you see which customers are more profitable for the business. You will be surprised which customers have the highest contribution margin.

The analytical argument

What does the company spend its time on? Is it on the suitable projects or business areas compared to the strategy, or does it spend too much time on administration? Time tracking can help develop a company from being administrative and analytical to being more executive, which benefits everyone.

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