If I told you the key to the profitability of your organization lies in the time your employees track on their work, would you believe me? It’s not that far-fetched, when you think about it. Your employees are your company’s greatest asset, and their time is extremely valuable. By being more aware of the time they have, and how they’re using it, you can gain vital knowledge which can help you to improve your business and increase its bottom line.
This is why tracking employee time data can provide such an advantage. You may already have a timesheet system of some fashion in place, or you may not be tracking time at all (yet). Either way, that data is golden and will provide you with some highly valuable insights that will help you drive your company forward.
Are your projects on track?
Maintaining a good hustle is undoubtedly a positive for your projects; but if your teams are uncoordinated and pulling in different directions, all that hard work can end up wasted.
By tracking time on projects, you’ll know if this is the case or not. Are your teams pulling together and moving in the right direction, or are they moving off course? If the data points to the latter, then it’s time to do something about it, re-assessing how your projects are managed and how your resources are allocated.
A serious danger to always keep top-of-mind is ‘scope creep’. This occurs when preliminary planning has not been sufficient and the parameters of the project shift and expand uncontrollably. Avoid this by staying on top of where your project team is spending their time, and how much time different tasks are taking. Knowing this will help you avoid scope creep and other pitfalls that lead to project failure.
Are you billing your clients accurately?
Maximizing your profits while delivering your clients the value they deserve is an age-old balancing act. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to striking this balance. It comes down to streamlining your processes and knowing your market – but the same cannot be said for billing your clients for a product or service.
The mechanics of your billing procedure need to be 100% correct, every time. Examine your employee time data. Are you undercharging your clients for the services they receive, based on the working hours spent on the project, or are you charging too much? Bring this into line, and you’ll get a much better handle on both your overall and per-client profitability.
Are you paying your employees accurately?
The same point can also be extended to your employees, particularly those who are on hourly wages, flexible contracts, or employed on a freelance basis. These members of staff deserve to be paid for the hours they have worked, and your organization is not obliged to pay them for hours they haven’t worked.
It really is as simple as that. Failing to track employee time could be costing you money, or it could be putting your valued employees at a serious disadvantage. In addition, having the right systems in place can also cut down on the amount of time it takes to process your payroll. You spend less time on payroll, your employees get paid quicker – everyone wins!
How productive is your workforce?
Productivity is a word which we hear a lot of, way back to the days of Henry Ford and the moving assembly line. However, unless you are tracking your employee time data, you have no qualitative means of checking how productive your departments are.
The simple answer is to apply the data. If you have budgeted a timeframe of 500 hours for a specific project, and yet 250 hours have gone by and the project is only 20% complete, then there is a problem. Recognizing this discrepancy will make it easier to establish what’s going wrong and how to put it right.
What are your employees spending their time on?
This final point is not so much about keeping track of your employees in a sinister ‘Big Brother’ kind of way. This is more about fostering a more proactive and productive atmosphere in the workplace.
It’s easy for employees to get sidetracked and spend too long focusing on certain tasks while neglecting others. Nurturing a culture of time tracking and being aware of the time spent on each task is the best way to eliminate bottlenecks in your team’s workflow, as well as identify where they may be over- or under-utilized.
Keeping track of employee time data might seem to only be of limited use, but it can revolutionize your productivity and contribute to greater profitability across the board. As they say, there’s gold in them thar hills – so don’t let this vital information resource go to waste.