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Why employees need time tracking training

Make technology adoption work, avoid costly timesheet errors, and get employee buy-in with the right tools and training

Old habits are the hardest to break. And if employees are used to tracking time by hand with a pen and paper or a spreadsheet (or whatever they can find the day before timesheets are due), making the switch to an automated time tracking system (read: something new) can be an imposing hurdle.

If you ask us, ripping the paper timesheet band-aid is the only way to go, especially considering 44% of business owners struggle with timesheet errors—some of them on a weekly or even daily basis, according to a TSheets survey.* Of those, 8% blame their time tracking system for ongoing mistakes. They say their current system is too confusing or unreliable. But the other 92% know that user errors are the more likely cause.

And that’s where employee training on new or existing time tracking systems is crucial for any small business. Only 25% of business owners say they provide in-depth, extensive training to employees required to use a time tracking system. Another 21% say they provide only minimal training to employees, and 14% don’t provide any time tracking training at all.

Do your employees receive training on how to track their time?

Of those business owners who provide training on their time tracking system, 24% rely on online reading materials to communicate how the system works, assuming employees will take the time to read and understand the instructions. The majority of business owners leave the training to a manager or HR representative within the company—someone who may not have been trained adequately on the system themselves! Only 23% say they request in-person, dedicated training from their time tracking software provider.  

What kind of training do employees receive?

All this to say that employees who don’t understand how to use their company’s time tracking system may not have been set up for success. And that can lead to workers making costly mistakes on their timesheets, tracking time incorrectly, or refusing to track time at all.

By now, the solution should be clear: Business owners and managers should dedicate the time and resources to train new and old employees alike how to track time correctly. Take it from us, setting employees up for success from the get-go will save payroll managers from the hassle of correcting timesheets, overpaying or underpaying employees, or fixing major mistakes every single time they run payroll.

Developing a strong training process employees will actually participate in can feel intimidating. Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips.

3 easy ways to make time tracking technology adoption work

1. Choose a time tracking system that fits the team’s needs
Clocking in and out shouldn’t be a nuisance, but requiring employees to take extra time to use a rusty punch clock is a surefire way to sour their opinion of any time tracking system. To get employees on board and (dare we say) excited about tracking time, choose the right solution for the business.

If employees are most often on the road, picking up jobs as they come, invest in a mobile time tracking solution that will allow them to clock in and out of jobs quickly, while they’re out and about. If employees work in an office (or remotely from a computer), look for time tracking technology that allows them to clock in and out via web dashboard or native app. If many employees are working in one place, like in a warehouse or on a construction site, a time tracking solution that offers a digital punch clock option could be the way to go.

When tracking time is easy and effortless and fits the needs of their workflow, employees are more likely to see the benefits and adapt quickly.

2. Consult the time tracking experts
The right time tracking software provider should want business owners to succeed. And they should want employees to love tracking time. Most time tracking companies offer a plethora of training tools and materials teams can access. In some cases, they’ll even offer dedicated, in-person training to help get entire teams and future trainers—those managers and HR reps—on board.

If in-person training isn’t an option, employers can make good use of the time tracking company’s customer support team by encouraging workers to contact customer service when they have a question about the product.

3. Establish consistent policies and training procedures
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it’s important to make policies stick, even if the learning curve is steep. Business owners should stand by their new solution and strive to alleviate employee concerns that can get in the way of the purpose of tech implementation: greater efficiency companywide.

Training workers to track time correctly is beneficial for employers and workers alike. Employees get paid for every minute they’ve put in, and managers can avoid frequent timesheet errors.

Consider hosting ongoing training sessions for all employees—not just the new ones. Regular training sessions are an excellent opportunity to cover any new features or changes to the time tracking policy, answer questions, and ensure time is tracked correctly and consistently.

Employee buy-in makes every system better

The good news about these tips is they don’t just apply to time tracking policies and payroll procedures. Any new system introduced to employees, from how to use a new project management software to how to request time off, requires training for full buy-in and implementation. The more employees know, the more likely they are to get on board.

For more on this and other topics, like the ups and downs of timesheet rounding and the true cause of timesheet errors, check out TSheets Ultimate Guide to Employee Time Tracking.

*Methodology: TSheets by QuickBooks commissioned Pollfish to survey 731 anonymous business owners (age 18+) throughout the U.S., in September 2018, to learn more about their time tracking habits and policies. TSheets designed and paid for the survey and welcomes the re-use of this data under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original source is cited with attribution to “TSheets.”