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How to Keep Track of Employee Time

How to Keep Track of Employee Time

Keeping track of employee time is essential, and with new Department of Labor exempt rules in place, it's more important than ever.

Read more for some practical considerations on managing employee time.

How can you keep track of employee hours without going crazy? There are so many things to consider and more regulations every day. And now with the new overtime rules, more personnel who never had to track hours are going to be good and hopping mad that they even have to keep track of their time.

You can try emailed time sheets, but people forget to fill these out and you find yourself spending a lot of time nagging people.

Should you consider an employee badge swipe using RFID technology or a bar code system? There also are online time clocks via web apps that maintain time records online and generate payroll reports.

Experts suggest incorporating best practices to simplify the learning process. Once that's done, you can adapt your training to specific staff members. Here are some tips:

  • If you consolidate systems into an all-in-one management system or onto just one or two platforms with excellent integration, it can mean fewer tools for employees to learn and smooth data flow in a single system, which equates to no manual data transfer.
  • Have a training plan — technology has become one of the more overlooked aspects of employee training. By being organized and proactive, you can drastically cut down on the time you and your staff spend on training. Decide who has to be trained in the first place and what can be done in-house.
  • Consider webinars or prewritten tutorials. Ask for employee feedback before training begins. By incorporating your employees' needs, you'll avoid having to answer lots of questions later — and any possibilities of retraining.
  • Ask employees how they like to learn. Are they visual learners or written-word-oriented? This will ensure that your training is delivered in the most effective method.
  • Document training to make sure everyone can refer to it from beginning to end.
  • Show your team how to perform tasks using actual data. Your staff is more likely to remember how to use the system if they use it every day.
  • Have employees do the work while you guide them. This makes training more interactive and engaging and caters to staff learning by doing instead of just by hearing and seeing.

Effortless time tracking, even of jobs performed in fragments — is that too much to ask? How about apps that work on your iPhone or Android device? The problem is that the too-simple apps don't track as powerfully as project-management software. And sometimes there's no verifying that the employee using it actually is working.

Here are some provisos for you to consider:

  • Make sure what you use is collaborative and not so easy that you can delete time accidentally without accurately reporting it.
  • Look for apps that say they're intuitive at time-tracking and can highlight how much work is left on a project so your firm can regroup while still staying on budget. 
  • Watch out for what appears to be simple but is not — if it takes lots of effort, all your training might be for nothing. Even you may have trouble figuring out how to use some of the features that were why you bought the system in the first place.

The bottom line? You have to consider what works for your staff and your company. There are many choices out there. Consider your particular needs before making a decision. Learn more about Time Tracking Software that integrates with Payroll.

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