This post brought to you by Advance Systems. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Evil HR Lady.
Do you need time tracking software? Well, in theory only for your non-exempt employees (which, if the proposed DOL rules go into effect, you may have a lot more of in 2016). But, what about your exempt employees? Do you need to track their every move?
Of course not. You should be looking at end results. If the end result is awesome, the employee is awesome, and you don’t have to fret about what they are doing when they are out of your site.
But, what if the results aren’t awesome? Or what if the results are awesome, but you think they could be even better? What if you just like data?
I love data. In fact, I spent many, many years doing data based HR jobs. Data, properly used can tell you things you never imagined. Like, did you know that it’s taking your employees 20 hours a week to create reports in Excel? That doesn’t mean they are slacking off. That’s how long it takes. Could time be used more wisely by paying a programmer to come in and automate the reporting process? Maybe. It depends on the reports and your business, but I’m of the mindset that anything that can be automated should be.
I love learning things like this with data. Where can I improve? Where can we improve? How are we wasting our time? Do we really need to spend that much time on emails? Maybe you do. Each business and each business’s mission varies, but we can, at least, think about how to make things better than they are now.
Timetracking software should never be used as a micro-managing tool. “Hey, Bob, I noticed you checked Facebook 26 times today.” Now, if Bob has performance issues, this is a good thing to bring up, “Hey, Bob, you might be able to get those reports done on time if you only checked Facebook at lunch.” But, it can be used to help Bob manage his own time. Bob may truly have no idea that he’s spending so much time on social media. (Which is okay, as long as he’s just following me.) Employees actually like knowing what they are doing and how to make their performance better.
Should you install time tracking software? Maybe. If you’re a data driven organization, it’s a great start. If you just want to harass your employees about every second of the day, no. If you want to give your employees a chance to see how they can improve, yes. If you want to prompt discussions about improvement and make efforts to make changes that the data suggest, then, yes.
Now, if you have remote workers who are currently exempt, but will be changing to non-exempt when (if) the new rules go into effect, raising hte minimum salary for exemption to over $50k, then this type of software may be a boon. You’ll be able to easily track their hours (provided they are computer-based workers!), including when they hop on the computer after the kids are in bed, or work through lunch. You’re going to have be careful about their hours for payroll purposes anyway–might as well gather a bit more data while you’re at it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should deduct all the time they spend on a non-work related website. Remember, the most important thing is the end result, but knowing that you know what they are doing, might just cut that down.