Businesses are in the business of making money, everyone knows that. Everyone also knows that they do this by either producing goods which they sell or by providing services for which they are paid. The central pivot on which this productivity revolves is the most important asset any business has, the worker/employee. For their efforts, they are paid a wage or salary. The wage rate is fixed at so many dollars per hour. Unfortunately, the flip side of the coin is not true.
- Monitoring Employees is Key
The employee’s productivity rate is not fixed. It fluctuates for any number of different reasons. If it drops the business loses money and if it goes up the business makes more money. So it is the business’ best interest that worker productivity goes up and stays up. A worker’s productivity is at its maximum when there is no unnecessary idle time, when there are no distractions and when the employee puts in 100 percent of the effort he is able to put in. If the worker were a robot all three would be easy enough to achieve. The worker is not an automaton so he/she has to be monitored or tracked to try and make sure the business is getting the maximum productivity out of the worker that it is paying him for. That’s what we are going to talk about. Some tips for businesses to use when tracking employees on the job.
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- Measure Results not Time Spent
The focus should be on the results produced and not the time spent doing the job. That should only be the preserve of professional firms (lawyers, accountants and so on) who bill based on hours spent on a job. A lot of businesses make the mistake of measuring productivity or quality of work by the number of hours spent doing the job which gives the impression that more time spent produces higher quality results. The way to go here is to turn your employees into a results oriented team. One way to do this is to set targets, say 12 units per day. If they finish early they go home. That way, they get the message that you care more about results so they give their all to produce higher quality jobs.
- Let Employees Know What’s Expected of Them
When you embark on an employee time tracking system one of the first things to do is to communicate to the employees that you are starting a time tracking programme. It will be very bad if you do not do this. For starters, it will come out via the grapevine with all its associated distortions and look very underhanded and sinister. Secondly, being open from the start guarantees workers cooperation since they understand the reasons for it. So give them goals they are supposed to meet both as individuals and as an organization. For them to make sense to the employees the goals must be:
- set within a specified time period
This way you have already started instilling a team spirit into your employees.
- Reassure Employees
Communicating the program’s goals is all very but a further process of reassurance is needed. Remember employees make up a community made up of individuals with different personalities. Suspicions about the tracking programme’s real motive will be inevitable. Some might feel as if the workplace is being turned into a kind of prison where all freedoms are going to be curtailed. So reassure them that two minutes off the assembly line to have a cigarette is fine, that talking to a colleague is allowed, as long as the work rhythm is not affected.
- Explain the Reasons Behind Time Tracking
Re-emphasize that the aim is increased productivity and transparency. Do not monitor workers’ every move like monitoring everything they do on their computer. Give them time to adapt to the new work system. In short, manage their doubts and encourage openness. Do not let a ‘big brother is watching you’ pervade the atmosphere. Micro management should be avoided by all means.