The 5 Stages of Employee Time Tracking

Encouraging employees to embrace technological change is no easy feat, particularly if you work in a field with workers who are less tech savvy and who don’t typically use software in their day-to-day jobs. A home cleaner or a construction worker, for instance, may have had their hours tracked by a traditional punch clock for decades, and they might not see much use for changing course.

At Timesheet Mobile, we realize that getting workers to fill in their employee timesheets can be a chore in itself – nobody starts their day looking forward to paperwork! But with GPS geofencing technology, our employee time tracking app recognizes when on the clock employees are near designated areas (the geofences or “virtual boundaries”) and prompts them to clock in and out online. It couldn't be easier.

However, the challenge with this innovation is the number of misguided concerns surrounding it. There is the complaint about battery drain on smartphones (our app actually uses less battery than email, Facebook and many other popular apps). Another issue is the supposed invasion of privacy (we don't have access to your employees' phone information and we don't monitor off the clock locations). Lastly, and most commonly, employees often assume that the decision to implement a geofence-enabled employee time tracking system is based on a lack of trust (it’s really about leveling the playing field and ensuring that everyone is being paid accurately and fairly). We address all of this in depth here

Resistance is common – in a study surveying business leaders63 percent said their company’s ability to adopt new technology was hampered by a lack of urgency among employees, largely due to their inability to understand the benefits of the new system. The good news is that full employee compliance is possible – with the right approach. Here’s how to guide your workers through the five stages of coping with a new employee timesheet system.  

Denial

What you're hearing: “I’ve been doing this job for years without needing an employee time tracking app. I’m too busy to learn how to use this. Plus, are you going to be watching where I am all the time? Isn’t that an invasion of privacy?”

Okay, so most of your employees probably won’t voice that level of hostility to your face (at least we hope not!), but there will likely be a few who will grumble to their co-workers about having to adopt a geofencing app.

The key to getting through this first stage is to lay out the big picture of how a time card app will benefit the entire organization. Being able to accurately track hours – particularly when workers may be traveling and working across multiple projects and job sites – is critical. Our online time card software was custom-built for this very purpose. Because Timesheet Mobile calculates each worker's individual rate of pay, payroll is simplified, mistakes are eliminated and companies stop losing money. Using an employee punch clock app results in an overall time savings for the business – and its workers, who no longer need to fill in a time card and make a trip to the office to drop it off.

Additionally, the geofence function is absolutely not an invasion of employees' personal lives, since it only detects whether they are on the job site or not. Geofence alerts are issued to managers to let them know that the employees have left the site, but location information is not gathered and there is no further monitoring once an employee is off the clock. 

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Frustration

What you're hearing: “I gave the thing a shot and I still don’t understand it. It's alot more complicated than I thought it would be. Do I need to do this?”

Don’t worry! This is a key part of the progress. It can take some people longer than others to learn a new technology, depending on their familiarity in using various applications. Fortunately, we’ve found that even the least tech-savvy workers can quickly adopt cloud based employee time tracking; its more about breaking an old habit.

Like any company training, be patient with your workers and ask them what exactly they’re having trouble with. In many cases, the root of the problem is based on their frustration in simply having to use a new technology. Empathize with them by explaining that you’re not a tech whiz either – that you are also learning this new software and that it's a team initiative. 

Bargaining

What you're hearing: “Okay, I get why you’re doing this, but I’m really not that good with tech and you know that I report my hours honestly. Is it possible to make an exception for some of us?”

The first step here is to make it clear that the system only works when everybody is on board. Secondly, it’s worth reiterating how the application will benefit them.

Walking them through the process and being transparent about exactly how the geofencing app works should improve their perception. But conveying the way in which the system empowers them – by granting at a glance access to their schedules, hours and timesheets is how to achieve employee compliance. 

Explain that time tracking for employees helps the business run more efficiently, which makes it more profitable and in turn, increases job security. In addition, explain how the time clock app ensures that the hours worked by on the clock employees will be accurately tracked, so that they will not have to worry about not getting credit for overtime hours they have worked, for instance.

Curiosity

What you're hearing: “The app is actually pretty cool. I like how I can see all the hours I’ve worked and how it reminds me to punch in automatically, so I never forget. Is it possible for me to look back at my hours worked and see where I’ve been spending the most time?”

At this stage, people are approaching the technology with a more open mind, and ready to embrace the new changes. They’re also looking at ways to gain greater value from the system itself, rather than it being a top-down approach with you forcing them to use it.

Once your team has had some time to get into the rhythm of using an online clocking in system, it may be worth setting up a session to talk them through some of the additional functionalities. We’re continually making enhancements to the app each month based on customer feedback. For example, we recently added a Punch Prompt® Re-entered Site feature, which alerts managers when an on the clock employee returns to a job site after having exited for a work-related errand (e.g. a supply run). This provides valuable insight as to how your employees are managing their time during the workday.

Acceptance

What you're hearing: “Honestly, this app is great. At first I thought it’d be a major pain, but it’s actually very simple and I never forget to punch in or punch out anymore. It helps knowing exactly how many hours I’ve worked and how much I’m going to get paid.”

Congratulations on getting your team to this point! They've come to realize and take full advantage of what an employee time clock app has to offer.

Of course, not all employees will reach this stage at the same time. Some may get there quickly and others will lag behind, taking much longer to embrace the new technology. Implementing new systems and processes is particularly tough when you have a workforce that is largely dispersed or operating in different silos. But with enough time and patience, we’ve found that teams eventually embrace the change and come to understand the clear benefits that mobile time tracking provides to the entire business.  

The end result: Trust

It can certainly be daunting to implement a new technology. Sometimes, it seems like an uphill climb in learning the tools, explaining the benefits to employees, training them on its capabilities, and measuring the results.

However, in today’s digital age, it’s become commonplace for virtually every job function to be reshaped by new systems – whether it’s employee time tracking, project management, bookkeeping or something entirely different. Ultimately, business owners and managers who are committed to helping employees adopt a new system will come experience less pushback. Employees will appreciate that they are part of a company that is not only embracing technological change, but doing so together as a team, with competence and compassion.

For more tips on time tracking and time management, download our FREE eBook.

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