Manage Projects Efficiently and Get Paid Faster

Manage Projects Efficiently and Get Paid Faster

Late payments can play havoc with a company’s cash flow. Such disruption can result in shortages meaning there’s a lack of funds to reinvestment in the company or even difficulties paying bills and staff. Regardless, studies have shown that around 64% of small companies have experienced not being paid on invoices for 60 days or longer.

There are various reasons for late payments from clients. One reason is the client lacking funds themselves, while another potential reason is a lack of organization. The company doing the work is also sometimes at fault, such as delayed delivery, quality issues, or administrative problems. 

One way to ensure that you’re paid for projects on time is to run the project as efficiently as possible.

Define the Project Before Starting

One way to help ensure you get paid on time is to define the project before starting. You need to define the scope of the task, which materials are needed, how long it will take, and who will be working on the project.

By defining the project fully, you can give an accurate quote and completion deadline, meaning the client is less likely to have anything to contest when paying. Defining the project will also help ensure you get paid fairly for your work and have everything you need to do the job. 

Track Your Team

Manpower is one of the most important ingredients of just about any project. Your staff’s experience and skills are necessary to get the job done and even the most advanced technology cannot replace most human tasks. However, as important as manpower is for getting a project finished, it is also one of the most expensive aspects. Manpower can also be one of the most difficult variables to manage.

However, solutions like PK4 Tech’s time tracking software can help to make it much easier for you to track and manage your team. For example, the technology can let you know where an employee is at a particular time, what they have been working on, and how long they have spent on certain tasks.

This ability to monitor employees in such a way is beneficial for numerous reasons, including:

  • Error Reduction: It can be very easy to make errors when timesheets are created. People are unlikely to remember all the details of their working week, especially if they have been busy. Time tracking software will help to eliminate errors by tracking your employees’ actions for you. 
  • Improved Billing: Time trackers make it easier to track the amount of time working for clients. The software also makes it easier for you to send reports to your clients to keep up with the work being done and monitor the progress of the project themselves. With everything documented, clients are less likely to have a reason to delay their payments.
  • Monitor Productivity: The average employee will spend around 51% of their working day on unproductive tasks. It’s not necessarily their fault; people just won’t always realize how much time certain tasks are taking. With time tracking software, you can monitor how long employees are spending on tasks, helping you identify where they could be spending their time better.
  • Easy Processing: Processing timesheets can be a time-consuming and menial task for managers, meaning more important tasks are pushed aside. However, time-tracking software makes it much simpler for managers to approve timesheets. Instead of using paper sheets, managers instead have all the details they need on the screen in front of them. The software makes it easy to accept or reject timesheets at the touch of a button, and let employees know why their timesheet was rejected.
  • Budget Monitoring: It can be easy to go over budget if you’re not monitoring your expenses, but time tracking software makes it easy for you. With the right software, you can get the information you need at a glance, helping you make important decisions. 

Time tracking can help you manage your project more efficiently in numerous ways. In addition to the benefits already mentioned, the software can also produce comprehensive reports that give you the information you need to make impactful decisions. Not only that, but time-tracking software can also integrate with other systems, helping you get more value from them. Overall, the software can help you identify the most productive ways to work, while reducing errors and streamlining your processes. Your clients are more likely to pay on time with an efficiently managed process.

How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

Time theft can cause a significant dent in a company’s bottom line. Indeed, a study has shown that employees steal around 4.5 hours from their employer every week on average. And while companies can take steps to monitor their employees in the workplace, it becomes even more difficult when employees are working out in the field. 

Field workers are typically trusted to spend their time productively instead of doing something not work-related. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for field workers to abuse that trust. For example, some people might choose to do some shopping on their company’s time, or maybe go for a meal. In some cases, field employees might not even leave their homes at all but still charge for time that they did not spend working.

It should also be noted that time theft is not always deliberate. Employees can make mistakes and forget details about their working week if they don’t fill in their timesheets straight away. 

The main headache with monitoring fieldworkers has long been the fact that you just cannot know where they are. It’s often easy for field workers to lie about their location or their timing with no way to check up. However, GPS has provided an effective solution to the problem. 

Modern Tracking Apps are the Solution

 

In the past, GPS tracking hardware would have been prohibitively expensive for most companies and would not represent a solid return on investment, if at all. However, GPS hardware is now very affordable and can be installed on smartphones. Indeed, modern smartphones typically come with GPS already installed, meaning the technology is already available for companies to use.

Of course, having the hardware that tells you where somebody is great, but it’s not of much use without software that helps you make use of information. The good news is that apps like those from PK4 Tech are available on the market that integrates GPS technology to offer valuable information for managers regarding their employees’ whereabouts and behavior. 

Time tracking apps can use a smartphone’s GPS to place the phone’s location at any time. Simply put, a time tracker, in conjunction with a smartphone’s GPS can tell managers where their employees are and where they have been. As a result, the solution helps prevent time theft because employees can no longer lie about their location, while it also helps prevent honest mistakes on timesheets. 

An Effective Deterrent

Not only does GPS time tracking software help prevent time theft, but it also helps to prevent it from happening in the first place. It can otherwise become too easy even for dedicated employees to start taking liberties, so it makes sense to let all your employees know that their location is being tracked.

Remember that it’s also important to educate your employees on why such technology is required so they understand why it is being implemented. Otherwise, it could be easy for them to feel as though they are not trusted and are being spied on, potentially causing morale and productivity to take a hit. Ensure that your employees know that using the technology is not an attempt to spy on their every move but to protect the company overall and provide reports that help improve efficiency.

In-Depth Reports

GPS time trackers can do so much more than just inform managers of their employees’ geographical location. For example, trackers can also keep records on which tasks an employee was working on, such as travelling to a location or carrying out a site survey. You can then use this information to see how efficiently employees are spending their time and what you can do to improve their efficiency further.

Comprehensive dashboards are also available that help management to see key information at a glance, helping them make fast and impactful decisions. Reports can also be created and distributed automatically, removing much of the manual work that would otherwise be involved.

Summary

GPS time tracking helps to remove many of the issues associated with time theft and employees working in the field. Not only does the technology help managers monitor and record employee data, but it also helps to act as a deterrent. The technology can help prevent deliberate time-theft, while it can also help avoid genuine errors. Remember that it’s important to educate your employees on why the technology is important to prevent a loss of trust.

With GPS time tracking apps, managers are also equipped with information that can help them make informed decisions that will help boost efficiency. Overall, the technology can help prevent time theft, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line. 

 

 

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

Most employers would probably like to think that they can trust their employees and employees will be honest for the most part. However, we can never be entirely sure that the people working for us won’t take advantage if given the opportunity. Indeed, a study showed that 43% of employees who have filled in timesheets had exaggerated the length of time they worked. Studies have also shown that around $400 billion is lost every year in lost productivity in the United States, further highlighting the need to address the problem.

Employee time theft comes in several types, and not all of them are necessarily deliberate. Some of the most common include: 

  • Charging for time spent on personal tasks
  • Buddy punching is a practice that involves an employee’s co-worker punching in for them despite the employee not being at work. Buddy punching alone is thought to cost approximately $373 million alone every year
  • Employees deliberately adding extra time to their worksheets
  • Employees not clocking out for breaks
  • Field employees claiming to have been working but performing other tasks, or even staying at home instead
  • Accidentally overestimating time worked.

Time theft is a real problem for many companies, especially in times of uncertainty. However, one of the most significant difficulties companies face regarding employee theft is that it’s challenging to detect. Managers cannot monitor all employees at all times, especially where field workers are concerned, and honest errors can be particularly difficult to identify. However, you can take some steps to overcome the issue.

Establish Clear Policies

One way you can help overcome some of the issues is to put a deterrent in place. Your managers can let employees know that they’re aware of problems like buddy punching and that employees will be reprimanded if caught doing so. The act of bringing up the topic alone can avoid complacency among employees and deter them from punching in for friends. Make sure to be polite and respectful when reminding your employees about your policies, but also make sure that you’re firm. Acting on indiscretions will help to send the message that you will not tolerate time theft.  

Educate Management

Quite often, the signs of time theft are right in front of us, but we won’t spot them if we don’t know what we’re looking for. For example, what might appear to be a case of an employee working later than others could easily mean that they’re not being honest about their time sheet. After all, it’s a lot easier to be dishonest on your time sheets when there’s nobody around because they’ve already gone home for the day.

Educate Employees

In many cases, time theft might be down to misunderstandings that you can easily clear up with simple communication. You should also make it clear to employees when it’s reasonable for them to record to add time and when it isn’t. You can also educate your employees on the potential harm that time theft can cause businesses, potentially even placing their jobs and their colleagues’ jobs at risk.

Use Time Tracking Software

Software like the PK4 TimeTracker will help to ensure that time is tracked accurately and fairly. For example, the buddy punching system won’t work with time tracking software because employees have to be logged into their computers or on their own mobile devices to track time. The system also helps prevent forms from being filled in erroneously, while it also helps management see which tasks their employees have been working on.

Time tracking software will also help ensure time is recorded accurately for field workers. The time tracking app can record an employee’s location through GPS, so you know they were in the right place. The software is also easy for employees and managers to use, while reviewing and approving timesheets is also made simple, further helping to ensure accurately recorded time. 

Overall, time tracker software will help to empower teams to work better and be more productive. Time sheets will more accurately reflect work that has been done while also giving management access to helpful information such as how much time employees spent on particular tasks. Such information will help management see if time is being spent effectively, helping them make their teams more productive while also helping to reduce frustrations.

 

 

5 Tips For Measuring Your Employees’ Time And Productivity Levels

5 Tips For Measuring Your Employees’ Time And Productivity Levels

We all want to be productive, but productivity isn’t something you can enforce on others. The productivity of your employees will depend on many factors that you won’t be able to control – like their health, motivation, unforeseen events, etc.

Some things you do have control over, though. You can help your employees stay productive by paying attention to their work environment and putting effective workflows and systems in place. And you can measure their output to see what needs improving.

Measuring time and productivity can get tricky since every employee has a unique personality and working style. It takes a skilled manager who’s objective and insightful to decide if a team member is effective, struggling, or overly thorough.

Here are a few individual productivity guidelines to get you inspired:

1. Track your employees’ time

If you’re not already tracking your employees’ time, you really should. Not necessarily to question their choices, but rather to understand how your employees respond to tasks and challenges.

A significant part of workplace management is tracking your employees’ work and break time, as well as diving deeper into how much time they logged for each project and task.

You can also look into how many breaks your employees are taking, paid time off or sick leave, as well as absenteeism or whether your employees get to work on time.

You can easily accomplish this with a Time Tracker, where you have the option to approve your employee’s time entries and have a bird’s eye view of how your team is performing.

2. Track tasks and set clear objectives

Evaluating your employees on the number of hours worked may seem straightforward, but it’s not the best indicator for productivity. You also need to check how well they’ve performed on the tasks you’ve assigned them.

Did they understand the goals? Did some of them fail to meet deadlines or do you have employees who regularly overdeliver? What tasks took most of their time and why? Keep task difficulty in mind when deciding if your employee was effective.

Time Tracker also has the option of creating tasks and projects where your employees can check in, so you can easily correlate the difficulty of a task with the time spent on it.

3. Evaluate client satisfaction

You may have superstar employees who seem to blaze through assignments faster than most of their coworkers. Before you congratulate them, it wouldn’t hurt to get a little suspicious of their performance. They may be fast, but are they really doing a stellar job?

What better way to find out than ask the end recipient of their work – your client? You can send a quick survey, email, or call your clients to make sure they’re satisfied. Ask them to rate your employee’s services, handling time, etc., and see how they respond.

Any negative feedback should be cause for alarm and a clear sign that your employees value quantity over quality. This brings us to our next point:

4. Place value on work quality

An employee’s ability to get things done depends largely on their ability to focus and take their time with the task at hand. Unfortunately, many workers confess to being burnt out and perpetually behind at work. Taking their time is often not an option.

As a leader, you need to ask yourself – is the company culture sending the right message? Do you push your workers to meet impossible quotas, and are they perhaps working at an unsustainable rhythm?

Or are some employees simply struggling because they’re not a good fit for the job? Managers should put their detective cap on and investigate all the possible reasons why the quality of a product or service may suffer and address them immediately.

It may be that your employees need to get better at time management, or that you should set better work priorities – or both. Whatever the reason, there’s always room for improvement.

5. Set a good example

Lastly, don’t just measure your employee’s time and productivity. Start with measuring your own. All the decisions you make throughout a workday as a manager can have ripple effects on your team’s work.

Can you improve your work environment? Are you good at delegating tasks you struggle with? What about self-care and taking time off? The more you investigate your own productivity dips, the more you’ll have an idea about what your team members are dealing with. 

So track and measure as many of these factors as you can, and do it frequently. Only then will you have a clear idea of how to improve, and how to appreciate the people who are a great asset to your company. 

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

Are your employees committed, motivated and efficient? Or do you have to be that annoying boss constantly breathing down their neck?

Whether you like it or not, accountability is at the core of how things get done in the workplace. And if your team is lacking in accountability, you’ll have to fix it first thing. When people don’t care enough to take responsibility, this lousy attitude will spread to all aspects of your business.

But sometimes, a lack of accountability isn’t always the employee’s fault. It could be yours. Our 6 tips will help you identify where you can improve as a manager to have accountable, superstar employees.

1. Involve your employees in defining project goals

An intriguing study from Gallup states that more than half of employees don’t know what’s expected of them at work. Managers fail to clearly explain tasks and help employees set goals. And to make it worse, many employees don’t feel comfortable approaching their boss for help or assistance.

But if you create the kind of environment where you empower your team, the work atmosphere instantly changes. When setting goals for a project, ask your team if the goals are attainable and realistic and discuss a deadline that works for them and the company.

It’s easy for your team to stay accountable when they’ve been involved in the decision-making process.

2. Perfect your prioritization skills

Unclear priorities are just as bad as unclear tasks. When employees start pointing fingers, all accountability goes down the drain.

If you’re in a state of constantly putting out fires at work, you have to accept that you can’t do everything – and neither can your employees. So learn to focus on the most important things.

Work on your prioritization skills and allow more time than you normally would for important tasks because we often tend to grossly underestimate how long they take. Your team will stop feeling like they’re constantly behind, and this will boost their confidence and productivity levels.

3. Establish trust and empower your team

There’s nothing worse than a micromanaging boss. So don’t be that guy (or gal). Here’s how you can change your team management style for the better:

  • Balance your “constructive” criticism with praise
  • Acknowledge your own mistakes – hold yourself accountable
  • Lead by example

The best way to empower your team is to give them the freedom to solve problems in their own way. Allow for flexibility over their schedule, and you’ll have motivated employees that feel trusted and appreciated.

Especially during this time of widespread remote work, allowing your team to log work hours manually will encourage them to get things done on their own terms. You can do this, and much more, with our PK4 TimeTracker.

4. Leverage attendance and scheduling software

Another way to increase accountability in the workplace is through the use of attendance and scheduling software. Hold your employees accountable and make sure they arrive on time and work on what they’re supposed to be working.

Using a product like the PK4 TimeTracker can help you achieve this in a number of ways:

  • The Clock In (Kiosk mode) serves as a virtual time punching tool;
  • Workers with flexible schedules can log their hours within the time tracker app using the Check-In / Check-Out to mark the beginning and end of a work session;
  • As a team leader, you can easily manage your team’s project inside Time Tracker’s project management tool and approve or reject timesheets.

5. Keep an eye on your team and follow up frequently

Setting goals is exciting, but that’s just the beginning. Your role as a team leader will include checking with your team frequently.

Maybe you have a bad apple in your team – a toxic employee that’s bringing everybody down and hurting the team’s accountability. Or perhaps one of your employees is falling behind because of personal issues at home. It’s your duty to be aware of all these things.

Follow-up is essential to a project’s success, and many employees are happy to have their manager follow up on their tasks. It gives them a chance to ask questions or show off their progress.

6. Give honest feedback

If you’re the kind of manager who hates confrontation, you won’t like giving honest feedback to your employees. Because, inevitably, some of your employees will need some tough love.

But if you get over your nerves, you’ll soon learn that providing frequent and candid feedback will make you a better manager. Show your employees where they can improve, but try to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Your team members will act more accountable if they feel like their boss genuinely cares about their success.

Accountability isn’t just about owning your mistakes. It’s about taking responsibility for your work, knowing your role in the company, and proactively striving to get better. The best way to inspire accountability within your team is to practice it yourself.