Measuring your employee’s time and productivity can help you with team management in so many ways. For example, it can help you identify individuals who are not performing, while it will also help you spot flaws in processes. Armed with this information, you can then address issues accordingly, helping to ensure your business is running as smoothly as possible.
This leads to the question of how to measure employee time and productivity so you can get the information you need to make impactful decisions. To help, we’ve created this brief guide for you.
Before you even get started, you need to determine which KPIs you want to measure. Developing KPIs is one of the most essential steps because you can’t measure your performance unless you know how well you are supposed to be performing.
Of course, you shouldn’t choose just any metrics. It’s important that you choose to measure metrics that give you a reasonably fair and accurate picture. For example, measuring monthly output can be misleading because some staff will have additional duties in the company. Otherwise, you may end up making detrimental rather than beneficial decisions.
Remember also that you can evolve your KPIs over time as you learn which metrics are most useful to you. It’s also good team management to tell your employees which KPIs you are using and let them know how they are performing. Once your team understands what is expected of them, it becomes easier for them to meet those expectations.
Missing a milestone will make it loud and clear that something isn’t going according to plan and that something needs to be changed. However, you will need to set milestones in the first place otherwise, it becomes much harder to judge how well you are progressing.
If you missed project deadlines, it’s important to break down the process and understand why it was missed. Take it on face value and you might end up doing more harm than good. This means looking at each step of the process to see where the hold up was.
When setting milestones, it’s essential to be reasonable and realistic. If your milestones are not challenging enough, then your staff might become demotivated, and your profit margins can shrink. Making project deadlines too challenging is another motivation killer and your staff are unlikely to work well, harming efficiency and productivity.
When setting up milestones, you can also set goals for your team to aim for individually and as a collective. Goals will help give your team something to aim for and meeting goals will help keep morale high. It can also be a good idea to reward your employees occasionally for meeting goals, and even showing appreciation can help keep employees enthused.
Use Time Tracking Tools
Time tracking tools can give you a wealth of information about the performance of your employees and your business overall. Such tools can break down an employee’s working day into separate tasks, giving you insights that can be a powerful team management aid.
Some of those insights include the following:
How much time is spent on particular tasks
How productive an employee is compared to their colleagues
Your employees’ attendance records
Identifying which tasks are time-consuming and unproductive
Using time tracking tools will also help act as an effective deterrent should any of your employees be tempted to cheat or not make enough of an effort. This will help prevent unpleasant situations as well as helping to keep productivity high.
However, it’s a good idea to educate your employees on the importance of time tracking, otherwise they might object to being monitored so closely.
In addition to letting you track time, time tracking tools will also often come with other useful features that will help you manage your business effectively. For example, the time tracking and project management platform by PK4Tech offers powerful tools that help you manage your milestones and give you a comprehensive view of your operations.
Such tools are fed with masses of useful information that will help you with team management, and you will have hard, accurate data rather than incomplete information and estimates.
Hold regular meetings and get regular updates from employees. Getting together as a group will help the team communicate effectively and help the manager to guide their team in the right direction. Meetings are the ideal occasion to raise issues with your team, making for good team management that will help you come to a solution together.
Remember that meetings work both ways and it’s essential that your employees get to give their feedback as well. If there is anything wrong with the project, your employees will know about it first, so listening can help you fix issues before they become a problem.
This brief guide has covered some of the basics of measuring employee performance and productivity. It’s important to define your KPIs before you get started and let everybody know what is expected of them in terms of productivity.
You should also set project deadlines to help you track progress, and regular meetings will help ensure you get essential feedback and you get full updates on how well everything is going. And last but by no means least, use time tracking software to help you gather and use data to help you make the right decisions. Remember, the information at your disposal can make the difference between success and failure, so it makes sense to put that data to work.
Recently, a customer told us that with just 20 employees, their payroll team saved 45-60 minutes every payroll cycle because our PK4 TimeTracker makes the data easy to access, boosting productivity and giving staff more time to focus on other tasks.
Time trackers can also have a financial impact in other ways, such as identifying revenue lost due to employees not spending their time productively. Sometimes this will be down to the employee being unaware they were time wasting. At others, it can be caused by employees deliberately misleading their employers.
Examples include practices like time theft and buddy punching, which are very costly to businesses overall. And the statistics speak for themselves regarding the economic impact it has.
Nearly 22% of billable hours are not recorded. This figure represents a significant loss of potential income for businesses.
Some specific examples of how time tracking software can have an economic impact include the following:
An Effective Deterrent
Employees are unlikely to try to steal time if they think they’ll be caught, thus reducing the amount of time stolen. It will also help encourage them to arrive and leave at reasonable times, helping the rest of the team remain productive.
While the deterrent is effective enough to deter most people, it’s not always the case. However, for those that do try, time tracking software gives you the tools and information you need to raise discrepancies, potentially identifying attempted time theft.
Increased Employee Accountability
It’s not uncommon for individuals to not make as much effort as the rest of the team. Time tracking software will help you identify those who could be doing more to contribute. It will also help encourage people to do more if they know they’re being monitored.
It can also be good team management to make employees directly aware of the reports and give them access to them where needed. In some cases, the employee will be surprised or embarrassed by the report and take it on themselves to be accountable.
Enhanced Project Management
Projects that run smoothly and are delivered on time can provide a significant positive financial impact. Tools like the PK4 TimeTracker Project Management Add-on give project managers more tools that help ensure the project is on target to finish on specification and on time.
Such tools include visual aids like Gantt charts and Kanban boards make it easy to see the workflow and help you identify areas for improvement, ensure you meet project deadlines and boost profit margins.
Gain Insights into the Working Process
In many cases, the working process might be holding the team back from achieving their best. Time tracking software can give you information such as how much time is being spent on particular tasks, helping you identify which tasks could be delegated or automated.
This also helps highlight the benefits of communicating with your employees about time tracking software. Some people might resent being monitored, but education and strong team management can encourage people to embrace the technology instead.
Gain Cost Transparency
Time tracking tools can provide valuable data that gives you greater visibility into costs. Such tools can help you identify high-cost/low-productivity areas and focus on reducing those costs. Cost transparency also makes it easier for you to bill clients.
For example, time tracking software may reveal your team is spending a lot of time on a low-value client. You can then address the issue to help ensure time is spent more productively, helping improve your profit margins.
Improved Planning and Budgeting
Time tracking gives you access to detailed reports that let you see key issues at a glance. With more in-depth knowledge and understanding of your costs, you can set better goals for the future. With effective planning and accurate estimates, your future projects are more likely to succeed.
For example, you can gather more accurate project deadlines thanks to data on workflows and how long it takes to complete certain tasks.
With improved planning tools, you may even be able to complete projects faster than usual.
Gain Customer Trust
With time tracking tools, you can send professional reports to your clients with an accurate and transparent breakdown of fees. This will help gain your client’s trust, encouraging them to do more business with you in the future.
Although gaining customers’ trust might not immediately impact your profit margins, its value should never be underestimated. Once you gain your customers’ trust, you are more likely to get quality referrals and gain long-term clients who help keep your business healthy in the long term.
Time tracking can have a financial impact in numerous ways, and above are some of the most commonly encountered. Not only can time tracking impact your company’s economy directly by identifying theft and other losses, but it can also help give you a boost thanks to providing a better, more accurate estimates to your clients.
And the software won’t just help on the individual level but could help give economies a boost on a national level and even globally. The software is also easy to use and incorporate into your working day and gives you access to a host of other team management tools that will help you achieve your goals.
What do universities, data centers and hotels have in common? They all need highly-customized heating, ventilation and cooling systems to help maintain an optimum temperature and keep occupants (human and machines) happy.
That’s where CHC Hydronics steps in. Headquartered in Hayward, California, CHC is a leading provider of plumbing, mechanical and HVAC equipment to commercial buildings and project engineers across North America. Operating two factories and partnering with over 100 contractors, the company designs and supplies these custom-built systems to fit within each client’s unique space and needs.
With dozens of shop floor workers and field service technicians spread across hundreds of active manufacturing and field service projects at the same time, it is important for CHC Hydronics to understand how much time and labor it spends on each client, and on each product line.
To that end, the company has always used a time-tracking solution to help them keep track of how much time employees were spending on different tasks and projects. Before they implemented PK4 TimeTracker, CHC was using another third-party solution for labor tracking in their production plants. However, this solution presented several limitations in scope and use cases, and challenges:
Lack of features: It only had limited features and functions, and lacked the in-depth capabilities for CHC to be able to sort and analyze their time data across different dimensions (e.g. by manufacturer, product line, or salesperson).
Inflexibledeployment: The prior solution only allowed them to track in-house factory labor. It could not accommodate time tracking for remote field service technicians, who needed to use manual timesheets to track their time spent on each servicing project.
Poor integration: CHC needed a modern solution that was aligned with their new cloud-based ERP solution, but their prior solution did not integrate with their Salesforce-based ERP system, FinancialForce.
This prompted CHC to look for an alternative solution that could meet its evolving needs for time tracking.
In 2019, CHC Hydronics implemented PK4’s Time Tracker as an upgrade to replace their prior solution. They also integrated the PK4 TimeTracker with Financial Force for better visibility.
Integration with Financial Force With both Financial Force and the PK4 TimeTracker being on the Salesforce platform, CHC was able to integrate the two platforms easily. All the shop floor workers’ time was directly integrated with Production Orders on Financial Force. The service technicians’ time was integrated with Sales Orders in Financial Force. In both cases, when a Project is completed on the Time Tracker, a labor line is added to include the cost. Thus enabling CHC Hydro to have a very accurate picture of the labor costs both on Production Orders and Sales Orders.
Improved Time Tracking Convenience and Accuracy
PK4 TimeTracker allowed CHC to integrate time tracking across two different groups of employees, unifying time tracking for both shop floor workers and field service technicians for the first time.
With versatility in deployment formats, CHC was able to deploy the time tracking app to end users in a format that best suited them: for shop floor workers, this meant clocking in and out via a stationary iPad kiosk on the factory floor, whereas field technicians could track their time spent on each assignment with a convenient mobile app.
Whereas shop floor workers were already used to these time tracking procedures, field technicians reported much greater convenience with the elimination of manual time sheets which they had to submit daily, as well as improved accuracy now that they could check in and out of projects on the spot. For CHC Hydronics, accuracy was of utmost importance, as they needed to make sure they were compliant with California’s Prevailing Wage labor regulations.
Ease of Integration, Data Reporting And Analysis
Secondly, the ease of integration of the Time Tracker with Salesforce and FinancialForce also enabled data automation and more robust, in-depth reporting. Combining factory production data and sales data from their ERP system with time reports from Time Tracker, CHC could now create dashboards and reports allowing them to track labor across several different dimensions – by project or client, product line, technician, etc.
These insights into their labor expenses proved useful not only for internal decision making – it also gave the company leverage for negotiating with business partners and clients. In particular, they could share detailed reports on time spent on projects and servicing to negotiate for better terms and rates.
Overall, the feedback from employees and the IT team has been very positive. Patrick Hamilton, IT Manager at CHC Hydronics highlighted the partnership and support as particularly outstanding: “PK4 worked closely with us to design a solution to fit our needs. The support we receive from PK4 has always been top notch, and any issues we face are always quickly resolved!”
Salesforce Sales Cloud
PK4 TimeTracker in Salesforce
PK4 TimeTracker Mobile App for field service engineers
As one of the leading transportation management software providers, MercuryGate International simplifies and centralizes freight transportation for logistics companies across the world. Their platform supports all modes of transport including ocean, air, rail, truckload, last-mile, parcel, and intermodal.
Based out of Cary, NC, Mercury Gate has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Logistics IT Providers by Inbound Logistics Magazine. MercuryGate also provides integrations, technology, and managed services partnerships.
MercuryGate Support is billed separately to some of their customers. For those customers, it is not a part of their subscription fees. With a Services Implementation team, a Customer Support team, and a developer group all working on customer-facing issues, MercuryGate had a hard time keeping track of the actual time spent on specific customer cases.
Since Services Implementation was usually a timed project service, that team used a Professional Services Automation tool called OpenAir to track their time. And that worked very well for the Services implementation team. However, as the Tier 1 and Tier2 Customer Support teams grew, it became imperative for the Support team to track their time. In addition, the developer group needed to spend time on Customer Support cases too, which also needed to be tracked.
Disparate Platforms: The Services Implementation team used OpenAir to track their time and material-based projects. The Customer Support team worked on Cases within Salesforce but needed to additionally log into OpenAir just to track the time that they spent on customer cases. The developer group used Atlassian’s Jira to keep track of their work. But they too needed to log in to OpenAir to record their time.
Siloed Systems: None of the systems talked to each other. Each group worked in a separate silo. It was hard to convince the Customer Support and Developer teams to record their times in a separate system. Following that, the accounting team needed to run reports in OpenAir to get an extract of the time worked on Cases and then download those reports as Excel sheets to send over to their billing system.
Poor integration: Since the Support Team spent the maximum amount of time on Customer Cases and worked completely in Salesforce, MercuryGate needed a system that would work easily and accurately within Salesforce.
This prompted MercuryGate to look for an alternative solution that could meet its evolving needs for time tracking.
In 2021, MercuryGate implemented PK4’s Time Tracker for Salesforce. PK4 added in a webhook module to automatically bring in developer work logs from Jira identified by Salesforce Case Number back into Salesforce.
Intuitive, efficient time tracking for Support Team
MercuryGate implemented PK4 Time Tracker’s Salesforce Lightning component within their Case object. The support team now saves time and has a much more intuitive system, because they can now stay on the Case in Salesforce. They no longer need to access a separate system to track their time. And ALL hours spent on a Case are now accurately tracked.
Improved Time Tracking Convenience
PK4 TimeTracker automatically brought the Jira work logs that were already being used by the Developer Group directly into Salesforce, tied to the specific customer case. Developers previously had to double-log their time in Jira and OpenAir. Now, they did not even need to click on a button to get their hours into Salesforce. The hours that the developers recorded in Jira are automatically brought into Salesforce through a webhook, provided by the PK4 TimeTracker.
Sometimes, the Professional Services Team that did the original implementation for the Customer needs to work on a customer case. Most of the PSA team does not have access to Salesforce. Those team members now use the PK4 Time Tracker web app to log the time that they spent on a specific Case. And that data too is automatically synced to Salesforce.
Decreased time and inaccuracies.
Before the PK4 TimeTracker was implemented, the Tier 1 and Tier 2 support teams needed to log into OpenAir to log their times. Because Accounting billed customers based on their Case numbers, the support team needed to create a task in OpenAir with the Salesforce Case number. Since the support team spent most of their time working on cases in Salesforce, they needed to spend additional time at the end of the day recording all the Cases worked during the day in OpenAir. This led to a lot of dropped hours and inaccuracies in the Case numbers. MercuryGate was reconciling time between Jira, Salesforce, and OpenAir making the whole process inefficient and inaccurate. With the PK4 TimeTracker in place, the whole operation now is streamlined and smooth.
Within the first month of implementation, MercuryGate noticed that the billed time for the development group and the PSA group had gone up. Because of the double logging issue, developers were reluctant to log into a second system and record their time. Now with the Jira work logs being brought automatically into Salesforce, all work hours spent on billable cases are being accurately recorded. This has turned into real dollars for MercuryGate since the developers were doing billable work for customers that were not actually being billed.
As a Fortune Global 500 company, Johnson Controls is a worldwide leader in providing building technology solutions. With over 105,000 employees across 2,000 locations, Johnson Controls equips buildings across the world with automation systems, HVAC equipment, security and more, to keep their occupants safe, healthy, and secure.
Behind the company’s US$31.4 billion worth of sales sits the company’s Center of Excellence on Sales Operations – a network of engineers, contractors, and program managers which supports global sales teams with drafting project blueprints and designs.
While the Sales Operations Centre of Excellence (CoE) was previously embedded within separate business units, it was reformed into a separate business unit following a corporate reorganization in 2019. As an independent business unit servicing different regions and divisions across the company, the CoE was now an independent accounting entity. It maintains its own financial statements, accounting for (internal) revenue through billing other business units for services performed, and costs through careful tracking of employees’ time. In order to accurately charge these costs back to separate business units, time tracking was now an integral part of this accountability.
Adding to this complexity was the fact that some sub-teams within the CoE already had established legacy solutions and practices for time tracking. While some employees were new to time tracking, others were using disparate time tracking systems. For instance, while one team in Costa Rica was already using a time tracking system, another in APAC was tracking their hours manually on spreadsheets.
In their search for a time tracking solution, the Sales Operations CoE team at Johnson Controls had two key requirements. Firstly, the solution had to provide a seamless user experience. Secondly, the time tracking system had to be integrated with Salesforce.
PK4 Tech’s Time Tracker stood out as a strong contender as its deep integrations with Salesforce meant that time tracking data could easily be integrated with other sales and operations data already on the CRM platform. This helped to minimize the implementation complexity and efforts.
With the goal of unifying all teams under a standardized time tracking solution, Johnson Controls first started with a phased introduction of PK4 Tech’s Time Tracker. Within the first 2 years of implementation, 1,000 of over 4,000 employees in the global CoE organization were onboarded to the Time Tracker.
Improved Time Tracking And Cost Accountability: With the Time Tracker, employees were now able to log their hours with a level of granularity that was not possible before. For instance, where previously, the CoE team only tracked hours on a general basis, they could now break these hours down into pre-sale vs post-sale support, coordination time, administrative time, etc.
This, in turn, has enabled the CoE to provide detailed statements of work and invoices when charging their services to other business units. The detailed breakdown of labor costs and services allows the CoE team to improve the accountability and accuracy of their cost chargeback.
Deepened Business Insights: With the custom Salesforce reports and dashboards, management could now get a comprehensive review of their business, and access granular data like labor and service cost breakdown by region, project type, or even task type. This provides Johnson Controls with more accurate data and information for resource planning and strategic decision-making.
Reduced Overall Administrative Burden: The integration with Salesforce also helped to reduce the administrative work required from both end-users, as well as the management and finance teams. Employees within the CoE team were already familiar with using Salesforce and introducing a time tracking system within the CRM platform greatly eased their transition towards this new time tracking process. Furthermore, having the Time Tracker integrated into Salesforce also allowed for the synchronization of data on labor costs with established invoicing and finance processes, minimizing the administrative efforts for the finance teams.