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How to ‘Do’ Employee Time Tracking for Small Business

If you’re still using pen and paper to track your employees’ time, it’s time to think again! In 2022 there are far more efficient ways to track time. You might question the need to change your current system when it seems to be working.  

Well, you may be surprised to learn that pen and paper to track your employees’ time may seem accurate, but it actually isn’t. Traditional methods of tracking time often mean that you end up either having difficult employee conversations over ‘actual’ versus ‘recorded’ hours worked, and your business could also be the unwitting victim of possible time theft and buddy punching. 

Although it might only seem like 5 minutes here and there, time theft is a huge deal, costing businesses billions annually

We think you’ll agree with us that this is easy money to prevent from being lost in the first place…and even better, here are some of the tools you’ll need to ensure time theft in your business is a thing of the past! 

By implementing the correct tools, you can keep your business running smoothly and increase productivity. By having the right amount of hours completed, you can continue to grow your business. In addition, you can gain a better understanding of your business on a granular level and then use these insights to improve efficiency. 

What is time tracking?

Time tracking begins with logging employees’ hours. These hours can be set according to hours per day, hours per task, or hours per project. At the end of the month (or whichever payment frequency you prefer), these hours are totalled and sent to payroll. Getting them as accurate as possible is vital for payroll, as both you and your employees can be sure that they are receiving fair payment for time worked. 

Tracking employee time is vital for both you as a manager, and for employees: should employees feel their hours worked haven’t been fairly paid, they can seek to sue you for lost earnings. By keeping everything organized, accurate and transparent, both you and your employees are on the same page at the end of each pay period. 

Let’s dig deeper into the best ways to track employee time for your small business.

1. Use A Dedicated Time Tracking App

If you’re looking for the easiest way to move from pen and paper, then digitizing your employee timeclock is the best way to do this. 

Using a dedicated employee time clock app, such as Connecteam, means your employees can clock in and out directly from their smartphone app, no matter where their shift takes place. Through GPS geofencing you can ensure that workers only clock in from the designated area that you have set. You can use the GPS breadcrumbs feature to have a real-time overview of your employees while they are clocked in, and even while they are on the move (you’ll even see a graphic of their visited locations while they’re clocked in, even meaning you can see if someone’s spending just a little too long at a destination, and even if someone isn’t where they should be during work hours). With all of the above features, buddy punching and time theft will be a thing of the past! 

We’ve just scratched the surface of how much Connecteam can do for your small business. Not only can Connecteam help time track your employees, but you have a clear, effortless overview of the exact hours everyone has worked. The timeclock simplifies payroll due to the following:

  • Employees receive automatic reminders for employees to clock in and out
  • Employees are notified when they’ve reached their max overtime hours
  • You can lock the timesheet so no changes can be made once you’ve ended the shift. 

Furthermore, Connecteam allows you to set up a time clock kiosk from a fixed station around the shift’s location, permitting employees to clock in and out even without their mobile device on them.  

2. Write a List

Writing a list of all the tasks that need to be completed within a given time period can help you understand where you are now and how to achieve those goals. It will help you plan for future tasks, as you will have a range of data including how long each task took, as well as who’s completed them. This information will be incredibly helpful when estimating future, similar tasks and tracking employees’ completion times. You can also use this information to optimize the time taken, and help employees get better at completing their tasks over time. 

3. Set Realistic Goals

As a business owner, you know what your priorities are. You need to ensure that you optimize your tasks down to a T so that you get more out of your day and don’t waste valuable time. You might want to set ‘SMART’ targets; ‘eat the frog’ (setting the most difficult or dreaded tasks for first things in the morning), and then leave the easier tasks towards the end of the day. 

You need to set goals for your team because without key performance indicators (KPIs) you can’t know what you’ve achieved. You can set KPIs per employee, team, etc, according to whatever makes sense for you. 

The Bottom Line on Employee Time Clock Apps

Tracking hours is really important for any business, whether it be to stay compliant or to optimize your employees’ performance. Using an employee management app to have your employees self-track their time allows both sides to be confident in the true hours work, and therefore be paid accordingly. 




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