How to create a timekeeping policy for your employees
A great timekeeping policy will lead to increased revenue. Let us tell you how.
Do you ever find yourself wondering where all the time goes in your business? If you're constantly scrambling to keep track of your employees' hours and attendance, it's time to regain control by implementing a well-crafted timekeeping policy.
In this blog post, we'll show you how to create a timekeeping policy that not only ensures accurate timekeeping but also facilitates productivity and accountability among your team.
The significance of a timekeeping policy in your workplace
Timekeeping is not just about counting hours. Precise timekeeping is a measure of productivity, which also allows you to better manage resources and allocate them efficiently. It is important that everyone working in your company has the same understanding of how time should be registered.
However, bear in mind that the best timekeeping policy will not help you if you don't have a good timekeeping system to keep track of the hours and analyse how time is spent. Read the FAQ about timekeeping systems here.
An intelligent timekeeping system will help increase profitability, by understanding how time is utilized within your business. It will help you identify bottlenecks and areas where improvements can be made.
Creating a timekeeping policy
The timekeeping policy will give your employees clear guidelines on how they are expected to register their time, working hours, overtime, and breaks, and what the rules are for absences and holidays. A clear policy makes sure everyone acts in the same way, takes responsibility for their own hours, and makes sure everyone is treated equally.
Now, let us go through what you should include in the timekeeping policy.
1. Establish working hours and breaks
Write down the standard agreement for working days, hours and breaks in your business. Typically, an office will have working days Monday to Friday, with work from 9 to 5. Include the rules for breaks, and if the breaks are paid or not.
Any work time and breaks that goes outside of these rules should be approved by the responsible manager.
Set guidelines for working overtime. Will it be paid, and how much overtime is okay in a project before the employee has to get it approved. Also, remember that the use of overtime is regulated in the work legislation in many places.
2. Make a clear structure of activities
Start by establishing a well-defined framework for the various tasks and activities your employees can register their time on. By providing specific categories for timekeeping, you create a framework that allows for better analysis and understanding of how time is being utilized within your business.
For example, you can set up categories such as
- sketch proposals
- client meetings
- administrative tasks
- professional development
By registering time in these distinct categories, you can identify areas where employees are spending too much or too little time, enabling you to make informed decisions on resource allocation and productivity improvements.
3. Include categories for internal time
Make sure to include different categories for time spent on internal tasks (time that is not used on a customer). Some internal time use is useful, while other time uses can be a waste of time and money. If you put all the internal time use into one general category, it makes it almost impossible to analyse it and make improvements.
For instance, time spent on administrative tasks is typically something you want to limit. Whereas time spent on skills development or crafting offers is non-customer-oriented time, that still is valuable for the company.
4. Holiday and absence guidelines
Be aware of following the rules and legislation for holidays in your country/area. Beyond that, include in the policy how many days the employees have available for different types of absences. Personal days, moving days etc.
Include rules about how far in advance the employees need to apply for vacations and similar absences. This will ensure an easier planning of upcoming projects when you know what capacity the company will have.
Communicate the timekeeping policy
Once you've got the timekeeping policy figured out, make sure to share it with everyone in the organisation. Everyone needs to know where to find it, and how to understand it. Going through the timekeeping policy should be included in the onboarding process when you get a new employee.
Remember to review the policy and update it regularly.
Analyse the data to identify trends
A well-structured timekeeping policy allows you to accurately measure productivity and efficiency. By analysing the data collected through time tracking, you can identify patterns and trends that may impact the profitability of your business. For instance, if you notice a significant amount of time being spent on administrative tasks, it may indicate the need for process improvements or automation to streamline these activities and free up more time for revenue-generating tasks.
In conclusion, a well-crafted timekeeping policy with a clear structure for different activities enables you to effectively manage resources, improve productivity, and increase revenue. It provides a foundation for accurate record-keeping, promotes transparency and accountability, and allows for data-driven decision-making. By implementing such a policy, you can regain control of your business's time and drive towards streamlined efficiency and success.