“Do as I say, not as I do” is a common saying that has become synonymous with hypocrisy. It goes hand-in-hand with the idea that a person may demand more of others than they are willing to do themselves.
For a business owner, executive or boss, few things can be so destructive to a company’s morale or the respect the employees have for management as hypocrisy.
One key area where this can take a major toll is in the field of time tracking. Often considered the realm of the employee, time tracking is just as valuable, if not more so, for the owner or executive.
Here are several reasons.
Lead By Example
The most obvious reason for an owner or executive to keep track of their time is the boost in motivation it provides to the rest of the company. This is especially important with a topic that’s often met with as much resistance as time tracking.
“Time tracking is a subject that causes many a manager’s eyes to roll,” says Kelly Totten, Accounting Consultant and Virtual CFO for Creative Service Firms. “The concern is understandable. Most of us have experienced the negative consequences that occur when bad time tracking practices are employed.”
If the owner or executive of a company sets the lead in tracking his or her own time, it can be a powerful motivator toward helping employees to do the same and overcome the negative stigma time tracking can sometimes have.
The Insight It Gives You and Your Employees
One of the biggest benefits of time tracking is the insight it gives you into your company’s health and profitability. Time tracking helps you to see exactly where resources are being spent.
Are they being spent on projects that generate significant income or are they being wasted on projects that constitute a small percentage of the company’s profits? Is a problematic client tying up a significant portion of your employees’ time? Does that problematic client represent the bulk of your company’s income, so that it would be beneficial to dedicate more resources to them? Or is that customer a small drop in the bucket? Are your employees working as efficiently as possible or are they bogged down by antiquated equipment, policies or other hindrances?
Proper time tracking can help you answer the above questions and more. The benefit this provides is compounded if you can help train your entire company to adopt the same “big picture” approach. Too many companies create a culture of worker drones, demanding little more than blind obedience from employees. By helping your employees to see the big picture and how time tracking fits into it, you can create a culture where everyone in the company is collaborating and looking for ways they can increase productivity from their desks.
Any discussion of time tracking would be remiss if it did not also mention the benefit to you personally, the individual sitting at the top. Perhaps the single biggest benefit is the insight you will gain into how your time is being used and the potential improvements you may be able to make.
“Most owners normally work 2,500 or more hours a year,” says Travis Snider, Small Business Accelerator Lead Instructor and Business Coach at Everett Community College. “If less critical tasks can be reduced by 30 percent, 700 hours per year may become available for other purposes. What could you do with an extra 700 hours per year worth $200 or more per hour?”
Without accurately tracking your time however, you may have no way of knowing exactly how your time is being spent versus how much is being wasted. With proper tracking, you may find your daily routine more streamlined, less stressful and far more productive.
As with anything, the success of accurate time tracking on a company-wide basis depends largely on the example that you, the owner or executive, sets. By establishing time tracking as something equally important for management and employees alike, you can help your company be more profitable, help your employees to become personally invested in the company and help yourself to be even more productive.
Chronometer Photo via Shutterstock
I always track my time. In fact, I can say that I am too conscious of it. I always end up looking at the time to track how much time a certain task took. Oh well. Perfectionist tendencies I guess.