Getting your employees to track their time for projects can be like pulling teeth. All you want is to make sure everything is going roughly according to plan. You just want to help, but all they understand is “big brother is watching.” We thought that time tracking could be encouraged through gamification.
Let’s Play a Game
Most people respond to positive reinforcement. So, it stands to reason that if you make time tracking fun, everyone will want to use it. For example, fitness trackers with goals, objective tracking and competitive elements in sales tools, and tools for studying new languages. This should work for time tracking as well!
We played around with this idea. It seemed like a good fit! Maybe people can compete over how well they’re tracking time? Maybe you could draw “X”s on a calendar making a chain like Seinfeld used to do (http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret). You could even have leaderboards of who is entering their time most regularly or punctually. These ideas are great but can seem gimmicky.
What Sheldon Suggests
We think the reason why these seem gimmicky is that people just want to get to work, and to feel productive and valued. Time spent tracking time is time not making progress on your tasks. To keep things going, people need to understand the true value of what they’re doing. Tracking time helps you get clarity into your business. It helps you plan, and adjust when you need to.
In the End
It wasn’t about making time tracking fun but more the perception of value in time tracking. Time tracking helps the company grow and succeed, and if the team succeeds with it, they won’t feel watched. We know that every company is unique and so is their staff. Instead of focusing on a “fun” gimmick, just help your teams understand the importance of time tracking so that they know what a positive impact they’re having.
So what do you think? We would like to reach out and ask you! What do you do to motivate your staff to use time tracking?