Construction Time Tracking: Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes
Most construction project managers are already acutely aware of how time tracking benefits their businesses. But as any construction team knows, effective time tracking that is accurate, easily accessible, and paperless is easier said than done.
Construction time tracking needs to be properly implemented to be effective. Regardless of how challenging this may be in the early stages of operation.
If your business is ready to become more efficient in its deliverability, accountability, and workflow, it’s time to act. Let’s look at some critical time tracking mistakes and how to avoid them.
The Importance of Construction Time Tracking
When your business starts on a new construction project, your first step is to develop a detailed plan. From there, you will move on to preparing a list of key activities. This list will be incorporated into your project plan – and then you can figure out ways to allocate resources for those tasks.
During the course of any project, updates to resources and activities will happen on a frequent basis. One resource may need to be spread out across multiple projects. This makes tracking the time your team spends on different projects essential in a number of ways.
Over time, the accurate tracking of time and resource expenditure allows construction project managers to assess the performance and average time it takes to complete an activity.
This data can be hugely helpful when it comes to the estimation of similar future projects. It is also handy when your business needs to prioritize an activity or project over another. Good time entry enables project managers to ensure that the time they use does not exceed their time estimations. Plus, it helps to mitigate risks in advance.
Construction time tracking assists key staff members and contractors in keeping track of their normal work time and their overtime hours. Human resources and the accounting team can easily check the overtime worked by each team member. They can then be compensated fairly as there’s solid data at hand.
The 6 Critical Time Tracking Mistakes to Avoid in Construction
Avoid these key construction time tracking mistakes to keep your staff and your operations as productive as possible.
1. Not Tracking Time at All – Or Tracking it Poorly
There was once a time when employee time tracking was considered an optional luxury by many businesses. In today’s day and age, however, it is absolutely crucial to the success of your operation.
The best construction time tracking apps come with a range of features to meet your business’s specific needs. Your company will benefit by streamlining its labor costs. Your staff will benefit from more accurate paychecks.
Construction project managers are tasked with ensuring that all stages of a project are completed successfully and in good time. If staff’s procrastination affects deadlines or work quality, it’s time to take action. You need to implement a highly effective construction time tracking system. Use this system to trace how your employees are using your time, and identify ways in which their time usage can be improved to streamline workflows in any way possible.
2. Not Explaining the Purpose and Benefits of Time Tracking to Your Team
In most cases, not all of your team members will be willing or ready to accept a new time tracking system. You cannot simply implement a brand new system and expect your staff and contractors to work with a complex new tool. Especially one that works in a different way to how they have done things in the past. You can improve the likelihood of them accepting a new construction time tracking tool by preparing them and offering them plenty of information before implementation.
Discuss with your employees and contractors why your company is adopting an employee time tracking system. Outline the problems that it is intended to solve. Allow your team to process the announcement and to ask as many questions as they like. Address their questions and concerns immediately to assure them that time tracking is essential for your organization’s success.
3. Not Training Your Team to Use the Time Tracking System
One excellent way to help people warm to a new construction time tracking system is to give them time and skills to adjust to it. This can be achieved by providing your team with training. This way, they know exactly how the new system works, and how they should use it efficiently. Many employees are frustrated with time tracking tools simply because they don’t have a clear idea of how they work. Nor do they know how to make use of them.
Ideally, you should run a simulation to assess whether your employees have the skills they need to use the time tracking system in real-world scenarios. You may even consider offering them an incentive to learn how to use the new tool.
4. Failing to Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
Task allocation is crucial to the success of your projects. You want to avoid members of your construction team from being confused about who is meant to be doing what.
When a project has been set, you need to assign specific tasks and objectives to your people. This ensures that everyone knows what they need to do. It helps to avoid incomplete and delayed projects and keeps team members accountable for their work.
Each individual staff member, contractor, and subcontractor should have a clear set of responsibilities allocated to them. No one person should be shouldering all of the work or having to fill multiple roles at once.
Assigning clear roles allows teams to spot the sources of future problems and address them proactively. Leading construction time tracking tools allow you to automate the allocation of roles and responsibilities. This ensures that everyone on your team will know exactly what their tasks are, and can refer back to their responsibilities whenever they need to.
5. Not Guiding Staff on Time Management Best Practices
There are many ways that staff and contractors can stay productive during working hours. But they may not be aware of them yet. It’s vital to inform your team of time management best practices to improve the efficiency of your business.
Offer them guidance about logging in at the right hours, avoiding and minimizing distractions, and taking regular breaks to keep their performance at a high level. The more great advice you can give your team, the more likely they will be willing to follow these tips and give their productivity a boost.
Educating your team is best done in an empathetic and informative way. Using the right positive language can help to ensure that your talent is eager to follow your advice on time tracking. Many construction time tracking tools offer suggestions on time management best practices. This helps you to identify inefficiencies and correct them when they are detected.
6. Failing to Measure the Efficacy of Your Time Tracking
No manager can draw accurate conclusions on their time tracking program without reviewing their team’s hours and checking for any discrepancies or errors.
For example, employees may be forgetting to log their breaks or lunchtime. Or they could be spending more or less time on a task than you expected–and schedules need to be adjusted accordingly.
Time tracking can help you determine where your company might be losing billable hours and how you can be even more efficient. With this information, you can implement actionable solutions.
The Importance of Keeping Accurate Time Tracking Records
The Fair Labor Standards Act states that wage, time card, work, and schedule records have to be retained for two years. This means that you need to maintain proper records of the employees you currently have on board. As well as records of past employees and contractors.
You can remain compliant and keep airtight records by investing in a time tracking solution that stores all of this information for your business in the cloud. Whenever you face an audit, you can instantly access your files and present them for review. Without having to scramble to find heaps of paperwork that may also be prone to theft or damage.
Why Combine Time Tracking, Workers’ Compensation, and Payroll?
Your construction time tracking, payroll, and workers’ compensation processes are all closely interconnected. When you incorporate these processes into a single solution, you can effectively reduce the amount of time you spend on projects and tasks. All while improving your compliance with labor laws and documentation requirements.
Systems like these enable you to simplify your payment schedules and run payroll for freelancers, contractors, and staff members with just a few clicks. The integrated workers’ compensation features ensure that you and your team are always covered should any accidents occur on site. Additionally, it makes sure that your most important employee data is stored in one, easy to access location.
The addition of time tracking helps to streamline both construction and HR processes to simplify your admin on every level.
The construction time tracking process can be a challenging one for many businesses. Especially if it is done manually, as manual time tracking is prone to human error and inefficiencies. Using a dedicated time tracking tool can streamline the implementation process. Particularly when paired with proper training and ample practice for employees.
Project managers also need to choose a time tracking tool that is user-friendly, easy to understand, and partially automated to ensure the best results and improved workflows across the board. The right time tracking tool will offer features that align with your industry and your business’s specific needs. It will also help your staff and contractors to remain as productive as possible and make the most out of their work hours.
Using an automated and combined time tracking system will improve your employee time tracking without much effort on your part. This type of construction-suited software makes time tracking simpler for your employees. Concurrently, it provides your business with significant time savings and the efficiency boost it needs to win your next major clients.