Many businesses are currently facing tough times due to COVID-19, and ‘time’ is a commodity they can’t afford to waste. But knowing your business needs to be as efficient as possible is very different to being able to measure efficiency and drive change where needed. Using a Time module in an HR system puts your HR team and business leaders in control of how time is spent in your organisation, and allows you to guide your staff in the right direction so their efforts are rewarded.

time module hr software

1. Discover if your workforce is spending too much time on non-billable work

All too often, it’s easy for people to get bogged down with internal work requests and paperwork. While every business needs support roles to back up ‘billable’ positions, and using internal expertise to complete specialised work can make more sense than paying an external supplier, it’s very important to get the mix right to keep a positive bottom line.

You can help your staff maintain the right balance between internal and external work requests by using timesheets, such as those in Cezanne HR’s Time module. For support roles that only complete internal work, timesheets can still be useful in ensuring that their time is being spent on the right internal work.

2. Measure your business’ outputs against time to gain productivity insights

For your organisation to be as productive as possible, you need to be able to see your workforce’s outputs versus the time spent on work. You may be concerned about presenteeism, or wondering if there are better ways of working to achieve more from your human capital. Either way, you have to compare time with results to gain much needed insights.

Starting with a clock in/clock out feature, like that in Cezanne HR’s Time module, is helpful. You will be able to determine how long your workforce is ‘clocked in’, and by matching this information with your own data on outputs, determine where you may need to do further investigation if outputs aren’t as high as you’d expect. Seeing most of your workforce clocked in for the day, and then discovering that very little has been done should ring alarm bells – either your workforce’s energies are being misspent, or you have a classic case of presenteeism.

A clock in/clock out feature can also help you derive insights about which working patterns yield greater results for your business. For instance, if you have shift workers, working the same amount of time, but clocking in and out at different times of the day, you may notice that the morning crew is more productive than the night crew, or vice versa. This is a good jumping off point to look into this pattern further to see if the less productive crew can learn from the other one. If you need to drill down further into how your employees are spending their ‘clocked in’ time, timesheets are a good way to gain this more detailed information.

3. Use insights into ‘time’ to drive employee engagement

There are many ways that reporting on time can be very beneficial for your employees. Clock in/clock out can show you if a staff member is working too many hours and at risk of burnout. And keeping on top of time with timesheets can help with maintaining a sense of ‘fair play’ – making sure work is distributed fairly, that opportunities are being shared and that hard work (not to be confused with presenteeism or working excessive hours) is rewarded.

Unfortunately, it can be all too easy for a staff member’s excessive work hours to slip under the radar – managers are busy, and home or off-site working can make it even trickier to ‘see’ if someone has lost their work-life balance. Using clock in/clock out can make managers aware if this is the case with their employees – and in Spain, it’s now the law to keep a record of the hours an employee has worked. Having this information to hand means that a manager can approach their employee with any concerns they might have, with hard data to back them up. Handled in the right way, showing due care for their employee’s wellbeing, businesses can demonstrate that they genuinely want to look after their employees and have their best interests at heart.

Using timesheets to check that work is evenly spread over teams, that everyone is being given a chance to learn and build new skills, and that no one person is being overloaded with the work no one else wants to do is another way to build engagement. HR and managers can work together, using timesheet insights to make sure everyone is being treated fairly. And communicating to the workforce that timesheet data is being used in this way should help drive support for timesheets, too.

… A note on making Time modules a success

Timesheets and recording clock in/clock out can become contentious if your workforce feels they’re being used to ‘watch’ their work. It’s important for HR, managers and staff to all be on the same page as to how recording time can help the business and improve job satisfaction for staff who can then see that their energy is going into meaningful work.

So, to successfully implement a time module, you will need employee buy-in. Perhaps you could collaborate with your workforce on how the module is used in your workplace, and how work should be categorised on the timesheets for instance. Better yet, find ways that you can reward staff for cooperating with using the module, and show them that it allows the business to better recognise their work, too. Using a time module needs to be a positive experience otherwise HR and business leaders are likely to encounter a lot of resistance.

Find out more about Cezanne HR’s Time module and what it can do for your organisation here.

Shandel McAuliffe author image

Shandel McAuliffe

Now based in sunny Australia, Shandel is prolific writer and editor - particularly in the world of HR. She's worked for some big names, including the CIPD and the Adecco Group. And more recently, she's been the Editor for new HR publication HR Leader.