Most of us cringe on hearing the word ‘millennial’.
We often associate the term with a workforce that expects too much from a company. People who switch their jobs too often or are even a little irresponsible when it comes to working.
Now according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, millennials today comprise 35% of the total workforce in the US. They even estimated that there will be 86 million millennials in the workspace by 2020.
Simply put, whether you like them or not, millennials are the future. They’re just a workforce that needs more motivation to remain productive and on-track with what they are working on.
In this article, we’re discussing how time tracking is actually a boon while working with millennials. It makes them stay on-track and boosts their productivity levels.
And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make them feel tied down by the company in any aspect.
Millennials love their freedom
When it comes to the environment that the best of talent is looking for today, it is safe to say that millennials love their freedom. Take a look at the companies around you – big and small, you’ll see them make an effort to offer millennials the ‘freedom’ they look for.
The likes of Google have always made their workspaces look like the ‘place you want to be at every day’ instead of the ‘place you have to be at’.
Following in their footsteps are startups. You’ll find them focus on offering flexible working hours, incorporate non-work related activities into daily schedules and make employee growth as much a priority as their own.
While companies experiment with different things to appeal to the millennial generation, what is it that they are really looking for?
- Flexible timing: Millennials are all about wanting to pursue their passion – even if it lies outside their work. They want to have the time to do it alongside their work and hence look for companies that let them pick their own schedule.
- Flexible location: The new-gen workforce no longer wants to be restricted to the four walls of an office. They want their environment to continually change and inspire their work. Be it working from home on lighter days, working from co-working spaces or sometimes even from a coffee shop, millennials seek flexibility. That’s one of the reasons remote working is on the rise!
- Flexible work style: If you thought stability only means a year-long contract, think again. Millennials are now looking for companies that can offer different arrangements – remote, part-time, contractual or the even more free-wheeling “gig-economy” work.
- Flexible job role: One thing that millennials don’t want to do is to get stuck doing one thing. They want to be able to switch roles as they gain mastery in their current role in their unquenchable thirst to seek variety. It is their way of ensuring personal growth.
So when the millennial workforce is looking for so much flexibility, where does time tracking even come in?
Time tracking and the millennial workforce
Millennials seek flexibility at work to be in order to accomplish more – both professionally and personally. Instead of the old paradigm of work-life-balance, millennials want to accomplish both work and personal tasks at the same time.
Gone are the days when work stopped at 6pm and then started the personal time. With mobile phones, video conferences and Slack, it is hard to draw a line where work-life stops and personal life begins. These lack of ‘red-lines’ means everyone is trying to accomplish everything at the same time and it’s easy to lose track of what is really important.
That’s where time tracking comes in to keep them aligned with both the company they are working with and the goals they have set for themselves outside of work.
Time tracking is a tool that would help you to understand how you are spending your day, the whole day and not just the time in office. With this new found knowledge you can restructure your day to deliver more at both work and play.
In an open work culture, does asking your team to log time make them feel tied down? Perhaps.
But not when implemented right.
Time tracking can be misconstrued to mean ‘big brother’ or that ‘you are being watched’. Now that doesn’t go down too well with the millennials. You need to show them how it is just something that helps with transparency and better coordination in the team.
Millennials believe in teamwork. So advocate time tracking as a way to work better with each other and accomplish more in less time.
For instance, tell the team how punching in and out religiously is just way to let everyone in the team know who’s around for real-time collaboration on a task. Let them know that it will give them the freedom to work at a time and place of their choosing – without having to worry or constantly check if their team members are around at the same time.
Better collaboration equals higher productivity. Higher productivity levels ensure the millennials have more time to do what they love outside work as well!
But it is not just them that benefit from time tracking.
When you’re hiring the best of talent and offering them exactly the environment they are looking for, you want to be able to measure how effective your approach is. You want to know if it benefits your company and is able to drive towards your goals.
Time tracking is essential to track the overall productivity and profitability of teams.
We’ll give you a few examples of how that happens.
Your project manner created a workflow that aims at giving the team more direction and making them more efficient. But despite the documentation of the process, you see that the team lagged behind on a few tasks for the sprint.
When you’re using time tracking, you can see which tasks the team spent most of their time on. It helps you diagnose inefficiencies in the workflow and implement measures to reduce or optimize the time spent on tasks that are less important.
In turn, it helps your workforce become more productive.
Your team comprises of remote working or part-time members. To ensure that the team still accomplishes its goals despite the nature of its workforce, you set up well-defined tasks for each member.
In most scenarios, these roles are based on the number of hours an employee is actually working for the company. But how do you ensure that they are doing justice to the contract?
Time tracking is great for compliance. It doesn’t just help you track the progress of hourly workers, but also keeps them on track. Knowing how many hours one has logged in during the day, helps them identify and make sure how much more time they need to log in next.
When you’re hiring a flexible workforce, your monthly billing varies. Be it for a client or an internal resource, you’re going to be billed for a resource’s time.
Instead of just agreeing with the time a resource says they have clocked, time tracking makes the process more transparent and efficient. It automatically sums up the amount of time a member has spent working on the tasks assigned to them.
Additionally, it also helps you get an overall view of how many resources is a project taking for completion and how each one of them is spending their time. This then helps optimize your spend in the coming time.
Is time tracking a boon or bane?
Time tracking is a boon but can be a bane if the tools used are tedious.
A time tracking software can do more than just enable your workforce to clock hours at work. It can help you:
- Educate your workforce: It helps to implement a system in your company, sharing the vision and mission behind every process. For instance, when your workforce sees you utilizing the first hour of the day creating a sprint for yourself religiously, they will follow in your footsteps and start working towards accomplishing similar goals every day.
- Set up a feedback mechanism: When companies start to scale, it becomes challenging to keep up with all your resources. But with time tracking, you get an overview of how different teams are performing and identify members who aren’t able to give their best. This further enables you to give them contextual feedback to improve their productivity.
- Create better workflows: Time tracking enables your team to communicate more effectively and coordinate in real-time. But it also helps you with better shift management based on which resources are available when. This ensures that you continue moving towards your goals despite the task changing hands.
- Offer flexibility: Shared shifts, calendar and team announcements keep everyone on the same page. This helps them plan their schedules and vacations better, keeping in mind the goal they are to achieve within a period.
- Ensure millennial growth: While time tracking helps you make your workforce more efficient, it is also a great way to focus on their growth. It will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses based on what they end up spending time on the most or what they get stuck at during a spring. Enabling them to do better with a custom workflow or an additional course, ensures their growth. And companies that are successful, grow with their teams.
Conclusion: Your millennial workforce needs time tracking
Believe it or not, millennials can love time tracking.
But that only happens when you advocate why it is important in a fast-paced work environment. And how it helps them achieve more and make it easy to do.
Imagine telling them how it is important to plan their day better. Then asking them to set aside 5 minutes to go punch their in and out time – contradicting statements, right?
That’s where modern companies have moved from manual timesheets to using a channel that their teams are already using. Yes, we’re talking about company chat apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and others.
All they now need to do is drop in a quick message saying they’re in. The AttendanceBot then clocks their time. They can even take breaks when the need be to refresh themselves and come back to work. But at the same time, they can also let their teammates know they’re away from the desk.
Wait, can time tracking really be this simple?
For that matter, even getting timesheets and reports can be automated. When you skip the admin tasks, you give yourself more time to accomplish more in a better way.