How to Get Your Employees to Actually Track Their Time: 5 Tips

Employees to Actually Track Their Time

Employees often see time tracking as a pointless hassle that takes time away from “real work.” However, consistent time logs provide invaluable data to improve productivity and payroll accuracy.

With the right strategies, you, as an employer or manager, can successfully rally your entire team to embrace diligent time tracking. In this article we will provide five simple but effective tips to make time tracking a regular part of your employees’ workflows.

1. Lead by Example

Leading by example is the most powerful yet overlooked way to nurture a time-tracking culture.  As a manager, you should make time tracking with Papershift or other tracking software part of your daily routine.

Join your team in logging time, discuss your progress during check-ins, and share your time logs often. When employees see you seamlessly integrate intuitive tracking into your day, they’ll follow your lead. Become the time-tracking role model your organization needs.

Soon, your team will value the transparency and insights diligent tracking provides. In time, they may even compete for the best time-tracking compliance! But it starts with you. Lead by example to build a time-tracking culture your company can get behind.

2. Make it Simple

Choosing user-friendly time-tracking technology is key for adoption. Complex software with a steep learning curve will deter daily use. Instead, opt for solutions that prioritize an intuitive interface and seamless integrations.

With just a few clicks, employees can start timing tasks immediately. Opt for solutions with browser extensions that allow tracking directly on web apps employees already use daily. 

It should also have a mobile app that permits on-the-go time entries. Eliminate any friction during onboarding by providing hands-on demos and training. Have your team track their time for a set period right when they start. This builds the time-tracking habit from day one.

3. Set Expectations

Communicating expectations is essential to ensure employees understand the importance of time tracking before starting. During the onboarding and training process, explain your organization’s time-tracking requirements and guidelines. For example,

  • Whether tasks should be logged in real-time or after the fact
  • Rounding time to the nearest 6 minutes/0.1 hour
  • Minimum time entries, etc. 

Emphasize how diligent time tracking benefits both the employee and the company. For the employee, it provides data to quantify productivity and progress. For the company, aggregated time data aids in accurate project planning, billing, payroll, and more.

4. Track in Real Time

Encouraging employees to track time as they work, rather than waiting until later, leads to more accurate data. When time is logged in real-time, it reduces forgetting tasks or underestimating time spent.

With tracking software’s intuitive browser extension, your team can easily start and stop timers as they switch between tasks and projects during their workday. 

The mobile app allows on-the-go tracking even when away from their desks. Send regular reminders to log time and highlight the importance of capturing it while the work is fresh in their minds. Employees may be hesitant at first, but making real-time tracking a habit will pay off.

5. Reward Compliance

To further motivate employees, consider rewarding teams or individuals with the best time-tracking compliance and habits. Even small incentives can make it more enticing to log time diligently.

For example, reward the team with the highest percentage of logged hours in a month with an extra half day off. Or give gift cards to employees who hit a consistent time-tracking streak. 

Make it a friendly competition by posting compliance stats openly and praising those hitting targets. Public recognition can be equally as motivating. Employees appreciate seeing their efforts noticed. Just be transparent about expectations and criteria for rewards.


Time tracking is a marathon, not a sprint. While it takes a concerted effort to make it stick, the payoff is immense. Consistent and widespread time tracking provides unparalleled visibility into how your team spends their days and completes projects.

Let these tips pave the path to make tracking a painless habit. When time data flows freely, it can transform how you operate. Savvy time tracking utilization ultimately powers productivity.

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