Choosing a Time Management Tool: Important Considerations and Actions to Take
The process of choosing a time management tool to go alongside your core HR system can be a daunting task, but there are steps to ensure you find the best option for your organization. There are many choices out there—what you pick depends on what your company requires, and how ready it is for change.
To make the right decision on a long-term solution for time management in your organization, you must consider what you currently have, what your team is capable of doing, and how you can improve time management overall. Below, we will cover the key considerations and actions to ensure success in choosing a time management tool.
Before Choosing a Time Management Tool, Take Inventory
You are recording time in some way now, so take an inventory of what those systems and processes look like. Do a pros and cons list. What works for you currently, what do you need, and what do you hate about your current time management setup?
It would help if you examined your current manual time processes and find out what is done to support your time and system. Compile a list—these are likely the steps you want to update or eliminate. If you are shopping for a new time system, you certainly want to make life easier for your employees.
How about one more list? You’ll need to figure out where the current system integrates, what other areas it serves. Find those, so you can identify which operations the new time management tool needs to perform.
You also need to know what your company will need, specifically, from a time management project. Yes, that even includes physical clocks—you might need new ones, so you might as well consider that in the total cost of your new system. Other important considerations include:
- What types of employees do you have? If they are mostly salaried, then you probably will be mostly covered by a standard tool. Do you have more variance, with contractors, hourly, and contingent employees? Then you’ll need a more enhanced solution. Do you have employees in multiple countries? Then your time management tool will need to be able to accommodate that.
- What compliance and labor agreements do you have? This will help determine how robust your time management tool will need to be to apply specific rules to specific employee groups. You can’t get around that.
How Ready Is Your Organization for Change?
A new time management tool likely makes sense for your organization. If you are moving from on-premise to cloud (which is highly likely given the current best-of-breed tools available), there’s an important question to answer: Is your organization ready to standardize processes and practices in the spirit of time and cost savings, or does it want an on-premise system to be recreated in the cloud?
If the answer to that question is the latter, there is work to do to change minds. Recreating your on-premise time management tool in the cloud will be costly, time-consuming, and come with far fewer benefits. Here are some steps to take to review your readiness for change:
- Which executives are ready to move forward, and why? Knowing that may help bring the others on board. You’ll need buy-in from leadership for any project to be successful.
- Operationally, are folks ready to move to the cloud? Can they give up the ownership of the spreadsheet for a more self-service approach in the cloud?
- Speaking of self-service, that may mean managers have to be more hands-on with their employees’ time management. Are they ready for that? What sort of training or education will be necessary?
- Are your employees adaptable? Will they see a new cloud time management tool as a better way to track time?
Consider the Benefits of Putting Your Process Where You Are Storing Your Time Data
When choosing a time management tool, you’ll want to look beyond what it can do for your current processes and consider how it can add new and improved ways of doing things. For example, compliance and leave management modules can be added to some time management tools. This will provide an actual case management dashboard system that communicates with the timecard and payroll system.
If you struggle with scheduling hardships, a new time management system that comes with a scheduling dashboard can make that easier. You can also add failure management capabilities for the purpose of governance and recouping costs.
There are positives to modern time management tools that go beyond just cloud infrastructure. You’ll want to make sure your organization knows how it can benefit from adding on certain functionalities.
Building the Team for Choosing and Implementing a Time Management Tool
You will want the right team in place to help choose and implement your new time management tool. The team will champion the search for the best fit and help you get over the finish line.
Picking the right implementation partner is paramount. Cloud software may come with a much lighter physical infrastructure load and more standardization, but it does not install itself. A good partner will help ensure your time management system is implemented to fit your needs and goals. Don’t hesitate to ask for proof that your potential partner has had success in this environment.
You’ll also want to choose an in-house team of Subject Matter Experts and be sure to help cover their work so that the time management project can be their focus. Try to backfill positions and lighten their burden as much as possible.
Make no mistake; there will be effort required in the process of choosing a time management tool, then building the team to execute the project. You want a partner and project team that can devote the time and energy to getting all the work done.
Be Ready to Choose the Right Time Management Tool
Gathering all of the right information about your business needs and desires, determining the readiness of your company to move forward, and putting the right team in place—both internal and external—are all vital in choosing a time management tool that will work for you.
For more on choosing a time management tool, contact us, and our team can help guide you along throughout the process. To see how Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) modernized and consolidated its time management system, check out IEHP’s joint presentation with Rizing at Workforce Vision. Register here (it’s free!).