Many of today’s construction and field service company owners/managers want to switch from outdated timesheet practices like paper timesheets because they see the clear advantages of it.
However, frequently there is concern about how to make the shift. Where does one even begin? What will my employees think? Can they even do it? Is it really worth the trouble?
This post aims to address these questions and help you make the switch from old-fashioned timekeeping techniques that are costing you time and money, to a modern time tracking solution that saves you time and money.
Why Are People Afraid of Technology?
This is a common issue for newcomers to time tracking technology. Not only a question of whether they can use it or not, but whether their workers will be adept enough to use it.
There’s a term called “technophobia” which, as you may have guessed, means “fear of technology.” We tend to get - and stay - comfortable with our areas of expertise. For example, you may have employees who are accustomed to writing down their hours every day - and who do a great job of it - who will feel uncomfortable switching to a modern time tracking system.
That’s not uncommon, particularly for older folks.
Research has found that “non-digital adults [50–67 years] seemed to experience computer-related anxiety, making them feel technophobic or unconfident regarding digital solutions.”
Even for younger employees, just the prospect of change can be disruptive and that’s nothing new. Harvard Business Review reports the top ten reasons people resist change are:
- Loss of control
- Too much uncertainty
- Not being prepared/informed in advance
- Too many things changing at once
- Loss of face (the perception that their “old way” was “wrong”)
- Fear of feeling stupid
- More work
- Ripple effect (fear it will create more change in the future)
- Past resentments (the resurfacing of old, unaddressed wounds)
- Real threats (“When new technologies displace old ones, jobs can be lost; prices can be cut; investments can be wiped out.”)
These are legitimate reasons for fearing change and when you’re going from outdated practices to advanced, technological ones, it’s definitely a change.
But it doesn’t have to be a massive shift that throws everyone off balance and gets fists waving in the air. In fact, adopted with these things in mind, the shift to digital time tracking can be painless and easy.
Most Common Employee Pushback Tactics
However, our own experience shows that 80 percent of employees not only comply with adopting technology, but even appreciate it. Still, you should try to be prepared in case you have some employee pushback and resistance.
Your employees will likely fall into one of three categories:
- Fully accepting
- Accepting, but not happy about it
- Downright resent it
Thankfully, those who downright resent it are in the minority. You’ll be ahead of the game by preparing yourself for any one of these most common objections:
- Refuse to use electronic time tracking
- Say it doesn’t work right on their device
- Claim they are punching in correctly but aren’t
- Express concerns over being GPS tracked while clocked in
- Express concerns about using a personally owned device for work (can be related to data use, battery drain, or just the principle)
- Resent the implication that they are dishonest about their hours
- Say they will quit
While it may feel overwhelming to have to deal with these objections, they are actually pretty easy to deal with as long as you accept them as legitimate concerns from your workers. Allow them to express these concerns and be prepared with the answers.
- Electronic time tracking is actually easier than timesheets once you get used to it.
- Most apps work with both iOS and Android.
- Go over the clock-in and clock-out procedures with them to show them how simple it is.
- The GPS is only active while they are clocked in for work, and isn’t any different than the fleet GPS tracking modules in trucks that have seen widespread use over the last ten years.
- Using personally-owned things for work is commonplace. There’s a growing trend in business of personally owned work computing devices, termed BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Not to mention, your employees likely provide some of their equipment already, such as PPE and hand tools.
- Using a mobile time tracking app actually makes their jobs easier and helps the company grow as a whole. It is not a punishment, but an investment.
- Anyone who wants to quit because you are trying to improve the way you run your business is probably not an asset anyway.
Ultimately, there is an answer for any concern your workers may have. The key is to be open and understanding. Since you know both change and technology can cause some distress, simply learning and being prepared is a great first step to overcoming the challenges of adopting technology.
It’s Not As Bad As You Think
It’s true there are some very complex systems out there but time- and money-saving platforms don’t have to be complex or expensive and some owners/managers will face resistance from their workers.
Some companies choose to issue company-owned devices but our internal experts generally recommend against this. Rather, a simple solution such as the CrewClock or KioskClock features remove the need for that by allowing supervisors to clock their crews in from one device or employees to clock in and out from a single device.
Once you decide electronic time tracking is best for your employees, set up a meeting that will provide enough time for Q & A, training, and downloading the apps to their phones.
Ensure you have a professional available, either remotely or in person, to provide tips and details on how to operate the software.
Make sure everyone understands the many ways this new technology is going to make their jobs better, improve their paydays, and help the company grow together overall.
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Ultimately, nobody starts a company with the goal of staying the same. Change is a part of growth and when you’re ready to grow your company, technology is sure to be a part of that. Have your employees on board with switching from paper timesheets by being educated about and prepared for any concerns or questions they have.