6 Ways to Inspire Creatives to Track Time

If you’re a project manager or agency leader, there’s no need to explain the importance of accurate time tracking. There’s probably also no need to remind you that it can be a bit of a struggle to get an entire team of creatives tracking accurately, either.

Most creatives are more focused on creating—and that’s not a bad thing. But a lack of time tracking can end up significantly hurting your company’s bottom line in the long run. If you’re struggling to motivate your team to submit their hours, try these 6 tips.

Lead by Example

If your agency’s leaders and management aren’t setting the bar for time tracking, it’s going to be hard to convince the rest of your team that it’s important. Be vigilant about your own time tracking. Speak openly and positively about it, and the rest of your team will begin following suit.

Make it Easy

With mundane administrative tasks like entering time, it’s in your best interest to make it as easy as possible. At Function Point, our Customer Success Managers are available to provide your management team with the necessary training to set your creatives up for success. Include time tracking training with your new employees during onboarding so there’s no room for error.

Function Point’s iOS and Android apps make tracking on the go easy—whether it’s on the commute back from a pitch meeting or while waiting on your morning Americano. By providing multiple ways for your team to track time, they’re more likely to find a routine that works best for their schedule.

Reward Good Behaviour

If you’re having difficulty kicking off good time tracking habits, it may be time to implement a reward system for your best performers. Depending on your budget, anything from bonuses to banked time off to gift cards is appropriate.

… Or Punish Bad Behaviour

If positive reinforcement isn’t inspiring your team, there’s always the unfortunate counterpart. Without transforming your office into a time-tracking Battle Royale, it’s possible to make note of who is slacking. A personal chat with staff members who have dropped the ball might be all they need.

Explain the Benefits

Ultimately if you want your staff to buy into time tracking with accuracy, you’ll need to explain the bigger picture. Time tracking isn’t just about playing Big Brother, it’s about creating meaningful data that helps to make smarter business decisions, grow your agency and improve creativity.

Address time tracking when you’re celebrating team wins, and share your project management learning points. If your latest app launch was a huge success and came in under your allotted time budget, congratulate your team’s efficiency. If you’re over time but the project still pulled through, use these learning points to commit to improving together.

Make it Matter to Them

Tracking time can help prove to both managers and clients that a “quick edit” is really a 2-hour investment of a creative’s day. Alternately, not tracking time can make a creative look under capacity. Finally, when it comes down to performance reviews, being able to show progress and improvement with hard data makes for a compelling case for raises and promotions.

Although time tracking ultimately benefits the agency as a whole, there’s a ripple of positive side effects for individuals. Being forced to think about how you spend your workday can improve individual accountability and reduce multi-tasking, which in turn strengthens the creative process. It’s also a way to save time spent on having project managers check-in—if the timesheets are clear and up to date, creatives can reduce those mid-afternoon pings.

You might never spot your creatives excitedly entering their timesheets on Friday afternoons, but there are ways to motivate them to understand why it’s crucial to your success.

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