Chronoblog
Category: Mobile App
One Easy Way to Get Better Employee Performance

employees praising another employee leads to better employee performanceA recent personal experience gave me an idea that small business owners could use to get better employee performance.

I taught my 11 year old son how to mow our front lawn. He takes great pride in doing a good job. He mows one direction and then comes back over it in a crisscross pattern. The neighbors have taken notice.

I think what helped him was that I made a conscientious effort to praise him privately. I told him he did a wonderful job and his efforts allowed me to get other stuff done. Then I made a point to praise him publicly in front of his mother and sisters. Each time I could see his chest fill with pride, and he’s taking ownership of his work.

I believe that this same conscientious effort would work for small business owners.  It’s normal procedure, and necessary at times, to critique an employee’s work.  But did you also know that a study by the Harvard Business Review(1) shows that words of praise are vitally important in workplace environments?  In fact, the best performing teams in the study received almost 6 positive comments for every one negative. The lowest performing team received 3 negative comments for every 1 positive. Criticism is just going to happen, but you have to be purposeful about praise.

Many of our customers manage offsite employees who clock in and clock out of our timekeeping system. They may rarely, if ever, see their employees in person.  One way that supervisors or owners can privately and publicly praise their employees is through the text messaging feature on our mobile app.  A private message can be sent to an employee, and a company-wide announcement can be sent.  Both can be set as required reading before the employee can clock in or out.  For employees who call to clock in and clock out, supervisors can leave voice mails that employees must listen to at their next clock in or out. These are great communication tools, and easy ways to pass along a few positive words.

Purposeful praise might be a cost-effective way to get better employee performance.  Finding those opportunities will be enlightening.

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

(1) Harvard Business Review, The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

A Sign of the Times

Girl taking selfieI saw a sign the other day that said, “If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.”

If you’re a service-based business with remote employees, then the following stat may be your sign that it’s time to solve your handwritten time card headache. A study by dscout indicates that the average smartphone user touches his/her phone over 2600 times a day.  A day!  Not a week.  Not a month.  A day!  Heavy users more than double that number.

How many of these clicks are useful and productive?  How many save money for your small business?  This research indicates that it’s very likely that your remote, hourly employees are adept at using mobile apps.  So why not replace your company’s inefficient employee handwritten time cards with our time tracking mobile app?  Our mobile app accurately records your employees’ clock ins and clock outs and tracks their GPS locations.  It improves communication with your employees and supervisors with in-app messaging. And our app reduces your administration time by allowing employees to monitor their schedules and hours worked.

It’s about time to get some good out of those 2600 daily smartphone touches.  Sign up for a free trial today and see if your life is changed in 30 days.

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So Close – Real Solutions to Your Business Problems

Small business owner clicking Chronotek free trial button fro solutions to business problemsFinding real solutions to your business problems can be like raising teenagers.

You walk into the kitchen and sitting on top of the counter is a stack of used paper towels,  paper plates and food wrappers. Just sitting there about 12 inches above the waste basket. So close to doing the right thing!

Or you pass by the laundry room and see an assortment of your teenager’s dirty clothes littering the floor at the base of the empty laundry basket. So close to doing the right thing again!

Now that’s our teenage children around the house.  What about you, the small business owner with hourly employees out in the field?  You found this blog and possibly our website because you did an internet search seeking a solution to one of your business problems. Your problem could be that you’re sick and tired of handling employee handwritten timesheets.  You have to beg employees to turn them in and when they do, they are half-completed or illegible.  And worse yet, you just don’t trust them and the padded hours are costing your business a fortune.   Or maybe you’ve had jobs missed because of employee no-shows.  An easier way to monitor and control overtime could be the reason you are here. Or you realize at the end of the month you didn’t make any money on a couple of customers because the labor hours got off-kilter and you need a live, automated way to track job hours.  Could it be that your method to handling employee paid travel time and mileage involves late nights, expresso shots, interpreting handwritten scribbles and verifying every travel trip manually with a mapping program?

If you are here for any of these reasons, you are so close to getting some relief. Chronotek has a mobile app and telephone timekeeping system that can solve all of these problems.  Employees clock in, clock out with a tap of the app or make a phone call.

This simple act of punching in and out of our system (or not punching in) is live, actionable information we can deliver to you when you need it:  no-show text alerts; overtime and weekly labor cost reporting; dynamic, up-to-the minute job budgeting tools; automated travel and mileage reporting and most assuredly, accurate employee time cards.

Teenagers may never hit the mark , but you are so close to doing the right thing for your small business.   You are so close to finding real solutions to your business problems. So why not try it risk free and cost free for 30 days? Go ahead and click the link. You’ve made it this far!

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

Is it Time to Unsubscribe from the Honor System?

Is It Time To Unsubscribe From The Honor SystemThis will happen to you one day. A revelation. You will wake up and through sleepy eyes check your emails, and just like every day for the past decade, you will delete the same emails without reading them. You know the ones – the grocery store, the department store, the car parts store, the coupon website, the online dating site although you’ve been married for 8 years, etc., etc., etc. And then it will hit you! A distinct clarity that excites you and yet feels a bit defiant.

Why am I still allowing these emails into my inbox every day?

Deleting them every day has become so much a part of your routine, it’s scary to think about unsubscribing from them.  After all, what if you miss a big sale?  It feels a bit like breaking up.  And you wonder how you got to this point of having so many email subscriptions?

But it happens. And not just with emails.  We get stuck in mindless routines all of the time, and some of these routines can be expensive.  Many of our customers who use our mobile app and telephone timekeeping system shared a similar story as it relates to managing their off-site, hourly employees.  One late night after a full day of being the small business owner, the sales and marketing team of one, the part-time fill-in worker, and now the bookkeeper trying to do payroll, they stare at the pile of employee handwritten timesheets.  Some timesheets are missing, some are illegible scribbles, others are half-completed, and a few are truly mysterious.  And the fog finally lifts and the light bulb flips on. These handwritten timesheets have clock in, clock out times of 5pm and 9pm every single day, Monday through Friday, for the past 2 weeks.  These employees are 100% consistent, on time with their clock in and clock out times for 10 straight work days.  And when they look back to the previous pay period, and the one before that, it’s the same pattern.  Enough!  They realize it’s about time to unsubscribe from the outdated practice of the honor system and employee handwritten timesheets.

And they are right.  As we have mentioned before, the American Payroll Association conducted a study concluding that small business owners with remote, hourly employees can save 2-6% on payroll by switching to a telephone timekeeping system for employee clock in, clock out times.  In the above example, the employees are claiming and writing in 88 hours a month.  A 5% savings captured by using an accurate, automated and online timekeeping system is 4.4 hours per month.  For a small company of 10 employees that’s 44 hours.  At the 2017 federal minimum wage rate of $7.25, your company could be overpaying by $319 a month.  Since we’re doing a deep dive here, let’s add the 7.65% for FICA and Medicare and you’re up to $343 a month in wasteful spending.

Chronotek charges a monthly base fee of $14 plus $5 per employee per month. These 10 employees would cost just $64 a month, to get back $343.

You won’t find an email in your inbox that potentially gives you a 435% return on your money like our system.  We are one subscription worth having.

Sign up now for a free 30 day trial.

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Free Timekeeping Management App for Supervisors

Have you ever bought furniture that comes in a cardboard box and “some assembly” is required?  The manufacturer will send a tiny hex wrench that can get the job done, but it’s painful and time-consuming.  Your local hardware store sells a furniture assembly kit that is a much better and more efficient tool for the task.  It’s all about using the right tool.

free-chronotek-timekeeping-management-app-for-supervisorsIf you have a service-oriented small business, you may depend upon supervisors to help manage your remote, hourly workers.  Would you like to equip your supervisors with the right tool that leads to a better bottom line for your company?  Supervisors need to know many things all at once in real time:

  • Who is clocked in
  • Who is scheduled to clock in
  • Who hasn’t clocked in
  • Who clocked in, but somewhere other than the job site
  • How many hours their employees have worked for the week

 

We posted back in July 2016 that our app is making SUPERvisors.  The app truly is a great tool to help your supervisors manage their remote, hourly employees.  Your supervisor can also clock in or out his crew and send text messages to his employees.

If your company uses our telephone and app-based timekeeping system to track time for hourly, remote employees, the supervisor app is free to use for your salaried supervisors, administrators and managers.  Unlike some other timekeeping companies, we ONLY charge for active employees clocking in and out.

It’s the right information, right now, and at the right price. Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook

NEW Chronotek Mobile App – Hired Hand for Small Business Owner

Suzie was relaxing with her family one evening when her cell phone rang. Once upon a time, before Chronotek, that evening call would have instantly pushed her into panic mode.   Her job as a supervisor used to ruin her evenings with late night emergency calls because jobs were not being covered.  But not any longer. This was a welcomed call from her brother, Jim.

Suzie: Hey Jim, how’s it going?

Jim: Everything is great. Do you remember telling me about the new Chronotek app last week?

Suzie: Yes, of course.  Why?

Jim: Well, your miracle story inspired me to do something about my timekeeping mess for my construction company.

Suzie: Are you still using paper time sheets, little brother?

Jim: Yes, but you got me thinking.  My business is growing and with 16 employees it’s getting very tough to manage, but I can’t afford a Super Suzie yet.  I’m the Suzie, and the marketing and sales guy, the bookkeeper, the secretary, the HR guy, and I’m sometimes the guy swinging the hammer at the job site and sweeping the floors in the office.

Suzie: You definitely have your hands full, not to mention your new baby.

Jim: I have a new baby? (chuckles)  Oh, yeah, I do!  Well, I think Chronotek’s employee time tracking system and the new app will finally give me time to spend time with her.

New App 7 TCSSuzie: Absolutely!  Chronotek and the new app can be your Suzie, and more.

Jim: I know, the entire system is amazing. My employees actually like the ease of clocking-in from the app.  And I no longer have to track down their time cards. Timesheets get created automatically and I can review them from the app or the website whenever I’m ready.  If my guys are late, I get alerted right to my phone.  I don’t have to worry; did they show or didn’t they show?  I can see from the app when they clocked-in, and it shows a GPS map that geo-locates where they clocked-in.  It is like I hired a supervisor at a fraction of the cost.

Suzie: You sound like a new man, Jim.

ChronotekUserWithMoreTimeForHisFamilyJim: I feel like one, too. And speaking of my baby, in the evenings I’m not stuck in my office doing work at the desk.   Just last night I was rocking Sophie to sleep while reviewing and editing time cards on the new app.  I even added a new employee on the app while singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

 

Suzie: You’re too funny, Jim.  It sounds like Chronotek is giving you your life back.

Jim: Chronotek is my new hired hand,  and this new app is especially helpful.  Chronotek is taking some of this load off of me for sure.

Suzie: You’re learning, bro. Chronotek is helping us both!

Chronotek’s remote employee management system and our new mobile app have transformed the lives of Suzie the SUPERvisor and her business owner brother, Jim. Our mission for 20 years has been to provide a proven way to track labor hours of remote employees that yields greater profits and improved personal lives of small business owners.

If you would like to try it free for 30 days and experience the life-change that Suzie and Jim have, click here.

We would be honored if you stayed in touch with us. Subscribe to this blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

NEW Chronotek Mobile App – Life is Better

We’ve been chronicling the life-change of Suzie the SUPERvisor since she started using Chronotek’s new mobile app.   She can wake up in the mornings, fire up the Keurig for a fresh cup of coffee and check Workforce Stats on the app to review her employees’ activity through the night.  And our in-app messaging is the perfect communication tool to keep her employees just a click away.

Suzie was recently praising the app with her brother, Jim, who owns a construction company. She told him how the app made her boss and his janitorial company look like the industry leader to a prospect. Let’s listen in on their conversation:

Suzie: Jim, it was the most amazing thing. I wish you could have been there.

Jim: Yeah, me too. It’s not like you to get this excited about anything. What’s so special about this app?

Suzie: Many things, but just yesterday my boss, Gary, wanted me to go with him to meet a new prospect and present our bid to maintain his building.

Jim: Smart man, bringing in the big guns.

Suzie: Yeah, right. Well anyway, we got there and it turns out that a water pipe burst in one of his offices a few minutes earlier and he’s got a mess on his hands.

Jim: Not good.

Suzie: Not at all. John, the building owner, was frantic and wanted to cancel our meeting. I asked him what his plan was to clean up the mess and he hadn’t thought that far yet. They had just fixed the pipe. I knew that this was going to be a great contract if we got it so I took a risk.

Jim: Oh no!

Suzie: I turned to Gary and said, “Why don’t I get a crew over here immediately and take care of this for John? This one will be on us.”

Jim: That’s pretty bold, Suzie. Do you think you own the company?

Suzie: It was a small office, so I knew that things wouldn’t be too bad.

Jim: This is all great, but what does it have to do with the Chronotek app?

Suzie Supervisor - Chronotek New AppSuzie: I was getting there. So, I open the app, go to the screen to add a new job, put in the name of John’s business, created the job code, and the app is able to geo-locate me. This allows me to quickly add the address without having to ask or look it up.

Jim: Cool!

Suzie: And that’s not all. Then I broadcast a message to all of my employees that I need 5 people right away and the first 5 who respond to the message get the work with bonus pay. I had 7 replies in just a few minutes. And when they got to the building to clock in, the app geo-located them, and the job was the first one on the list to choose from. So simple for my employees to clock-in.

Jim: How did Gary take the bonus pay thing?

Suzie: He took it fine when John told us that we got the contract. John was amazed at how we swiftly and easily we handled his unexpected crisis. He said it was nothing short of a miracle.

Jim: Suzie, you’re a miracle worker!

Suzie: Ha! The new Chronotek mobile app is the miracle, not me.

Jim: I’d say so. I knew that something was different about you. You’ve seemed a lot more relaxed lately.

Suzie: Oh, little brother, you have no idea.

Suzie is learning that life is better with the new Chronotek app, and not just work life.  We all know the extent that day-to-day work stresses permeate our personal lives. When you can find a way to alleviate the work stress, our personal lives are so much sweeter.

Stay tuned into Suzie’s story by subscribing to this blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

NEW Chronotek Mobile App – Making SUPERvisors!

Supervisors all over the country have joined the party as we’re still celebrating the release of our new mobile app.  In our last post, we outlined why and how your remote employees love it as they use it to create time cards in our automated timekeeping system. Today we report on Suzie, a supervisor in a small janitorial company who manages 25 workers that clean multiple buildings throughout the city. She’s learning the new app and has discovered that she has the freedom of functionality to do things in the field that once tied her to a desk.

The new app is an assistant of sorts, even working through the night.  Suzie can already sleep easy knowing that our system will alert her by text if an employee is late to a scheduled job. Now she can wake, open the app to quickly review the live dashboard of Workforce Stats to see all the details she needs to start her day. It’s the power of information at her fingertips.

The Workforce Stats dashboard gives Suzie live, vital information for 12 hours back and 12 hours ahead.  Notice the Alert tabs that float-to-the-top the crucial information in living color :

New App 7 WFS

Not at job- Who wasn’t GPS located at the job when he clocked in/out (5).
Late Arrival- Who was late to scheduled jobs (3) and shows the scheduled time and the actual times (Samuel Price was scheduled 6:30am-7:30am but clocked in late at 12:20pm).
No Show- Who didn’t show to a scheduled job (91)
Denied- Who denied request for GPS tracking when he clocked in or out (this means they have their smartphone location services disabled).
Who’s clocked in now (the green dots).
Who’s scheduled for the next 12 hours.

And all of this information can be zone filtered so that if Suzie is one of multiple supervisors, she only sees employees and jobs in her supervisory zone.

It’s a loaded first look. This one screen alone, the Workforce Stats page, is changing Suzie’s life.  But it’s only the very tip of the iceberg.  In our next post, we’ll explain more on how the new mobile app is making Suzie a true SUPERvisor.

Stay tuned and stay in touch by subscribing to this blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Celebrating with our NEW! Chronotek App

Launch the fireworks! Toss the confetti! Start the music! We’re still celebrating our 20th birthday and we’re doing it in Chronotek style with something great for customers of our telephone timekeeping system. It’s better than any door prize or party favor; it’s the release of our brand new mobile app!

We’ve been beta testing the new app with a few of our customers and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Reinhard Grab, owner of ServiceMaster Advanced Cleaning, LLC in Summerville, South Carolina said, “I love the simplicity of the new Chronotek mobile app. The simplicity is like art. It’s beautiful and intuitive and has uncluttered functionality. It’s so easy for employees to use.”

Bruce Jeffers, owner of Classic City Solutions in Winterville, Georgia had this to say, “The new app works great. It gives me access to valuable data that my managers and I need out in the field.  I love Chronotek!” We love you, too, Bruce!

Manuel Silva, Operations Supervisor with nanoCLEAN Decontamination Services, LLC in Quincy, Massachusetts said, “The new Chronotek app gives me a lot of great information. The Workforce Stats page tells me who is and isn’t clocked in, who was late, and who wasn’t at the job when they clocked in. I can edit time cards from the new app. It’s very helpful.”

MTC shot_237x97

We think that you will agree. The power, functionality and usability of the new Chronotek app reinvents the reality of mobile workforce management.

 

  • Would you like to send a group text message to all of your employees? Done.
  • View one quick and easy stats page showing who’s late, who’s a no-show, who wasn’t at the job when they clocked in/out and who denied the request for GPS tracking? It’s all there!
  • Add jobs and employees from the app? Absolutely!
  • Edit time cards while the doctor makes you wait for your appointment? You bet!
  • See a list of your employees’ actual hours worked and their future schedules for the week? That’s pretty handy for preventing overtime before it happens and the new app has it!

We want to tell you so much more about it. Our next post will go into deeper detail on how your employees can use the app. Then subsequent posts will highlight the supervisor and administrator functions. Be first to the party. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with all new posts.

But for now, go to your app store and download the new app. Download it free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

 

 

Managing Remote Employees: Location, Location, Location

Location, location, location resounds in our second installment on Managing Remote Employees.   Yes, you can have confidence that your employees are really on the job site when they say they are.   Location tracking is one of the many benefits that a telephone and app-based timekeeping solution like ours can give you that handwritten time sheets cannot.  Johnny may write on his time sheet that he cleaned the building from 5-9pm, but he may have been in Bob’s Bar and Burgers an hour away by 6:30.

We work hard to provide the best tech-management tools to assist businesses with remote employees.  So how can you use technology to create automated time cards and be sure that employees are really on the job site?  We offer 6 smart tips:

  1.  Require employees to use job site landline phones to clock in and out if possible. The caller IDs of the phones used to clock in and out are noted on each automated timecard.   Question the employee about any phone number reported that’s not a job site phone.  You can also prevent the use of any phone number that appears on your account that you don’t want employees to use.
  2. Link job site phones to the jobs to ensure timecards are created from calls on site.   This essentially ties a phone number to a job preventing employees from clocking in with another phone.
  3. Use our smartphone app if landline phones are not available. The app is a great way for employees to clock in and out and it provides a very accurate GPS location track at the time of the punch in and out.
  4. Employees who don’t have smartphones can opt-in to GPS tracking that we get from their cell carriers.  We can currently get location tracks from the following carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, US Cellular, Boost, (Canada) TELUS.
  5. Some customers want to retain the ability to use our voice features, such as Random Voice Verification and our Integrated Voice Messaging system which are not available on the mobile app, but they want the benefit of the accurate GPS tracks provided by our app.   So we have recently released our Dialer App.  For a description of the Dialer App, click here for the Google Play Store and here for iTunes. The Dialer App is essentially a speed dial into the normal toll free that your employees already use.  Once dialed in, your employee will still enter his employee code and job code, but the location track comes from the smartphone itself, and not the cell carrier.  The result is a very accurate location track. (Normal call charges apply).
  6. Enter addresses for all of your job sites and our Clock Locations screen reports if your employee was ‘on the job’ or ‘not on the job’. This information is based on the landline phone used, or the cell phone GPS track we received from the cell carrier, or the track we received from the device itself if the Mobile App or Dialer App is used.  For a great visual the map link shows the location of the track compared to the job site location.

Managing remote employees is always a challenge and while you can’t put it on autopilot, current technology does offer ways to simplify the task.  Steve Jobs said, “It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.”  We agree that technology is ever-changing.  From our perspective the accountability that technology provides gives you faith in people as the honest employees stand out.

Stay tuned for our next installment in the ‘Managing Remote Employees’ series in which we offer advice on how to make sure employees aren’t spending too much or too little time on your jobs.

 

The Chronotek Mobile App Is Here!

If you haven’t tried Mobile Chronotek, it’s time to put your best employee management device in your pocket.  Step away from your office, take a walk, but stay connected to your small business.  Supervisors use Chronotek Mobile to see who’s clocked in, who’s late, who’s a no-show in the past 12 hours, who’s approaching 40 hours for the week and more.   And now the free Mobile app is available.  Search for Chronotek Mobile.   Our Mobile website users now have options!

The app is also a dynamic tool for your employees. They can use it to easily clock in, check their live schedules and view their time cards.    Read more  about the freedom that the app (or mobile site) can provide.  Mobile Chronotek has something for everyone; and it will just get better!

Enhance your remote employee management experience with our web and telephone timekeeping solution.  Go to your App Store and download Mobile Chronotek today. Then enjoy a walk. You deserve it!

 

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