Employees would rather take the time to make a very long list of things they would rather do than fill out their timesheet instead of just filling out their timesheet. In almost every business, there is a constant struggle for supervisors and managers to make sure that everyone fills out their timesheets on time and with accuracy. Want to give your employees more incentive to fill these mundane things out on time? Here are a few tips:
Make Timesheets Easier
There are a lot of companies out there that make it very difficult to get motivated about filling out their timesheets by employing complicated and time consuming processes of tracking time. By simplifying or automating part of the input process, employees will be more likely to submit their timesheets on time without a complaint. There are definitely more than a few online timesheet software out there so take a look and see how much easier it can be.
Make Timesheets Simple
If a timesheet takes longer than 10 minutes to fill out, you are doing something wrong and need to re-evaluate the entire process. It is counterintuitive to introduce your employees to a software that takes 30 minutes just to track their hours because it leads to a lot of frustration and time spent away from actual work. There are so many other, more productive things your people could be doing.
Give Explanations or Video Tutorials
The more your employees know about where all the timesheet data is actually going, the more likely they are going to be filling it out. Time entry is extremely valuable for all employees because it leads to reduced need for multi-tasking, speeds up the billing cycle, and increases cash flow. This means more money for everybody! And who wouldn’t want that? Make these facts known and see an instantaneous increase in worker motivation to track their time.
Speaking of automation…
Manual processes are boring. Get rid of them as much as possible. You’ll save hours and hours of administrative work for employees dedicated to timesheets and will also help eliminate the possibility of human error in submission. This saves the approver time as well as the submitter. Automated timesheets have the added benefit of being accessible to everyone, even if they are located elsewhere. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is a perfect example of an automated system on the cloud that can help make filling out timesheets much easier and quicker. Automated reminders also help as well. A system that gently reminds the employee that their timesheet should be filled out soon will ensure that they do not forget. Just take care not to have them be bombarded with reminders, which can get extremely annoying.
Don’t Punish the Honest Timesheet filler
It is pretty easy to get your staff to report on project time, but it can be difficult to get them to report on non-project time. Try not to penalize employees for spending time on other activities because it will just give them more incentive to falsify some information in order to avoid a scolding. Instead, use this information to your advantage by identifying the source of the issue and rectifying it. Who knows, you might discover an internal item that is actually legitimate and requires tracking.
Don’t Fight Everything on the Timesheet
It’s a known fact that some projects require extra time entered for project management. Some projects can be easily managed with obvious results and so if your team is achieving time-friendly results within budget, try to overlook some of the smaller things within the timesheets.
Less Time Tracking Items = Better Results
Your reports can easily become a nightmare if they are not properly organized. Try limiting the number of items you’re tracking by merging items such as internal meetings and conference calls into a single “Internal” category. This is a simple way to simplify your reports and makes it much easier for employees to log their time.
Don’t Reward or Penalize
Some companies use strategies like giving perks for timesheets that are submitted on time and penalties like withholding pay until timesheets are submitted and approved. This definitely solves the problem, just not permanently. Not only do things like perks have to be factored into the company budget (since they might cost money) but this system breeds an atmosphere of distrust between managers and employees and can ultimately undermine team unity.