When it comes to tracking employee hours, managing vacation accrual, and determining how your employees are spending their time on a day-to-day basis, nothing is better than a timesheet form. With the help of modern online timesheet software, keeping track of your employees and generating actionable reports has become easier than ever, allowing companies both big and small to make changes that improve productivity and profitability.
But how do you go about creating an effective time sheet form for your company? The following steps will help you craft the perfect solution for your needs
Step One: Find a Template
Your first order of business should be to find a customizable time sheet template. Customization is the key feature here–while many companies offer a variety of templates, every business is unique. As such, there’s a good chance that a standard template on its own may not be able to meet all your reporting needs. By choosing a drag-and-drop online time sheet form, you can quickly adjust a template to fit your company preferences. Find a template that seems like a good starting point, and then move on to adjust the data points as you see fit.
Step Two: Start With the Basics
Before you dive into more specialized, in-depth information, make sure that the basic information you’ll need is firmly in place. For most companies, this means a bare minimum of allowing employees to input the number of hours they worked each day on a Sunday through Saturday weekly calendar. However, it is also possible to create biweekly or even monthly tracking calendars. Most applications will auto-fill the dates so that your employees only need to enter the number of hours worked.
Step Three: Diving Deeper
Of course, for many companies, a simple tally of hours isn’t enough. For example, many marketing firms need to report back to their clients regarding the number of hours their team worked on their behalf. In this case, you might need to input submenus where employees would enter the number of hours they worked on projects for each client during the day.
Another common need to dive deeper is when companies wish to gain greater accountability from their employees regarding how they spend their time. Time sheets may be broken up into individual tasks for each employee, such as “meetings,” “client communications,” and “graphic design work.” This ensures that employees are providing a full day’s work, while also offering opportunities to identify areas where time could be used more effectively.
Step Four: Don’t Forget Vacation and Sick Time!
While an online timesheet form simplifies much of the work that goes into creating your own timesheets, you shouldn’t forget about providing a method for reporting paid vacation days and sick time. Will you want employees to enter this information themselves as part of their time sheet? Or does your management team prefer another solution? Either way, you shouldn’t neglect this important part of timesheet reporting.
Step Five: Information Protection
The last thing you need is for someone else to be able to access your employee’s time sheet form–and you certainly don’t want others to gain access to your management system. Make sure that you have password-protected accounts in place so that individuals will only have access to their own time sheet, and that only management has access to the entire system. This will help you avoid all kinds of problems.
Step Six: Set Up Reporting
Using reporting systems will help you get the most out of your time sheet form. Today’s digitally integrated software allows you to generate reports on vacation accrual, hours worked on behalf of particular clients, and other important data points. Best of all, this information can be generated automatically. Simply decide which reports you need, and set up a report delivery timeframe so you can get reports on a consistent basis to help you improve company efficiency.