According to a 2013 Replicon study, timesheets are far and away the most disliked time-related activity in an organization. It’s no surprise then, that employees put off filling out their timesheets as long as they possibly can.
There are so many problems with that it’s hard to know where to start, but we’re talking about the lifeblood of the agency here, so it’s mission-critical that we figure this out.
Is it Just Laziness?
Probably not. The truth is, you hired your employees to do a specific job; writing ads, producing TV spots, growing business with clients, etc. You didn’t hire them to fill out timesheets. It’s a critical part of the job - and they most likely understand why it’s important - but it’s just not what they signed up for and as you can see from the chart above, it’s clearly not something they enjoy doing.
George Tannenbaum took a shot at identifying why timesheets are late in his blog entitled “Adaged”. The resulting pie graph is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it gets the point across. Too often employees feel like they don’t have the information they need to fill out their timesheet and/or are suffering from the penalties imposed by the organization for not getting their timesheet submitted on time.
So What’s the Solution?
We’ve thought about this a lot at Advantage, because getting accurate, timely information into the AQUA system is critical to the system being able to generate the accurate reporting and analyses that you need to run your business.
We’re also sensitive to the needs of the employees. We figure that if we can eliminate the barriers to completing their timesheets (like having all the necessary information available and automating as much of the process as possible), we can improve compliance, morale, timeliness and accuracy all at the same time.
Start at the Source
Employees are generally so busy doing their jobs that they have no time or interest in accessing the timekeeping system to record their time. So we partnered with a startup named Record Integrity to give employees a mobile app that is custom-made for the way they work. The RecordTime app turns their phone into a timesheet buddy that asks them throughout the day what they’ve been working on. To respond, the employees simply speak to their phone. Their entries are converted into text and placed in their calendar.
Then Make it Easy
The latest release of AQUA includes an option in the timesheet to get data from your calendar.
So with a simple click, the employee can import all those entries from their calendar right into their timesheet. No more wondering what they were working on and no more searching through emails, phone logs, (or worse, straight up making the data up…). It’s all right there in front of them in their timesheet. All they need do is select the appropriate client and job number for the entry.
But What if They STILL Won’t Do Their Timesheets?
No matter how automated we make the process, there are still going to be employees who simply lack the time or motivation to get their timesheets submitted. We wanted to separate the behavior (not managing their time sufficiently to get their timesheets submitted) from the consequences (Finance is unable to close the month, the quarter, etc.) because of outstanding timesheets. The RecordTime app allows us to do that. If the employees use the app to record their activity throughout the day, anyone with access to that employee’s calendar can import the employee’s data into their timesheet and accurately complete the employee’s timesheet for them. Never again does Finance have to beg, plead and bargain for employees to get their timesheets submitted on time. With our solution, you can submit their time for them and work out whatever corrective measures are necessary to ensure that Finance completing their timesheets doesn’t become the rule rather than the exception.
Eliminate Late Timesheets Once and For All
If you’re still dealing with the hassle of late timesheets, contact email@example.com. We can set you up with a free trial of the RecordTime app and make sure that you’re running the latest version of the AQUA software which includes the timesheet integration. You’ll be glad you did.