Top ten timesheet tips – how to get employees to fill out their timesheets – part 2

Timesheets are not everyone’s favorite thing to do at work, which is why Timewatch make such an effort to make timesheet entry as easy and as fast as is possible.

How Timewatch helps your employees fill out timesheets faster and easier.

Completing an accurate timesheet should not be an added task for your staff. Timewatch® offers your business the best timesheet solution for employees that helps them, their managers, and your bottom line.

This is not just spin from our marketing department. Check out the top TEN ways our timesheet products help your staff fill out timesheets AND discover exactly HOW we do this. It’s the details that save time and money for your business.

1. Make timesheets SIMPLE to use

To make timesheet entry easy, don’t overcomplicate the timesheet with too many codes or rules. This doesn’t necessarily mean choose a simple timesheet, you can have a sophisticated system that makes timesheet entry easy. Find a system that works for the data you need and the data your people have.

How we do this:
To be simple and easy to use, a timesheet must be either really simple (basic, limited in functionality, flexibility and reporting), or really clever. Our timesheet is clever.

A clever timesheet can be configured to learn each organization’s specific rules, data and analysis requirements, terminology, procedures, security levels, and time valuation systems. By building an organization’s rules and workflow into the system, an intelligent timesheet system can deliver complex functionality to the organization but is able to automate most of the end-user timesheet entry, making it even simpler and even easier than the most basic timesheet system.

2. Make your timesheet EASY to manage

Use tools that help the user track time. Make the most of the data already in Outlook or Google calendar to create timesheets. If you schedule people, use their calendars to create their timesheets.

If you can, decide on a timesheet time period. Some organizations use weekly timesheets, some use daily or bi-weekly timesheets, some even use a mixture. Decide whether a time period is needed for reporting and management, and if it is, choose which.

How we do this:
Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Google calendars already hold most of the information needed in a timesheet – so why not use it? Our Outlook app makes for easy timesheet entry as people can track hours in Outlook as they go. Just by adding a customer or project to an appointment, employee calendars can be turned into timesheets. This saves employees hours every week.

3. Make your timesheet FAST to complete

Employees prefer performing their ‘actual’ work rather than completing administrative tasks. Employees appreciate it when their employer makes an effort to save them time. How much time can be saved using Timewatch® compared to your current timesheet or others on the market? Saving your employees time allows them to work on more productive and revenue-generating tasks. Saving staff time saves businesses real money.

How we do this:
Timewatch® time-saving features make our solutions the fastest, most efficient, and user-friendly timesheet systems on the market. Our predictive search system learns what people are working on to save time when adding customers or projects to a timesheet. Seamless integration with calendars saves employees from entering data that is already in Outlook or Google. Users can instantly roll forward the tasks from last week that are still active this week. Users can track time as they go. Compared to other systems, Timewatch® time-saving features shave around one to two hours a week off timesheet entry tasks. If you do the math, this is a valuable and near-instant return on your investment.

4. Let users fill out timesheets their way

Everyone is different so why not allow users to fill out timesheets in whichever ways work best for them? PC, Mac, mobile, tablet, Outlook, timers, anything that works for the user works for us.

How we do this:
Timewatch® timesheet systems include a variety of timesheet entry methods to let each user choose the perfect mix of timesheet entry tools that best fit the way they work.

Users can choose our classic spreadsheet timesheet, our calendar timesheet that merges Outlook and timesheet functionality, or flip between both options. Use any or all of our time-saving features, use timers, voice, PC, Mac, phone, or tablet. We encourage whatever option works best for the user.

5. Use timesheet automation to save time

Automation saves time. Pre-booked vacations, sick time, time spent working in a support system, appointments in Outlook, or even schedules that have already had customer or project details allocated can all be automated tasks. Other automation options can include reminders via email or Microsoft Teams to minimize late or missing timesheets. Sending managers automated reminders to approve timesheets can also speed up the process.

How we do this:
Timewatch® systems use automation to take advantage of data already available in other systems. A perfect example is our Outlook timesheet system that turns Outlook appointments into timesheets. This makes timesheet entry easier and faster for users. Not only can users mine appointment data in Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Google to save employees hours each week completing timesheets but the same process applies to resource scheduling.

When employees are scheduled for projects with our Time&Space® PSA system it’s known which customers or projects people are scheduled to work on. Timesheet entry is reduced to the click of a button or – should actual time differ from scheduled time – a few clicks.

Automation extends to alerts and reminders, which can be ‘programmed’ and are automatically sent when timesheets are missing, late, not yet authorized, or require changes. Every aspect of the system saves both end-users and administrators valuable time.

6. Make your timesheet system work for YOU

Many timesheet systems require users to make decisions about the time they enter. For example, an employee has to decide whether a task is chargeable to a client or not, how much time to charge, which rate to use, or specify which items are overtime. The list can go on and on. Get a timesheet that can do this work for you by defining the rules or procedures you use.

How we do this:
Wherever possible, Timewatch® systems use automation to take advantage of data already available in other systems. This makes timesheet entry easier and faster for users. Not only can users mine appointment data in Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Google to save employees hours each week completing timesheets but the same process applies to resource scheduling.

Timewatch® allows customers to configure the controls, management process, automation, and alerts for these processes, procedures, and workflow. This makes time entry streamlined and simplified for end users. They only see projects they can book their time to while configurable rules ensure any minimum hours requirements are met so all billing rules are automatically applied. Timesheet entry becomes foolproof.

7. Make reporting logical and easy to complete

Too many organizations over-analyze and break the rule of ‘Make it Simple, Make it Easy and Make it Fast’. Streamlined timesheet entry makes reporting easy too. With a customized system, you can create logical, hierarchical categories for users to allocate time and projects. It streamlines timesheet entry and makes reporting easy too.

How we do this:
However your organization structures projects and the project tasks or work breakdown structure within projects, these can be created within Timewatch® timesheet systems. Effectively you set up your Timewatch® system to overlay your organizational, project, and analysis structure and the exact terminology you use. This makes the timesheet incredibly innate to your timesheet users and to your project and business managers as the information entered perfectly matches your method of working. As a result, so too does your reporting and analysis.

8. Sometimes rules don’t work, so have the flexibility to break them

You may want people to enter a set number of hours per day or week, but forcing them to follow strict rules can lead to problems. Sometimes rules don’t work. Warn users when they’re outside of expected parameters but let them carry on with logging accurate time. Users that allow unexpected circumstances to be logged accurately find that genuine issues with a project are resolved more quickly, timesheet accuracy is maintained, and clients trust the integrity of your time tracking process.

How we do this:
Sometimes rules are really guidelines. Timewatch® allows rules to be established as rules or guidelines or warnings. Example? In some cases, a rule requiring employees to enter a minimum of 35 hours a week might work perfectly but in a flexible hours environment, that is a rule that clearly doesn’t work. A notification advising people their flexible hours are in the red is often more appropriate. With Timewatch® you can set up a system to perfectly match your business processes and adapt them as they update in the future.

9. Time data reporting should meet your needs

Make sure you choose a system that allows you to create reports that match your organization’s needs. Using a system with limited reporting options forces companies to adopt convoluted data entry methods so the canned reports can work. Your timesheet system should be able to fit your needs perfectly. Not the other way around.

How we do this:
We provide multiple reporting tools, starting with a library of standard reports. Next, we provide an amazingly flexible drill-down reporting tool – a spreadsheet that shows a high-level summary by customer, project, or employee. If you want to learn more about a specific item, just double-click to drill down to the underlying transactions.

Customers love our drill-down options and often say this is their favorite reporting tool.

Our digital dashboards are a favorite option for project managers, business managers, and C-level executives as it shows ‘at a glance’ critical data.
There is no limit in reporting. You are in total control and can report on any aspect of your time recording system.

10. Use a Timesheet system that meets your needs

Find a time management solution that saves your business time and money and helps your employees fill out their timesheets quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

How we do this:
Use Timewatch!
Our timesheets are the fastest to use on the market, typically saving four- to eight hours per person per month compared to any other timesheet system. Next, you can configure our systems to perfectly match your organization’s timesheet needs. Then there is our unlimited reporting capabilities, integration via APIs and apps, and customization options.

Learn More

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