Do’s and Don’ts for Great Employee Relationships

Filed Under: From Matt's Desk
October 23rd, 2014 by Matt

Everyone at TSheets is clear about one thing. There is a direct correlation between raises and how well you remember to refill the water in the Keurig coffee maker. People learn this on their first day. :)

In any company, every person has their quirks — little behaviors they prefer or can’t stand from their colleagues. For my co-founder, it’s touching his computer screen. If you need to show him something on his monitor, you can point, but damnit! Don’t touch the screen! I may test this every now and again. :)

Jokes and pet peeves aside, the quality of our employees’ relationships among one another and with company leaders matters. After all, the average American spends more time with their colleagues at work than with their own spouses or families. With that much togetherness, we can’t pretend the relationships are insignificant.

So how can you maximize the quality of relationships between individuals in your company? Here are a few do’s and don’ts we practice at TSheets that will put you on the right track:

DO consistently go the extra mile.

We have a fantastic team here and an all-hands atmosphere, and that’s because every single person is willing to do whatever it takes to guarantee success. No one at TSheets needs to be told to do their job, and our employees don’t leave each other hanging on projects. There’s an environment of trust among the employees when each and every individual goes the extra mile to ensure that projects are completed to perfection. It’s said that the extra mile is a lonely one – not here.

DON’T confuse the casual environment with lack of work ethic or professionalism.

Sure, we play hard, but only because we work hard.

We have a lot of fun at TSheets! If you spend any time in our offices, you’ll see people playing Ping-Pong, joking around, and enjoying a cold beverage on the back patio. Occasionally, new employees can mistake that laid-back casual work environment for a free pass. That’s a big mistake, and those folks quickly learn the truth. We have a lot of fun, but we hustle. Actually, we work our faces off. Relationships break down when individuals attempt to take advantage of culture.

DO be transparent with your colleagues and employer.

With as much time as we spend together, stuff comes up. Life happens. We’ve had employees with ill family members, or others going through a divorce — I’m not asking for dirty laundry, but I think it’s impossible to separate church and state completely. If you need time off or if something at home is affecting your work, I don’t need all the details, but I do expect transparency and honesty from my team.

DON’T play politics or participate in backbiting.

We don’t have many “zero tolerance” policies at TSheets, but I absolutely don’t accept office politics or backbiting. If our employees have conflicts with one another, it’s up to those people to have the maturity and trust in each each other to address the issue face to face. Period. Talking behind people’s backs is absolutely not accepted.

I also have no tolerance for politics or jockeying for positions. Self-promotion through downgrading others or jockeying for positions is just not how people get promoted at TSheets. It’s unhealthy for employee relationships and for organizations as a whole.

DO help each other succeed.

At the end of the day, your team should be just that — a team. Success is corporate, and everyone should help each other. Encouraging employees to live our culture, show a great attitude, and give their all every single day is the key to creating an environment of great relationships.

Relationship building among peer employees is important, and just as critical are the quality of relationships between company leaders and the individuals that they lead. These relationship builders are particularly important for anyone in a leadership role.

DON’T micromanage.

Actually, don’t manage people – at all. Ask anyone in the room with you right now, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: they hate to be managed. Projects get managed; people don’t. Plus, external accountability isn’t nearly as effective as an individual’s performance coming from an internal drive. People want to be led. The difference is critical — managers tell you what to do, leaders set expectations, give the tools necessary, and allow people to excel.

DO invest in building relationships.

Time spent developing relationships with colleagues isn’t a waste. Actually, for company leaders, it’s part of the job description. Employees need to know and understand that you know and care about who they are as a person. That you truly want them to succeed as a whole person, not just for a few work metrics. You have to earn the right to lead. Be interested in, and relentless about, your team’s development and success.

DON’T ask things of others that you’re not willing to do yourself.

Pretty straightforward, and you’ve probably heard it before — but if you wouldn’t be willing to do what you are asking of someone, you shouldn’t be asking. Considering how you would feel if the roles were reversed shows team members that you respect them and value their talent and ability to contribute.

DO smile.

Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But it makes a huge difference.

Always smile and laugh; especially at yourself.

I have a pretty direct personality. That combined with my position as CEO can make employees feel a lot of pressure when I ask questions in meetings or hold them accountable for their work. That pressure puts me at risk for a breakdown in relationships with my team. But I’ve learned that if I remember to smile, it alleviates the intensity and reminds employees that we’re all on the same team.

Prioritizing the quality of employee relationships doesn’t just make for a better work environment — it actually has a substantial and tangible impact on an organization’s success.

The relationships we’ve built among our team, is just one of the reasons that employees at TSheets genuinely enjoy coming to work. They care about what they do and as a result they produce and expect excellence from themselves. Everyone takes ownership. They own our mission, our culture, and their work, which consistently results projects where I step back and say “wow” (so do our customers!) Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something like that?

Customer Service: The CX Way

Filed Under: News
October 21st, 2014 by Haley Chamberlain

Often, potential customers on the hunt for a solution to their time tracking woes, will reach out to us, and ask what makes us different here at TSheets? We like to think that we redefine what customer service is, and are setting that bar as high as we can. On that note, we’d like to demonstrate what that looks like here at TSheets.

We love to chat with our customers, so please, reach out to us! We'd love to hear from you :)

1. We Love Thank You Notes! That’s right, we are old fashioned, and proud of it. If we have made a connection with a customer, and want them to know it, we send ‘em a card! It’s fun, it’s personal, and it helps to soften those lines between customer and company. We dig it.

2. Our Conversation with You is Important to Us. Our team doesn’t rush you off of the phone. We have unlimited call times, because we would rather track our success based on how we have helped you, rather than how many calls we track. When you call or chat with us, our goal is to know you, your business or company, and how we can best help you succeed.

3. Your Subscription Doesn’t Decide What Sort of Help You Receive – We Do. (Hint: It’s The Best!) No matter if you are a Freelancer, Business, or Platinum account, the Customer Experience Team stands ready to help you with any questions that you might have. We will even walk you through setting up your account, so that you are assured that everything is perfectly poised to ensure your company’s transition to better time tracking. We don’t play favorites, so we like to make friends with all of our customers.

We like to have fun with our customers!

4. Hidden Fees Aren’t How We Roll. If you need additional assistance with your account, we make it a point to make that as easy on you as possible. That includes not charging you more money for our support. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us, because we really are here to help!

We enjoy getting to know each of you and your unique story, on a business and personal level. Also? We love to have fun, and we usually don’t need much encouragement to do so. Join in the merriment with TSheets Customer Support! Time tracking and a good relationship with the people that help you with it. Pretty sweet arrangement.

Inspiring Advice from Entrepreneurs When You’re Looking for Motivation

Filed Under: Other Voices We ♥
October 20th, 2014 by Victoria

Inspiring Advice from Entrepreneurs When You’re Looking for Motivation

by Meredith Wood of Fundera

As an entrepreneur, do you ever have those moments when you simply feel stuck? Well, you’re not alone. Even the best entrepreneurs have felt a lack of inspiration or direction.

When you find yourself facing a wall, follow advice from your peers. Here are some inspiring quotes from entrepreneurs when you need a little motivation:

Quote from Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup, and The Happiness of Pursuit, gives the following advice when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

“Write down what matters to you. Then, every day when you’re not sure what to do next, spend 20 minutes working on the things on that list. Over time, these 20 minutes will be the foundation of your success. You’ll be miles and miles ahead of many other people. Even if other things aren’t getting done, you’ll feel less overwhelmed because you did something that matters.”

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo, a business strategist, marketing maven, Oprah guest, and creator of B School blogs says:

“Millions of highly successful people go through periods of questioning what the heck they’re doing and crave a few days off the grid and under the sheets. If you’ve been so busy that you’re pondering giving up on it all, remind yourself of exactly why you’re doing this thing in the first place.”

A quote from Marie Forleo.

Kimberly Wilson

Author, yogini, and entrepreneur, Kimberly Wilson, is a productivity queen. On her blog, she writes:

“Although productivity experts often encourage we conquer the biggest, most complicated task first, I find myself gravitating toward smaller, quicker ones so that I can open up brain space for the others. I also try to bundle similar tasks together such as writing, email responding, or social media. Next, I’ll gather all the information necessary to work on the project and hunker down with the plan of hitting a milestone such as completion, five written pages, or a thoughtful email response.”

Melanie Duncan

Melanie Duncan, a seasoned entrepreneur, Pinterest marketer, and business coach, says:

“A lot of times, feeling uninspired is due to getting stuck in too much of a routine. Try eating something different for breakfast or work from a new place. If you don’t want to change what you do, just move around the order that you do it in. Normally make your phone calls in the morning? Try making them in the afternoon instead. Want to try a real game changer? Don’t check your email until 2pm each day. Sound impossible? I tried it and it was a serious game changer for my productivity.”

A quote from Melanie Duncan.

Serena Star-Leonard

Best-selling author of How to Retire in 12 Months, Serena Star-Leonard is a frequent traveler, business owner, blogger, and dream hatcher. In her newest book, How to Succeed in 12 Months: Creating a Life You Love, she uses the following “incentive” to keep her motivated:

“The million-dollar measure is a hypothetical situation where I am offered a million-dollar reward if I am able to achieve something that currently seems impossible. For example, I am tempted to write a new book, but I just can’t see how to fit it into my packed schedule and life. So I look at it from this new perspective: if I would receive one million dollars for writing a book in the next three months, would I be able to find or make the time to get the book finished?”

Make Creativity Your Number One Priority

You don’t have to look far to find inspiration. In fact, it’s all around you. Fire up the old laptop and read a favorite blog. Open up one of your favorite business books. You’re sure to find wisdom within its pages. Jot down an idea, then another, and another until your notebook is full and your head is empty. Do whatever it takes to get past your creative block.

Everyone gets stuck sometimes. If you want to get out of a creative rut fast, turn to fellow entrepreneurs for advice. Chances are they’ve been where you are right now, and they possess the knowledge to help you find your way back to your creative, successful self once again.

Meredith Wood, of Fundera.

Meredith Wood is the Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans that matches business owners with the best funding providers for their business. Prior to Fundera, Meredith was the CCO at Funding Gates. With her finance background, Meredith is no stranger to hearing about the challenges business face and has been the solution super sleuth for CTOs, CEOs, and everyone throughout the company. One of her hidden talents is the ability to inspire and motivate, and preserver to find the best solution – financially or introspectively. Her advice consistently appears on such sites as Yahoo!, Fox Business, Amex OPEN, AllBusiness, and many more.

QBConnect Or Bust – It’s Show Time!

Filed Under: Track Time
October 17th, 2014 by Victoria

People across the globe are gearing up for Intuit’s very first QuickBooks Connect conference to be held in San Jose, CA next week (October 21st – 23rd). Only one group of people are planning on hitting the road in style – Intuit style that is. As you may have already read, our very own Kelly B. is going to be hitting the road on Monday to drive with a group of Intuit Enthusiasts from Palm Springs, CA to the conference in San Jose. So who are the daredevils who chose to take on this road trip? We’re glad you asked!

Follow the team with #QBConnectOrBust

And a quick (but substantial!) thank you to Intuit Accountants for putting together that stellar image!

Brian Austin – Meet Brian with Avalara – the company that makes all your sales tax issues disappear with powerful sales tax software. See no evil and hear no evil when it comes to your sales taxes, and oh wait… maybe not hear too much at all if your Brian! We “hear” he has a thing for loud concerts; that’s okay Brian – you might be better off tuning out any car karaoke on the road to QBConnect anyway!

Madeline Reeves – Meet another Avalara guru – Madeline. She’s the Avalara Yin to Brian’s Yang, making the Avalara force strong in this car ride to QBConnect. Madeline specialty is helping accountants get rid of their MANUAL sales tax calculations NINJA style. She’s officially a black belt in her purple ninja turtle attire (her son’s favorite costume for her), so feel free to call her Donatello as she cowabunga’s manual sales taxes!

Kim Hogan – Meet Kim Hogan with Intuit – the queen of helping customers move to the cloud, and the perfect PANK in her family (professional aunt, no kids). When she’s not in the cloud, her feet remain firmly planted in a glamorous pair of shoes. We’ve heard the higher the heels, the closer she is to the cloud… so WOW – she must REALLY love her work!

Gail Perry – Meet Gail, the Editor-in-Chief at CPA Practice Advisor – the renowned author of a behemoth amount of books. A CPA, expert in taxes, personal finances and more, Gail is the goto source for helping dummies all over the world (Mint.com for Dummies, Idiot’s Guide to Doing your Taxes, Quicken for Dummies, TurboTax for Dummies and more)! In honor of this momentous journey to QBConnect, Gail undoubtedly will write a book highlighting everyone on this trip, and we can all guess what the title will be!

Jan Haugo – Meet Jan, Accountant, small business owner – THE social media extraordinaire! She is a pro at building relationships and staying connected via meetups and QBO chat – call her a chief chatterer, even – as well as a technology maven. For businesses looking to become more efficient at accounting and business processes – Jan’s the woman to bring it! There’s no question why she’s heading to this inaugural QuickBooks conference, so it’s QBConnect or Bust for Jan!

Richard Roppa – Meet Richard, of AQB – Like an exotic bird (rare and desirable), he is in charge of partnership development for AQB, a professional accounting and business services firm. Richard uses his industry crime fighting skills (made of sugar and spice and everything nice … AND chemical X!) to find the best technologies for their clients. Hopefully Richard’s crime fighting skills (not unlike the Powerpuff Girls) will keep all evil technologies away on the road to QBConnect, and protect those that create great value for their AQB customers!

Kelly Bistriceanu – Meet Kelly of TSheets – Lovingly known as Kbeast around the TSheets offices, she <3 Accountants and ProAdvisors and strives to make their jobs easier with superhuman TSheets time tracking tools. While most people have a body composition of close to 65% water, Kelly has superhumanly transformed herself with a body composition of 65% New Age Wine…. wait, maybe that’s just her pantry’s composition. Either way Kelly balances out Richard’s blend of sugar and spice and everything nice with a little bit of wine and ice which really makes everything nice! Find Kelly at QBConnect to see how she helps Accountants and Pro’s be bold and efficient - kickin’ tail and taking names in their industry - like Kbeast does in ours!

David Leary – Meet David, Developer Evangelist for the Intuit Partner program – Turns out he’s also a big Buffalo Bills follower (cough, cough) and a unicorn fan a.k.a. extremist (Yes, really. Unicorns.) – both of which say a whoooole lot about David. You may not see him IN the car on the ride to QBConnect, but maybe you will? Where’s Waldo style, find David’s face in the car, on the front of the car or strapped to the top of the car, Griswold style!

TSheets Named Winner of the 2014 Idaho Innovation Awards

Filed Under: News
October 16th, 2014 by Victoria

Last night you may be aware of a few things that happened; the middle of October came and went, many people sat down to a quiet dinner at home, perhaps you even started prepping your Halloween costume or plans for the weekend. One thing you may not know about is that in a busy convention center, in Boise, Idaho, the earth shattered. Ok, perhaps that’s being a little over-dramatic, but there was certainly some earth shaking news being delivered.

As a part of the Idaho Technology Council’s annual events, they have an awards ceremony to honor and celebrate the most innovative companies in Idaho. This is called the Idaho Innovation Award, and even being selected to be a finalist is a feat to make anyone glow with pride. When it was announced that TSheets was a finalist, the whole office was thrilled. But last night, and through the rest of today, the atmosphere in the office can only be described as jubilant. Last night, at approximately 7:48 PM MDT, TSheets won the 2014 Idaho Innovation Award.

TSheets wins the 2014 Idaho Innovation Award.

While both humbled and honored to win this award, we are also proud of all the team members who have made this happen. From the TSheets CEO and Executive Team who brainstorm the best, to the Development Team who built it all, and from the Customer Experience Team that brings smiles to our customers’ faces, to the Marketing Team who shouts our successes from the rooftops, TSheets has certainly worked hard to earn this award. With that said, it’s not as if there wasn’t steep competition in the growing community that is Idaho, and said competition was fierce. All honorees should know that it is their continued excellence that makes winning this award such a compliment.

A huge thanks from TSheets to the presenters of this award, Stoel Rives LLP, Kickstand, and of course, the Idaho Technology Council. And an even bigger thanks to the community members of Idaho, for making Idaho a great place to live and work. Cheers to a bright, and innovative, future!