5 tips to get employee timesheets on the right track for the new year
Time tracking divides the masses like cats.
During a recent work luncheon at TSheets, a conversation about puppies was welcomed with many rounds of unanimous aww-ing and fawning. Then someone brought up their cat, Bella, a brown American shorthair tabby with the prettiest eyes and the sweetest demeanor at 12 years young. This conversation, however, ended with another confessing to having a not-so-feline-friendly bumper sticker.
Time tracking at the workplace receives equally polarized reaction because, just like pets, not all roles are created equals — or so we’re told. But here at TSheets, our approach is simple. Time is the common denominator for all.
As a business owner, if you believe your time is valuable, shouldn’t your employees’ time be as well? And if that is the case, it shouldn’t matter if they are hourly, remote, shift, seasonal, or salaried employees.
As we wrap up 2017 and get our ducks in a row to slay 2018, here are five tips on how to do right by time tracking to positively, absolutely, accurately, and undeniably reap all its goodness.
1. Make it about data and results
The true purpose of the information gathered from time tracking is to help you gain visibility into your business. Identifying the correlation between duration and output, curbing unexpected scope creep, and logging more accurate billable hours for invoicing and job costing can only be achieved with knowledge. It’s information no business should be without, and it’s something that all will benefit from.
Some say “you can’t rush art.” Others insist “perfection takes time.” The Great Wall of China took 2,000 years to complete and spanned seven dynasties. While it’s touted as a man-made wonder, the exact manpower and material costs are still unknown to this day. There is, perhaps, no better example of bad planning and scope creep. Imagine being on the receiving end of that project handover.
2. Standardize across the board
Remember the part about time being the common denominator for all? We mean it. So often we hear how only certain staff are required to clock in and out, or that “it depends.” We don’t buy that either.
Time tracking is the most scalable element as your business grows, and it’s the quickest to implement. By including or excluding, all you’ve done is created divide and segregation within your organization. Now, why would you want that?
3. Don’t give it a bad name
When it was recently announced TSheets is becoming an Intuit company, our CEO Matt Rissell chose these words to explain the acquisition in his open letter to the world.
The power of words cannot be overstated. So measure yours carefully. Whenever you are introducing new policies into the workplace, the right approach makes all the difference. It’s only human to be more receptive towards rewards, rather than penalties.
4. Do it legally
When TSheets conducted a survey on how employees truly feel about being GPS tracked in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, 1 in 2 employees who’d been tracked for work actually had a positive experience. The universal concern, however, was employees not knowing if they were being tracked within the confines of the law.
It would appear many businesses don’t have this information either, and are therefore at risk for an FLSA lawsuit. Year after year, the list of offenders seem to get longer, while the total fines get more and more expensive.
We’ve identified the seven deadliest sins to keep your business in check, and the good news is that just by having accurate and secure audit trails, your business can be that much more compliant and protected.
5. Automate! Automate! Automate!
If you’re already tracking employee time for payroll but doing so manually, here’s what our research has uncovered:
- 80 percent of business owners admitted to frequently correcting manual timesheets.
- 1 in 2 employees admitted to buddy punching.
- Industries like construction are losing time and money on manual systems.
- TSheets customers save between 2 and 11 percent on gross payroll with automated time tracking.
We want you to make informed, data-driven decisions. So here’s another checklist to help you decide when automated time tracking becomes a must. We’re very thorough like that.
Still thinking about Bella or the bumper sticker? We’ve got that covered too.