How to introduce timesheets to your team
As a timesheet provider, we are aware that timesheets aren’t for everyone. It’s a common joke that recording a timesheet is almost a job in itself. Additionally, teams may have reluctance about completing timesheets, seeing them as a sign of mistrust or a way of spying. Most of all, there can be a reticence that it’s ‘too corporate’ for your workplace lifestyle. Part of the Tempora service offering is to help clients with onboarding their team onto the timesheet software. This has helped us identify different problems that may arise and how to solve them.
The reluctance to adapt a new system (or process) can cause the following problems:
Staff just allocating hours as and where they feel like, to meet their weekly quota. This can lead to time and time costs being recorded incorrectly, which skews your billing or payment process. When looking at utilisation of a team, they will show as fully utilised, even if they may have been over or under utilised. This can also occur when time is recorded a level that is too granular for your work place, for example correct to the minute. Our experience shows that nearest quarter hour, is the best starting point if your team are new to timesheets, with the option to switch to HH:MM at a later date.
If staff are paid by the hour, there will be little enticement to spread workload more efficiently or to record that a certain job or activity took less time than expected. This can be avoided through clear communication with the team. Make your staff aware that the timesheets are purely used to ensuring that clients are billed correctly so that your business can continue to operate and grow sustainably.
To combat the problems above, we encourage our users to look at the following benefits, which help their team work together to create better timesheets:
By utilising reports you can produce meaningful data for yourself and your team, such as which clients aren’t profitable, or which projects were completed the most efficient. By utilising this data your team will be able to prioritise workloads going forward or split activities with other teams or departments to ensure a timelier completion. You can also use data capture to see which staff have holiday remaining, and encourage them to take appropriate leave to ensure they are adequately rested throughout the year.
Better Business Model
Many of our clients, have found that it is difficult to ensure the same amount of billable time is accumulated month on month, often leading to fee negotiation discussions and a need to prove the additional cost to their client. This has led to a rise in fixed fee business, with monthly retainers being put in place. This conversion and change of mindset have allowed our clients to focus on their clients’ satisfaction, rather than meeting a target number of billable hours and predictable income rather than relative uncertainty.
By tracking time accordingly, timesheets allow staff to tell their managers and team leaders ‘exactly’ what is involved in a project. By either putting notes against the time or adding appropriate items to the timesheet, it allows for users to tell their colleagues that sometimes unexpected activities become a time drain, allowing for better budgeting and fee proposals going forward.
Better Armed Reviews
Finally, they can be used as a way of a staff member showing their commitment to the business and a great source of evidence for an annual appraisal and salary review.
If you’d like to talk to us about how you can help your team adapt to a new process, why not drop us a line or email at your convenience?