How to get Teams to fill out Timesheets?

There are many reasons why timesheets are important in resource management. Timesheets are imperative for measuring, forecasting and tracking time as well as money spent on projects and resources. With the help of an integrated timesheet software, the benefits are endless. From saving money to way better analytics that leads to more efficient resource scheduling. But how do you get your team to fill out timesheets? How to submit timesheets accurately and on time too? The barriers to entry are well documented. Let’s show you how to overcome them and point out the benefits you are really obtain with a good timesheet software.

Why do we need Timesheets?

Firstly, let’s go through what Timesheets actually do and how they can benefit you when it comes to project management and resource scheduling.

  • Timesheets provide vital insights into where resource time has actually been spent.
  • Help with the forecasting of resources on future projects.
  • Timesheets help to identify the true availability of resources.
  • Less billable productivity time is wasted.
  • Factual data leads to profitable scheduling.

Analytics Reports

The tracking of reported time allows for valuable insights into the analytics of projects and resources. From here, make strategic decisions for future forecasting of resources on projects. Do they need more, do they need less, etc? Tracking project efficiency.

Analytics will have a vital impact for Budget & finance analytics too. Here, you will determine if there is enough budget for projects and resources. Can budgets be better aligned?

Resource Reports Hub Planner

Efficient resource scheduling and project planning

Timesheets Hub PlannerAnalytics from timesheets allows you to forecast and manage the scheduler. Timesheets is not for a Big Brother or control of resources. This is more to understand the utilization rates to make resource scheduling more efficient and projects delivered on time.

You can use timesheets to monitor team performance. Are resources over or under utililized? Is this an ongoing trend. Perhaps a redistribution of work load is required. Submitting timesheets daily or weekly allows for strategic changes mid project. You don’t have to wait till the end of a project.

Save money & track project costs

Track the Scheduled versus Actuals. You can track the hours, the budget, and the costs. Track whats scheduled, to date, and future. For example, Hub Planner visibly shows this in the project billing panel and in reports. There are report templates that will show you in black and white (or colors if you add conditional formatting) the scheduled versus the actuals.

Timesheets Hub PlannerLess admin work too. A simple and quick timesheet process makes for less work all round. For teams, for management and admin teams.

Timesheets also allow you to identify a pattern very quickly. Do you notice resources are over scheduled? Maybe you need to add more resources to the team. Make quick strategic decisions mid project.

Lower costs due to accurate invoicing. Now time reported is more accurate and calculated accordingly.

Compliance

  • Keeps a uniform structure to the process.
  • Billing clients – Imperative for billable hours and non billable work.
  • Integrated with HR Payroll
  • With a software like Hub Planner, you can activate an approval workflow. Moreover you can delegate approval roles to specific managers.

What’s the problem?

When timesheets aren’t filled out, sometimes you can easily see why.

  • The process of filling out timesheets can be too complex way of requesting resources to fill out timesheets.
  • There are no reminders to fill timesheets.
  • It simply takes too long.
  • Multiple versions
  • You might find resources who show resistance against performance monitoring.
  • Unfit for agile workflows
  • Susceptible to human error or worse, fraud.

Motivate teams to fill out timesheets.

How?

Here are a few ways in which we can help you encourage teams to fill timesheets.

Simplicity

Making the process of submitting timesheets as simple as possible is key. There is no point enforcing a complex way. They will forget how to do it. By having a simplistic way to measure and track resources time spent, you have a way better chance of resources filling out timesheets.

Simplicity is key!

We want resources to be able to quickly summit their timesheets. If the process is quick and easy taking a minimal amount of time each day or each week, we are gaining valuable insights into analytics. It it takes too long, teams are not going to fill them out. It’s counter intuitive.

If filling out timesheets is long drawn out process then forget about. They will. Simplicity is key. Remember. We are seeking the most accurate data possible. By having a short and simple approach to submitting timesheets will encourage resources to do so. Not only that, but also at the right time. When it’s fresh! If possible, a there and then approach is best.

UI/UX

Keep the UI as simple and clean as possible. Avoid any clutter. Clever quick action buttons allow to collapse the sidebar and chart views. Use a simple color pallet segregates the status of time. Keep in mind a key principal when it comes to design. A clean and simple user interface leads to a better user experience.

A clean and simple UI leads to a better UX

A digital timesheet solution like Hub Planner needs to be quick, simple to use and easy to navigate. A complicated spreadsheet lends for wasting valuable time. Valuable billable production hours. I sheet you not!

Communicate

What if resources submit timesheets but not filling them in correctly? This is nearly as pointless as not filling them out. You need to validate the reasoning behind submitting timesheets. It doesn’t always equate to the hours paid or whether you were working or slacking! We want to know how long it took you on a project so that we can plan better the next time. We want to be able to provide and match the right amount of resources with the right skillsets to the right projects. At the end of the day, we want to analyze planned versus actuals. Our scheduled versus reported.

How many resources will I need for the next project? Help on how to set the budget. How to forecast for resources.

That’s not denying that budgeting and finance doesn’t come into it, it does. However, what it also means is that if we can forecast in advance this will help us become more profitable and guess what that means? In turn, more secure jobs.

Communicate the results of the timesheets in so far as how budgets have been allocated. Congratulate the team on coming in under budget. How performance had been boosted etc. Also the bad side of things too.

Remove the stigma of the big brother approach and explain to resources the importance to submit timesheets.

Communicate the importance of submitting a timesheet and how to do it. If resources do not know what is expected of them. Well, that’s not going to help anyone. Ensure the training is provided and let’s try to get a strong timesheet culture into play.

Automate

We talked about simplicity and ease of process for submitting timesheets. With the help of an automated timesheets software. This will definitely help the process.

Use software like Hub Planner to simplify the process by adopting an automated software to submit timesheets. Hub Planner encompasses a fantastic framework for submitting timesheets. What are the benefits?

Auto population. For example, with Hub Planner’s Timesheets all scheduled work within the Scheduler will automatically populate within the Timesheet. Not only is this a faster approach, it also provides a basis for more accurate tracking of resource hours.

Timesheets Hub Planner

Using a software will also track data in real time. This is super important in assisting with strategic decision making for project managers. Do you need to add more contractors? Should you start the next stage sooner?

Reports Scheduled versus actuals. This will update billing and budget financials of the project. With more accurate reporting of time, project managers have instant sight of the figure in real time. Reports will feature the scheduled versus the actuals which help to analyze the resource or project burn rate.

Budget forecasting is enhanced with the tracking of reported time. Hub Planner also automatically incorporates the feed from Booking Categories. Why is this important? For analytics. Use the Reporting platform to identify crucial data from timesheets. Which booking category consumed the most scheduled and reported time. Where is the gap amongst categories? In turn, forecasting resource schedules becomes more efficient and strategic based on the timesheets being filled out.

Automated Notifications

We’re only human. And, a handy reminder to fill out the timesheet can be really helpful. Users can program the reminder to be set at a specific day of the week and whether it’s for the current or previous week. Not only that, only users who have outstanding reported time will be notified.

Activate Timesheet Reminder

Very handy notification to have, and instrumental to the life cycle of a project and the ability for resource scheduling to work as efficiently as possible.

See below example from Hub Planner. Here, you can select on what day you wish to receive the remainder and also what particular week you wish to be reminded of. So for example. On a Friday, I want to be reminded that I have filled out my hours I worked on scheduled projects this week while it’s fresh in my head. Or I can select last weeks and be reminded of this on a Monday for instance. Imperative to complete either way, so it’s great to have that reminder notification in your inbox just in case!