How do you get your people to fill out their timesheet? This is one of the most common problems in business, and it extends to any system with human-entered data, such as a CRM system.
Well there’s the carrot, and then there’s the stick.
Lets start with the carrot. The best way is to pay them. People who are paid hourly trade their time data for a paycheck. This is the most powerful way to get people to track their time for you. You might think that the culture of your industry or your company is antithetical to this concept but there are significant benefits to both employees and companies for hourly pay, even for very highly paid individuals. First, it’s honest. If you think, as an employer, that you are somehow getting some giant free lunch from unpaid overtime, you probably really aren’t, and if you are, either the federal or may be your state government will sooner or later be coming after you about that.
Employees get paid for every hour they work if paid hourly, and isn’t that really the fair thing to do?
I’ve worked in companies where everyone, including the CEO was paid hourly. It worked just fine.
What else can you do? You can notice and reward people for giving you the time data that you need to run your business. Give out a timesheet hero award publicly to the people who have the best records.
How about the stick. I’ve seem companies get creative here, from simply firing offenders to automatically cutting off their network access so that they have to beg to be let back in the next day, to creating a ‘wall of shame’ where repeat offenders noted in a public area.
Every employee wants their company to succeed, and the biggest carrot of all is working for a winning company. So for crying out loud, tell your people why you are capturing the data, and what it is used for. This is the way to get them bought in, and I’d be willing to bet that no one has ever explained that to them.
If you tell people why you need the data and set up automatic reminders to keep them on board, you will be able to succeed.