In our experience, there are lots of reasons companies and organizations look for a time tracking solution. They consume time data in a variety of ways in a quest for efficient and effective management. In another post about how to get employees to fill out and submit their timesheets on time, I talked about the importance of having everything in one place – ONE system for entering all of your time data ONE time.
One of the reasons you need to track your time data in a single system is to keep the process quick and easy for your employees. If people have to sign in to multiple systems and learn different interfaces for tracking various types of time, or worse enter the same time in multiple places, they won’t want to do it – which makes your job much more difficult. Entering time isn’t fun, so it has to be easy.
In addition to easy access through one system with one login (e.g, SSO and Active Directory), what kinds of things can you do via time tracking software to make timesheet completion quick and easy and get employees to submit timesheets on time?
- Accuracy & Corrections – One of the hardest parts of filling out a timesheet is getting the details right. If you want to gather meaningful data about how your people work, some level of project/cost code/billing information is required as part of tracking that work. Setting up timesheets that show your users just the right information, based on project associations and other business rules, takes the responsibility for accuracy out of the users’ hands and makes the review process easier for supervisors and project approvers. It also reduces the likelihood of corrections for timesheets that have been processed for critical business needs.
- Suggestions & Entry Aids – Most of us work on projects and activities that span weeks, months or even years at a time. Other events are part of the work week on a recurring basis. So, starting out with a blank timesheet each week doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you have the ability to reuse what you’ve done on your recent timesheets, as well as suggested entries from other systems where you track your tasks and events, then the time entry process becomes much faster and easier.
- Workflows & Collaboration – In the event you can’t completely resolve all of the questions about timesheets with business rules and suggestions, you will need a way for employees and supervisors to communicate effectively before and during the review/approval process. Workflows that automate the review process make it easier for both employees and their managers to submit accurate timesheets quickly and with as little pain as possible.
- Platform & Location – No matter how easy it is to fill out a timesheet, employees won’t do it if they can’t do it the way they want. They need the option to fill it out where they are – in the office, on the road, offline in an airplane, etc. They also expect to have access on their preferred platform from laptop to smart phone to tablet. When you give your users the flexibility to do things their way, you will improve the quality and timeliness of your critical time data.