Timesheet… ugh! Do you like to fill your timesheet? Yes or No? Well, I can guess even before you answer most of you will say no. It’s “one more thing I have to do in addition to my zillion other tasks each week”, “I forgot”, “I didn’t have the time”. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all.
I’ve been in this business for 25 years and it’s never changed. Although the need to collect the data still exists today, and for different reasons like billing, payroll, project costing, tax credits and estimating, and perhaps even for time management. Nevertheless, people dislike doing the task or just don’t make it a priority. So how can we entice people to complete the task on time?
I would like to share with you what I’ve learned on the subject as a Project Director, in the hope that maybe I can make your timesheet challenge a little less daunting.
- Try to limit the list of tasks for each project to 3 tasks. Make generic broad categories that people can relate to for each project. For example “collaboration” would encompass everything from meetings to off-line discussions, e-mails, telephone. When time is entered, users can type in a description if they want to capture more detail about what was done.
- Tell them why you need it. Ensure to tell them the importance and the reasons why they need to track time. When people have a better understanding of the reasons why something is done, they will be more inclined to do it.
- Make entering time part of their routine. If it is not in their habit to provide time information, see if there is something you can do to motivate them to add it to their routine. Like setting up a notification in the Dovico Timesheet job scheduler as a reminder. If you are able to incorporate it into a person’s daily or weekly habits, they will be more inclined to remember to do it each day or week, however, you prefer.
- Give them several alternatives to enter time using their computer, a phone or tablet for instance. Essentially, whatever gets the job done, and with the technology we have today, it’s possible. Dovico Timesheet apps
- Teach by example. Even as a team lead, track your time as well, even if you don’t need to. You will understand what works and doesn’t.
- Ask people to give you their feedback so that you know how to make things easier for them. Engaging people in a decision that you’ve made will make them more likely to embrace it.
Project Director and Chief Happiness Officer
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Also published on Medium.