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Getting Employees to Use Timesheet Software
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By Curt Finch

In an earlier blog, I discussed why people hate timesheets. Now, let's look at ways to overcome this resistance.

Education and Buy-In: The most effective way to get people to do something is to make sure they understand what's in it for them. In the case of payroll for hourly workers, the desire to get paid provides the incentive. In the case of billing automation, it's revenue for the company (i.e. a successful company). Most people can understand this, and they care about the success of their company.

Project accounting is more abstract. If done badly, it can lead to unnecessary overtime, stressful blown schedules, bad estimates and cancelled projects. Relating specific examples from your company in which good time collection could have prevented problems helps to get employees on board.

Adoption Dashboard:It helps to include graphs that clearly illustrate which departments and people are entering their time consistently and completely, and which are not. This helps managers understand early on who they need to badger about getting their time recorded, or who to reward for doing a good job in this area.

Phased Rollout: Adopting a multiphase rollout approach that leads to per-person per-project profitability allows you to change the culture in more manageable steps.
Incentives: Linking bonuses or other benefits with complete data collection is often used in customer relationship management (CRM) tools to adjust sales commissions. The same can be done for other forms of data collection. My company, Journyx Inc., has a patent—we call it the 'frequent flyer patent'—for automatically rewarding your employees on your behalf for timely time reporting.

Email Reminders: Getting an automated reminder when your time has not yet been recorded produces results…usually!

Implementing Project Accounting: If you have more than five people in your organization and they are working on many projects or within many processes, it is time to start thinking about implementing time tracking. If you have 100 people in an R+D group and you're not tracking time, then you're wasting the lives and work of a significant percentage of your employees. You might have them working on projects that the market will not reward you for, which are over budget or otherwise in the ditch, and you don't know that today.

Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx.

Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Bruce A. McGraw is the CEO of Cognitive Technologies.
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