Delivering consistently profitable and successful projects starts with knowing how much time is being spent on a task. The rise of field and remote workers adds another layer of complexity to this. Businesses all across the board are commonly faced with the same question, “How do we know what our employees are doing and how long it’s taking them to finish a job without making them feel micromanaged?”
In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips on how a time sheet application can help you manage multiple resources without making them feel mistrusted and help you get the best work out of them.
Time tracking is the process of calculating the hours an employee spends against a task. Contrary to a common misconception, time tracking is not the same as taking attendance. Time tracking, when done correctly, is one of the most significant ways of understanding resource utilization, accurately planning projects and reducing revenue leaks.
Traditional ways of time tracking via attendance books and excel sheets have limitations and are prone to human errors. They are also an administrative burden that creates more silos within the organization. Therefore, for any growing organization, these methods aren’t the most efficient.
Let’s look at how a time tracking tool that features timecards can benefit your organization.
Here’s how a time sheet application can help you manage multiple resources at once and with less effort.
Captures Actual Time Spent on Tasks
No more guessing how much time your employee is taking to complete an assignment or frantically calling them for an update. A digital timesheet captures actual time spent on projects, billable tasks, and administrative work. Furthermore, all of this data is available in real-time and is also presented in a visually aesthetic manner with color-coded templates. A manager can set up filters to view reports by project or resource.
Speeds Up Approval, Billings, and Payroll Processing
With the paper and pen method of time tracking, the submittal, approval, and processing part is often time consuming and delayed. For many companies, this is an administrative headache that hampers overall productivity. Let us explain.
The majority of employees, especially field and remote workers, look at logging time as the “last item” on their to-do list and therefore it’s often left for the end of the week or month. This delay adds additional stress to the approval and payroll functions because the HR representatives and managers not only have to wait till the timesheets are submitted, but they also have to run a manual check before processing pay and benefits.
With digital timecards, all of this information about hours worked, leaves, and accruals is tracked in real-time and available for approval and processing instantly. You can also customize the template with colour codes that will make the identification of drafts and approved, rejected, or pending timecards simpler. There is also an option to automatically approve submittals or approve them in bulk.
Let’s not forget that automatically capturing time also streamlines invoicing and billing for clients. Invoices are generated instantly and with accuracy (using captured time and billing rates of employees). Timely sent invoices ensure on-time payments and provide a cash influx that’s critical to keeping the business running.
With all these administrative “must-dos” taken care of — the manager and HR staff have more time to deal with the more pressing functions of their job like improving work culture or retaining employees.
Equalises Workload for Employees
A modern time sheet application presents data on resource utilization and capacity, therefore it ensures that the assigned workload is equal amongst all employees, whether they are in-office or remote workers. And the benefits don't just end there. Once time tracking is installed, it will also highlight which employees could potentially be struggling and need some training or additional help. As a manager you have an estimate how long a task could take. So, when it’s not being completed within a stipulated time, then you know it’s time to intervene, coach, and take corrective action to increase productivity.
Improved Monitoring of Project Progress
In a time sheet application, managers can assign tasks to employees and also provide a timeframe against which they need to be completed. Resources can log time spent on that exact job manually, import it, or fill using pre-existing scheduling data. This makes it an excellent tool for monitoring progress and status.
Managers can compare forecasted time with actual time taken and address the following strategic concerns:
A manager has the ability to create flexible reports to view the breakdown of time via tasks, projects, and even clients.
Minimizes Misleading or Inflated Time
With manual timesheets, there is no way to check the authenticity of the time entered by the employees. They can put “inflated” or “misleading” hours against a task. This leads to increased costs. With a digital timecard, the time is automatically captured and there is no way to tamper with it. It will keep your costs within budget.
Timecards are also a useful tool to prevent overtime payments for multiple resources. You can set work hours and overtime limits for the employees and the system will alert you when the resources are nearing their ceiling.
Creates Standard Operating Procedures
Most departments and locations have their own way of calculating hours worked against a task. When you invest in a time tracking tool, you are standardizing the process for all locations and departments —- therefore creating uniformity within the company. The same rules and protocols for all lend themselves to a culture of transparency, fairness, and equality. Employees will also feel there are no biases at play.
These standardized procedures also make it easier for your company to meet any national, state, or local governing body’s compliance requirements. The software can also be used as evidence to settle any disputes or confusion.
We have established that timesheets are a must have tool for managing multiple resources. However, there is also a proper way to go about introducing and implementing it within your organization.
Below, we have provided some of our top tips that will ensure everyone in your company accepts and uses timesheets:
Select a time sheet application that meets your company’s needs and suits your budget.
Provide training and on-going support for the software
Explain the purpose of investing in a time tracking app
Clarify how the data from the time tracking will be used
Detail out the organizational and individual benefits of using the software
Have a change management plan in place and an outlet where employees can come to raise their concerns or fears of using a new software
Get leaders and top management to use it and lead by example
Provide rewards and incentives for those who use it
Gain insight into how your employees are spending their time without breaching trust or micromanaging them with a digital timesheet like eResourceScheduler. We understand that your company’s billings, productivity, and profitability are all tied to how time is spent.
eRS, therefore, provides a full-suite of “resourcing” and “time-tracking” features that automatically capture time details. Our time sheet application is built to do it all — from providing a searchable database of resources to assigning tasks, and then monitoring actual vs planned costs and project status. You can use it to collaborate on all your company’s projects.