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How to Get Employees to Submit Timesheets On Time?

Andjelka Prvulovic
Last update on:
January 23, 2023 12:00 PM
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If you are reading this, you are probably managing employee payroll or time and attendance. One of the most frustrating parts of your role is getting all the timesheets ready in one place and on time. 

While keeping track of employees' time is mandatory for employers, completing and submitting timesheets before they are due can be quite challenging for their staff.

A timesheet reminder may seem like a logical next step for you to take. Although a cost-efficient and rational option, you will need more than this simple effort from your side to ensure such an outcome. This article will explain why and offer a solution that will actually give results.

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What Is a Timesheet Reminder?

Although it may seem pretty straightforward, a timesheet reminder is a message you send to your employees to prompt them to complete and submit their timesheets on time for a particular period. 

You can remind one or more of your employees to complete their timesheets during a conversation in an unwritten form or make this process more formal by sending a written timesheet reminder, most commonly via email. 

Some use more creative ways to motivate their employees, sending funny memes or even offering incentives for completing timesheets on time.  

More often than not, all these efforts miss the target. So let's try to understand why.

Why Do Employees Avoid Filling Out Timesheets?

It’s a no-brainer that employees don’t like filling out timesheets. This may cause employees to drag their feet when it comes to filling out their time cards time cards which leads to a prolonged payroll review time. So why do employees dislike filling out time cards?

There are many reasons for this, and we will discuss them briefly below.

  1. Time-consuming. Filling out a timesheet can be very time intensive process. Most employees simply want to focus on their core duties and filling out a time card tends to be a low priority. It can even be more challenging for employees who are out on the go. 
  2. Don't See the Purpose. Sometimes, employees don't really understand the purpose of filling out timesheets or how they could benefit from this activity. Hence, their motivation to complete the task is low. Instead, they think of timesheets as just another attempt at micromanagement or another administrative task. 
  3. Don’t Know How to Do It Properly. Some employees simply do not know of how to fill out a timecard. Filling out a timecard can also be a very intimidating process for some people.
  4. Fear of Negative Consequences. Some of your employees might avoid completing their timesheets out of fear that they might look inefficient or even lazy and that this data will be used against them when payday or evaluation day comes.
  5. Disrupting the Workflow. Your employees may find filling out timesheets tedious, as it disrupts their workflow. After such an interruption in logging in their activities, they find it hard to concentrate and continue with their tasks.

While sending a timesheet reminder email or a meme could motivate some of your employees to submit them before the time card due date, it doesn’t even begin to address the reasons behind their tardiness. 

So, How Do You Get Employees to Submit Timesheets On Time?

To tackle the time tracking issue efficiently, you must first remove the complexity surrounding it. The best way to achieve this goal is by using a software or app to streamline the process and make it effortless for your employees.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right app or software:

Choosing the Right Time Tracking App

To make it easier for your employees to track time, you want the time-tracking software to be 

intuitive and simple for your employees to use.

Easy Clock In

For example, Timeero lets your employees clock in with a single click. You can set up different jobs and tasks and have them clock into one of them directly. 

Timeero Mobile App View: Clock into job

When they do so, employee timesheets are automatically created, and the app keeps tracking their time until they clock out of work. With Timeero on board, there is no need to set a timesheet reminder, as the time records of your employees' attendance are always there for approval or any other purpose.

Timeero Time and Mileage: Admin View

What Else Can the App Automate?

Time tracking is a feature of various apps on the market, offering different sets of functionalities.

Searching for a way to streamline your timesheets is a perfect opportunity for you to consider your other businesses tracking and automation needs and choose an app that can help you improve your overall efficiency.

For example, Timeero is known as a GPS time clock solution, meaning that besides tracking employees’ time, it also keeps track of their location. 

So, apart from streamlining time tracking, it has the potential to automate other time-consuming and tedious tasks. This gives your employees peace of mind to focus on more productive tasks. 

Check out our article on GPS time clock and how it can benefit your business.

Below, we will briefly discuss some other operations that you can consider streamlining together with time tracking, preferably using the same software. 

Location tracking

So, besides tracking employees’ time, Timeero and other GPS time clock solutions can provide data on employees' whereabouts during their working hours. 

 Location tracking starts with the moment employees clock in and lasts until they punch out. 

Timeero works offline, meaning employees can still track time and activity even without an internet connection. 

Location tracking features may come in handy for businesses with field or mobile workers or companies that function in multiple locations. Besides ensuring your timesheets are always on time, you can ensure your employees are where they are supposed to be at work, all with a single app.

You can learn more in our article on GPS tracking best practices.

Geofencing 

Closely related to GPS time-tracking is another great feature businesses can benefit from - geofencing.

‍Using geofencing, you put an invisible border around a specific work site. You can, for example, enter a particular address and then specify the distance for the fence. 

Setting up Timeero Geofencing

In Timeero, you can set the geofenced location using Jobs & Tasks feature. Once your employee enters/leaves a fence, you can choose to send your employees notification (our version of a timesheet reminder) prompting them to clock in/out.

Learn more about the Benefits of geofencing.

Mileage tracking

Besides keeping track of time and location, some apps also come with a mileage-tracking feature.

Track Employee Hours, Location, Speed and Route

Timeero, for instance, can also track employees' business mileage during their shifts, automating the entire process up to the moment of reimbursement.

If the admin sets the mileage tracking option, the app will detect driving and start logging the mileage.

This feature is essential for companies with mobile employees who spend their shifts on the go. 

By opting for tracking mileage besides time-tracking, companies now automatically have all data they need to adequately reimburse their employees for mileage and optimize their mileage costs. 

As they will have an insight into the routes their employees take to a worksite, they can be sure they are not paying for scenic routes or employees' personal drives or even worse side jobs . 

And besides streamlining time tracking and making it easier for the employees to deliver their timesheets on time, they can take another worry off their shoulders - having to fill in their mileage logs. We have a great guide on mileage tracking, check it out.

Reporting

Besides streamlining time tracking procedures, many timesheet apps allow you to draw reports from the data they gathered directly.

The more relevant and accurate data the app gathers, the more valuable your reports become.

Easily Generate Reports

Timeero offers a wide variety of reports that you can generate automatically based on data gathered by tracking employees' time, location, and mileage. Using it, you can run reports for any employee, group of users, job or location, mileage, etc., and have a direct insight into the use of your employees' time and company's expenses for better management.

So, besides timesheets that you can access for approval and, in some situations, editing, you can put your time, location, and mileage data to good use to improve your operations based on thorough analysis.

Scheduling

Some time-tracking apps combine the timesheet feature with scheduling to offer their clients even more accountability and organization across their teams. 

The scheduling feature lets you assign specific jobs, tasks, or shifts to a single employee or a group and provide them with all the necessary information to complete their tasks. Furthermore, it helps you distribute jobs more efficiently, and achieve balanced workload.

Timeero Scheduling

When you create a new schedule entry in Timeero, employees assigned to the job will receive a real-time notification and a prompt to accept or reject the shift, streamlining the process and making it easier and more transparent for everyone involved. 

Timeero Scheduling: Employee View

Check out our article to find out how scheduling can improve your employees’ productivity.

Reimbursement 

One of the primary purposes of timesheets is efficient and accurate payroll, so streamling time-tracking and employee reimbursement often go hand in hand

So, it is no surprise that many common accounting and payroll solutions also come with the time tracking feature, while the time tracking apps offer their clients more than just a more accurate timesheet - a way to automate payroll, most often using integrations.

Timeero integrates with the most popular accounting and payroll apps to use your time and mileage data to accurately reimburse your employees, reducing the need for manual admin work and chances for human errors.

Notifications & Reminders

Along with time tracking, many apps tend to streamline other processes that support it. For example, they often send automatic reminders and notifications to the users, prompting them to action.

Timeero sends your employees automated reminders and notifications

Instead of a typical timesheet reminder, Timeero sends your employees other relevant automated reminders and notifications, ensuring that both the tracking process and your operations run smoothly.

For example, your employees can receive clock-in and out reminders and notifications about overtime and schedule changes, while your admins can obtain info on late arrivals or clock-in out of the geofenced bounds. Clock in and out reminders can also be set inside the mobile app.

How Do I Explain Time Tracking to My Employees?

If you are considering switching to time tracking software, find time to sit down with your employees and explain all the benefits the app will bring them and the company.

Below are some topics you should focus on when explaining the need for time tracking to your employees.

:

  • The reasons behind implementing the time tracking app, such as having an accurate and reliable number of hours for reimbursement, ensuring compliance, making well-informed decisions based on actual data, streamlining workflow, and improving performance, etc. Read our article on GPS tracking best practices to find out more about the topic.

  • The employees' benefits, such as completing timesheets in minutes, with no interruptions to their workflow. The app will ensure they get paid for every hour they've worked and provide a clear insight into their working days so they can manage their time better. If the app offers other features that may come in handy for your employees, let them know about these functionalities.

  • Data privacy concerns. Explain which data the app will collect, when, and for what purpose. Your employees also need to understand who can access or edit their data.

  • Address their fears. We've already mentioned some of your employees' fears regarding timesheets. Use this opportunity to address these concerns. 

  • Introduce employee GPS tracking policy. A clear and thorough policy will help your employees understand and follow the new practice. You can find the article on establishing an employee GPS tracking policy with a free template to download in our Resources section.

Also, before implementing a tracking app, establish clear policies regarding the procedures you want to automate. The policies should be clear and easy for your employees to understand while aimed towards improving company culture and workplace procedures.

To Wrap It Up

While a timesheet reminder can come in handy to some of your employees, who need to be more mindful or focused, it won't significantly affect the timesheet issue you're experiencing. 

The reason is simple - most of your employees are not forgetful. Therefore, they don't need anyone to remind them of their obligations. 

They need a way to track their time easily without disrupting their workflow. Timeero can help you answer the needs of your company and employees

Track Time Without Disrupting The Workflow.

Sign in for our free 14-day free trial to check how!
AUTHOR
Andjelka Prvulovic

Andjelka is a sociologist turned digital marketer. She specializes in creating content for SaaS and software companies. When she’s not researching the most effective employee management techniques, Andjelka loves cooking, reading, and fighting for human rights.

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