Delayed paychecks can have a ripple effect on your business. The psychological toll of not meeting financial obligations could throw your employees off-balance, causing work-related problems.
A 2017 PWC employee wellness survey showed that personal finances distract about one in three employees at work. According to Career Builder, 71% of workers say they’re in debt. The study also reported that 78% of Americans rely on prompt paychecks to survive.
As such, you’d want to make sure everyone is paid on time to maintain a healthy work environment. However, it’s not always easy.
If you pay workers based on timesheet reports, you have more than accounting to worry about. Prompt timesheet submissions are a common problem in any workplace and that’s why we’re going to talk about timesheet reminders.
Employees seem to have the habit of procrastinating or completely forgetting their time tracking spreadsheets. It’s not always their fault, though. They could be so focused on beating deadlines that they neglect their reports. While this doesn’t happen to everyone all the time, you’ll have at least one worker who forgets to submit in time.
It gets worse if your payment system is designed to settle wages in batches. One delayed time tracking spreadsheet submission could cause an accounting nightmare.
Now, you may wonder, “How do I get my employees to submit timesheets on time?” Well, you can use automated timesheet reminders. These prompts are now standard practice. They also add a layer to the timesheet approval workflow.
What Does the Workflow Look Like?
- Managers send out timesheet reminders
- Employees submit their timesheets
- Managers review the submitted timesheet, make corrections with employees, and approve
- Managers pass the timesheet on to human resources
Human errors can derail the workflow since it’s handled manually. Also, managers may forget to remind some employees as they review submitted time reports.
Automating your timesheet reminders can resolve the issue of the late submission for good. This way, you can set up an efficient workflow and almost eliminate human errors.
How Do You Automate Timesheet Reminders?
You can create automatic reminders using different tools such as Google Calendar and Slack.
How to Use Google Calendar to Set up Automatic Reminders
It’s easy to create recurring timesheet reminders using Google Calendar’s share feature. All you have to do is add an event with a reminder that repeats monthly. This is especially helpful if you manage a remote team.
Ensure every team member is added to the calendar and logged in to avoid missing these reminders. You can also set up email notifications.
If you don’t already have a shared Google Calendar, here’s how to create one:
- Head to https://calendar.google.com/ and log in with your Google Account.
- After that, go to My Calendars on the left side and click on the plus (+) sign beside Other Calendars.
- Select Create New Calendar.
- Enter the calendar name and description, choose a time zone, and click on Create Calendar.
- On the homepage of the Google Calendar app, go to the new calendar and click on the three dots.
- Select Settings and Sharing.
- Scroll down to the “Share with specific people” section, click on Add People, and add your team members.
Now, follow these steps to create an automated timesheet reminder:
- Go to Event Notifications and click on Add Notification. Choose Email in the Notification drop-down to alert workers via email.
- Return to the home page and click on a date.
- Go to the main calendar page on the right and tap an hour.
- Once the Event dialog appears, switch to Reminder.
- Add a title, which should notify your team members to turn in their timesheets.
- Click on the “Do not repeat” drop-down and choose how you want the reminder to recur.
The Google Workspace calendar is another advanced calendar app you can use.
Use Scheduled Emails
You can also send scheduled emails to employees who fail to submit their timesheets in time. Of course, you might ask, “How do I send a timesheet email reminder?” Well, it’s quite easy. Simply create an email and use the Schedule Send feature in Gmail. Other mail clients also provide a similar feature, such as Delay Sending.
Once you click on the button, select the date and time you want the email sent out.
Make sure you use a bold and clear message as the subject of the email.
Use Slack’s Reminder System
Slack is a well-known business communication tool. It connects remote teams and helps managers bring employees together. The program also has a great reminder system that you can leverage.
If you already use Slack, you should have a company-wide announcement channel to share important news and updates. If you don’t have a channel, create one.
Now, you’ll be using the /remind slash command to set up reminders. You have to start the command with a slash (/). Here’s how it works:
/remind #channel or @user to submit timesheets every [day] at [time].
For example, you can:
/remind #sales-team to submit timesheets on the 28th of every month
/remind @donald to submit the timesheet every Friday at 4 pm
The Slcakbot will notify you that the reminder has been set.
Best Practices for Setting up Timesheet Reminders
There are things you should do before you start sending out reminders.
Explain the Time Tracking and Timesheet Submission Process to Your Team
Explaining the importance of time tracking and timesheet reports can motivate your employees to submit promptly. Let them know how late submissions delay payment. Explain the different stages of the timesheet submission workflow and encourage them to set personal reminders.
Make it clear that submitting timesheets is an essential part of their duties as employees. This way, they can integrate it into their schedules and to-do lists. In addition, ensure they understand the consequences of repeated delays.
Evaluate Your Needs
Before choosing a timesheet reminder template, decide on a system that caters to everyone. For example, do you have remote workers in your ranks? How do you compensate interns? How many contract workers do you have? Do you outsource to other agencies? How you send timesheet reminders will depend on the work conditions of your employees.
Talk to your employees about your current system. Try to understand why they aren’t responding to reminders. For example, some workers would prefer mobile notifications over emails. Others in different time zones might need accurate reminders that don’t come in outside work hours.
The Disadvantages of Automated Timesheet Reminders
Automated timecard reminders are undeniably helpful in getting employees to submit reports when due. However, they can be disruptive. While they may seem like endurable minor interruptions, they could affect productive and smooth workdays.
Since they’re automatic, they can’t make exceptions. Sometimes, managers could even forget to stop reminders for workers on leave or those exempted from submissions.
Automatically Generate Timesheets Without Disruptive Reminders
Automatic timesheet generation is a better alternative to automated reminders. You don’t have to disrupt your employee’s workflow anymore. Also, you’ll eliminate the hassle of constantly sending out reminders and comparing reports.
Traqq allows you to generate timesheets automatically and on schedule. On the dashboard, you can set the app to send the report to particular email addresses. As a team manager, it’s easy to select your team members and create timesheets for specific periods. The application will automatically generate the timesheets whenever it’s time.
If your employees continue to work after the report has been generated, those billable hours will be counted in the next payment cycle.
The app could also include your workers’ productivity metrics in the report.
Make sure you brief every employee about the process if you’re going to use automated reports. Then, you can match your information with theirs to confirm you’re on the same page.
By using Traqq’s reporting feature, you get to spend less time worrying about timesheet reminder memes. You should evaluate your company’s needs and decide whether you’d disrupt workflow with automated reminders or scheduled timesheet reports.