How to get employees to submit timesheets on time

Six techniques your competitors use to eliminate timesheet lateness.

Written by Le-roy Staines, CEO of TimeDock on

  1. No timesheets, no pay!

    It's an oldie but a goodie: Set a cut-off time and put your foot down.

    Explain to everyone the logistics of manually keying in fifty timesheets at 6pm the night before pay-day, and how it isn't sustainable. The payroll admin has done everyone a fantastic favour by staying late so often so the employees can get paid but they've been given an inch, and they're taking a mile.

  2. Automate the process, with TimeDock.com

    Click here for a free trial of TimeDock

  3. Automatic SMS reminders

    Send out SMS messages to your employees as a reminder to submit their timesheets. There are many online services such as ohdontforget.com that you can use to schedule recurring SMS messages.

  4. Focus on managers

    Restructure accountability within your organization and make it the supervisors' and managers' responsibility to have the timesheets for their staff filed on time. If you can, get them to do it daily. This will allow you to spread the time following up on errors and keying the hours into payroll, instead of becoming bottle-necked at the last minute.

  5. Offer incentives

    Some organizations offer fun incentives for staff who submit timesheets on time. One good example is to offer a weekly raffle on a Friday afternoon with your time-sheet as an entry ticket. No ticket: no entry.

    One Brazillian-based company went so far as to install a beer machine that only opened once everyone had submitted their timesheets correctly and on time.

  6. Make it easy

    The easier something is, or is perceived to be, then the more likely it is that people will be willing to do it. Particularly if the 'thing' in question is something they feel like they are being forced to do.

    Digital automation is one aspect, but there are other ways to make the process easy. For example if employees are not often near headquarters and dislike the long drive in to drop their timesheets off, then your could offer a training day showing non-technical employees how to take a photo of their timesheet and email it into head office with their phone.

TimeDock is a barcode-based employee time tracking system for Android and mobile time-clock for iOS.

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This article was written by Le-roy Staines, CEO of TimeDock - web-based time and attendance platform