Getting your employees to track their billable hours shouldn’t feel like banging your head against a wall. Data shows that the U.S. economy loses 50 million hours in productivity per day because of unrecorded work activities. (Market Research Future, 2020). Simple changes can clear out valuable time for your employees to focus on their work instead of how to report it.
Top Three Ways to Get Your Employees to Track Billable Hours
Imagine a system where your techs receive notification of a job on the go; they can record expenses and log billable hours ON LOCATION, giving you an immediate record of time spent on the job. By the time your tech is on their way to the next service stop, billable hours have been managed and reporting is ready to go. You can combine automatic time tracking with an auto-approval process to make the entire process of billing hours seamless from start to finish. Workflow automation software helps your team do more with the time they have while keeping everyone at peak productivity.
Workflow automation makes tasks easier, more efficient, less time-consuming, and less error-prone. Workflow automation software can remind your technicians to take care of forgettable data-entry tasks while simultaneously acting as a time tracker and compiling relevant information to publish reports so you know precisely where projects are at any point in time. Automation can reduce repetitive tasks by making it easier to track and bill time spent on a project; the easier it is to track time, the more likely your workers are to do it correctly.
Workflow automation software makes this integrated process easy and painless. We recommend our Workflow Automation eBook to clear up any misconceptions you might have about automating workflows and to help you make an informed decision about adopting an automated process. Automate everything! You’ll thank us later.
It’s not enough to implement a new system, you need to train your team on how to use it properly. Explain the benefits of entering time to your employees. Help them understand why timesheets matter, and what the data behind them is used for. Help them commit to the cause so they will work hard to ensure it is done right.
Give enough time during training on timesheets to allow for questions. Help your team understand that managing time is important for salaried employees and hourly workers alike. Understanding how much time is going into projects is vital across the board. Explain to each team how to fill in the timesheets, what data needs to be entered, what is automated, and how often they need to be submitted. Have a clear policy for submission, and a target person for questions. Not to repeat ourselves, but make it easy!
3. Request Feedback:
How do you know if something isn’t working for your team if you don’t ask? In addition to training your workforce on how to properly track their billable hours, it is also necessary to request their feedback on how the process is working for them.
Regardless of whether you are still tracking time on paper tickets, or have upgraded to an automated workflow system, your techs are going to be the best source of information on how well your time management system is working. But you have to ask! What are the pain points? What is taking the most time? If you have recently implemented an automated process for tracking time entries, ask how it’s going in the field and see if they have suggestions on process improvements. When your team feels like they have a say in the process, they will be more committed to its success.
How Time Tracking Helps Other Areas
Time tracking is an often overlooked, but incredibly important piece of managing your business. Automating the process can save you time and money. Looking at the bigger picture, time tracking through an automated process can help you calculate the true ROI of different jobs and customer contracts while making you more efficient at what you do best. Understanding the costs of jobs will help with reporting, forecasting, and identifying opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce waste. Quickly understand if you’re charging enough for your services, or allocating adequate time and resources to common service calls.
Tracking billable hours helps you coach and manage your employees, while also serving as a check on revenues and expenses. Getting an accurate read on performance is key, and this starts with accurate tracking of billable hours.
Labor is one of your biggest expenses and your profitability depends on how well your techs do their job. With a tap of your finger, you can instantly see their work log, efficiency rates, even a snapshot of their billable time. Fed up with not collecting on all of your billable time? Download our tech utilization eBook!