There is one universal truth about timesheets. Employees hate to fill them out! At best they consider them to be tedious and time-consuming. At worst they may think that the sole purpose of timesheets is for management to closely monitor and question their every move.
However, as a property manager, the prompt and accurate completion of timesheets is critical to the profitability of your business for the following reasons:
Revenue and cash flow
Billable time not only recovers the salary of the property maintenance staff performing the labor, but generates additional revenue for the company. Without timesheets, billing is delayed and cash flow suffers.
Work order management
Timesheets allow management to see the current status of tasks — whether completed, partially completed or not yet started, without having to call and interrupt individual staff members to get an update.
Work quality and efficiency
Timesheets will often reveal inconsistencies in the amount of time it takes to complete similar tasks — either because it is a different staff member on the job or there are special circumstances. Management can then further investigate the reasons behind such differences and develop an appropriate action plan.
Planning and budgeting
The number of hours spent on individual maintenance tasks, whether regularly scheduled or unforeseen, will paint an accurate picture of the ongoing resources required for a given property.
When a business can better manage its maintenance tasks and the resources required to complete them, tenants and owners will experience better service and greater overall satisfaction.
The challenge is, how do you get your maintenance staff on board with completing timesheets promptly and consistently?
If left in the dark, employees will likely come up with their own theories about the purpose of timesheets and how they’ll be used. So be sure to explain how timesheets will be utilized to benefit the company as well as individual staff members. For instance, “technician’s notes” on individual work orders allow maintenance staff to document any issues encountered, making it easier for management to address these issues in the future.
Make it easy
Ironically, the biggest resistance to completing timesheets is the amount of time it takes to do it! So make sure that yours are simple and easy to fill-in and also can be completed remotely. INFO-Tracker’s Timesheet Tracker module allows maintenance staff to click just one button to update both the work order in the centralized system as well as their personal timesheet.
Don’t punish honesty
Not every moment of every work day can be filled with legitimately billable work. Sometimes the line up at Dunkin’ Donuts takes longer than expected, or the school principal calls in the middle of the afternoon to explain an “incident”. If you start to question every moment of your employee’s day, the result will be some creative allocation of time to avoid repercussions, which in turn will impact the accuracy of your data. Be flexible and allow little blips in time to slide, while keeping an eye out for employees who consistently take advantage.
Share the results
The most effective way to get staff members on board with any initiative or situation is to make them feel involved in the process. If the amount of time spent on certain maintenance tasks indicates a problem, try to involve employees in coming up with a solution. Or if timesheets reveal that a job is being done very efficiently by a person or a group of people, be sure to share that too — not only will it boost their morale and encourage continued high performance, but they might share some “secrets” that other maintenance staff could learn from.
If you make completing timesheets a simple process and clearly communicate the reasons and benefits behind them, your staff will understand the value of documenting time spent and you will experience far less resistance and resentment.
Learn more about INFO-Tracker™’s Timesheet Tracker module for maintenance and how it can help you to:
✔ Improve work order management
✔ Boost the performance of maintenance staff
✔ Allocate resources more effectively
✔ Increase customer satisfaction