How do I get compliance with the timesheet?

Getting everyone to comply with a regular timesheet is a challenge for every organization that is doing it for the first time. It's faster to list the ways not to get compliance than how to get compliance. A heavy hand and lots of threats is rarely successful. A laissez faire hope that everyone will just naturally fall into line is also rarely successful. Staff cupcake meetings trying to bribe staff with sugar to get them to comply… sadly, also rarely successful.

The first thing to acknowledge to get compliance with your timesheet is that it is a culture challenge, a behavior challenge, a change management challenge, not a technology challenge.

The healthiest thing to do is to start with a process. Get your process defined and the reasons for following it articulated. If the staff know what you want to accomplish with the new timesheet system they're more likely to get onboard.

Start your process with the least amount of detail possible. Some administrators will want to start with hundreds of rules but it's much easier to add rules to a system that everyone already uses than it is to teach people all the rules when they're not using the system at all yet. So, start with less quality, less detail, less information and, over time, add more detail until you're getting out of the system what you need.

Don't ask for what you can't use. There's a great sushi restaurant near the HMS office that makes this point wonderfully. You can get all you can eat sushi for lunch at an extremely reasonable price. You order whatever you want. *But* you pay dearly for any piece of sushi you leave on your plate so don't order what you can't eat. In timesheet terms, there is no value to asking for data you have no valuable purpose for. You're adding costs with no offsetting benefits so resist the temptation.

We've got a white paper on just this subject here in the Best Practices area under Organizational Best Practices.