How agencies get employees to fill in their timesheets

Tracking time is one of those things, you’d think, agencies would have figured out by now. But until a new method of industry-wide compensation gains traction, agency employees will be sentenced to track their hours, deciding how much of their day they spend on client A, B or C.

The problem, which comes as a surprise to no one: Employees aren’t very good at it. So shops have come up with increasingly convoluted — or, in the case of The Martin Agency, exciting — incentives to get people to track their time, on time.

This agency developed a program it calls “Teacupping.” It’s a software system that blocks the employees who haven’t finished their timesheets from using Facebook, Instagram and Google.

Tapserver2Colle + McVoy
Minneapolis has lots of great beer — but what if you couldn’t get any? The Tapserver is a custom-built multi-keg beer deployment machine that asks employees to first scan their employee cards, which contain an RFID chip. The chip connects to the agency’s timekeeping system. If you’re good to go, you can select a beer and drink. The agency claims that sentiment about timesheets has improved 90 percent since the machine was deployed.

JWT Brazil’s solution is similar — a locked fridge that connects to the system. But that agency has taken a more sinister approach: It only opens once everyone in the agency has finished their timesheets.

The Martin Agency
Employees at the Richmond, Virginia, shop are a lucky bunch. They’re treated to full, catered breakfasts, barbeque in the afternoons, candy bowls in elevators, a hot chocolate bar — but only if they’ve filled out their timesheets. Nothing too techie is involved either: File your timesheet in order to have your named put on a list so you can enjoy the goods.

Simple, but successful: No expense reimbursements until timesheets are done. Along with a side of snarky email.

Subject: April Showers, Expense Reports and Poop

We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” However, considering the fact that those of us here in Southern California didn’t receive any April showers, the number of May flowers may be adversely affected. So rather than flowers, let’s consider how we can make your bank account bloom and blossom. I propose that we modify the saying to “April expense reports bring May reimbursement checks.”

As long as you submit your April expense reports (and prior) before Wednesday, May 14th, your reimbursement check will come out smelling like roses. Unfortunately, failure to submit all expense reports for the periods ending April 30, 2014 and prior will result in forfeiting the opportunity to be reimbursed for any expenses that you incurred on behalf of the company (regardless of how much “Dairy Poop” you add to your excuses.)

It is also imperative that you complete and submit all outstanding Client Hourly Forms. This applies to all associates:  full-time, part-time, temporary and freelance. Failure to complete your forms will also result in [redacted] holding your expense check until all forms have been submitted for approval.

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