Poor time management among employees can be harmful to business and causes unnecessary costs such as overtime. To curb the challenge of dealing with unsatisfied clients, it is important to tackle the situation head-on.
Employees often need extra time to complete a task due to not managing their time effectively, thus resulting in missed deadlines. It is proven that it is possible to improve employee satisfaction by applying a few simple tactics to teach employees how to manage their time to positively contribute to the growth of an organisation.
Here are some tools you can share with your employees to curb improper use of time and maximize productivity.
Planning and setting goals
Your employees may be good at their job but struggle with managing their time properly. You can step in by encouraging collaborative planning in teams, and encouraging the breakdown of tasks into small ‘bite-size’ chunks.
The idea is to set a realistic timeline that breaks down goals into smaller assignments. This can be done through project management software and techniques like SCRUM. Cloud-based productivity tracking is an easy way to ensure that you keep track of the goals you need to set and the task progress.
There are many online tools that facilitate time management to ensure ease and team productivity. Planning is a very important skill that can also propel the employee beyond the organisation. Direct supervisors also play an important role in understanding the pace of employees as individuals and noting areas that require improvement in planning.
Teach them prioritisation
You can start this lesson off by setting clear priorities on what is to be delivered first and what tasks are the most important. By ranking priorities according to the highest first followed by lowest.
Communication is central to ensuring that employees understand what is the most important task that they need to submit urgently. In as much as we believe that people are trained to prioritise in school or life in general, some employees need someone to actively teach them the skill.
The process is one that also needs the immediate supervisor to be directly involved and advise on departmental issues that require priority setting. Once this is a skill that your employees hone, operations become comparatively easier.
A sense of trust is important within an organisation and trusting your employees to use their time effectively eases a burden and creates more time to focus on operational management.
Being organised is the key to business success
In the resume, every employee will claim they are organised. It is a general requirement for any job you are pursuing. Teach your employees not to waste valuable time by storing documentation incorrectly, misplacing other tools and being ‘all over the place.’
There are simple methods available to teach employees good organisation skills. One way is to teach your employees to plan ahead for the day. For instance, give them 30 minutes at the beginning of each day to plan their tasks.
Additionally, it is important to introduce standardized filing systems that encourage an organised working space. A clean and organised working environment is a boost to productivity. So be sure to facilitate the process by ensuring that cleaning happens before or after office hours. Each employee should also be encouraged to keep their workspace clean and tidy.
At times, processes in an organisation can be impossible for the employee to get around, and the problem may lie in streamlining. First of all, coming up with an effective streamlining strategy is of utmost importance. Secondly, you need to train employees to apply the strategy across different tasks.
This will allow managers to get more insight into hindrances and what or who causes blockages. Once there is a clear streamlining strategy in place, employees will become more effective at completing their tasks and adhering to their daily responsibilities.
Besides, streamlining allows for a single reporting line and eliminates the confusion of reporting to multiple people. Employees trained in streamlining can see their tasks to completion and ensures a quick turnaround on tasks.
This is a tactic that line managers need to master because they tend to take on a bulk of work they can simply delegate. Task delegation also comes with the responsibility of ensuring that an employee is well trained and capable of completing their tasks.
In other instances, an employee might need someone else to take on the task and with the correct approval, they can pass the task on to someone else. The importance of sharing these skills lies in ensuring that employees are not bogged down by work and are able to create a flow among each other.
Furthermore, it encourages trust within a team that they can trust a team member in their absence or during high-pressure moments when deadlines are drawing closer. The delegation process also allows an employee to gain new skills and understand aspects of their jobs they might undermine.
Teach work-life balance
It is important to ensure work-life balance so that your employee does not burn out or experience too much stress. High-stress levels can result in physical illness leading to an employee needing time off work. Besides, stressful environments are becoming outdated and employee satisfaction has become a priority nowadays.
Workplace wellness should be integrated into the program and creating a culture of checking in with employees to ensure an adequate balance.
If some of your staff members are also tackling their studies while working, you might recommend online assistance, which you can read about in this GradeMiners review. Showing that you care about their personal life also establishes a sense of trust among employees.
Setting aside time for difficult work
Not everything is easy in the workplace, naturally. Teaching your employee to firstly speak out of a task is too difficult is important in allowing them more time to complete it. With challenges in completing difficult tasks, a little more time than usual might be needed.
So, teach your employees to perhaps start off with the simple tasks and move onto the more difficult ones. By setting aside time, the employee allows themselves to research the issue from angles and explore the different solutions.
This is a tactic the employee could also apply to personal matters. Learning to take time to deal with difficult tasks makes you more effective in the workplace and minimizes stressful situations.
Employees are often faced with tight deadlines might be faced with the challenge of ensuring that they complete their tasks on time. In the same breath, they may have to communicate with clients and fellow staff over the phone and via email.
Teach your employees to set aside time in the day to manage their communication. Rather than being available all day, they could perhaps use specific times of the day to reply to emails and return phone calls. Of course, the client needs to feel appreciated if that is the nature of your business, and not ignored.
As pivotal as communications are, they can be a distraction. Rather, allow your employees to leave a personalized message with switchboard or request that only priority clients are put through during times of high pressure and urgent deadlines.
Despite everything that goes on in the office, it important to train your employees to minimise distractions and interruptions. Some companies do not allow the usage of a mobile phone in the office or turn off social media.
However, deactivating social media does not teach the employee anything but to tough it out through boredom. Rather empower your employees by reminding them that they are capable of limiting distractions.
It is also important to impart the lesson of scheduling so that interruptions can be anticipated rather than being a surprise. These skills will ensure that there is always a little extra time to deal with distractions. This helps motivate your team to track their time properly.
Planning and scheduling for peak performance
Teach your employees to leverage on times of the day in which they feel most focused and present at the moment. For some, it is the morning, others in the afternoon. Teach the employee to leverage these times of day to deliver their utmost best.
Each employee will have different times, but by teaching them this skill, each one independently can plan their time accordingly. Each employee is different, but the core of this lesson is to ensure that tasks are completed with accuracy and with attention to detail and submitted on time.
Time Management is a challenge for everyone, including management however, it is a skill that can be imparted. Effective time management is crucial in every workplace, and employees who struggle to meet expectations might simply need to create a way to manage their time.
Lack of efficiency in the workplace is not acceptable, so you can play a role in improving performance through training and development of employees. The truth is that like any other skill – this one can be taught, learned and applied.
About the Author
Alice Jones She is from San Francisco, CA based writer and journalist working for some of the best online writing services and digital publications. Her current assignment is with essay pro where she works as a team leader. She graduated from University of San Francisco and then pursued Master’s degree in journalism. Her interest areas include business management, marketing and finance.