We all know that time management is important, but it takes on a special role in the workplace. When you’re paying your employees to do a job, you want to maximise the bang for your buck, and the way to do that is by helping said employees manage their time effectively.
Read on for six ways to improve time management in your company.
Teach Employees to Prioritise Tasks
Prioritising tasks may come naturally to you, but that’s not the case for everyone (as you’ve probably noticed by now). Learning how to prioritise can be a weak spot for many employees, especially those who do not have management experience. It’s helpful to teach your employees to split their priorities into categories. These should be: important and urgent, important but not urgent, and neither important nor urgent.
Ensuring everyone in the business prioritises can help staff meetings move more quickly as well. Telling employees that you want to hear about their level one or level two tasks can cut out a lot of chit chat about tasks that are not at the top of the list.
Use A Daily Time Clock
When you require your employees to punch in and out, they are held accountable for adhering to the timetable you set for the work day. An easy to use employee time clock will erase awkward, confrontational conversations about long lunches and late arrivals to work. A time clock evens the playing field- no employees are getting special treatment or unfair leeway.
If you choose to use a time clock, be sure to present it to your employees in a positive way, perhaps mentioning that you want to make sure they’re being fairly compensated for all of the hours they work. If the subject of a time clock is approached in a punitive way- for example, telling them you’ve noticed that some people slip out early and you want to keep them in line- you may notice a negative effect on morale.
Don’t Be a Firefighter
We’ve all been there- you go into work with a big to-do list, and spend most of the day correcting now-urgent problems created by seemingly careless employee mistakes. Many managers spend a lot of time “putting out fires” created by poorly trained employees. While it may take more work on the back end, it’s important to give employees full, comprehensive, regular training so that they are able to do tasks correctly the first time.
It may be helpful to ask employees where they feel they need training- you may be surprised to learn that some of your employees would benefit from a session on how to use your company’s technology or how to write a formal business letter. Teaching your employees how to do things correctly the first time saves you, as a manager, from scrambling at the last minute to correct someone else’s careless mistakes.
Encourage Rock Star Employees to Delegate Tasks
While delegating may not actually save time, it can increase workplace productivity. Communication is key for delegation to be effective- employees need to know each other’s strengths so they know who to go to for effective task completion. Bi-weekly meetings are a great time to talk about each employee’s current to-do list and see where delegations can be made. It’s important to celebrate the people who tasks are being delegated to, ensuring that they don’t feel like a dumping ground for work that other employees do not want to complete.
Provide an Explanation of the End Goal
Many employees need a sense of the big picture in order to understand why their productivity and deadlines matter. Explaining to each employee how their task/role factors into the company goals can be hugely helpful. When employees know that their work is going to directly impact their co-workers, they are more likely to work hard to complete their tasks quickly, efficiently, and correctly the first time. With the big goal in the mind of all in the workplace, office morale tends to improve as well.
When employees fail to manage their time and day to day tasks effectively, their productivity will slip and the quality of work will feel the impact. When the quality starts to decline, your client retention rate will too.