By Matthew Meehan
The success of a business organization largely depends on how productive their employees can get. However, productivity should never come at the expense of mediocre-quality products and services. And this is where time management can be of exceptional help. Businesses can help improve employees’ productivity by making sure everyone is well in tune with the best time management practices in their respective industry. Here are some tips and tricks to help you boost your employees’ time management skills and pave the way for a more productive operation in your business.
Be Clear about Your Expectations
One of the biggest mistakes many business managers make is that they don’t set very clear expectations for their employees. For example, they may say that a particular work should be done “as soon as possible.” Sadly, one’s concept of “ASAP” is vastly different to another. One may think ASAP as meaning “within the hour while others may interpret it “within a few days.”
To help you improve your employees’ productivity, it is a must that you set very clear expectations about what you want them to accomplish. Rather than saying “as soon as possible,” you might want to say ‘”within 5 days after initiation of the work.” This way your employees will know that they have exactly five days to work on the task. It will now be up to them how they want to use these five days to accomplish what you expect from them.
Assist Employees in Discovering Their Usage of Time
It also pays for business managers to help employees discover how they have been using their time at work. Of course, when we say work hours these are just those dedicated to the actual performance of one’s duties and obligations for the company. This excludes breaks. There are a few hiccups with this approach, however, since most employees will feel threatened by such actions.
What managers need to emphasize is that the activity is meant to help them discover what is eating up most of their time and how this is impacting their work. You can then use this information to look for more viable alternatives or solutions that will help in the management of time a lot better. For instance, if you found out that most of your employees are taking too long to source a particular inventory or stock from your warehouse, then maybe it’s time to look at more efficient and systematic storage solutions.
Evaluate Whether Existing Technologies and Systems are Helping or Hurting
Businesses think of technologies and systems as means to improving the overall productivity of the company. Unfortunately, if these technologies were not properly evaluated prior to their integration into the workflow of the organization you’ll eventually find out that it’s actually dragging the business instead of speeding things up.
Have a discussion with your employees to find out if they are having difficulties with the systems and technologies that you have put in place. Try to evaluate whether these concerns can be corrected or will require a major upgrade of such technologies. For instance, you may have a very high-tech computer system that requires proficiency in certain computer applications. Yet, majority of your workforce can barely keep up with fundamental office applications.
Teach Employees How to Manage Their Time Better
It is important to teach employees how to better plan and estimate the time needed to complete any given task. Almost every other employee wants to get the job done quickly. Sadly, estimating the length of time needed to complete a particular task is never one of the greatest skills of average employees. For instance, you may think that you can complete the task within the day. However, what you may have failed to consider are the other factors that can push this self-imposed deadline further back.
Remember, it is possible that employees will not only be focused on a particular task at any given time. Colleagues and superiors can pop-in any time asking for favors or perhaps additional tasks. These should always be taken into consideration when planning and estimating the time needed to complete a project.
Businesses thrive because their employees are productive. And employees are more productive because they’re able to manage their time a lot better.