Nailed deadlines, enhanced performance, low-kept costs, satisfied clients and workforce – isn’t this what we all strive for? In reality, it all comes down to helping employees develop and master their time management skills. It’s common knowledge that for a company to be successful, it needs to be backed by staff members who are capable of organising their time wisely and staying focused on the company’s primary objectives. Here is how to translate the importance of time management to your own employees.
Plan and set timely goals
Work becomes easier to handle if you encourage your employees to set their own periodical goals, be they daily, weekly or monthly. A timeline should be drawn up specifically for each task that is identified, breaking it down into smaller and more manageable assignments. Task management tools like online calendars and project management software can be a priceless aid for employees who struggle with sketching out this timeline. There’s more to a simple to-do list than meets the eye!
Teach your employees how to organise and prioritise
Recognising which are the more urgent deadlines, and making sure you focus on completing them before moving to anything else, is indispensable when it comes to efficient time management. Productivity is maximised when what’s most important is prioritised, saving employees time used on other tasks which in a practical sense could be pushed to a later date. Organising can be a brain-wracking ordeal though, so provide employees with the necessary equipment and supplies to enjoy the process of finding their own system of organising their work.
Never underestimate the power of delegating work
Having different yet relevant colleagues work together on the same project can get it done faster, and possibly better. Apart from increasing a company’s productivity, delegation means that different people bring to a common task their own unique abilities and ideas. Proper delegation also ensures that the right people are assigned the right task. But remember that delegation only works as long as the managers or directors are prepared to support and be there for their employees every step of the way.
Procrastination can be anyone’s enemy, and interruptions are inevitable. Take some time to identify any controllable distractions that might be hindering your employees’ ability to be productive, and either eliminate them or make them more conducive to productivity. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely change the configuration of your offices, but making small and practical modifications here and there can make a recognisable difference.
Bonus tip: Establish guidelines for employees on the order to follow when responding to different types of communications, to avoid multiple communications holding off completing important jobs.
Evaluate your employees’ performance and TALK to them about it
You can only be sure that things are running smoothly in all departments if you streamline and regularly evaluate all ongoing processes. Communicate with your employees as much as you can, have regular discussions with them on their assignments, and get their invaluable insight on how they think their job responsibilities could be handled more efficiently.
Provide time management training
Every company has its own culture, which is naturally established by the top management and eventually influences the rest of the workforce to act similarly. Establish a cultural expectation internally for good time management by talking about it to new employees during their orientation process, and to your already-established staff through effective meetings. A simple example could be developing the expectation that meetings always start and stop on time.
Give employees the freedom to be themselves
All your employees are completely different from each other in the way they manage their time. Some people work more efficiently if they first take on the more urgent or challenging task, later progressing to the smaller or easier jobs, and others are more comfortable doing the opposite. In reality though, as long as the job gets done on time and to the expected degree, it doesn’t really matter what pattern of steps an individual takes. Give your employees the freedom to explore and pinpoint their preferred time management method, and the end result will surely be fruitful.
No matter how competent your employees are in managing their time, they are unlikely to perform to the best of their capabilities if they return to their desk every day stressed or lacking energy. Provide your staff with the necessary training and tools for optimum performance, as well as regular breaks and an internal culture that encourages healthy habits. All of this can make your employees more motivated, and ultimately better at time management.
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