As a business leader, you’re often wearing many hats and you have numerous responsibilities. Regardless of how many teams you have under your wing or how many offices or locations you’re managing, there is no denying that the job of managing a modern workforce is extremely stressful and time-consuming. And time is what you should strive to optimize in order to take your company forward across the board.
Being a manager, one of your top priorities is to ensure that your employees are productive and happy and that they have everything they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. With that in mind, time management is a complex and comprehensive process with a lot of variables that you need to optimize to get the best results.
Today, we’ll make sure you generate better results by giving you the top five tips you need to use to better manage your employees’ time and enable productive teams. Here’s what you should do.
Assess how people use their time
First things first, as a smart manager, you need to always act on reliable and relevant data. Yes, your intuition and experience play a vital role in your decision-making process, but ultimately you want to base your decisions on actionable data for the sake of reporting, accountability, and overall long-term efficiency in the workplace. To that end, the first step is to analyze how your employees are using up their time at work and make a detailed report.
This report should ideally tell you several key things:
- How people use their time
- How happy they were during that time
- How productive they are during that time
- How many distractions there are
- What is causing these distractions
- How to minimize or eliminate distractions
- Whether or not people are happy with your schedules and rosters
- Whether or not your rosters and schedules are helping you achieve your company’s goals
- Whether or not productivity and output have improved or diminished compared to the last quarter
These are some of the things you want your report to shed light on so that you have a comprehensive overview of the current situation.
Know what resources your employees need
Of course, productivity or zeal is not something you can just demand of your employees – you have to make it happen, and as the leader, it’s up to you to make this a reality. Don’t expect people to be productive just because you’re paying them, or to be happy in the workplace just because they will be compensated for their time.
Instead, look at time management as a way to facilitate productivity and happiness in the workplace by providing your employees everything they need to achieve success. Typically, this will include better hardware and software solutions for work, automating menial and repetitive tasks, keeping people safe by adhering to COVID-prevention measures, and creating efficient, flexible, and effective rosters and schedules for all teams under your command. This brings us to the next important point.
Create more efficient schedules and rosters
Whether you are managing a single team or numerous teams, or if you’re managing single or multiple locations and decentralized teams, you have to prioritize smart scheduling and rostering. Creating the perfect rosters for every shift, every task and process, and every location is paramount to success, and it allows you to minimize time waste at work while keeping people happy.
To do this effectively and consistently, you need to stop manually creating rosters. Instead, you should find and start using the best scheduling software for your company and industry that has all the features you need to minimize the risk of error and create rosters your employees will love. The right software will allow you to minimize time waste yourself by using rostering templates and their drag-and-drop features to make work schedules quickly.
Most importantly, though, rostering software will allow your schedules to stay agile and flexible. You will also be able to assign the best person for every task, which will automatically maximize peoples’ time at work.
Respect the preferences of your employees
When you’re making schedules and rosters, you need to ensure agility and flexibility. To do that, it’s important to be mindful of your employees’ needs and preferences. You can’t expect people to be productive if they have something more pressing on their minds, and would much rather have been assigned to a different shift so that they can tend to personal matters.
These are very real problems that go unnoticed, and it might just look like an employee just wasn’t feeling productive. To prevent these productivity leaks, always be in touch with your employees and encourage them to partake in the rostering process. You never know who could use the extra shifts, who could take a day off, and who has personal matters to tend to instead of focusing on work.
Monitor performance and be flexible
In the end, remember that time management is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. Instead, you need to monitor performance in the workplace, keep analyzing your schedules and rosters, and maintain clear and honest communication with your employee collective in order to get relevant and actionable feedback. You can use this feedback to make better time management decisions over the long term and continuously preserve a motivated and productive workforce.
Time management is a complex task, one that leaders need to approach from various different angles. Use this comprehensive approach to build a motivated workforce and ensure long-term productivity in all your teams.