Business leaders everywhere want to provide a great experience to their customers, no matter the product or service they sell. That, however, primarily depends on the level of employee productivity and satisfaction, which in turn relies on the company’s ability to organize and manage resources. By far the most valuable resource at your disposal? Time. No amount of education or experience can compensate for the lack of time if your employees waste it on menial tasks, low-value work, or procrastination for that matter. In order to make sure your organization leverages its most valuable resource properly, it’s up to you to create the right environment for that.
Here, we’ll go over a few of the most vital ingredients in proper time management for your employees. With these tips in mind, you can create your own organizational strategy that will help you make the most of the work hours at your disposal, and help your employees be more productive without burning out. In fact, approaching time management in this manner can help increase employee happiness, too.
Make your meetings count
Every time your meetings run long, ask yourself the following question: could all of this have been an email instead? If the answer is yes, then you’re literally wasting your time as well as the time of your employees on something that could have been a bulleted list with to-dos for your attendees.
Make sure you can make all of your meetings more effective by spending a designated amount of time on specific tasks on your agenda.
- Always create a specific list of topics you need to cover.
- Make sure you have already created assignments for your staff.
- Create a structure to your meetings to make sure your teams have enough time to list out their topics and issues, but without wasting excess time on irrelevant topics.
- Send a follow-up email to make sure everyone understands their goals for the week.
Micro Scheduling for effective work
You might feel that you have a solid grasp over your daily workload, but the simple truth is, you can become significantly more productive if you allocate time slots to each minor task at hand. From responding to emails, delegating assignments, reviewing contracts, all the way to sending out proposals, you can improve by micro scheduling. This approach has become widely accepted in Australia and similarly competitive regions where businesses need to develop quickly in order to stay relevant – and the employees need to stay engaged.
Automating and simplifying this process with the right software helps boost employee engagement in Australia, allowing businesses to tailor timesheets according to their employees’ needs. With quality workforce management, this reduces employee stress and menial workload, helping them contribute with more valuable, meaningful work. Adding notifications, time limits, and other details can help you maximize each little time slot at your disposal. All the while, others in your team will be able to create their own micro schedules and adapt themselves to the overarching project goals.
Time-limit your tasks
As mentioned earlier, you can adjust your software to create timeframes for each small task you perform. The same mindset can help you with larger, daily outcomes, weekly milestones, and project-specific goals. Start by measuring how much time you need to wrap up certain tasks such as responding to emails or writing proposals. Then, you’ll be able to use those references when creating your schedule for each day ahead, leaving ample time for other emerging tasks, meetings, or emergencies.
Set specific goals and milestones
If you’re vague about what you want to achieve, then you won’t be able to know if you could have accomplished more during your week or month. That is why setting SMART goals should be mandatory for your business and your teams.
The “T” in SMART stands for time-bound, meaning that your goals should have a specific deadline attached to them. When you know a deadline is approaching, your teams are more likely to ask for specific resources, allocate and delegate work more effectively, and make sure to reach those goals in time.
Leverage performance reports
With the help of your time-tracking software as well as your project management tools, you can have a better overview of how your employees are performing. You’ll notice if they spend more time on certain tasks, when specific bottlenecks in projects show up, and when they tend to procrastinate.
Use that information to create actionable reports – not merely filled with praise or criticism – to personalize their performance reports. Don’t just outline what they’re doing right or wrong. Give them solutions to their problems and tools to resolve their issues. These reports should help them advance in their time management skills.
Keep an open mind – stay flexible
Perhaps you believe you’ve created the best possible schedule. For a time, it might even be the perfect schedule. However, your business changes, market trends and forecasts change, and so should your business operations, your scheduling included.
You’ve spent time refining your approach to emailing and micro scheduling, but you also need to remember that these things aren’t set in stone. The flexibility of your mindset will help you maximize your productivity as you allow yourself to notice opportunities to improve.
Use data to your advantage
Finally, with all that software usage, you have access to swarms of data about your company’s time-related performance. Data is free of bias and human error, and most of all, data can help you learn from your mistakes, recognize time-sensitive issues that have caused problems in your organization, and make sure that your employees know how to allocate time properly. Always rely on regular knowledge to improve your performance.
Time management is all about learning about your employees’ preferences and limitations, overcoming those with the help of software and automation, and above all, making sure that your teams can handle their workloads properly. Productivity will be the end result, as well as improved operations across your organization, but it all begins with tweaking your approach to how you manage time. Implement these tips, and allow your business to work more efficiently, not just “more”.