These days, employees are spending more and more time at the office–certainly exceeding the typical 40-hour workweek. Thanks to mobility and communication apps employees are available and ready to spring to action when needed. However, increased hours and availability do not necessarily translate to increased efficiency. This article would provide you tips to fix time management issues and increase employee productivity.
Pat Burns in his book “Master The Moment “ interviewed employees at 50 companies and discovered that many of the time management issues employees face can be traced back to poor leadership, including:
· Not knowing what work to prioritize · Having trouble saying no even when their workload is full · Feeling overwhelmed with too many tasks · Procrastinating or not finishing what they start because timelines aren't clearly set · Always being in reactive mode due to an unclear strategy
If I could put it on one powerful sentence.
One thing great manager do for his employees so they can excel at their job is to ‘encourage them to be their own leader’
when things are going smoothly, they tend to continue without much intervention. And that’s a good thing. But how do you get to that point? What turns a poor performer into a productivity powerhouse? How do you make your employees more productive?
Here are the top 5 hacks you need to know about how to fix time management issues and increase employee productivity at work.
1. Time audit
Help employees discover where their time is going with a time audit. This involves your team writing down their intentions and beliefs about how they spend their time and then actually tracking how they work. In most cases, the difference between intentions and actions will be staggering. Collect data and discuss red flags such as: are they are overloaded, are they interrupted throughout the day or Do they need to delegate some of the tasks, etc.
Planning fallacy (as psychologists call it) is when you make a plan for how long a task or project will take (which is usually a best-case scenario), and then assume the outcome will follow your plans, even when you know the chances of that happening is likely low. One way to tackle this problem is by making them accountable for the work they’re doing and reviewing their daily/weekly plans.
Often lack of skill in carrying out the task also hinders the time management of the employee. A 2013 study in the International Journal of Science and Research found that training greatly benefits both employers and employees. Proper training also leads to greater efficiency and productivity. Improve employee skills with training to carry out the tasks smarter.
4. Culture and expectations
It's vital that you shift your cultural approach to ‘yes’ people. Many companies celebrate people who get stuff done. These employees are often perceived as hard workers or that they’ve got grit. In reality, they’re most likely overworked, stressed, and on the road to burnout. A culture that keeps expecting employees to measure up without reciprocated interest in they're well being in a ticking time bomb. Create a work culture where employees are encouraged to talk about expectations imposed on them and the reality that they are dealing with. Encourage self-care and personal time offs.
Finally, the tools that we use in our work environment would also help to fix time management issues and increase the productivity of the employees. Some of the tools that need to be implemented are
Time and productivity tracking apps – Consider time logging and apps that maintain tasks and priority.
Collaboration tools – Consider storage, accessibility and
Communication apps – Consider tools that enable file sharing, video/audio/chat, screen sharing, and session recording.
It would also be a good idea to automate the repetitive tasks that take up most of your employee’s time. If you can’t find off the shelf product to address your needs, custom software developed specifically for your requirement would be a perfect fit for you.
I am also interested to know how you create a productive environment at your workplace. Do you focus on engagement? Increase productivity? Encourage remote work? Share your best tips in the comments below!