Any employee who has problems managing their time can cause chaos and disruption in the office. Arriving late for work, handing in projects after a deadline, or disrupting meetings because of shoddy timekeeping can affect the whole business. Time-management problems can also cost your business a lot of money.
The problem of one employee who can’t manage their time can eventually affect others in the office. Other members of staff may also adopt a lackadaisical attitude or get frustrated when projects get held up.
What can you do if you have to deal with employees who are challenged by time management? In this article, you will find effective solutions to help employees manage their time effectively.
Time management means organising and planning available hours to use them in the most effective way. Using good time management skills usually means that you can get more done in less time with less effort.
Time management involves prioritising tasks, being organised, having reachable goals, and setting deadlines. Interestingly, one medical journal also listed relaxation as one of the key elements of time management.
How can you spot signs that an employee has problems managing their time? Here are a few ways to tell that an employee is not using their time effectively:
If you have an employee who can’t manage their time properly, what can you do to resolve the problem? Here are 5 ways.
It’s important that employees realise the importance of punctuality and what is expected of them. This means that you should be clear about what you expect. For example, if a meeting is to start at 10:00 a.m., everyone should know that they should be arriving a few minutes beforehand so that you can start on time.
Some employees who have time management problems benefit from receiving help to manage their time better. If an employee is constantly ‘up against it’ and missing deadlines, they may need more help to organise their time better.
You could ask the employee to track their time for a week. After that, you could analyse with them how they used their time. For example, did they have a list of priorities? Did tasks take longer than expected? How did they manage distractions?
One of the traits that can lead to issues with time management is if your employee is a perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to spend too much time on tasks to get every little detail perfect. Although a high standard of work is always necessary, not all jobs require a high level of perfection.
How can you help a perfectionist to manage their time better? One way is to ask to see a few drafts of tasks they are working on. You then have the opportunity to explain what needs to be polished up and what is already fine.
This type of mentoring should not be confused with micromanaging, but rather a stopover solution to help develop time management skills.
One of the most important skills you can help teach a person who finds it a challenge to manage their time is to plan well.
If the employee has a long-term project to work on, you should spend some time with them coming up with a deliverable plan to get the task finished on time. The employee can come up with a list of intermediate benchmarks and time estimates for each part of the project. You should review the plan with the employee and discuss any strategies they will need in case things don’t go to plan.
Of course, if a number of employees are finding it difficult to meet their deadlines, it is worth checking if your own deadlines are reasonable. So, get some feedback from your employees on what is a reasonable time to complete various tasks. It could be that deadlines set by management are part of the reason why some employees have difficulty managing their time.