How To Challenge Poor Time Management And Poor Time Keeping
Time is money – it has never been so important in current times when markets are packed with competitors, where customers are hard to find and when buyers demand increased quality, often at reduced prices.
Time management is an important area of management efficiency – getting the most out of the day and recognising that time has a cost, probably built around lost opportunity and extra resources used that could have been saved.
Allied to this is the time wasted, costs incurred and annoyance generated by staff who are late and who deliver their tasks behind schedule.
So, what can we do about it?
- Take time to understand your colleagues.
Staff have a wide perception and appreciation of key issues of individual values, skills, and time consciousness.
In terms of values, some people value other things ahead of being on time. For example, they would rather finish what they were working on, fit in one thing more, or be unrushed instead of arriving precisely at the top of the hour.
In terms of skills, some individuals have never learned how to plan out their work and implement that plan in such a way that they can accomplish it within the allotted time.
In terms of time consciousness, some people don’t have an accurate internal clock. They do not sense the passage of time or appreciate the importance and evaluation of time that their colleagues do!
- Take time to explain why this matters.
Stress why time management and the positive use of time is an important part of the business. Staff may not even begin to understand why this is a business-critical matter so it is essential to make this as clear as possible as soon as possible. Pointing out unwelcome behaviour may not be easy but it will have positive impacts in terms of efficiency!
You want to stress why the behaviour mattered to you and how it made you feel. But in general it’s most effective to express emotions like disappointment, sadness, or discomfort ahead of anger. Some people may respond well to you telling them something made you angry, but most people get defensive.
- Help staff with tasks if their time management is causing concern.
This does not mean doing your job and someone else’s – this is about showing your colleagues how you manage time and how you make this into a positive contribution to wider organisational performance. Tips and hints, well communicated and clearly explained can have significant impacts upon performance.
- Keep your focus.
Make sure that Time Management is a key part of regular supervisions and is a cornerstone of the Annual Appraisal process. This may well mean weeding out staff who cannot, or will not, make improvements ion how time is recognised and then used as an effective resource.
With the right perspective and techniques organisations, and individual managers and staff, can make significant contributions to both profit and efficiency.
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