Time management in a small
business is vital because there is a lot of stress and focus placed on meeting
bottom lines, exceeding quotas, and increasing revenue. But do the employees
you’re asking to contribute to these goals have enough time to do all that you
It’s your job as a manager or
business owner to find out. If your employees are not managing their time
efficiently, develop a strategy to help them. It may take more time up front, but
everyone will be
more productive in the long run.
Here are four tips on how to
improve time management in your company:
1. Offer time management training
Train new hires not only on
company policies, industry knowledge, and systems management, but also on time
hire onboarding is the best time to make it happen because all
employees come from different backgrounds and might not be accustomed to the
workload they’ll soon be taking on.
The training can cover desk
management, balancing work duties, and scheduling meetings. Consider involving seasoned
employees by asking them to share examples of what’s worked for them. Even a
single takeaway from the training can pay dividends for employee output.
mandatory time management training once a year for your entire staff. It will serve
as an excellent refresher and could help anyone who has been struggling to keep
pace, without singling them out.
2. Set clear expectations and timelines
A firm deadline can keep your
employees in line. Failing to meet a deadline could signal that an employee
didn’t manage their time well or that you, as the manager, set an unreasonable deadline.
Either way, someone will learn from the situation.
Let your staff know how long specific
tasks should take and which tasks to prioritize. With clear expectations and
defined timelines, they should get a feel for how to manage each day.
Flexible timelines, on the
other hand, are likely to confuse employees and give them a false sense of
relaxation when it comes to getting a project or assignment completed.
3. Assess employee time management with face-to-face meetings
Face-to-face meetings allow you to discuss progress and areas of improvement. If employees have struggled to meet deadlines or have been staying late too often, have an in-depth conversation about time management.
Ask if the workload is too
much, if the tasks are too difficult, or if specific factors are causing them to
fall behind. Together, you and your employee can figure out a way to organize
If you really want to dive
into the issue, conduct a time audit for the employee, which will shine a light
on how they’re spending their time. The employee will log the number of hours
and minutes spent on each job responsibility, including handling emails,
attending meetings, and doing other tasks. Time management issues will likely
reveal themselves after two or three weeks of performing the audit.
4. Determine if your processes are helping or hurting productivity
You may think certain systems
or processes simplify things, but your staff may disagree. Employees may use some
systems more than you do. There is always a learning curve, so be sure the
expectations and workloads are adjusted accordingly. Ask for your team members’
opinions about whether the processes are helping or hurting their productivity.
While there should always be
an agenda for a meeting, some tend to drag on more than anticipated. After a
meeting, the last thing you want is for employees to be thinking about how much
time was wasted and what they still need to do. Be respectful of your
employees’ time by holding
effective, to-the-point meetings. If someone asks a bunch of
questions that don’t pertain to the whole team, consider letting everyone else
get back to work. Then, handle the inquiries one-on-one.
Employee time tracking
Workful’s employee time
tracking technology will show you who is on the clock, who is cutting
their hours short, and who is working overtime. The software will
calculate overtime pay for you and even allow you to run payroll in minutes. Your time will be spent more wisely
when you allow technology to do some of the work for you.