Contributed by Julianna Bevan
An employee’s time management skills have a direct impact on business outcomes and so managers should put more emphasis on helping them improve at it. For some, time management is a skill learned early in life, which they can draw on at work to be productive. For others to manage their time effectively, they need external encouragement, maybe some training, a conducive environment, and the use of organizational tools. Good leadership can be the instrument of productivity for employees that lack motivation from within. With help, these employees can learn to manage their time more efficiently and excel at work.
Source of Motivation
Employees can either be inspired or demoralized by their leaders. When leaders display qualities such as passion and integrity, it often rubs off on their staff. When leaders cultivate the strengths of each employee through task assignment, they give these individuals a sense of purpose. As a leader, you can initiate opportunities to get to know your team better. Knowing them personally will help you motivate them better. Take your employees out for lunch, for example, and talk to them about their experiences at work. Setup team building activities and observe where your employees shine. When people are properly motivated, their productivity increases, so make it a priority to get to know what motivates your employees.
Motivation is different for people of different age groups. Today’s leaders should also keep in mind what keeps their younger employees motivated. Industry Week noted that millennials make up a huge portion of the company’s workforce, hence leaders must consider what brings out the best in them.
Technology is transforming business processes across the globe. However, in order for them to be integrated effectively, Maryville University suggests that organizations need professionals who can bring about change in the workplace. This is because the demand for new methodologies and practices to streamline operations has never been more apparent.
Serial entrepreneur Deep Patel claims that productivity can be improved if managers invest in organizational tools. Of course, implementing new technology is always easier said than done. Business leaders should first examine what in the workplace needs improving, and then evaluate what kind of technology would be appropriate. In choosing tech-driven solutions, consider your priorities. Not only is it important to look for cost-effective and functional technology, leaders must also examine user compatibility as well.
Through management strategies, leaders can create a healthy environment where employees practice constant communication. Effective internal communication through platforms such as Slack and Workplace by Facebook can also boost company productivity. These tools encourage team members to discuss privately or in groups, enabling them to work collaboratively towards a common goal.
Trello Board is another collaboration tool where employees can easily store and retrieve data. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board which displays all your tasks and bookmarked pages all at once. Timesheets.com is an example of a web service that can help speed up mundane work processes such as time tracking and payroll.
By acknowledging these technologies, leaders are showing their employees how serious they are about achieving business success.
Effective leaders know the value of work-life balance and how it can boost employee performance. They can help promote this by implementing certain policies. For instance, employees may be required to take short breaks every two hours in order to prevent burn out. Companies may also give incentives to employees who hit the gym or pursue other hobbies.
Netflix is an example of a company that has a unique approach to work-life balance. It is known for its unlimited vacation policy, where employees can take as many leaves as they want. This is because the business is more concerned with high results. If Netflix employees require a certain amount of days to relax, the company would grant them that, as long as they get the work done. The principle behind this policy is that taking vacations can help keep the mind refreshed, and employees who feel rested often perform better at work.
However, Netflix’s policy may not be feasible in other companies. Before formulating solutions to address work-life balance, HR professionals should interview their employees about what they want. If the majority desire less overtime work, perhaps managers can re-evaluate the distribution of work among employees or hire new staff to help carry the load. The company can also invest in training programs so that employees can handle their time more efficiently.
Time management at work is a multi-faceted issue that rises in complexity within some industries and business models. Often, optimal performance is out of the employee’s hands and certain changes must be implemented by management to achieve results.
Julianna Bevan is a business consultant with extensive experience in cooperate training. She works with both independent and multi-national companies to help streamline operations and improve employee efficiency. She is currently writing a book on leadership skills in the modern workplace.