In the XX century, managers have almost perfectly learned how to manage physical labor effectively. In the XXI century, an important task of a manager, company owner, chief executive, a team leader is the need to master the art of effective management of mental and creative work of employees, using various tools, one of which is time management.
Nowadays, every manager must strive to organize the work time of a team in such a way that to achieve the goals in the shortest possible time and with the least possible effort and expense. Effective and advanced skills in time management help all employees in leadership positions to successfully guide their team each month to the timely completion of tasks in a comfortable working atmosphere.
Challenges Managers Face When Implementing Corporate Time Management
Unfortunately, not all managers and team leaders understand how to implement time management in their work processes and teams properly. Working according to familiar principles, they often make mistakes and encounter challenges while implementing corporate time management.
Proficient planning of working time, setting tasks and deadlines within the team is the key to achieving the month’s goals. It is necessary to objectively assess the deadline by which the team or a specific employee can complete the task, considering resources, knowledge, and skills, experience in solving similar tasks, the probability of unforeseen circumstances. A big mistake of a manager at this stage is to come up with deadlines on their own. This is when they face a planning fallacy, i.e., they underestimate the amount of time a certain person needs to achieve the goal successfully. Absence or improper planning of working time is one of the worst mistakes in corporate time management.
Managers and business owners will never lead their teams to success if they don’t learn how to prioritize tasks. When making a plan for the month, it is important to highlight key, secondary, and supplemental assignments. Managers with no experience in time management often make lists of piled-up tasks and demand everything be done. Logically, this kind of tasking leads to fiascos and deadline failures. Team leaders and executives with strong time management skills often use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks.
Big and Complicated Tasks
Instead of subdividing large tasks into subitems, managers give their employees huge assignments that may take a month rather than a few days to complete, thus putting them in a state of stress. They get locked into a problem and don’t understand how to solve it because of its enormity. The subconscious mind simply postpones such matters because of possible perfectionist paralysis and fear. Employees are distracted by other tasks, and in the meantime, the unresolved problem doesn’t disappear. Later, it can become the cause of a deadline failure.
The “urgent” controls the “important” tasks
The “urgent” label in the mail or the task-setting app can take a toll on your project. That little word confuses many managers, and they often throw all their energies into doing that urgent thing, scoring the important one. Only a proper assessment of task importance leads to high performance and efficiency within the team.
Lack of a simple control tool
The lack of a simple way to monitor the execution of tasks by the team and subordinates is tantamount to a failure of time management implementation. Today’s managers have a head start — a wide range of tools that allow them to keep their hand on the pulse of task fulfillment and monitor the team’s productivity. These are regular meetings, as well as employee monitoring software with reporting on the team’s performance.
Failures in delegating and assigning responsibilities
Managers and business owners often forget that their main job is managing the process and controlling the result. They take on too much responsibility, fail to delegate, and misallocate responsibilities.
A bad working environment
A work environment in which it is impossible to concentrate, constant interruptions with conversations, and an endless stream of new notifications from various applications certainly do not motivate productivity. Neglecting creating a comfortable and healthy working environment can ruin everything.
Postponing boring, incomprehensible, or unpleasant tasks leads to breaking deadlines and rushing to complete a huge task in one evening instead of a month. Managers and team leaders should try to kill this bad habit and try to control it within the team.
The key message of time management is to do more in less time. Fanatical desire to do everything leads to burnout, nervous breakdowns, and health problems. A manager should not turn into a supervisor, controlling his subordinates. He should offer them solutions on how to arrange the work process to have a work-life balance.
Why Can a Company Fail Without Time Management?
If business managers turn a blind eye to these difficulties and continue to work in the same mode, it will lead to disastrous results. Ineffective corporate time management always leads to financial losses for the company. Managers face problems such as:
- Low effectiveness — misallocation of tasks, no deadlines and priorities leads to low effectiveness of the entire team;
- Lack of control of their employees — neglecting to implement a time tracking or monitoring software leads to the fact that managers cannot adequately assess gaps in the team’s work and its effectiveness;
- Miss projects’ deadlines — chaos in the execution of tasks and lack of control leads to constant failure to meet deadlines;
- Decrease in customers’ loyalty — trusting relationships with clients that have been built up over the years can be destroyed in one piece due to deadlines failure or mistakes made in the process of task performance.
- Lose clients — no client will tolerate constant delays and poor-quality work for which they are paying money. Losing a client is a loss of money for the company.
Effective corporate time management can prevent businesses from losing money and help to prosper. If managers and team leads don’t learn how to manage their teams and customers wisely, they may even get fired for constant failures.
Time Management Techniques Managers Apply to Enhance Their Team’ Effectiveness and Productivity
- Managers educate team members on time management and raise their awareness to improve employee productivity and efficiency. They use time tracking and employee monitoring software to generate reports on employee time allocation. Thus, managers show each team member how they spend their time, how many hours a day they spend on time killers, and what they are (Internet, social networks, software, etc.). They assess the level of employee distraction and look for ways to reduce it.
- There are and will always be reasons to be distracted from work. Whether a person becomes distracted or not depends on his decision. When a person doesn’t see a goal, they don’t understand why they should do something; they have difficulty prioritizing their work and understand neither the importance of the tasks nor the consequences of doing or not doing them. Managers set clear goals for people and inspire them to achieve them.
- Managers and business owners try to create a perfect workspace and maintain a work-life balance. They use various time management techniques to help their team members finish their work faster and get back to their families and friends.
- Meetings have become part of everyone’s work routine. Unfortunately, these are often unproductive few hours when employees have to interrupt their priorities and waste time with reports and chatter. More and more companies are implementing a no-meeting day so their employees can focus on achieving their goals instead of talking about them.
- Using time tracking tools helps not only managers but also the team. Each employee can independently analyze the time it takes to complete certain tasks and assess their efforts more effectively during planning.
- Managers strive to make each team member as independent as possible and the team as cohesive as possible. They teach how to prioritize tasks, delegate properly, and not be afraid to ask for help if an employee lacks competence.
- Managers themselves work according to the rules of time management and become an example and inspiration for their employees. They always find time for them if they need advice or help; they don’t screw up deadlines or procrastinate at work.
Among their common time management techniques, the clients of WorkTime also use it to implement corporate time management within their teams.
With the help of the software, they can:
- Analyze their employees’ activity at work (idle/active times) and offer them a chart indicating how much time they spend procrastinating. Thus, they increase the employee’s time management awareness and help them find their vulnerabilities and get rid of them;
- Evaluate the productivity of the whole team or each member and find ways to enhance it;
- Analyze the use of software, the Internet, and time spent in various applications and online resources. It helps to indicate time killers and eliminate them to boost productivity;
- Monitor the log-in/out time of their employees and improve their attendance analyzing the analytics;
- Offer their employees an easy-to-use tool to track their progress and analyze time spent on implementing various tasks and planning estimating their future scope of work;
- Motivate and encourage their team members using the analytical charts and demonstrating their productivity results every month;
- Conduct an audit of time spent on various tasks and alter their monthly project plans considering the data without getting into the grasp of the planning fallacy.
It takes a lot of effort and some time to implement effective corporate time management within a company or a team. However, managers should remember that it’s always a combination of self-development, soft skills, and wise use of high-performance and efficient tools.