April 12, 2018
The most valuable asset of any organization is its human resource. Companies invest in their employees’ welfare and recreation; it’s time to invest in their efficiency as well. Long working hours are not equal to high productivity. In order to ensure better results in lesser time, the management and the employees ought to work together to make the most of their working hours and have a more satisfying work-life balance.
‘Smart work’ is replacing ‘hard work’ in the industry. Why is that? Everyone wants more from less. Employees want fewer working hours and management wants better results and higher productivity. Their expectations meet in the middle at time management. For decades, leadership and management gurus have pointed out the significance of this concept. Innumerable articles and books list a wide array of techniques and skills required to manage time.
Time management in an organization is a coin with 2 sides. It’s a way an organization runs and the approach and outlook of the employees towards work. Below we show the two faceted concept of Time Management skills required to build and grow a successful organization:
What can the Management do?
If a fish is assigned the task of cycling, the task won’t be done. Likewise, if a task is assigned to a person unsuitable for it, he can’t do justice to it and would feel demotivated. It’s the responsibility of management to ensure that the right task is delegated to the right person. Managers must explain the task thoroughly, provide clear directions and monitor progress and provide the resources necessary to reach the assigned goal.
Piling up an unachievable amount of work for oneself should be avoided. Delegating work among subordinates and peers is a good way to reach the set goal sooner and with greater efficiency.
Communicating complete and correct details on time to the employees is crucial and saves time. The managers must provide the crucial details of the task and the requirements and maintain an open channel of communication. This encourages transparency and is a healthy way of exchanging ideas and resolving conflicts and queries, resulting in getting work done on time or sooner.
Many an organization is getting inspired by the informal atmosphere of Google. But not all are successful in implementing Google’s work culture. Rather, they end up cluttering the office environment with all sorts of distractions. This is a hindrance in achieving efficiency. This doesn’t imply that the environment should be sterile and devoid of any human touch. Balance is the key. In fact, healthy habits must be encouraged and the floor space should be clutter free and well organized. The importance of an organized workspace cannot be emphasized enough.
Here, freedom refers to making decisions and carrying out tasks independently. With freedom, comes responsibility. This will not only give a boost to productivity but also save time which would otherwise be spent on getting permissions at every step of the way. Each member of the staff must feel appreciated for what they bring to the table and recognized for their distinctive set of skills, and must be assigned tasks accordingly so that they can complete the task effectively in lesser time that a person who’s not cut out for that job. By doing this, the management can trust their employees with the task and deadlines and give them the freedom to work and make relevant decisions.
Teach & Guide
Managers should lead by example. Employees should look up to the management and learn from them. It’s the management’s responsibility to teach relevant organizational skills that’ll help the employees save their time and achieve greater efficiency. Management can use their experiences to train their employees and guide them towards efficient practices. Provide clear directions on priorities and maintain clarity over important issues. This training is a great resource for employees who’ve never had time management training. Moreover, management should set expectations for how the employees should manage their time. Management must discuss approaches towards time management and discipline and how to plan effectively.
What can the Employees do?
Plan & Prioritize
Employees must understand the task and their role in it, comprehensively. According to the guidelines and deadlines given by the management, employees should set their schedule which prioritizes work properly using online calendars, project management, etc. As it’s said, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ One must set daily, weekly and monthly goals and breakdown the goal into smaller and manageable assignments. To improve efficiency, employees should evaluate their responsibilities based on importance and urgency and henceforth, complete the one with highest priority. This requires effective and transparent line of communication with the management so that an employee’s goals are in line with the department’s and company’s goals.
When decisions are made in a rush and under pressure, they don’t always have desirable results because they haven’t been well thought out. When one has managed her time effectively, you get sufficient time to balance your choices and make a thorough assessment and arrive at a decision. There will be certain tasks which the employee might not enjoy doing, but must dedicate an appropriate amount of time for its completion.
Avoid procrastination and interruptions
Thanks to our smartphones, it’s much easier to get distracted nowadays than it used to be in the days of our parents and before. We’d like nothing better than to put off work and carry on heart-ing cat and food pictures. But this won’t help the work at hand or let us keep our job. Thus, employees must learn to work in a way and in a place eliminating all possible distractions and interruptions that might tempt to distract them for the task they want or don’t want to complete. A few experts suggest that the most important tasks must be dealt with at the beginning of the day as it’s the time when our concentration is at its peak and we start the work with a fresh mind.
Named after the economist Vilfredo Pareto, it defines the unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. According to this principle, 80% of results stem from 20% of efforts. The employees must keep a log of their work and the results thereafter and assess them from the angle of the pareto principle and work on improving their time management and planning skills.
Take care of health
Health is wealth. Only a healthy person can deliver good work and contribute effectively. It’s crucial that employees maintain their health so as to deliver good performance and work efficiently. An unhealthy person will take a lot longer to complete a given task than a healthy a person would. The management too, should invest in their employees’ health by building a space for recreational activities or organizing marathons and creating awareness among other things.
Effective time management can impact the productivity and growth of a company immensely. Taking time to develop and train for these skills will prove to be a great asset for the company. Employers should provide their employees with the right set of tools and training to help them manage their time well. Meanwhile, employees should do their part and keep a check on their work and approach towards time management. Synergy of both the employers and the employees can take a business to great heights.
Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of Transtutors.com, a leading Online Education platform for college students. Having graduated from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi, Aditya has a personal interest in helping students.