By Scott Rafinski, Vice President, Environmental Services
Working in a fast-paced environment such as healthcare or retail can make it difficult to balance the demands associated with the industry. If time is not managed appropriately, a quick moving atmosphere can throw someone for a loop creating gaps and barriers that ultimately result in a culture that is more reactive than proactive. As a leader, it’s crucial to recognize when employees are struggling with time management and provide the appropriate resources and guidelines to help them overcome their challenges.
Identify Employees Struggling with Time Management
A simple identifier of time management challenges is when an employee or manager says they don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish their work. This should be a major flag, and should require action on behalf of the leader to mentor the individual and share insight on the issue. Another sign to look for is if the employee is not completing their tasks on time or meeting the organization’s standards. That’s when it is important for leadership to step up and offer a training opportunity on the subject matter.
Provide a Daily Time Analysis
If this is something you are noticing with your managers or team, consider allocating time to discuss and prepare a daily time analysis. A daily time analysis should include a finite, detailed breakdown of the work day in five minute intervals. This could be created using a Google calendar or a simple Excel spreadsheet. Something I personally do when mentoring my team on time management is to provide the employee with a deadline to turn in their initial calendar so we can review together. Allowing the individual to take control of their own time management calendar will provide you insight into the areas of missed opportunity. Once the calendar is filled out, sit down together and audit the information provided.
Audit Time for Efficient Results
After analyzing the calendar, often it is found that items listed are vague and not specific to the individual’s work goals. To get to the truth, focus on highlighting the non-negotiable items. These are things that the individual must do every day, such as rounding or reviewing inventory. Start by penciling in those details and then work together to build out a calendar with all the key work responsibilities and their time allotments. Provide different times throughout the day for the individual to take a break or focus on other ongoing projects. This process will help drive efficiency in their management of time.
Follow-Up and Support Employees
Using the Excel spreadsheet or Google calendar to track time provides a visual glimpse of the workday, providing the employee with better insight on how they can manage their day. As a leader, continue to follow up with those who struggle with time management. By continually supporting your team, you’ll notice improved efficiency and a better work life balance for your employees.
Leaders, no matter what position, should teach and share time management techniques with their teams. Once your team is in control of their time, it will create a more liberating and productive space for everyone.