By Digital Union's Friend, HR Dept
Before we talk about the time wasters on your team, it’s important to note that time wasting is a human habit that all of us can fall victim to once in a while.
“Not me, I’m always busy” you may say, but if you’re reading this post it could suggest that you have been putting off a difficult conversation. The one which addresses the time wasters on your team. Procrastination takes time, and it can distract even the best of us from a productive week.
Perhaps you have already tried a few things to save time, such as sending chaser emails or finishing an employee’s outstanding work yourself. But despite these efforts you’re still asking, “where does the time go?” and your employees are carrying on none the wiser.
The good news is that there are effective ways to tackle time wasting within your team. Read on for our top tips and techniques on how to gain back some of that valuable time.
How to spot time wasting
You may feel as though you already have a good idea about who the time wasters are on your team. It’s Bob who’s always late or Jan who never hits target. But there could be good reasons that mitigate these failings, whilst other undetected time wasters are going unnoticed.
How about friendly Phil that’s always offering to do the tea round? Or chatty Kathy who kindly takes the time to ask everyone how their evening was? Then there’s Paul, always happy to help set up a meeting room even if he’s not responsible. Or Laura, refilling the stock before it’s sold. With their best intentions at heart, these seemingly innocent acts of kindness could be wasting time.
Once in a while this is understandable, and likely nothing to be concerned about. But it could be a good idea to cast a watchful eye and monitor any recurring special favours amongst employees.
How to address time wasting
After you have spent some time observing the day-to-day behaviours of your workforce, the next step would be to think about how to address the employees that are not making the best use of their time. Many people will not recognise their behaviour as time wasting. So it’s important to broach the subject with care and consideration. Your local HR Dept advisor can help you with this.
Jumping straight into discussions about poor performance or arranging disciplinaries can end up taking even more time and not immediately resolve the issue. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think about possible solutions before tackling the topic with your employees.
How to prevent time wasting
By setting standards and expectations around time management with your employees from day one, you are giving them the opportunity to organise their workload in a productive way. If an employee appears to be struggling with organising their time or completing tasks on time, there could be many reasons why. Talk to your employee to find out if there are any factors that could be addressed such as improved systems, training or resources.
Time management training can be a great way to bring your whole team together. It is a space where you can highlight areas for improvement in a fun and relaxed way. If your employees have access to the internet to perform their duties, some may be easily distracted by the wonders of the world wide web (online shopping, social media etc.). Here, some task management software such as The HR Dept Toolkit or an internet usage policy could also be beneficial.