You have about eight to nine hours every day at your workplace and yet sometimes, it doesn’t feel enough. That’s because most of these hours are packed with important as well as ad-hoc tasks that land on one’s desk. Without managing your time well, you’re likely to miss out on deadlines, forget priority items, and feel overwhelmed. Your team is no different. As an HR, you must ensure that the work environment for you and for your team fosters efficiency. That’s where implementing time management strategies becomes a must!
If you’re thinking about implementing time management would make your team feel tied down, you’re wrong. You’ll only be enabling them to strike off tasks faster and do work better than ever.
What’s more? With lesser noise from activities that tend to eat into their time, your employees will be less stressed, and they will have more energy to get things done. We call it creating an environment for innovation!
Top 5 Time Management Strategies for Team Efficiency
1. Add more structure to your meetings
Meetings are most people’s least favourite part of work. In one research poll, 63% of respondents said that meetings are unnecessary, and the topic could have just been handled over email. One leading complaint against meetings is how it doesn’t stick to an agenda even when one is provided.
As an HR, it’s vital to ensure employees are satisfied with their work environment and especially come away from meetings feeling more motivated. But how can you transform meetings?
Your first step in setting up time management strategies for your workplace must be to enforce structure into meetings at the workplace. Most meetings are about having a very straightforward flow— understanding the problem or goal, discussing and forming opinions, and coming up with a solution or decision.
Use this structure to set rules for the meetings. The person leading the meeting must set an agenda before the meeting. They can even put together all the information relevant to the problem or goal being discussed. But the ones attending the meeting should also know how to stick to the agenda to make the most of each other’s time.
Here’s a quick template to create meeting agendas:
Many companies keep a time limit for meetings. This means that even if a discussion is not over, the meeting is paused. It can be resumed later for further discussions. This rule makes everyone in the meeting more accountable about coming to a resolution within the time allotted.
If you’re not sure how long your meeting must be, Pomodoro founder, Francesco Cirillo, says that 25 to 50 minutes is sufficient to reach a decision!
2. Set aside uninterrupted hours
Getting a few hours of uninterrupted work time is sure to boost your productivity. Unfortunately, the average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50–60 per day. From meetings and feedback requests to your phone and laptop buzzing with notifications every few minutes, avoiding distractions seems impossible. But, as HR, you can encourage a distraction-free work environment.
One of the most effective time management strategies for workplaces is implementing “deep work.”
A concept put forward by Cal Newport, deep work is an attempt to help the modern office worker attain distraction-free concentration and increase their productivity. Here are a few good-to-follow suggestions that you can provide your team and even use yourself to help foster better focus:
1. Block hours in your calendar during which you won’t take calls, respond to messages or have meetings. This time can be used to do the tasks that require heavy lifting. Your role as HR might make it tough to cut down meetings entirely. But, you can put this to practice by giving employees time slots. A time when you will be available to talk to them.
2. Set up silent rooms in your office where there won’t be any noise or movement. While some team members thrive in noisy work environments, others may prefer silence to help them work faster. Create this space to allow employees to choose which environment they would prefer to sit in.
3. Set up an established routine and stick to it. This allows your brain to predict the general flow of your workday, making it easier to get your mind to concentrate during your focus hours.
4. Never multitask. Some studies suggest that multitasking decreases productivity by 40%. If you have sudden thoughts about another project or a task to finish, don’t switch tabs or abandon your current work in progress. Instead, jot it down in your “for later” note. Get back to it after you’re done with what you’re currently doing.
3. Automate time tracking, attendance and leave management
The life of an HR is filled with multiple short meetings and employee requests. Some of the most tedious and monotonous tasks being time tracking, attendance and leave management. And as the company grows, it only gets worse – especially when you’re following the age-old tactic of using emails and spreadsheets for employee management. The same holds true for the rest of the team – imagine the number of emails they need to keep track of or the spreadsheets they need to update.
That’s where the need to weave employee management into your team communication tool comes in.
AttendanceBot is an all-in-one solution for time and employee management. The team just needs to send a quick message on Slack to apply for leaves, login time and let the team know when they’re stepping out.
The manager and the HR get automatically notified of these messages. They can then respond immediately with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, along with a note. It cuts out the to and fro of emails that usually happens for any of the tasks above! We call it a smart timesheet calculator.
Apart from the timesheet calculator saving time on emails and the spreadsheet, you can use the bot for employee scheduling too.
With a visual shift planning dashboard, AttendanceBot allows you to plan your employees’ shifts. It also helps track tardiness, and reassign tasks as required. With everything this quick, you’re able to save time on tasks where typically teams would end up waiting too long. Be it for a member to respond or to know the status of someone being available from another team.
Such tasks out of the way, your HR and the rest of the team can manage their time and tasks better! Modern HR 101.
4. Simplify your finance and expense management
From expense approvals to reimbursement requests, finance management is no small task. Managing different expense needs is time-consuming. This doesn’t include handling the numerous receipts that are handed to you by employees.
You don’t need any poll to conclude that expense management is a time sucker. One of the best ways to solve this is to use software that manages your finances for you.
Manage your expenses within your Slack with ExtenseTron. ExpenseTron makes expense submission and reporting simpler, taking out the middleman.
Instead, employees can submit receipts as scanned copies and forwarded emails within Slack. The smart app works like a chat-based conversation within Slack. With its reporting feature, managers can access highly-detailed reports on real-time expenses and understand filter data with ease.
But, how can you handle expense approvals? ExpenseTron allows you to design approval systems within the app. This ensures expense requests are sent directly to the manager in charge of the employee.
This removes multiple email threads, making approvals as simple as a quick notification. Time management 101!
5. Manage work better with task management tools
Managers within your workplace can’t avoid setting up quick chats with team members. It is important to discuss work progress and follow-up on projects underway. But, frankly speaking, these quick conversations eat up a lot of your time, especially when you lead a large team. It’s essential to think of different ways these managers can get the rundown about the project. Without needing to set up meetings with every stakeholder involved.
This is one of the most trusted time management strategies for the workplace. It is especially used by fast scaling companies. You’ll see them adopting a task management software like Asana or Trello across all their teams.
Tracking projects and tasks are easier with this digital task list. By using a task management tool, you can create a highly organized project management system and ship your projects faster. These apps also help you evaluate roadblocks much faster and see where you can improve.
Here’s how you can go about managing a project on Asana without too many meetings:
- Managers can create a task on Asana when the project is launched, add subtasks and assign it to the owner. Deadlines can be set up for each subtask.
- Managers can even attach files and notes as brief to give stakeholders easy access to relevant information.
- Set up dependencies to better visualize the flow of work and ensure the project doesn’t drop off anyone’s plate.
- Owners can update within Asana itself, add comments about any roadblocks.
- When the task is completed, the owner can mark it as complete. If there was a dependency on it, the owner of the next task gets a notification saying that they can proceed with it.
Looking for the best project management software? Explore the best ones on G2!
Improving your team efficiency with smart time management
There is no one-strategy-fits-all when it comes to improving a team’s efficiency. It entirely depends on what your company does, what your team structure looks like, what your team culture is and more importantly, how well your team members are following the culture and staying motivated to achieve common goals.
While the above time management strategies are a sure shot hit with highly efficient teams, don’t forget to mix and match tactics and see what works for you the best.
You could follow these time management tips to the T. But the best way to help your team boost efficiency is by hearing them out. Open the floor for suggestions on how you can help to create a more productive workplace. And let them get creative around how they can work better too!
Is there a time management strategy that you absolutely swear by? We’d love to hear all about your hacks to employee time management.
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