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Put a stop these two time stealers before they affect company productivity

by , 22 May 2013
If your employees miss their deadlines because they don't have enough time in the day, it may be because of time stealers. It's important that you identify these to better manage your employees' time. This'll help them become more productive and ensure every deadline is met. Read on to find out about two common time stealers and how to stop them in their tracks.

Do you employees miss their deadlines because they just don't have enough time in the day?

By knowing what's 'stealing' their time you can teach them how to manage it before their lack of productivity affects your company.

But, to help employees manage their time, you must first identify time stealers.

Do you know what the two common ones are?

Two time stealers and how to stop them in their tracks!

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, lists the top time stealers as…

Time stealer # 1: Communication overload - email and voicemail

Living in the information age has its real downside from a time management point of view. There's too much information and employers can be distracted by all the electronic tools available to them. As a result company productivity will suffer.

Solutions to solve communication overload

  • Ask your company's IT department to help employees filter out all the unnecessary emails they receive on a daily basis.
  • Tell employees to remove the tone that alerts them to incoming emails and only check if there's anything urgent from time to time. It's important employees know 'nothing is so urgent that it can't wait for their allocated slot, unless they know something important is coming in,' advises the Loose Leaf.

Time stealer # 2: Meeting overload

If your company has a culture of holding meetings, assess if your employees are constantly in meetings and as a result never get down to the work.

Four solutions to meeting overload

  1. Set a specific time for the meeting. 'Let employees know you start dead on time and let the stragglers come late, thereby embarrassing them and exerting peer pressure,' advises the Loose Leaf.
  2. Circulate the agenda before the meeting. Always ensure the agenda is ready and circulated for input before the meeting, at least 24 hours before the meeting.
  3. Allocate time for each agenda item (communicate to person responsible). Some employees love to talk and often use meetings as platforms to bring up points irrelevant to the meeting. When this happens, step in and ask employees to stick to items on the agenda. If the topic being raised is important and needs to be addressed, set up another time to discuss it. If employees want to give input on an item on the agenda, allow the discussion to take place, watch the time and then say: 'I'll allow two more people to say something, and then we will move onto the next item'.
  4. Confirm the next steps. At the end of the meeting, confirm the next step, the people responsible for carrying out the action items, the deadline for compiling the minutes, the review dates and the next meeting's date and time.

Knowing what's stealing your employees' time in your company will help you manage it so they can be more productive and meet their deadlines.

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