Time Managemen Issues 2

“How is it 5:00 already?  I don’t feel like I have gotten anything done today.  I think I am going to have to work late tonight.”

Have you ever said any of these things? If you are in HR, it is almost certain that you have had these feelings. We are always changing focus. We are continually taking on additional tasks, and things always pop up at the last minute. With increasing demands and shifts in responsibilities, time-management skills are essential.

HR professionals aren’t the only ones who need good time-management skills. Our employees need good time-management skills as well, and they need help.

Distractions are all over the place. From the minute you walk into work until you leave, there are always distractions. Now that most companies embrace virtual work, distractions are even more prevalent. How can we help guide people that are constantly missing deadlines? We need to go back to the basics of time management.

Here are five things that HR professionals can do to help with time-management issues.

  1. Make sure that you hire people who understand your mission, vision, and values. Make sure they are a good fit for the culture. It starts with recruiting the right people into the right roles. If you have an environment that includes the “virtual” employment model, make sure the people that you hire into these roles have done that type of work before. Make sure they can succeed in that type of environment. You can do this by asking direct questions about their work ethic, their beliefs, and their drive to succeed during the interview process. Ask candidates about projects they have worked on and how they completed them. It is important to ask how they feel about having multiple job responsibilities and having things thrown at them. You need to know how they would react. Successful companies such as Zappos and Netfix have this process down.
  2. Make sure the right leadership is in place to ensure deadlines are being met. The messaging always comes from the top. Make sure the leaders can talk the talk. If they can’t or aren’t enforcing accountability, you have the wrong leadership in place. Are managers holding their employees accountable for their actions? If not, why? Regular one on ones or communication by phone or e-mail should help the employees make their deadlines. HR needs to work closely with their clients—the organization’s managers and leaders—in order to ensure success.
  3. If employees aren’t making deadlines or making good use of their time, implement an action plan to correct the problem. It may start with a simple conversation between the manager and the employee asking whether help is needed. The manager then can give advice on how to get projects done in a timely matter. If an employee is having trouble, it is important for the manager to work closely with HR personnel, who can offer some good advice and help them to develop an action plan.
  4. Depending on the results of the action plan, if someone continues to miss deadlines, HR can help with disciplinary actions, including termination.  Hopefully it is an isolated issue, but if multiple people from the same team are having an issue, it may be the responsibility of the manager to correct the problem. HR needs to discern and pay close attention to what is happening within the company.
  5. If after hiring the right people, multiple managers are having the same issue, it may be worth looking into a time-management seminar. HR should only get involved with training if the problem is seen as widespread within the organization. However, it is expensive, it is time-consuming, and many managers and employees may not retain what was said in the training.

HR needs to be very involved with time-management issues. If people aren’t making their deadlines, then companies aren’t making their numbers, and then everyone is unsuccessful. Make sure you have the right leadership in place, counsel and help as needed, and use training only as a last resort. Having the right people in place is the key to all success.

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  • Tracy Parker says:

    Sure, all HR professional hire people who understand the company’s mission, vision, and values. But the right person in the right place isn’t always enough. Don’t forget that communication and realistic deadlines are just as important.

  • Linda says:

    I couldn’t agree more with point 3 – having a defined plan, written and managed, should really create results. Also, this plan should not be static but updated, considering the employee’s and company’s interests in mind at a certain time. The employee should feel that it’s a helpful tool, not one that’s breathing down the back of his neck, tracking every move and paralyzing him or her.

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