Time management is the most critical aspect of management. We would all be great managers if we had endless amounts of time to plan and prepare work days, coach and appraise staff, deal with HQ emails and help out our peers. The reality, however, is that we find ourselves with tasks and jobs than time. Never fear! We have 8 time management tips to help you save those valuable minutes.
1) Train your staff – This is a very obvious but often overlooked aspect of management. Training essentially equals empowerment and the more empowered your staff are the more they will be able to do. The more they will be able to do the less you will have to do and consequently the more time you will have!
2) No reporting to staff! – Your employees exist for you to delegate to. Don’t allow them to hand all problems over to you. If a customer issue comes up don’t immediately take it over and leave the staff member standing idly by whilst you spend your valuable job doing their job. Insist that they come up with solutions themselves and give them the freedom to implement these solutions.
3) Assign staff members customer complaints and issues – If a customer has an issue that falls into the category of “normal course of business” don’t be afraid to assign it to a staff member. You’re paying them to deal with issues not give them to you.
4) Never accept the phrase “we are not paid to do that” – This phrase along with its sister phrase “it’s not in our contract” is the beginning of a virus that involves staff determining what they are prepared to do and what not. They are paid by yourself to do anything and everything that is legal. If they are not happy with that then they should seek alternative employment.
5) Give your staff areas of responsibility – Whether it’s a store, restaurant or car wash you are running, give your staff specific areas of responsibility. Any area of responsibility that is not designated will inevitably become the manager’s responsibility. Every area you designate will reduce your time spent cleaning up after them.
6) Don’t continually over rule your staff – All of the above will not work unless you allow them to make mistakes. As long as they understand the consequences of any decision they make (good or bad), they should be allowed to go ahead with it.
7) Don’t pay staff to cause you problems – You pay for problem solvers not problem creators. If, in the course of business, a mistake is made, make the staff member responsible sort it out. If they are unable to comply then they are in the wrong job.
8) Record everything – Whether you use a piece of paper or a sophisticated piece of software keep a record of current issues and who they are assigned to. Ask for progress reports every day from your staff and motivate them to get these issues solved!
Follow these time management tips and remember that the most important element of time management is the way a manager interacts with his/her staff. Don’t allow their problems to become your problems. Help them and guide them but remember who delegates to whom and who makes requirements on whose time.