Promoting Better Time Management in the Workplace

As a manager, you know that time management is crucial to workplace productivity. When your employees aren’t managing their time wisely, the resulting delays can have a cascading effect and negatively impact everyone in the workplace. However, simply telling employees to get a grip on managing time won’t correct the problem.

Poor time management can occasionally stem from a lack of discipline or motivation, but usually it’s because your employees have too much work (and don’t know where to start), don’t know how to manage their time — or both. Most people aren’t born with time management skills, but the good news is that they can be learned.

Here’s how you can help employees manage their time at work, and make their lives — and yours — easier and more productive.

Hold a demonstration meeting

You can let employees know that it’s time to get serious about time management, and offer a live example of how it works, by arranging a time management meeting. Plan the topics you’ll discuss, as well as how long you’ll spend on each one—and at the start of the meeting, hand out or present your agenda, and stick to your allotted timeframes.

The topics you discuss might include:

  • Company policies on timeliness, such as arriving to work and taking breaks
  • Any time management tools or methods you’d recommend
  • Requests for employee feedback on policies or time management in general

Keep in mind that the goals of improved time management are not only to increase productivity, but also to reduce employee stress and make things easier for them. Reinforce during the meeting how time management will help everyone, not just managers.

Ask employees to identify time wasters

Everyone engages in time-wasting tasks at work. Things like coffee breaks, personal phone calls, conversations about non-work activities, social media use, or personal Internet searches may be taking up more time than your employees realize. Of course, everyone needs a break now and then — but being more aware of how much time you’re spending on non-work activities can help to reduce wasted time.

Ask that your employees pay attention to how often they’re engaging in this type of activity, and look for ways they can reduce the amount of time spent on time wasters. Some helpful ideas might include combining personal phone calls and coffee breaks, or limiting social media and personal Internet time to lunch breaks. If your employees are asked to reduce time-wasters themselves in ways that work for them, rather than ordered to cut back, they’ll be more motivated to find efficient ways to use their free time.

Prioritize and communicate

Prioritization is a key component of successful time management — but if your employees don’t know which tasks are the most important, they can’t prioritize effectively. Make sure that your employees understand the goals of your department and the overall objectives of the company, and work with them individually to assign priorities to their daily or regular tasks.

Your employees may also feel intimidated by the idea of telling you that they can’t complete their assigned work. Helping them understand priorities can ease this anxiety. In addition, you should make it clear that employees can discuss their workloads with you and be given additional time, or have tasks reassigned, if they’re unable to complete them in a given time frame.

With a solid foundation, and a little ongoing maintenance, you can help your employees manage their time better, creating a more relaxed and productive workplace environment for everyone. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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