The saying “time is money” may be cliché, but like many such phrases, it’s cliché because it’s true. In an economy where employees are paid by the hour or the year, companies are literally paying for time. In fact, in an economy that is increasingly service-focused, labor costs can amount to as much as 70% of total business costs for some companies.
Saving Time Saves Money
Because time does equate to money, companies that can instill time management skills in their employees can operate more efficiently, thereby reducing overall costs, increasing productivity, and boosting overall profits.
There are many ways to improve time management, but in this post, we’re going to focus on two key strategies that can help any employee use his or her time more effectively: prioritization and escalation.
Most of us have felt overwhelmed at work at one time or another. It sometimes feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. In truth, sometimes there aren’t. That’s where prioritization comes in.
Not all work is created equal, and not all tasks deserve the same priorities. But employees don’t necessarily know how to distinguish between the top priorities and the low priorities. That’s where training can come into play.
Organizations that take time to educate employees on how to identify critical tasks and focus on those first can see big benefits. Criticality can be derived from the importance of the work, as well as how close deadlines are and whether they are hard or soft. In the process, it’s possible that some “nice to do” but not “need to do” tasks will emerge.
Escalation might not seem like a time management skill, but it can be extremely effective. Although managers certainly value employees who can resolve issues independently, it’s not in anyone’s best interest for employees to spin their wheels without making progress.
Escalating issues when appropriate can focus attention and resources on a problem and break through time-wasting roadblocks. For example, a team that can’t agree on an approach for a new phase of a project could either spend hours arguing back and forth or escalate it—take the issue to a superior and get definitive direction, enabling the team to move on to higher-priority work.
A workforce that is skilled in using time effectively by understanding what matters most to the organization can provide significant advantages to any business. Prioritization and escalation are two simple but effective strategies that can help quickly boost time management skills. Time is money!
At Workforce L&D 2019, efficiency will be a common theme throughout many presentations. One we’re particularly looking forward to is “5 Real-Life Examples of How L&D Can Be Used to Support Organizational Agility.” This session will provide real-life success stories of L&D agility to demonstrate how training can appropriately support talent management in today’s ever-changing business world. We hope you’ll be able to join us!