We probably well understand the impact that poor time management has on us as an individual. Missed deadlines, reduced quality work, stress and burnout. But, imagine that multiplied by the number of people that work in your organisation.
Poor time management can have a detrimental impact on a business. And, left for too long can get very serious.
What impact can poor time management have on a business? Here are a few ideas:
Lower levels of energy and motivation. If team members feel like they can't get everything done, they don't get a feeling of completion and satisfaction. This feeling can lead to lower levels of energy and motivation.
Lower levels of energy lead to lower levels of productivity and performance. The risk then becomes that the business puts even more pressure on people to get things done, but rather than fix the problem, it exasperates it.
Increased costs. If you are not doing enough in the time available, people will need to work longer. Working longer means that the business has to pay for overtime or more resource to make sure the work gets done.
Another cost associated with poor time management comes from the potential increase in sickness. Increased sickness puts pressure on everyone else too.
Damaged client/customer relationships. If we miss deadlines or work is of low quality, clients/customers become upset with the business, and this can do irreversible damage to the reputation of the company.
This also becomes more challenging if you have contracts in place with clients that include SLA's (service level agreements). If these are missed or not met, there could be financial penalties.
Strained working relationships. Things not being done on time can also have a knock-on effect on the business. One person's delay may also delay someone else, and so on. Knock-ons will put pressure on working relationships, making it even harder to get things done.
Stress and tension can also produce negative behaviour, and this quickly spreads to others too.
What can a business do to reduce the above?
Intervention. Having open and honest conversations about people workload is the first step to understanding what is going on.
Make it OK to push back. Promote an environment where people can push back and say no without fear of reprimand. Being able to push-back reduces the likelihood of people taking too much on.
Make workloads more visible. Look for ways for employees to make their workload more visible. Making things more visible supports better conversations and reduces overload
Time Management Training. A time management training course can provide the business and individuals with some useful tools to be more productive and have better conversations about their workload.