Heavy workload, inefficient worker or disorganised management? How to spot poor time management skills in the work place.

Business Insights

When it comes to managing people, a wide range of factors need to be taken into consideration. Pay roll, working hours and delegating work fairly across a team are just some of the things that should be considered in a business. It can be a stressful but rewarding job overseeing a vast number of people. You get to acknowledge peoples hard work, but on the other hand, you need to be able to spot workers who appear to be inefficient or disorganised and recognise what may be the cause to this. Is their workload just too much for them to handle or are they an ineffective worker? And if so, why?

The way managers handle these employees can greatly challenge them and shows whether they have the management skills to deal with the situation in the correct manner. The senior team will automatically set an example to others and the way they behave and react in situations will affect how colleagues below them react in similar circumstances, thus creating either a positive or negative atmosphere within a work place.

Leadership and management is not all about giving out orders and telling people what to do. Trust within the team needs to be built, colleagues need to be able to feel they can talk to their manager and both energy and time from the managers needs to be invested into the team. Inspiration, encouragement, listening and acknowledging are examples of skills that would be seen within a strong management team. Not everybody naturally has leadership skills, this sometimes has to be built up throughout their management career, but these named skills are a great place to start for managers.

So, how do you spot poor management skills? Well, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Does the senior team allow people to stand around and chat when they should be working? Do people stroll into work slightly late knowing they will not get pulled up on it? Are people staying in work late constantly because of their poor time management skills?

A strong management team would not allow standing around and talking to become office culture when work should be getting done. Now, this is not saying that no social time is allowed, but there should be a line that does not get crossed when it comes to being sociable with your work colleagues. Managers should be setting an example and then this will allow the trickling down effect to have positive affects in the workplace.

People staying late at work does not always mean that they have too much work given to them, it could be a result of bad time management skills. Allowing people to slip with their work ethic can result in unhealthy behaviour. Managers should try to resolve this by guiding employees on how to become more organised. This going back to the point of managers putting time and energy into their staff to help them.

On the other hand, if someone is constantly staying late and it is genuinely due to a heavy workload, having a trusting relationship with management will give them the confidence to speak to their manager about the issue and to receive the help needed. This may be senior staff delegating work to a less busy employee or even taking the job into their own hands. Being able to talk to your manager and feeling confident enough to do so, shows fantastic management skills on their behalf.

So, what should you do if you have an inefficient manager?

Try to keep other people within your team motivated. Although it is not necessarily your job to do so, at the end of the day, having a positive team around you will have positive benefits for you as well.

If you feel confident enough to do so, speak to your manager about the issues you may have seen come up within the team and suggest ideas on how to solve them.

Whatever you do, do not lose focus on what you want to achieve from the job role. It may sometimes be hard to motivate yourself when management are not doing anything to help that but you took the job role for a reason. Whether that be for experience to use in another role for the future or if you want to gain skills that you have not gained from other places.

About the authors:

Karen Meager and John McLachlan are the co-founders of Monkey Puzzle Training, two of only a handful of NLP Master Trainers in the UK and co-authors to Time Mastery; a number one best-selling book.