Running a business is crazy difficult. Not that I know from personal experience, but I do work for someone who owns a business and I don’t know how she keeps her head on straight. Lorraine manages customers, potential new customers, her own workload, her employees and their projects and two cats. That’s a lot. My head is spinning just reading that. But she’s got the process down so everyone communicates what’s going on effectively and work doesn’t get backed up.
Granted we are all pretty exceptional when it comes to time management (or we do a really good job of making it look like we are). But what happens if you’re running a business where your entire team is off schedule and isn’t communicating? You can’t let that type of behavior go on any longer. Your business will suffer. The cracks in the foundation will become gaping trenches and you won’t be able to repair the damage. However, there is hope. Here’s how to keep your team on schedule.
What’s the easiest way to make sure your employees are keeping up with their workload? Talk to them. Ask them about the status of their project. Ask them how much time they have spent on it and when they plan to be done. Make sure the time frame on their project is reasonable. If a project should only take three days to complete, make sure they aren’t spending a week on it. If they are spending more time on a project, ask them why. There might have been speed bumps throughout the project which caused it to slow down. If that’s the case, you need to know about it. Check in with your employees once a week either as a group or individually.
Invest in a Task Management System
This sounds like a tool to micromanage your employees, but really it’s to help them stay on track and meet deadlines. We use Insightly at the ‘Peg and it’s pretty awesome. It’s basically an ongoing to-do list, but on your computer. You don’t have to go searching through random lists or pieces of paper where you might have jotted down something important. You keep all of your work-related projects and assignments on the site in one convenient place. Insightly also allows the other users on your company’s account to see your daily tasks, assign new ones and review completed tasks. This helps you keep up with the status of assignments without having to nag 24/7.
If you notice an employee is consistently behind with his/her work load, don’t start screaming, that doesn’t solve anything. Sit down and talk about why things aren’t getting done. Provide your employee with feedback or advice. Is the workload realistic? Is the focus on the wrong thing or is too much time spent on “non value added” tasks?
Help set priorities by agreeing on which tasks can wait. Review how tasks are approached, maybe there are shortcuts that could be used. Perhaps that person has just too much on his/her plate and didn’t want to ask for help. You never know, your employee might be going through a personal problem and didn’t want to share with you. Focus on helping your employee come up with a plan of action to get the work schedule back on track.
While you shouldn’t be micromanaging your employees, you do need to make sure they are staying on schedule with projects and assignments. Make sure you and your employees are effectively communicating with each other. Also, don’t be afraid to take your employees who are struggling to stay on schedule aside and get to the root of the problem. Nip these problems in the bud now so your business can continue to run efficiently.
Now that you’ve got your team on task, it’s time to figure out how to upgrade your marketing. Check out our marketing budget guide to get started: