One of the things I like to do when I travel is read. Especially on flights. I figure it’s a good use of my time because I might not have access to WiFi. The same is true in the office. I try to schedule my day, so I can do work that requires a lot of concentration during times when I feel I will be interrupted less. It’s all about understanding priorities and optimizing schedules.
Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos reminds me that this is also true when it comes to changing priorities and making time for employees. Sure, managers will schedule one-on-one meetings with their team, but sometimes conversations need to happen outside of regularly scheduled meetings. And managers need to find time to accommodate them.
Create “open office” hours. Remember how college professors would post times when they would be sitting in their office waiting for students to stop by? Well, if you’re a manager who has lots of meetings and off-site events, consider setting up office hours. That way, you can be available for employees and they know when to expect you.
Practice management by walking around (MBWA). Instead of making employees find you, add a morning or afternoon routine that allows employees to see you. Maybe in the morning you can grab a coffee and just walk around. Stop and say hello. Start casual conversation. Employees will appreciate it. And you might learn a few things too.
Stop by “happy hour”. I understand the reluctance of hanging out and having an adult beverage with colleagues. But sometimes being friendly can be a great relationship builder. I can also tell you from experience that many times, employees would say to me, “I’m glad you’re here. I have this issue and I’ve been hesitant to stop by HR.” So, grab a club soda and find out what’s going on. You can always leave early.
Use technology strategically. Today’s tech allows organizations to automate and scale many tasks. The cartoon mentions timecard approvals, but there are many more. It brings consistency and frees up manager time. So, they can spend it with employees. It’s a huge benefit to the business.
Once managers understand that making time to talk with employees is one of their top priorities, they will look for ways to build that into their schedule. That includes changing the way they manage their time and looking for technology to help them reduce boring, repetitive tasks. And that’s a win for everyone involved.17