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One of the chief duties of managers and those involved in human resources is to guide employees in efficiency and productivity. Creative professionals devise engaging ways of teaching their employees skills to make themselves and the company more successful. One aspect many people need to work on is time management. Every business suffers from time wasting practices that, with proper training, can be drastically reduced. Use training games to help employees improve their use of time while on the clock.
Separate employees into small groups. Give each group the task of listing the top time wasting activities that occur regularly at work. By having employees themselves identify these practices, you promote self-exploration and teamwork. Another benefit is that you do not have to point out these issues yourself, which lessens employee tension because they are not being “lectured.”
The second part of the brainstorming exercise is requiring the employees to come up with solutions to the issues they identified previously. Make it fun by providing candy or gift card prizes for the fastest, best, most creative and unique solutions provided by different groups. Fun competition is guaranteed to inspire solutions to time wasting problems.
Give each group a large piece of paper and fine point markers. Ask them to write down on one side of the paper all the necessary but mundane duties employees should complete each day. This might include such activities as opening and responding to mail, completing reports, filing and other tasks unique to your particular business. On the other side of the paper, employees should come up with issues that prevent these daily tasks from being completed in a timely manner. This can be a very eye-opening exercise for employees who may not have realized how little things can rob them of time throughout the work day. Employees are more likely to improve time management once they have identified the things that cause them to waste productive time during the day. Ask employees how they would feel if they could complete daily tasks more efficiently so they have time left over for more engaging and creative aspects of their jobs. Most will agree that conquering these “time robbers” will result in a more satisfying job experience.
Provide each group with multiple items of varying sizes and a jar. Each group's task will be to get all the items into the jar while still being able to close the lid. The team that gets all the items to fit in the least amount of time is the winner. This game illustrates visually to employees that the large items should be put in first in order to “fit” everything that must go into the jar. Explain that job activities work in the same way. The “biggest” items are the jobs that are most important. These should be completed first before the “small,” less important jobs.
Lisa Mooney has been a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has worked with various clients including many Fortune 500 companies such as Pinkerton Inc. She has written for many publications including Woman's World, Boy's Life and Dark Horizons. Mooney holds bachelor's degrees in both English and biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.