Time Management Expectations vs Reality

29th June 2020

The Cambridge dictionary defines expectations as ‘the feeling that good things are going to happen in the future’. We as humans and professionals tend to pin our happiness on fulfilled expectations. Commitment to a task can come with expectations both internally and externally. The internal expectations can come from within ourselves or team. The external can come from other departments of the same company or a client from another company. It is natural to expect the best from an employee or colleague. Employees working together at their best to achieve the company long term and short-term goals is the aspiration of most managers. However, ‘best’ is a highly subjective term.

Despite the subjective nature of doing our best and the possible disappointment of falling short of an external definition of what that best is, expectations can be a powerful motivator.  In the 1960s a study was conducted by a team of Harvard researchers which resulted in a phenomenon that they called the “Pygmalion Effect”. Essentially the conclusion of the research showed that the expectations that we hold for our employees and colleagues may have an impact on their performance and behaviour. The Harvard psychologist, Robert Rosenthal who over saw the research concluded “The bottom line is that if we expect certain behaviours from people, we treat them differently — and that treatment is likely to affect their behaviour”.

Time management in a professional environment can be difficult. For a management it is a delicate balancing act between maintaining cordial relations with staff while at the same time communicating expectations and demands. At times there will be pressure to complete important tasks and projects. What is the best course of action for managers when expectations do not meet reality? It’s worth having a plan in place or a sound procedure as well a time tracking software. This can help to boost productivity of a team.

Staying 100% focused at all times is not humanly possible. Even with excellent focus the world around us is competing for our attention. Social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are just the tips of the Iceberg. According to Digital information World, 77% of employees will access social media while on the clock. According to the same study, 51% of businesses have a social media policy, this might include blocking certain sites. While it might seem tempting to block all social media sites, it is important to remember that these sites can be important tools for promoting the company and for communication among team members. Another point to note is the effect of such a policy on the wellbeing of the staff. With a time management software such as 1Time tracking, blocking social media sites is not at all necessary. Rather than imposing a social media blackout, you can motivate employees by putting the responsibility of managing their time back to those employees.

Visibility on contribution to various projects can be a powerful motivator. 1Time tracking can report on individual contributions of staff for the projects that they are assigned. This is especially valuable for contract or freelance workers, when being charged by the hour it is a bonus to know that you are getting what you have paid for.

Finding the balance between expectations and reality for employees can be achieved with a time tracking system such as 1Time. Getting to know on a micro level how our employees work can give ample opportunities for positive feedback. Both pressure and encouragement are a part of our professional lives and a balance can be found with full visibility of the time used by staff.

Earning the respect of staff and resulting boost in confidence, even if they finish their work after a deadline. Both you and the employee will know that they honestly tried their absolute best to complete their work on time. This allows you as the manager or owner of a company to monitor and adjust time allotted for certain tasks. Communication is a two-way street, and it is important for staff to know that always come to us for help. If you would like to see for yourself the benefits of 1Time you can avail of our 30day free trial by following the link.

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