How do you get your team members started on a productive day?


In any small company, the manager has his/her own tasks to complete in addition to managing the day-to-day situations of the business.  If all of a manager’s  taken up by responding to team member questions and dealing with the issues  that arise, there is likely not enough time time to complete their own work. If there is not timeleft during the workday, a manager must resort to working evenings and weekends.


The Day Planning Process

The Day Planning Process is a pro-active system to create efficiency and time savings for both the manager and the team members.  The Day Plan is completed as the first task of each day.  Each team member outlines the tasks to be competed that day.  If they require help or input from the manager, he is available during this time period.  If the team member wants feedback on previously completed work, this is the time.  If the team member needs to interact with another team member, this time is set aside and booked in an organized dependable manner.  Should the team member have a meeting later in the day and wants to invite the manager or other team member, this is the time to make the meeting arrangements.  One all the team members have their day planned, they can go about their work without being interrupted or interrupting others.


Of course, any crisis situation overrides the system and interruptions may be acceptable.


Depending upon the nature of the work, it may be useful to permit communication between team members and managers in the last half hour of regular working day.

This time can be utilized for a number of useful aspects discussing work that requires inter-office communication.


Each team member’s day is filled with top priority work and he/she knows if there are questions or help required, there is time is set aside to do this in a way that is not disruptive – usually early morning or late afternoon each day.  Questions that are posed during these time are often answered better as the respondent will be fully focused on the exercise of exchanging information or giving help, rather than having his/her mind on their own tasks.


The impact on the manger, when he/she is not interrupted numerous times during the day:

-       has time to finish their own work

-       less errors in their work

-       less stress

-       less wasted time.  Even thought an interruption may only take 5 minutes it will take 1o – 20 minutes to restart the task that was interrupted.


Justin, our reliable team member, likes the Day Planning Process:

-       “it helps me to be fully prepared to get my day’s work done”

-       “it teaches me to think for myself”

-       “it gives me more reliable feedback on my work”

-       “it fosters independence in doing my work”

-       “I don’t interrupt and I am not interrupted, so I get my work done more quickly         with less errors”

-       “at first I was dubious on how this would help, but after using it for two months, I would never go back.”