Why HR Time Management Leads to Enhanced Workplace Efficiency

Guest contributor
By Guest contributor
05 July, 2024

How can you optimize HR time management, and how does it connect to workplace efficiency? Learn more here.

Human Resources time management

When listing your soft skills, it’s easy to say that you’re good at time management, but what does that actually mean? And why is HR time management, in particular, so necessary for running a productive company?

Read on to learn all about the benefits of HR time management and grab some top tips for effective time management.

What does efficient time management for individuals look like?

You may have heard people say that efficient time management means ‘having a to-do list’ or ‘having high task completion rates’, but there’s more to it than that.

Great time management is more of a philosophy than anything else. 

That’s because it involves restructuring your approach to doing work, such that you get through your daily tasks in a specific order that works for you. This should also involve taking other things into account outside of your task list, as outlined below.

Balancing work and personal life

Your mind is not a monolithic application, solely dedicated to crushing a task list. Instead, it's important to protect a broader and healthier approach to work, to achieve a positive work-life balance. 

In most cases, this means leaving enough room to take breaks, socialize with colleagues and enjoy your personal life, all of which requires effective time management.  

You need to prioritize your tasks well so, ideally, you tackle your most important tasks early and when you’re able to focus. On top of this, you also need to ensure you set realistic goals when it comes to deadlines and your daily workload. By knowing your working style and by being aware of what you’re able to achieve you’ll find it much easier to create a good balance. 

Sustained productivity

High productivity levels mean precious little if they’re not sustainable. For example, if you’re working on a larger project, it’s not realistic to furiously  get all of your project progress done in one day and then forget about it for weeks. 

Instead, you should aim to methodically break down your workload into smaller project objectives each day. This lets you get a momentum going and helps you keep your ‘flow’ moving forward, instead of exclusively working under crunch conditions.

Consistently meeting deadlines

As we’ve already mentioned, setting realistic goals is an important part of time management and, of course, it goes a long way towards ensuring you avoid missing deadlines.  

To dive a little deeper into this, you’ll also want to implement practical plans for meeting your deadlines. This can then be easily communicated with other team members or teams and adjusted as you progress. If you’re consistently missing deadlines you should analyze why and assess whether there’s any time that can be saved or a way to improve the workflow. 

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Good prioritization

People with strong time management skills know how to make sure all the high-priority tasks get done before any lower-prioritization activities are touched. 

For example, if you need to prepare a presentation on the benefits of an ATS for your meeting at the end of the week, you’ll want to prioritize it above other tasks that don’t have a hard deadline; make sure you allocate time for checking through and practicing your presentation; and, if need be, push-back other, less important and time-sensitive tasks. 

Why is HR time management so important?

Let's walk through why HR time management in particular is essential for your company.

Effective recruitment practices

HR professionals are responsible for getting the right people on board at your company—which is difficult to do well when they’re not well organized themselves. 

They’ll have strong time management skills by knowing their own working style and being able to accommodate both people’s needs and deadlines. HR professionals will also couple these skills with the right tools like a recruitment metrics dashboard, helping them to get the most out of their time and get their hiring practices just right. 

This guarantees that your company will only recruit the best candidates for each role, which in turn improves internal efficiency and overall productivity.

Managing people more efficiently

A HR department has to know exactly how to handle what the rest of the company’s employees need from them. 

The key to this is being able to communicate with multiple teams and individuals; keeping track of what has been discussed and agreed, as well as different people’s needs. When it comes to time management, that means allowing for specific periods to get organized and update notes.

For example, allowing 15 minutes after an employee meeting to write up what’s been said and the next action points leads to better people management where employees feel listened to and tasks aren’t forgotten. 

Setting the tone

HR sits at the heart of your organization, managing both employees’ needs and those of the company. They’re also responsible for recruitment and onboarding, which means they’ll have direct contact with just about every arm of the company at one point or another. 

This puts HR in a unique position to set the tone for how the rest of the workforce operates. 

During the recruitment process, the HR team can seek out candidates who show strong time management skills. When it comes to existing employees, HR teams can also distribute information or organize meetings about time management and recommend the best apps or tools employees can use to help with time management.

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Benefits of effective HR time management

So, why should HR professionals worry about how they manage their time? 

We’ve gathered some of the most important reasons below.

Reduced stress

By implementing effective time management strategies, whether it’s introducing an appointment booking system for more structured meetings or simply sharing some task prioritization tips, organizations will see reduced stress and a happier environment.  

As we’ve touched upon, this starts with HR teams. By focusing on their own time management, HR teams can ensure that an organization is running smoothly and reduce their stress levels.  

They’re also central to spotting and calling attention to an increased amount of stressed employees in order to implement better time management practices and improve company culture. 

Increased efficiency

When you’re great at managing your time, you ensure your critical tasks are always finished on time. This also lets others complete tasks that rely on you, which in turn helps cut their task list down and shows those coworkers that you’re reliable. 

In this way, excellent time management creates a positive knock-on effect that improves the productivity of those around you as well.  

An easy way to achieve this is by using shared workflow apps such as Trello or Asana. These apps help teams to prioritize their workload but also automatically communicate which tasks have been completed and are ready for the next stage of a process.

More projects in less time

There’s a never-ending list of potential projects that anyone in HR could do in a year. Unfortunately, just about any HR professional faces time constraints in some form or another. 

That said, good time management can make it much easier to check off more projects in a shorter time frame, allowing HR professionals to be more productive and complete more tasks. These can also be finished to a higher standard through excellent time management. 

By implementing efficient practices like using a project timesheet template, HR professionals can further streamline their workflow and maximize productivity.

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HR time management: best practices

From effective prioritization techniques to creating well-organized timetables to structure your professional life, HR time management can be improved in many practical ways. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks.

Use the right software

You wouldn’t expect to book lots of interviews effectively without a dedicated piece of interview scheduling software. Likewise, it’s a smart idea to start thinking about HR time management through the lens of finding great software to support your efforts. 

This includes calendar software, for example, alongside tools like timers and list-keeping apps. 

Each individual will have their own preferences and needs from a piece of time management software. However, we strongly recommend that you choose an all-inclusive solution over multiple separate ones, as switching between apps is a sure way to waste time.

Implement regular employee reviews

HR employees need to stay on top of how everyone else is doing, which includes tasks like managing employees’ remote productivity and checking in on collaborations. It can be  easy to forget to check in with them.

We’re here to remind you that employee reviews should be done with HR professionals as well. 

HR professionals can also stand to benefit from knowing where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Maybe you’re very good at completing short tasks on time, for example, but struggle to plan for longer projects--knowing this lets you address that gap and become more productive.

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Split schedules into blocks

It can be daunting to look at your checklist for the day and see ‘finish project and practice big presentation’. 

What’s decidedly less daunting is a set of smaller blocks of time, each with its own purpose. For example, you might block out two hours at the start of your day to work in deep focus on your project, complete it, and carry out final checks. Another hour after that might be dedicated to going over the presentation and identifying areas that need work. 

By blocking your schedule, you can help make things less overwhelming and more manageable.

Flexibly define ‘time management’

The meaning of time management isn’t set in stone. What works for some people might be very counterproductive to others, which is why it’s a good idea to approach the concept with an open mind. 

Managing your time is doubtlessly important. But for some people, having a rigid schedule is a sure way to burn out and lose all motivation; others will experience the same effect by not having a rigid schedule. 

You can start flexibly defining what ‘time management’ means by giving people room to try out different approaches. Some might find lists more helpful than spreadsheets, for example, so it’s a good idea to provide a range of ideas and let people figure out what works best for them. 

Remember that time management is not about doing things in the ‘right’ way, but rather about being goal-oriented and completing tasks on time.

Final thoughts

Time management comes more naturally to some than others, but it’s a skill everyone can learn. In fact, it’s a skill that can benefit just about everyone, because being more organized and productive is always going to be helpful.

Of course, in the context of an organization, the HR department in particular needs to be very good at this.

HR time management is beneficial in lots of different ways, as we’ve highlighted above. But one thing to take special note of is that it really introduces an element of levity and relief to the lives of working professionals by reducing stress, allowing staff to get more work done in less time, and helping other departments learn from HR’s example, thereby increasing workplace efficiency.

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