Missed deadlines can be costly, in more ways than one.
Not meeting deadlines obviously results in lost clients and profits, but it also costs you time and wages. Wasted and inefficient use of time means businesses are forced to pay more salary over more hours for something that should have been done correctly the first time.
If you are a business owner or manager, you can’t afford these setbacks. It is imperative you identify the reasons behind these missed deadlines.
While there are many reasons that can lead to delays and incomplete assignments, these five are the most common. You must understand these issues and the steps you can take to prevent them from impacting your bottom-line.
Poor Time Management
As the adage states, “time is money.” Employees drain your business of that valuable time with unscheduled absences and poor productivity during the workday.
Even if you realise the importance to ending such problems, you may not have the time to devote to monitoring and checking these regularly. For this reason, time management software systems are a worthwhile investment.
These programs can assist you by providing the ability to chart attendance, plan scheduling and even set payroll. Time management software helps you stay in control of your employee’s time and absences. Purchasing and installing these systems will cut costs, boost efficiency and ultimately increase productivity.
In addition, these programs also maximise your staff’s ownership of their own time. Accountability feature and self-service options give your employees greater structure and awareness of their own time management.
Lack of Accountability
The term “deadline” literally may be the line between life or death for your company. With such high stakes on the line, it only makes sense that your staff feels the same sense of urgency.
When working on a project, employees often view deadlines as fluid, with little penalty if they fail to meet them. Your role must be to hold each employee accountable and to enforce deadlines.
One way to increase accountability is to make deadline dates public. Announcing deadlines during meetings and discussing them openly add a layer of structure. People are more likely to meet deadlines when their colleagues are also aware of them. You can also post deadlines so that it’s clear when projects must be completed.
Businesses also typically struggle to reach deadlines when employees don’t support or aren’t on board with a project. Lack of commitment, disinterest and poor effort prevent your staff from fully committing to a job. In order to fight against this, make sure everyone understands a task’s direction and why it is important to everyone’s long-term goal.
Issues arise. Delays happen. Set deadlines understanding that there is always a potential for problems.
Deadlines often fall victim to not anticipating what is really needed. When planning to meet deadlines, you must try to think ahead. Don’t get boxed into just trying to get through today; structure your projects thinking several days ahead and what you will need in the future.
Procrastination is another example of failed planning. Putting off work until the last minute could lead to missed deadlines but will also likely result in an inferior project. These can leave customers angry and your reputation in ruins.
Bad Organisation Skills
While your staff may struggle with organisation, you can easily help them.
Try breaking down big projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. Essentially, you are creating several smaller deadlines instead of one massive due date. Not only will this ensure projects stay up-to-date, but it also sets your staff up for greater success by making them feel less overwhelmed and intimidated by large jobs.
As mentioned earlier, posting deadlines, either online or on the wall, will also keep everyone on track and aware of what is needed.
Communication is critical for success within any company. It is equally important for your business’ deadlines.
Meeting deadlines often involves teamwork and collaboration. You staff need to share ideas, discuss options and work together to get jobs done.
Many projects also start from the top-down, meaning you must also be able communicate your goals and expectations clearly with your employees. They must understand your vision for each project and know what is needed to complete it. This can’t be achieved without routine communication.