Manage Time & Grow

In today's economy, you need to get the most out of your resources. We're all doing more with less these days, and for many rental businesses, that means smaller, leaner staffs than in the past.

Efficient time management is necessary for your rental business to run smoothly, and to utilize your staff to the best of its ability.

Are your employees consistently efficient? One of the definitions of "efficiency" is the ratio of work done to the energy supplied. Often, far too much energy is supplied for how much work is being done.

Most employees are not well versed in the best ways to use their time. Even some managers are not good at time management. Both employers and employees often lack the training and discipline to cut out the unnecessary expenditure of time on tasks that don't make sense.

Be realistic about how much each team member is capable of doing, and be objective concerning whether your employees are ready to handle what you need them to handle. Don't burn out super employees by overwhelming them - or asking them to pick up the slack for less motivated employees.

You might have to redistribute duties among your staff to ensure the best coverage. Put a performance evaluation system in place to monitor and encourage efficiency and excellent customer service.

With all the changes that have occurred in the past two years, you should observe your employees' performance more than you have in the past to be certain the quality of your service is what it needs to be.

Find ways to remind your staff how important time is to your customers and your company. Promote more concise communications with customers for improved customer service reasons as well as your company's improved efficiency.

When consulting for clients and doing what I call a "business physical," I usually ask to spend a little time with employees conducting one-on-one interviews. Rental business owners and managers should also do this. Periodic fresh insights into the company from employees are always helpful. Often, the keys to employee efficiency are better communication and more effective and targeted training.

One important step for efficient time management is to identify which daily tasks are unnecessary. Do you or your employees perform some tasks that are as useful as a game of tic-tac-toe? There are often far too many non-essential distractions that are time wasters.

Try making a list of everything you do. Analyze each item to determine if it makes sense for you to continue doing it. Can you streamline the process? Can the task be delegated or outsourced? Break out of the habit of doing routine tasks that could be delegated to others.

During training sessions, talk to your employees about the concept of being more efficient. Put in the effort to constantly reinforce the idea of time management with your entire staff. Employees will need serious coaching to break the old habits.

There is no shortage of ideas, but there is always a shortage of the time to list them, sort them, prioritize them, plan them and implement them. Consider using an objective outsider to help you to analyze your company's communication, procedures and time management needs and to provide the best solutions for your company.

Better communication and time management can not happen without a well-crafted and written plan. So, invest in efficiency. It's well worth it - especially in today's economy.