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Help a Direct Report Who Has Trouble Managing Their Time

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If you have a direct report who is struggling with time management, it can be challenging to know how to address the issue. You need them to get things done but you also want to support them. Before you get frustrated or deliver harsh feedback, first reflect on whether you might be contributing to the problem. Ask yourself, for example: Have there been times when you’ve sent them an assignment last minute or didn’t provide clear direction? Next, think through exactly how your direct report’s lack of time management is causing issues for you, the team, or their reputation. Once you know specifically where the issue lies, calmly communicate to them exactly what you need, when you need it, and why you need it. You can also ask them what they need from you to help them be successful. You might help them prioritize, brainstorm the direction to take, set up intermediate milestones, or request daily updates. Finally, be sure to celebrate progress — especially at the beginning.

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