FAQ Series: Making Time for Training

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“As a training administrator, how do I help employees find time for on-the-job training?” Part 1

Finding time for training
Incorporating time management techniques can help property management employees find time for training.

This is the single biggest challenge and frustration for most training administrators in the multifamily property industry. The fact is that knowing training is important doesn’t magically make time for it appear. Most property management professionals already have full days without training, so how are they supposed to squeeze it in?

 

While there’s no secret way to add extra hours to the day, incorporating some good time management techniques can help you find extra minutes. And those minutes add up!

 

An Up-Front Investment Saves Time in the End

The first and best time investment is on your part as the training administrator. Yes, you too, already have your hands full! But making time for some organization and planning right now will save you more time playing catch-up down the road.

 

Employees Are Human

Time Management Challenges
Identifying common “time-wasters” in an employee’s day is the first step to making more space for training.

No matter how important or intricate an employee’s job is, the same human time management challenges apply: there are going to be periods of procrastination, inefficiency, duplication of efforts, unnecessary distractions and missed opportunities for delegation. These phenomena exist in the most dedicated employee’s day and will never be completely eliminated. However, any way you can minimize them, especially the most frequently occurring ones, helps create space for more desirable activities.

 

A Day in the Life

Spend a little time acquainting yourself with what a typical day looks like for the employees you train. You probably already know a lot about each employee’s responsibilities and challenges; you may have already performed many of their jobs. But try to approach this exercise with a fresh eye. You’re not learning the role so much as observing their day. If your organization is especially large, you might just look at one representative within each role. You’ll find that the biggest “time wasters” for one leasing agent likely exist for all leasing agents.

 

This doesn’t mean “checking up” on employees to catch them wasting time. You’re just getting to know the specific time challenges they face in the hopes of discovering some hidden opportunities. You can do this by observing, talking to the employee about what a typical day looks like for them or having the employee keep a very basic time log for just one day. Get as much feedback from the employee as possible. After all, these challenges may be hindering his or her personal goals and job satisfaction.

 

Things to look for:

  • Are there any meetings that take longer than they need to or happen more frequently than they need to?
  • Is there any paperwork that could be more streamlined?
  • Are there any tasks being handled by multiple people when only one is needed?
  • Are there certain times of day that tend to be less busy?
  • What times of day does the employee feel most and least energetic? (Everyone has energetic peaks and valleys throughout the day.)
  • What does the employee feel are his or her biggest distractions?
  • Is an unresolved problem causing repetitive work?
  • Do you notice any patterns leading to unproductivity?

This may seem like an onerous task you don’t have time for. But let’s return to the question at the beginning: finding time for employees to complete training is probably one of the biggest challenges of your job. If this can help, isn’t it worth it?

 

Next time we’ll discuss the payoff: what to do with this information once you have it.

November 29 2017

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