Five Ways to Help Your Teams Meet Deadlines


Five Ways to Help Your Teams Meet Deadlines

While they may well be a leading cause of stress in the workplace, deadlines are something of a necessary evil, as without them — let the anarchists amongst us disagree — human productivity would all but certainly tumble into oblivion.

Yet all too often, strict schedules also give us the impression that the people within our organisations behave much like tireless machines, mechanically churning out their finished products at the mere push of a button.

This, of course, couldn’t be further from reality, and the Agile manifesto makes perfectly clear: companies should prioritise “individuals and interactions over process and tools.”

So with this thought as our guiding compass, here are five simple ways to help your employees meet their deadlines:


1. Explain why the deadline is important

How many times do your workers dawdle even after you have carefully explained that a given task should be treated as urgent? This happens because most people do not respond particularly well to being denied the logic behind uncomfortable changes.

Think about it. It’s like when your mother told you to do something because she “said so.”

For this reason, whenever the stakes are high, it is wise to paint a very clear picture from the outset:

Instead of simply stating that reports are due by the end of the week, try mentioning the fact that your most important client will be coming in on Monday, and you have promised that they would be ready for him.

2. Make sure help is at hand

Regrettably, far too many companies fail to create a cooperative work environment. By treating employees like silos, however, not only do people get bogged down by their workloads, but they are also cut off from those who should be able to assist them in overcoming their difficulties.

On the other hand, in work environments where help is freely available, a lifeline is thrown, potentially sparing workers hours worth of wading through treacle.

3. Focus on the family

Without that lifeline of support, working for any company can quickly start to feel as warm and welcoming as a bucket of ice