Basic Prioritization Skills Within the Work Environment are Lacking These Days

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Time Management > Best Practices > Basic Prioritization Skills Within the Work Environment are Lacking These Days

Basic Prioritization Skills Within the Work Environment are Lacking These Days
Shan Cade
Computer and IT technology appear to have affected the "basic office skills" of workers these days.
I have been taken by surprise often lately at how little "managers" and staff know about the benefits of having good basic admin skills.
It appears that companies have spoofed their staff members so much by issuing such in depth SOPs, etc, that they no longer need to think and this results in lack of skills like "prioritising and organising" ones daily job!
Workers are lost, they do not use the reminder systems available on their computers, they do not use the task schedule facilities available and they cannot even prioritise emails for follow-up.
The odd ones that do prioritise emails for instance, then forget to do exactly that - follow-up or they have given every email the same follow-up category like "tomorrow" and of course get swamped each day with all these emails that don't need looking at each day.
If workers cannot start the day by looking at the work that needs to be done, placing it in some kind of order, do the basics like email management as they go along and successfully manage tasks - what kind of a work environment is it going to be in the next decade?

Basic Prioritization Skills of Employees
Francielle Nunes, Entrepreneur, Brazil, Member
I agree with Shan Cade's observations. Some basic prioritization skills have been embedded within the work environment. What might be happening as a result of this "automatization" or "robotization" is for example:
- Employees are forgetting to answer the phone, because they think a robot will answer it.
- Employees are forgetting to feed a production line because they think someone will inform them about it.
Those situations are the same regarding as basic IT skills, where people think the computer will do everything, reply emails, schedule the meetings, etc.
In my opinion, considering my little short time management - only few years - the culture of the company about optimizing should be always embedded on basic skills, then working through sop's on. There are many people with latu sensu view, but there are many many people with only strictu sensu view. That should work for next decades, never forgetting the principals!

Basic Prioritization by Employees is Important
Mark Josiah S. Pillejera, Manager, Philippines, Member
I agree with Shan's and Francielle's comment. because of this, I ask my team members to each day first put on paper their plan for the day. In order of importance.
It is important that people use basic planning and organising skills., Otherwise there will be no sense of direction in the work environment.

Basic Prioritization Skills and the Motivation to Use It
Darryl Lynn Jones
Basic prioritization skills must become a primary professional development focus amid all bureaucracies lest inefficiency exacerbates. Consider introduction of activities and workshops which help create learning cultures toward strengthening rational choice. Incentives of value amid the workforce must become mainstays in the educational process on all corporate echelons. Finally, two-way communication spearheads effort; which will not improve without sincere commitment from top executives. Once technicians actually see new policy implementation as a result of ideas gleaned from the lowest links on the scalar chain; the workplace culture will be well on its way to being a catalyst for high-end performance in conjunction with second-natured use of fundamental and advanced prioritization.

Basic Prioritization by Workers. And Competence
Nji Mathias Bohkum, Accountant, Member
I totally agree with Shan Cade on her views vis--vis basic prioritization skills. I equally feel that workers need to prioritize their tasks on a daily basis. By so doing, they would be able to deliver results on time. Workers should be able to deliver results on time as demanded by their line managers. Without prioritization, this becomes a big problem.
However I would add that mastery of one's assignment is also important. This implies competence without which prioritization would still lead to delays in delivery results on time. The end goal is to deliver results on time and of the required standard or quality.
This calls for in-service training including how to prioritize. Many would not even know how to go about the prioritization process.

Prioritisation and Admin Skills
Myk Rushton, New Zealand, Member
I do not think that it is the lack of skills, such skills are needed in life not just business. The chief culprit evildoer (Editor: ~evildoer) in the organisation I work for is email and now other social networking protocols. Collectively they all mean that nothing is planned anymore, nothing is scheduled - it's all about instant responses and last minute reactions.
I only action my email 4 times a day, my social networking (collaboration!) tools are set to busy do not disturb and my calendar is booked accept a few periods during the day - it's booked with my work schedule - I'm not available, I'm working. This is the only way I can get through my tasks during the day.

Basic Prioritization Skills and the Motivation to Use It
Darryl Lynn Jones
Social media prioritization over fundamental workplace functions is an addiction. It must be dealt with as such through skill acquisition.
Lack of coping skills in reacting to online peer pressure as well as the physiological effects of social media surfing is just like any other addiction. It must be circumvented through information-sharing and support groups.

Basic Prioritization Skills
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
While I agree that prioritization is required in work environment, it's no use to lament or mourn about it.
A manager as a leader has a responsibility to train his people to learn the skills of prioritization planning by plotting all activities of the job on a paper.
- Urgent and important > do it;
- Urgent but not important > do it if you can;
- Important but not urgent > start it before it becomes urgent;
- Not important and not urgent > don't do it.
Once they catch up, apply this for key performance activities and for event rules.
Benefits are: prioritization of activities, career planing by reading things related to job, effective communication, relaxing, critical thinking.

Basic Prioritisation and Email Dependency
Nash, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
I too agree. Employees can become paralysed by the number of emails that they need to respond to - I recently found a member of staff had 4000 emails in their inbox.
This is provoked by the email/audit trail culture and lack of ability/capacity to talk to each other.
This in turn leads to so many other issues - lack of trust/resilience/context/relationship management/challenge etc.
This email/compliance/reactive culture is taking us down the 'if you keep on doing what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got' road, which is stifling innovaction and progression.
I'll shut up now. Suffice it to say I agree and I think these pixels have some culpability.

Prioritisation at Work
Om P Nirola, Consultant, Bhutan, Member
Shan has brought out an interesting topic. I have seen that young professionals feel overwhelmed, simply because they are not able to plan and prioritise.
To share my own experience: my annual targets are finalised in the form of a compact signed with the CEO. Then, I draw up my monthly targets with my supervisor - director of my department. Based on the annual and monthly targets, I draw up our weekly work plan with colleagues and supervisors of my division. My own daily priorities are scribbled on a piece of paper at 8:30 AM everyday.
So many tools and techniques are available for use that we can have no excuse for not prioritising and for being ineffective at work. For example, the Eisenhower Matrix suggests that we should focus on important and urgent activities.

Email Dysfunctionality
Myk Rushton, New Zealand, Member
@Nash et al. One single user had over 28000 emails with 4000 unread in outlook inbox no sub folders/no filing. It came to our attention (service desk) because the user complained about her Outlook being slow...
Personally I'm an inbox zero practitioner, helped by Clearcontext software.

Improve Performance with Tools
Zoniaina, Coach, Madagascar, Member
I totally agree, all employees should learn how to optimize their performance using tools.
This is not only valid for complex business software (ERP, ...), but also for smart phone and tablet tools!
To win time, we have to invest time. Namely in training!

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