For any supply chain manager, managing time and employees are critical -- both for themselves and for employees. A handful of easy-to-use technology tools can make life easier.
Time management tools
Using time management tools, such as Employee Time Clock Software, provides necessary employee structure and discipline. As a first-time manager, whether you're dealing with supply chain or personnel issues, setting clear expectations for working hours is crucial. Time clock software not only allows you to track employee start and end times, it also allows employees to track time spent on individual tasks.
Knowing when and how employees use work time will benefit overall productivity. It also helps managers identify top performers for certain tasks, allowing for critical workflow shifts that may impact employee workload and morale.
Employee monitoring tools
Through assessing benchmarks and time management, you may find that your employees aren't performing at optimum levels. If this is the case, monitoring tools may provide vital insight into how your team members are spending their time. PC World notes, "Everything your team does on company time -- and on company resources -- matters. Time spent on frivolous Websites can seriously hamper productivity, and visiting objectionable sites on company PCs can subject your business to serious legal risks, including costly harassment suits from staffers who may be exposed to offensive content."
Monitoring software can provide the necessary understanding of work patterns and areas in need of improvement. This tool may also inspire policy changes, especially if you find many employees are spending significant amounts of time on social media and other websites.
A key part of an effective workforce is a healthy staff -- this includes both mental and physical health. Many human resource departments already have wellness programs in place, but that doesn't mean you can't inspire your team on your own. Some states offer Fit Business Kits that guide managers in starting their own wellness program to increase physical activity and encourage healthy eating habits.
Good morale will likely have the added benefit of improving employee wellness and, ultimately, performance. If you've had a particularly stressful, deadline-oriented week, reward your team for their hard work. This will boost confidence, as well as their mental capacity to take on the following week's challenges. Forbes offers a list of excellent, low-cost ways to reward employees.
As a supply chain manager, your workload is unique in that you likely work with various vendors and suppliers in order to make things run smoothly. The best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure those who work for you are working at their highest potential.
What tools do you have on your new manager belt? If you're a long-time manager, what methods made you and your team and your supply chain successful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.