Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Trainer & Od Consultant
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I am a part of a mid-sized organization, which is a liasion office for a UK giant. We are looking forward for very specific adherence to in and out time management.
As of today, our in-time is very strict, however, the out-time stretches way beyond the office closure time due to work pressure.
Can you suggest some initiatives, since the management is keen to close the office by 6:30 at the max, but the employees are not comfortable stating that they will not be able to finish their work.
Our's is a garment industry and we deal with factories, and buyers from the UK.
Kindly suggest, how should i start the planning of such a change.
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Hi Richa,
I appreciate your management for a strict work timing, this really helps employees to balance their work-life
before suggesting you, wanted to know if your's a UK based company you the employee not required to give support during UK timings?
Hi Kavitha,
Thanks for your prompt reply.
We do have to deal with buyers in UK, however, since it is co-ordination between buyer requirement, samples from factory etc, people complain of not being able to handle everything within 4 hours from the UK office opening time.
What we intend to do is, make strict/suggest-able guidelines for them to follow/plan & manage their time well, before we go ahead with the change.
So suggestions needed accordingly.
Hi Richa,
For employees who needs to cordinate with UK can change their timings to 2 pm - 11 pm. the remaining employees can work on general shift 9:30 am to 6:30 pm.. when you bring in the change, call for a meeting ( Hi tea ) tell them why you are changing the timings what are its benefits, by finishing work on time what benefits they can get... Quote some examples for them, by doing those things change will happen slowly and constantly...
As employees are the key resource of evey organisation...take their view points also and come to a common solution
Hello Richa,
Further to the practical suggestions by Kavitha, pl confirm IF you have made any analysis on WHY the employees need to work late on a regular basis?
Quite often, the employee strength is hired @ levels far below that ACTUALLY necessary [sort of 5 persons doing the work of 10].
IF this is indeed the case in your company, then what Kavitha mentioned MAY NOT really work, UNLESS the primary cause is addressed effectively.
All the Best.
Thank you TS & Kavitha,
Kavitha - shift timing from 2-11 would not be practical in our organization since our buyers in UK place the order/requirement and our suppliers/factory in India make the samples. so it has to be normal working time.
TS - for hiring, we do all necessary checks as far as the working capability of a candidate is concerned. Also, we are not running short of manpower, however, I do agree that ours is a pressure job since the lead time for deliveries is short.
I personally think, we could help them initially by training them with time management, priority setting....everyone is following a To-Do list, but is it followed properly, are they taking any extra measures....so do you think it would work, or there are any more ideas to it.
Dear Richa,
I would suggest you first analyse the reasons for the late sittings and discuss them with the various people like HODs, Managers etc and take their views on it.
There maybe a case that they have some issues, which if addressed, may sort out this problem.
However, you also need to see if the people are indulging in "wasteful activities" during the day and then sitting late.
Once you have observed and analysed, you would have identified the problems and then you need to really look for the solutions.
We have done assignments where companies were not able to get to the real problem for such behaviour. The analysis and results we came out with were really surprising for them.
It is a OB matter and should be handled properly else it might affect the morale of the people. You need to be really sure of the issue before taking any action to set it right.
Dear Richa,

This in addition to what previous members have said, especially Avika.

To identify "wasteful activities", that Avika has mentioned, you need to start maintaining the Activity Logs. This is a quite powerful tool of time management. Sometimes the tools fails. This is because people are reluctant to fill the time logs or activity logs. If they fill them, they do it reluctantly or nonchalantly.

Analysis of the Activity Logs, will spill out the real beans. The other reasons of poor time management are:

a) Job misfit, or under-skilled persons

b) Lack of teamwork culture

c) Systems and processes not so well defined. If these are defined, then their measurement is not done. Unwanted processes are not ridden of.

d) "Boss" is the biggest impediment in the smooth work. Too much time wasted on meetings.

e) High attrition rate, churn of manpower takes toll on the smooth work

f) Highly bureaucratic culture. It takes time to obtain authorisation from top bosses.

g) No time and motion studies are done

h) Quantitative techniques are not used where required (usage of Excel sheet is not usage of quantitative techniques, please note).

i) Everything happens on "urgent" or "emergency" basis. No definitions made for"urgent", "emergency", "Immediate" and "routine" works.

My Article on Time Management: - About five years ago, my article on time management was published in "The Hindu". Click here <link updated to site home> to go through it. It will give you additional inputs.


Dinesh V Divekar

Soft Skill,


Dear Richa,

A very practical problem faced by "Garment Units". Firstly it is the attitude issue to be sorted out and second is the coordination required between the departments and in fixing the priorities.

Attitudinal issue:

1. We are working for UK and hence need to be present to answer their queries by phone /mail - There is nothing so important to be replied, as long as the concerned person or department has not manipulated the data required by the UK office. Often the concerned people say they are helpless because they were not given the true picture by the vendors

Solution: The team in coordination with vendors for products or samples should be clear about the facts given by the vendors by cross verifying the same. Also call for an internal meeting with vendors who frequently give false information's on time-lines as they work for many manufacturers like you. They consciously lie as they don't want to loose business and always hope to manage with a big SORRY. This vicious circle needs to be broken to avoid further mess with all the coordinating departments.

2. Being in time and delivering in time means,the job is simple and hence it should be projected that it has been an uphill task with so much of follow ups and delays due to quality related issues -

Solution: Clarity in requirements to vendors and QA team should function with care.

3. Frequent changes in priority of orders makes it a maze, almost impossible to vent. Planning department is often blamed.

Solution: Plan for a 8/10 hours work schedule and keep room for additional 2-4 hours for emergency orders. It will be good to follow ERP. This is often said but rarely followed.

Coordination Issue:

This can be easily managed provided there is no ego between the departments. Team work sessions can help. I have experienced delays in delivering goods primarily due to war of words between production and QC /QI. Also poor coordination between merchandisers,QA, Production and QI. At times even the logistics department and accounts dept.

Richa, although i have given suggestions,i know it is not an easy task to be accomplished. Only when they understand that their jobs are important both to deliver good quality and keep good relationship in achieving the team goals which makes their work more meaningful, any amount of performance systems may not truly help.

Wish you GOOD LUCK.



Thank you to everyone who have spared out time to help me with ideas/suggestions.
I think I have an understanding, how I can use the information to draft out what I really want.
I am sure, you would be able to help me if I get stuck again.
Thanks again!!!
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