How many hours per week does a manager have to get their job done? 40? 45? 50? Careful – it’s a trick question!

By definition, a manager is a person whose job includes responsibility for a group of people who report to her or him.  So, the manager’s job actually includes the jobs of every member of the team.  Therefore, the manager’s time is actually the time of every member of the team.  That means that the correct answer to our opening question is…

40  X  #FTE on the team

For example, a manager who supervises a team of six full-time employees actually has 280 hours to get the job done ((6 x 40) + his/her own 40).

The best managers are those who know how to wisely use the entire block of time they are responsible for, not just their own 40 or 45 or 50 hours.  Some tips for managers to get the most out of their entire team’s time are…

– Don’t be a bottleneck – If the team needs a decision before they can move forward, either make the decision or give the team authority to make their own decision.

– Spend time setting the team up before diving into your own work – Every minute that the a team of six people stands around waiting for direction is actually a waste of six minutes!

– Follow up frequently – The longer it takes to realize that an employee’s project has gotten off track, the more time is wasted and the harder it is to correct the problem.

– Delegate whatever can be delegated – Even if a project is handled a bit less effectively than the manager could have personally done it, it is better for the project to be completed than for it to be waiting for the manager to get time to act on it.



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