HR Headaches: How to Get Employees to Use Your Task Management System

Want employees to use your platform? These tips will help you onboard them successfully.

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Using a new task management system or project management software?

Here's what you need to know:

  • Solid training on your new task management software is cruicial
  • Effective task management requires a strict workflow
  • It's helpful to have a HR platform that integrates with your task management tool

During the pandemic, 58% of businesses said that the virus impacted their operations or forced them to cancel projects. But for many, it was a chance to shift their task management system online. Whether it was Monday, Hive, Trello, Jira, or some other task management tool, remote project management is here to stay.

In fact, not only is investing in project management a good way to save up to 28x more on each project but using solid task management software can help you to meet deadlines no matter where your team is located.

For managers, small business owners, and HR teams, the ability to manage tasks for your entire time and automate the process is a godsend. Not only can you typically assign tasks, but you can mark certain items as reoccurring tasks, prioritize tasks, and review task progress. When you have multiple projects, these task management tools become indispensable.

A good project management tool can help you meet deadlines no matter where your team is located.

And they work. Currently, 77% of the highest-performing projects are using software to manage project tasks.

There’s usually one catch: Getting your team to use the task management tool correctly.

It’s not uncommon for employees to forget about a tool altogether and simply delete notifications from their inbox. Or they may decide to use the program in their own way, which can confuse the workflow. For owners and managers who have invested in an app for project management, this can become a huge stumbling block.

How to get your employees to use your task management system

There are really four clear ways to help employees buy in to the new online task management system. Outside of stressing how easy the project management software will make their work (and it should make it easier), you’ll need to provide some additional support.

We recommend following these five tips to get your employees using your task management system as soon as possible:

1. Conduct training

First off, you’ll want to train your employees on how to use the tool in all its forms — desktop and mobile app. Most people should be familiar with the concept of a task management system, but they may need help with:

  • Finding certain commands or tools, like uploading documents or turning work in
  • How to fix a problem
  • How to communicate with other members in a task

Ideally, you’ll want to show them how you intend for the system to be used. Focus primarily on their experience, for example:

  • What they should do when you assign tasks
  • How they can manage tasks in the workflow
  • How to view multiple projects

If possible, conduct this training in person, and keep a series of simple recordings for them to review later. Software like Loom can help you save and share instructional videos.

2. Enforce a rigid system

Be open to employee complaints or feedback about your systems.

You’ll want to stay rigid in enforcing these rules. It may take some time, but effective task management is also reinforcing your workflow. Within a few weeks, employees will adapt to the new structure, so long as they aren’t given opportunities to deviate from it.

The less flexible your workflow is, the more likely people will adhere to and use it. However, this does not mean you should ignore employee complaints or feedback about the system.

Furthermore, the rigidity should apply to the workflow reporting, not how the employee actually completes tasks. Employees should still feel that they have the flexibility to work on their daily tasks however works best for them. The important thing is that the project is either completed or updated by its deadline.

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3. Use feedback loops

While you want your online task management system and process to be used correctly, you also want to get employee feedback on the process. Despite best intentions when creating a workflow, it’s possible that the team on the ground can spot opportunities for optimization. For example, they may realize integrations with other company applications.

At the same time, you will want to communicate with them daily to ensure that they are aware of their task progress. Consider sending out an automated survey at regular intervals to prompt users to think about their workload and personal process. This can be once at lunch, at the end of the day, or a couple of times a week.

Or you can use an automated time-tracking feature to ensure that employees understand where their time is going for each project.

4. Provide a reference guide

Finally, you’ll want to develop a task management system guide for new hires and troubleshooting. Keeping a centralized list of tutorials, references, and Loom videos can help you to support your employees as they learn your task management software. Some platforms may have a designated Wiki or space for rules. If not, you can create an “onboarding” task project that acts as a guide and resource hotspot.

Onboarding materials shouldn’t just include key workflow information. Also try to include how users can complete their member profiles, add emojis or GIFs, and other social-related functions that will be useful for them when collaborating with coworkers.

You may also want to include other tips, such as:

  • Recommending employees focus on more difficult tasks first
  • Using the prioritized tasks as a guide
  • Asking if a task description is unclear or needs more clarification
  • Leaning on team members for help
  • Forgetting about multitasking

5. Encourage personal use

Most of these platforms allow users to create private boards. You may want to encourage employees to create personal task management boards to track their personal project progress. Not only will this help them to learn more about the task management tool, but they will also be able to keep track of their personal development goals.

Combining project management and HR

Project management tools are meant to boost employee productivity and keep teams connected — whether they are in the office or around the world. And while employees may be intentionally skeptical or confused, a united front on how to use the task management system can keep employees on-task.

For HR pros, it can be helpful to have an HR platform that integrates with your task management tool. This combination makes it a cinch to navigate operations like onboarding, hiring, salary changes, employee surveys, benefits, and arranging PTO. Not only do you get full transparency and control over your HR processes, but you can turn these processes into manageable tasks and integrate them into your normal business workflow.

Everyone in this setup wins — HR stays compliant and gets things done, while employees are less likely to forget about upcoming deadlines.

To learn more about how you can take your HR operations digital, check out our free eBook.

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