The modern workplace moves incredibly fast, and people are often so busy going from task to task that they don’t have time to think about what they’re doing from a big-picture perspective. As a result, your employees may not be effectively working toward important long-term goals. This is where clear workplace scheduling can help by making your workforce more focused, more productive and less stressed.

Meeting Long-Term Goals

Companies often get into trouble because they set a long-term performance goal but don’t establish how they want to reach it. For example, you might ask your sales team to grow revenues by 10 percent by the end of the year. Yes, this overarching goal is important, but just leaving it to team members to get there without a more nuanced plan isn’t a great strategy.

Offer guidance in the form of breaking down that long-term goal into clear short-term targets. Where does your team need to be at the end of every week, month and quarter in order to stay on track for the end of the year? To lean on the above example, you might decide that your sales team needs to spend at least five hours a week contacting new prospects to generate enough activity to keep growing revenues. From there, it’s much easier for employees to manage their day-to-day workload while keeping the future in mind.

What Makes an Effective Schedule?

Scheduling should be crystal clear: Employees need to know exactly which tasks need to be done, and when. You also need to establish priority levels: What absolutely needs to be accomplished this week? What can be delegated or removed from the priority list? Let your employees know that they have to get this work done, even if it means falling behind on other, less-important tasks. This prevents people from getting lost in busy work.

You should also monitor everyone’s progress toward long-term goals. Set regular meetings with your employees to discuss how they’re managing everything and whether they need to adjust their daily schedule. This is also a chance to collect their feedback regarding what they think of the scheduling process.

Reap the Benefits

Workplace scheduling increases efficiency because you can better track what your employees are doing each day. They’ll have set performance targets to meet in the short term that will eventually lead to a long-term goal. Otherwise, you might not realize your team is about to fall short until it’s too late.

A clear schedule also reduces employee stress levels because they clearly understand what they need to prioritize. If they have that perspective, they might get pulled from task to task and then realize in a panic that they’re going to fall short. If an employee is struggling, you’ll catch the problem early and work with them to devise a solution before anything serious develops.

Don’t let your team get so busy that they accidentally miss their goals. With clear workplace scheduling, you’ll create a more productive and happier workforce.

David Rodeck is a professional freelance writer based out of Delaware. Before writing full-time, he worked as a health- and life-insurance agent. He specializes in making insurance, investing and financial planning understandable.