Keeping employees focused from the start to the finish of the workday has been a challenge for as long as employment has existed. It’s difficult for anyone to stay focused on anything for 8+ hours. But as an employer, this challenge falls on you. If you want to get the most out of your team without having to drive them like cattle, rely on these tips and tricks.
Head Off Distractions
Sometimes it’s best to address a distraction before it arises. If you know that there is a major sporting event scheduled for the afternoon, or a holiday on the horizon, you can reliably predict that focus will be lacking. Simply acknowledging that distraction and asking your team for focus and commitment in the midst of it can help diminish its impact.
Remind Your Team Why They Are Important
It’s easier to work at a slower speed if you feel like your work is not meaningful or impactful. Take every opportunity to stress to your team individually and collectively that their contributions are important, and that your overall mission is compromised without their efforts. When people feel valued, they will work harder to deliver that value.
Sometimes there are impediments to work that simply can’t be overcome. If an employee has a sick child, or they need to meet with a utility company at their house, give them the opportunity to take a half day or an extended lunch. Time spent distracted in the office is typically unproductive, and the goodwill you produce by being flexible motivates people to work harder while they are there.
Use the Right Tools
It is easy to mistake inefficiency for lack of focus. If you feel you could be getting more from your team, the problem might be that they don’t have the right tools to work with. That slows down the pace of work, leads to wasted energy, and creates a frustrated workforce. If you are truly invested in productivity, make sure your team has the software, equipment, and space they need to do their jobs effectively.
Focus on Outcomes
Make it clear to your team what you expect them to accomplish in the course of a day. Being able to frame your work in the context of goals rather than tasks helps you to stay focused on the outcomes that really matter. Plus, it gives employees the freedom to approach these goals in whatever fashion works best for them.
Lastly, remember to say thank you. You can be firm and demanding of your employees without being mean or unappreciative. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them, and they will try harder to do better for you. For more advice and resources designed to help you manage your workforce, work with JH Technical Services.