The manpower crunch in many industries today has meant that many workers are overwhelmed by work and as a result may lose focus. How does a boss keep his staff motivated and focused? Try these.
Focus on less
One mistake that many people do is simply trying to do too much. A very long to-do list could put you in a state of panic – you might find yourself trying to do two or three tasks at once in the hope of saving time. Your attention becomes divided and you might end up being less effective. Mistakes are more likely to be committed as a result, adding to time wastage. Rather than overwhelm your team with a million tasks, set them achievable goals and put them in order of priority so it becomes easier for everyone to focus.
Keep a centralised to-do list
It doesn’t matter whether the members of your team or staff prefer putting your tasks on a clipboard, Post-it notes, a notebook or an entry in your analogue or digital calendar – there has to be a centralised to-do list which everyone in the team can refer to. Project management tools such as Monday.com, Slack and Active Collab can be employed to keep everyone up to date on tasks and deadlines while tracking progress and even expenses.
Simplify and set clear priorities
Planning is important – it improves the chances for a great idea to succeed. However, over-planning can actually hinder progress: A deluge of details could paralyse all your great ideas and prevent them from ever taking off.
Bosses need to set clear priorities and communicate these with employees, making sure that they are focused on tasks and deadlines. One of the mistakes which bosses sometimes do is overworking their employees. Overworked staff who lunch at their desks may not necessarily be more productive than staff who take a real lunch break – having a break would actually allow them to rest and refocus, making them more effective at work.
Hold meetings only when necessary
Some bosses are given to the impression that meetings help get their staff to focus on tasks. Meetings are important at the start of a project, to announce who needs to do what and to get all parties involved to coordinate. However, meetings while a project is ongoing could be counterproductive – if 10 people sit in a meeting for just an hour, you’re effectively losing 10 man hours which may have been more effectively spent doing actual work. Meetings could also actually stress out those who are in a rush to complete their tasks – imagine having to sit at a meeting to update the rest of the team about your lack of progress when you’re dying under a looming deadline. The organisation may be better served not having the meeting at all.
Hold meetings only if you are sure that it will benefit the organisation, and set hard deadlines for these to end.
Make sure everyone understands his or her role
To help your staff focus, make sure they are clear about their role in the company, help them understand their value to the company, and let them know the value of their tasks in the context of their team and the company.
Protect the team from distractions
Bosses need to make sure that their workers are not distracted by interruptions to their tasks. They need to keep their teams focused on getting work done so this may mean shielding them from external distractions.