We live in an age in which information comes at us more quickly than ever and at much higher volumes. That's true of the media landscape, but it's also true with the work we do. With technology making nearly every aspect of business more efficient, it has also bombarded us with limitless communications, data, and distractions. How can you help your team stay on track?

1. Communication is key

It is imperative that you openly communicate with employees on a regular basis. Have regular meetings or chats. If your employees are working remotely, they can't just walk down the hall and knock on your door. Use technologies like Zoom, Slack, etc. to keep in touch and be available via phone, video/audio chat, or instant message as much as possible. You need to be able to answer questions as quickly as possible and let your team know exactly what is expected of them.

2. Regularly provide positive feedback and recognition

Employees want to know that they're doing a good job, and they won't always know for sure if they don't get feedback from management. When you see that someone is giving their all to their tasks, recognize this and let them know that you're happy with the job they're doing. You can also let the rest of the team know about an employee's efforts so the person truly feels appreciated and is able to earn the respect of coworkers.

If an employee feels they are valued, they are more likely to continue to live up to that reputation and focus on maintaining positive results for the business. They may even use that encouragement as motivation to show they are worth a promotion, and therefore continue to put their best foot forward.

3. Make sure goals are clear

Focus starts at the top. If a team member is to be focused, you need to have the company's goals clearly laid out. Furthermore, you should communicate the specific goals you have for each person. Company-wide goals are certainly important, but at the employee level, these can sometimes become abstract if that individual is only responsible for tasks that are just a small part of the overall equation. Setting clear, specific, individual goals will help them focus on achieving exactly what they need to do on their own, and with everybody pulling their weight, the larger goals will be more achievable.

4. Make sure priorities are clear

Having clear goals also requires having clear priorities. Chances are that employees are responsible for more than one task. That means they need to be able to prioritize these tasks so that the most important things are taken care of before they start work on lower-priority assignments. You need to make priorities clear to make sure that every team member understands which tasks should be given their attention first.  Explain why this is the case so they truly grasp the importance of the prioritization.

5. Call out company milestones

As you recognize the hard work of your employees, it can also be helpful to recognize significant company achievements that were made possible by your team's efforts. Call out important company milestones so that your team can see how the work they're doing is paying off. This can not only help you set new goals, but also motivate the team to help you reach them.

6. Promote positive mental health

Even people who love their jobs can suffer from stress, fatigue, or burnout on a given day. Combine that with the turmoil of the pandemic and politics of the day, and it's not hard to see why many people are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. This can take a toll on a worker's productivity even if they have the best intentions of giving their all. Find ways to promote positive mental health among your team and let them know that you understand. Knowing that management is on their side can help ease an employee's mind and free it up to focus more on their work.

It can be difficult to focus when someone is seemingly pulled in so many different directions. The pandemic has only complicated this, especially for those who are now working remotely and/or staying with their children who are attending school from their home computers. As a small business owner, you probably understand this better than most.  It's important that you also understand what your employees are dealing with and look for ways to help them focus so that your company can stay on track and flourish.

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC