Keeping employees both engaged and focused on their work requires an authentic interest in who they are as both employee and human being. We believe these 5 tips are the key:
1 – Set specific, measurable goals
The single most impactful thing you can do to help employees stay focused despite the daily evolution of their role in your company is to establish transparent, measurable goals that help them determine the best way to spend their time every day. In order for goals to achieve the desired result – improved focus among employees – they should be SMART. That is, specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, and timebound.
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If it’s in the budget and your goals are truly measurable, you can even tie bonus compensation to goal achievement, but that’s not a critical component.
2 – Measure, evaluate, and report key performance indicators
One of the best ways to motivate employees to focus in the right area is to establish key performance indicators, measure them frequently (almost constantly), and keep an open dialogue regarding what these numbers are indicating and what barriers are preventing improvement.
For maximum employee buy-in, include your team members when you determine the most important KPIs to measure, why they’re important, and what they’ll tell you about performance. Include employees in the measurement of KPIs and the problem-solving that should follow; ask them why they think the numbers have increased, decreased or stayed the same; what obstacles they’ve run into in their daily work; and what ideas they have for improving the results during the measurement period.
3 – Provide benefits that ease stress and promote health and wellness
The ultimate goal behind the tremendous investment you make in employee benefits is to take better care of your employees. All this, of course, is not without return; employees who are happy and healthy bring focus and productivity to the job, which increase your ROI on each hire. Consider these options for improving employee health and wellness:
- Offer a competitive paid leave package to encourage time away from work (see #5)
- Look into tools like FairPrice, that can make reference-based pricing plans more convenient for your employees by giving them the information they need, such as which doctors they can go to and exactly what they can expect to pay
- Offer an EAP like those administered by Magellan Health Services and CIGNA Behavioral Health, which can help your employees take care of their emotional health by offering the support they need to face challenging life situations
4 – Acknowledge effort and results
The most motivating move an employer or manager can make is acknowledging, complimenting, and rewarding employees for the effort they put forth and the results they achieve. These acknowledgements don’t have to be monetary (as a matter of fact, they often mean more when they’re not) and they don’t have to be life-altering. Simply acknowledging a job well done often goes further than free lunch and free loot combined!
5 – Encourage time away from work
Almost all employers offer time away from work, but many fail to offer guilt-free time away from work. One of the most important ways to encourage employees to take care of their personal needs so they can focus at work is to not only offer time away from work but encourage your team members to take time to rest and recuperate without guilt. Sometimes this means approving time off without non-verbal body language that sends the message that it’s not really approved, and other times it means letting employees know that you recognize they’re stressed and encouraging them to spend some time away from work, with pay and without apology.
In conclusion, keeping employees focused is well within your wheelhouse as a company, a manager, or an HR professional. With dedication and effort, you can provide your employees with everything they need to care for themselves first so they can be the best version of themselves while they’re on the clock.