Neen  James

By Neen James

Without Focus Your Team Will Fail (So Will You)

150 150 Neen James

I can tell a lot about the leadership and culture of an organization just by mingling with the employees. What I often witness is an unintended disconnect between what leadership thinks employees are focusing on, versus what they are. As a result, employees are overwhelmed. They feel overworked and under appreciated as they run frantically on a daily hamster wheel chasing orders they’ve received by leadership.

Leaders, on the other hand, rarely see themselves as the problem. Instead, they get frustrated with employees who don’t make progress, aren’t productive or producing results. Leaders lose hope when their teams frequently ask for deadline extensions or say the work simply cannot be done.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

What many leaders are guilty of is initially setting priorities, and then derailing team focus by tossing out non-priority related requests throughout each day. It’s not that any leader wants to see their team fail. They just don’t recognize the frequency of their non-priority requests and the amount of time it can steal attention away from employees’ top goals.

If you want to succeed, you must set your team up for success. The only way to do that is to focus your attention on what matters most, then using this as the filter for all decisions and delegation requests thereon.

Here are 5 ways you can help your team maintain focus, boost productivity, increase engagement and boost profits.

1. Establish a non-negotiable set of goals. Whether it’s each day, week, month or quarter, meet with your team and cover the non-negotiable goals that must be reached for success to occur. Create priorities and tasks necessary to accomplish those goals.

2. Communicate frequently. Remind your employees frequently of the goals you agreed up as a team. Challenge each and everyone of them to use those goals as personal filters for their own work and focus.

3. Empower employees to Say ‘No.’ Employees want to please their boss. They want to pursue solutions to areas of stress and ease the burden of leadership. Their natural need to please can easily derail them from priorities and can make them a target for others to steal focus. Empower and implore your team to say ‘no’ to any requests of their time that don’t directly align with the goals and priorities set. That means even empowering them to say ‘no’ to YOU!

4. Be mindful of your requests. Ever sent an employee an email that started out by saying “Wouldn’t it be great if….” Stop it, now. This is where employees get derailed in their focus and lose time and attention on what matters most. Remember their need to please? Well, if you are tossing out great ideas or concepts without filtering them through your agreed upon priorities, your employees will consider this to be a delegation, not a simple conversation. They will stop what they are working on to pursue an answer for you. Before suggesting or asking anything of your team members, ask yourself if the requests falls square in line with the priorities.

5. Stop messaging them after work. Nothing will burn employees out faster than a non-stop barrage of emails, texts and calls after work hours. Give them the break they deserve. Let them focus on friends, family, home life, fitness, and whatever else matters to them personally. Discourage them from checking work-related emails after hours and encourage their personal priorities. Permit them to rest. In turn, you’ll have a more engaged, well-centered team the next business day.

Company culture and tone starts with you. If you want a well-balanced team who is engaged, positive and productive, start by concentrating your attention on what matters most. They, in turn, will do the same. Together, you can achieve deadlines, establish boundaries and create a happier, more productive and profitable organization.

Share This