We all know how hard it is for employees (and maybe even for you) to stay productive during the holidays. Maybe you just gave up, let it happen and swore to get back on track in the New Year.
But what if that New Year’s resolution has still not taken effect? What if your employees still seem in holiday mode and can’t buckle down to business? Plus, if you have any football fanatics they may have gone straight from holiday distractions to obsessing about the Super Bowl (some estimates put the cost of lost productivity during a holiday or special event at as much as $820 million). What can you do now to get employees back on track?
Here are 5 tips to help.
Be realistic about how much time tasks really take. As an entrepreneur, you probably underestimate how long things will take, and if you pack employees’ schedules, any disruption will throw them off track. Try and give them a few unscheduled hours per work day to account for traffic, unscheduled meetings or just for some breathing room.
Knowing how to prioritize takes real skill. In a busy business, employees can easily get confused about their priorities and get sidetracked, especially if they spend the whole day being reactive—either immediately answering every email or constantly putting out little fires. Too often, they work all day only to find at the end of the day the important jobs got put off. Make sure your employees know what their top priorities are and what tasks can be done later.
If you’re disorganized, your staff will be, too. Use one system to keep track of everyone’s workload. Investigate online project management tools that can help streamline the process. And don't underestimate the power of a clean desk.
Release the reins.
As your business grows, you need to delegate and stop micromanaging. Delegating builds employee trust and improves skill levels. Employees will be more productive when the responsibility is all theirs. Too much hovering can build resentment.
Take a break.
Yes, as the business owner you’re itching to get started and put your new plans in action, but you need to chill sometimes. Serve up a surprise treat, or bring in a yoga instructor to teach everyone some desk yoga moves—do what you can to show your employees you care about their personal well-being.
Follow these tips and see what works best in your office. Boosting productivity is not a one-time solution. It takes constant work and trial and error to get your team to it's peak performance.
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