Keeping Your Employees Focused at the HR Water Cooler

Concentrating on the HR news for the week ending May 31st, 2013:

Summertime Distractions

With summer looming and the prospect of many employees’ scheduled vacations, distractions are on the rise too. The sun is shining and the office may not seem as rewarding of an environment in comparison. To keep your employees focused during this time of year, executives and managers need to stay on task as well. Forbes touches on the habits of company leaders and how they affect the work ethic of their employees.

If managers have a laid back attitude during the summer, or lower their own expectations of themselves, then employees pick up on it and expect less of themselves as well. In many workplaces this can be the norm this time of year, so it's important to communicate to your managers what their summer goals are, and encourage them to exemplify those standard to their teams.

Does Generation Y Ever Actually Work?

Millennials are consistently stereotyped as being lazy and hard to manage. In an article about bridging the intergenerational gap in the Harvard Business Review, the group is referred to as “smartphone addicts.” This be distracting to those employees themselves, but seeing a fellow employee surfing websites on their phone can also be discouraging for their colleagues.

Establishing boundaries for work-life balance is essential when hiring on new employees of any age group. Just because a baby boomer isn’t using their mobile device to waste away the afternoon, doesn’t mean they aren't preoccupied with other interruptions.

Multitasking is the Norm

We all do it, whether we're aware of it or not. Multitasking is not as productive as we think, and we shouldn’t expect it from our employees. Quality of performance and the efficiency of task completion is often sacrificed because we do too much at once.

This week Inc. reporter Issie Lapowski discussed the inability for the brain to focus on more than two tasks at a time, and why we should compartmentalize sections of time for certain tasks. Having slots of time dedicated to things like checking email prevents distractions while completing other important duties.

Give back with Team-Building

Richard Branson discusses volunteering as a company (and its benefits) in an article for Entrepreneur. Not only does volunteering assist the community at large while representing your brand, it also helps establish friendships and cooperation within the team. Activities like charity triathlons, bike races, or marathons encourage coworkers to train together ahead of time, as then to celebrate together on race day. More active lifestyles have even been shown to lead to better work performances, as your brain receives more of the oxygen that helps it function.

Give Everyone a Voice

Also on Inc., Fashion Designer Eileen Fisher talks about the importance of each team members’ input. Employees are more invested in the organization if they believe that their ideas can make an impact. Not everyone is comfortable with speaking up in a team meeting, so finding ways to give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback is essential.

Want to pick up an HR tip or two? Register for free email updates or take a look at last week’s HR Water Cooler.

 


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