It has become increasingly difficult for company leadership and employees to stay focused on those things that drive business results. There is so much noise swirling around newswires, news outlets, and social media. Covid-19, social justice protests, stimulus legislation, the economy, and business climate are part of our daily conversations and stressors. Chatter about new vaccines, another round of outbreaks, schooling, daycare issues and the like are top conversations for my employees. It’s just one distraction after another, if you let it be that way.
Some of the very best and most successful people in the world have many different talents, but one theme that many successful people have is their ability to stay focused on their work and not lose their concertation. Tiger Woods, back in the day, was a great example of this ability to look past the obstacles and distractions that each hole of golf brought with the thousands and thousands of spectators that would line up to see him play every single hole. Tiger once said, “My main focus is on my game”. Where’s your focus? Is it on your business? Is it on your job? Is it on your game?
Aristotle may have said it better given the times that we are living in right now when he said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” I’m not going to lie, these are some pretty dark times that we are living in right now and it is hard to stay focused but there are things that we can do right now, that will help get us through to the other, and far better, side of all of this.
Five Ways to Stay Focused At Work and Drive Better Business Results
1. Set Clear Tasks and Goals
“Effective goal setting helps you stay focused, keeps you accountable and is the single most important aspect of reaching your dreams.* ”Tony Robbins
Look, most business plans have blown to hell this year, unless of course you work for say AMAZON, so take some time to reset your goals and then reward those behaviors that are helping each member on the team to play their part in achieving those companywide goals. Communication is key here, so don’t communicate in a vacuum because truth be told, the entire team could probably benefit from the tools, tips and solutions that are making those new goals successful. Your communications might be daily meetings, or emails, or even a weekly stand-up. In any case, redefine your goals and tasks to be more compelling and motivating so that you’re more engaged in the work. Tasks and goals should be clear, with a start and an endpoint.
2. Break the bigger tasks into smaller goals
One step that I have taken here with my team is to break the larger goals/tasks into small steps. A long term goal or large task can be overwhelming and quite possibly paralyzing which invites distraction. This is the same philosophy when we see a road sign that says we have thousands of miles to go to get to our destination.
Ever see this road sign below that is on I-40 in Barstow Ca.? There’s a similar sign in North Carolina, at the eastern edge of I-40 that reads, Barstow, CA. 2,554. Is that demoralizing or what?
So how do you get to Barstow, or Wilmington? One mile at a time of course.
When we make city by city, state by state progress, we get to our destination in a better state of mind than if we focus on the entire 2,554 miles from Barstow, Ca. to Wilmington, N.C.. I have seen this sign on both coasts many times having lived in NC for several years and California for many more years as well. The same is true for breaking larger goals down into smaller more manageable bites of success.
3. Focus on the Wins
Tool three can be time-consuming for managers and leaders however, it is very important to not let this step pass your team by! By focusing on winning the moment, the hour, the day, and the week, we increase positivity and help achieve our smaller goal settings with amazing results. Wins can be many different types of criteria, so speak with your team and find out what they consider to be won for each of their smaller tasks and goals. You may be surprised to find out what they consider a win. We do this on my team here at HH Staffing by having each team member share their big impact moment(s) of the week at our Friday Team Meetings. Super powerful stories are shared with the team that authenticates why we do what we here at HH Staffing, which is, To Help People.
4. Break up the routines
If you don’t have a team set-up now for fun, establishing one is going to be easy. Every office has several people who already are considerate, and remember things like birthdays and anniversaries. Appoint a few of those people to be the ones that remember those special days and moments and then make sure to celebrate those special occasions as it just breaks up the daily grand and brings energy back into the work environment. Harder to do in a virtual setting, I get that, but it’s possible if you just improvise and do it. Amongst on this uncertainty and at time chaos, my team still finds the time to celebrate those special moments..
For more ideas, there is a great book “301 Ways to Have Fun At Work**” to help inspire your team to break up those mind numbing routines that take the fun out of work.
5. Give Mini Rewards for Mini-Goals
Everyone loves to be recognized for their good work, and this is a great time to work on a reward system. An informal system offers rewards that vary, like gift cards, or an ice cream social. Or establish a more formal point system where they can gather points for hitting milestones and exchange them for gifts or time off. Another fun way to reward those who hit mini goals is a traveling trophy or several of them! They are visible and encourage teamwork and positive competition.
HH Staffing works for two specific groups. We work with clients, looking to find top shelf talent and we work with candidates looking to find those amazing jobs with their next employer. Here are two specific mini goals that I think each respective group could start doing right now that will help each group to achieve better business results and subsequently be rewarded in really fantastic ways.
Clients can focus on providing EXTREME customer service. At this juncture in time, perhaps now more than ever, customer service and the ensuing customer experience are what make a company stand above and right now, customer service really stinks. Try calling an airline to change a flight, a hotel to rebook a reservation, etc and you get this point. Have a goal to provide fantastic customer experience in each and every interaction and as things start getting back to normal, your customers will long remember how you treated them back when things were chaotic. You will truly have customers for life.
For the candidates-those in the job market looking for new opportunities, the focus has to be on finding that great next step in your career. Given the competition out there right now looking for work, this must be a concerted, focused effort done with planning, execution, follow-up and more. Your goals should be to find your next exceptional opportunity with your future employer of choice. For both, clients and candidates, we are here to help you so lean on us.
These five tools are a starting point for you and your team that can help to drive greater focus on the important things that really make businesses successful so give them a try.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant