I have a client who is always complaining to me about getting frustrated with a couple of his employees that seem to have focus issues. We have all worked with these kinds of people, they have trouble concentrating on one task and get really frazzled when they have too many things to do. So what are they doing wrong? What can they do to always remain focused. Here are three solid tips that helped my client and can help you too.
Tip # 1: Handle mistakes with care!
Sometimes focus issues can be linked to fear of making mistakes. More importantly, how mistakes are handled by the employer once an employee makes a mistake. Is your management style like a dog? Do you bark at your employees when they screw up? If so, you could be contributing to their focus issues. Why you ask? When employees can't keep their attention on a task, believe it or not, they are afraid of finishing something and have their boss yell at them that it is no good. Instead, they bounce around to different projects, hoping that this might impress you more. Create an environment for your employees that actually encourages healthy mistakes. Stress to them that everyone is human and mistakes are a part of life and growth. This kind of culture allows employees to take the pressure off and actually do their job.
Tip # 2: Assign workload accurately
Do you regularly give your employees more work than they can handle? If so, this could be the cause of your focus issues. Giving your employees more work will only lead to anxiety and ultimately performance issues. Are they bouncing around from one job to the next just because you are giving them too much to do? Should you hire a helper or another employee to help with the workload? Some signs that you are giving too much work are the following: regular overtime or working late, customer dissatisfaction and frequent illnesses. It might be more practical and cost effective to hire someone else to help than burdening the same employee or employees with too much work.
Tip # 3: Walk a mile in their shoe
Sometimes managers are so far removed from the jobs that their employees are performing that they can lose sight of all its nuances. Is it a stressful job? Are customers overly demanding? Are you overly demanding? Would it help the employee if you had regular conversations about their day to day demands and find out if it is the structure of the job causing focus issues. Walking a mile in the employee's shoes allows you to see first hand what they are experiencing and allows them to see that you care.
If your employee is having focus issues, don't just assume that the problem is all them. Fathom the idea that you their manager might also be at fault. Examine how you deal with them first before casting blame. Focus issues are fixable...