Your Work Life More Productive
Enjoying your work
and helping your employees to enjoy working for you can lead to higher
productivity, lower turnover and a better running organization. Here are
some ideas you may find useful.
Oscar Wilde once said, "Nothing focuses the mind like the sight of
the gallows." Both you and your employees should know what is important
and focus on the high priority items. As a manager, you understand how
everything in the business finally comes together to produce a profit.
Identifying the critical items for success and then communicating the
"how" and "why" can get everyone working toward the
The newspaper industry revolves around deadlines. Everyone knows that
for the morning paper to appear (in the morning), stories must be written,
presses must print and trucks must deliver. Everyone knows the essential
timing and responds. People like to know what is expected and when it
is due. They respond to deadlines. Set realistic deadlines and help employees
understand why a deadline has been set.
Pick some "Low
Many businesses have multiple opportunities for improvement. Some are
easier to achieve than others. By choosing some easy ones (and ones that
can be accomplished relatively quickly), you may be able to achieve some
quick success and energize the entire organization to accomplish more.
Nothing breeds success like success.
and Long-Term Goals
It is human nature to over estimate what can be accomplished in a short
period of time and under estimate what can be accomplished over a long
period of time. Take advantage of this tendency by giving employees some
short-term projects where enthusiasm can carry the day combined with long-term
projects that can produce significant positive change.
Meetings take everyone's time away from other tasks so make sure they
are worth the time and effort. When scheduling a meeting, make sure the
purpose of the meeting justifies the total time it is going to take. A
one-hour meeting with eight people takes the equivalent of someone's full
workday. Be considerate of everyone's time and avoid interruptions during
An agenda can keep
everyone focused. Setting a time limit at the beginning of the meeting
will help produce conclusions because people will be less likely to get
off track if they know how long they have to accomplish the purpose of
Finally, don't let
someone monopolize the meeting with off-subject items. Personal stories
or humor can have a place in the workplace, but not if it detracts from
the purpose of the meeting.
Learn to Listen
In most cases, your employees care about your business. They often have
ideas and concerns that need to be addressed. Conveying a willingness
to truly listen will encourage employees to offer constructive ideas (and
sometimes criticisms) that can be important. Focus on what you are hearing,
avoid rudely interrupting a speaker and respond. Effective listening can
show you care about what is being said and that you respect the person