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Increasing Productivity by Keeping Focus of the Core Employees

Employee focus is a challenge most companies face every day.  Even though there are various techniques to handle it, it is deeply in our nature to respond to distractions and lose concentration.

Stress in the workplace

Photo Credit: Getty Images

In the modern business environment, it is practically impossible for any employee to perform only his/her own tasks and ignore what others are doing, because people often help out each other to overcome bigger  own tasks, because teamwork and company culture often dictates that they should help out their colleagues and strive to reach the common goal. However, this may distract from the priority work. In this article, we will provide you with several ways to allow core employees focus on their tasks and increase overall productivity.

Communicating the importance of prioritization

It is one of the most important things a manager should communicate to the employees in order to keep them focused on the most important tasks and not distracted by the other small things. Even more importantly, the priorities should not be plainly stated, but rather actively communicated so that the workforce could be better mobilized.

Effective employee specialization

Quite often one employee is performing many various tasks, and so his/her productivity may decrease, due to the time and energy spent while switching between the tasks.  Specialization offers such advantages as higher efficiency and skill level of an employee performing a certain task. In order for an employee to effectively perform several tasks, he/she has to master them all, and that takes time. Temporary staffing can be a good solution for specialization, since workers usually come with skills in a specific field, and can start performing efficiently right away.

According to David Sarokin, a Product Life Consultant at Chron.com, “Technical efficiency arises from a division of labor by reducing the transition time between tasks. A worker who completes painting a car, for example, does not then have to put down his painting tools and pick up the tools needed to assemble the car, as that job goes to a different worker” (Chron.com).

Keeping the expectations real

Quite common issue in HR management is extremely high expectations of the employers and high level of stress for the employees. Some employers have standards that are extremely difficult to maintain, which may cause stress for the employees. If the person is performing many tasks, stress is causing confusion, and the overall productivity decreases even more. Therefore, it is very important for the manager to have a realistic picture of what the production capacity can be and adjust expectations and standards to that level. Workers perform best when then they are exposed to a reasonable amount of stress, which is called eustress. The graph below represents the correlation between stress and productivity.

Graph: Stress in relation to performance 

Relationship between stress and performance

Photo Credit: Stress.org

Keeping the market fluctuations in mind

When an organization has a high season (for example, resorts in summer), or peaks in sales/production, instead of overstressing the employees that have been with the company for a long time, temporary staffing solutions can be used to deal with the extra workload. This allows keeping the organization in balance and making good use of the extra business that is out there in the market. Temporary workers can help to drive up the productivity of your company for the period needed, and the regular employees can handle it once it is back to the standard levels.

Do you have interesting experience about how are you dealing with stress and division of tasks in your organization that you would like to share? Your comments are more than welcome; I am always open for a good discussion!