Time is your most valuable asset. How you use it and what you focus on determines the quality of your performance and effectiveness. What is your workforce focusing on – they are always focusing on something, but is it what you want them to do?
Fueling focus is perhaps your most important workforce engagement strategy. Energy, time and money are expended whether they are focused on the results you want or not. Is your workforce using their mental, emotional and spiritual energy to improve productivity and increase sustainability?
The workplace environment impacts the productivity and the people in it. There is a distinction between engagement and focus or a focused workforce. Why is it that some days your productive flow of focus really works – you’re in the zone — and others don’t? It’s about the way the flow happens; your environment can enhance that flow or throw up obstacles.
Fuel Flow of Focus
There is a fundamental value to how you set up the workplace environment. You can engineer your environment to be more productive, to be more focused. It can help the workforce be more focused on what you want them focused on and perform better.
The workplace environment changes the productivity and engagement of the people in it. It determines how employees feel when working in that environment, which in turn, affects their performance. Focus is like water – it flows where it flows and either you harness it and take advantage of the flow or you don’t. Days are filled with distractions so it’s all about how to keep employees focused where there are so many things pulling them in different directions.
Focus mental energy – use clearly stated goals, including time frames, for your workforce. When work is prioritized, it is easier to keep distractions to a minimum. Your workforce must know exactly what it should be doing in order to achieve the results you desire. Not only explain their objectives but give them measurable time and quality parameters they must meet. Explain your expectations visually, verbally and emotionally, then have them play back their understanding of what your expectations are. Only then will you be sure they have a complete focused mental understanding of their responsibilities.
Focus emotional energy – create a distraction-free workplace environment that is uncluttered, organized and conducive to productivity. Things like lighting, colors of the walls, noise pollution and visual appearances have an emotional impact on employees. The more comfortable and happy they are in the workplace, the more productive they will be. Employees spend almost half of their waking hours in the workplace environment. When you create an environment that is more welcoming, they become more focused and productive. They also are more engaged and focused on the outcome, which can range from improved productivity to increased profitability.
Focus spiritual energy – create a recognition and re-generation program. A broken spirit does not perform at the top of his or her game. This is a two-step process. Start by saying thank you. Explain the role the workforce plays in the future sustainability of the company and acknowledge the contribution made by all employees. Engage your team in creating a recognition program so they can better appreciate the reward – perhaps providing an ice cream day with management serving the team or a team outing to the amusement park or movies. Make the acknowledgement public if you want to make a huge difference.
Second, provide ways for them to nurture their inner spirit by providing a quiet room for meditation, reading or even yoga. Create a mini library filled with all types of inspirational books, quotes and short videos to be used at breaks or lunchtime. Fill and update bulletin boards (these are not passé) regularly with inspiring quote and stories. Do the same electronically via internal Facebook pages and email messages. They will be more engaged and focused on what you ask of them.
The result of moving beyond engagement is improved employee retention, enhanced morale, a more efficient workspace and increased productivity — all of which leads to increased profitability and sustainability.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2015
Pat Heydlauff, a “flow of focus” expert, speaker and consultant designs workplace environments that fuel the flow of focus, maximizes productivity and yields future sustainability. She is author of the forthcoming book, Focus • Connect • Regenerate 7 Ways to Lead and Fuel Sustainability and published books, Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It, The Way We Go, Your Roadmap to a Better Future and Selling Your Home with a Competitive Edge. Contact her at 561-408-2708 or www.engagetolead.com.Share