It’s a great concept, to work smarter, not harder, but like all things conceptual, seeing it realized is no small feat. Instead of repeating this mantra to your employees, and then feeling disappointed with employees who fail to deliver, provide some tangible steps that will help them to walk the talk.
Encourage them to do the following: Take inventory the night prior. Ask themselves, ‘What did I accomplish today? and What do I need to accomplish tomorrow?’ Keep task objectives front and center. Don’t let a larger mountain of work stop action. Just scale it a section at a time. Prioritize tasks by the degree of importance and complete the most necessary first. Do not fall into the meeting mingle. Manage meetings efficiently. If attending, demand an agenda and learn of expectations. Check messages once per hour. Sort by subject and sender and if they don’t match the day’s priorities, don’t give them attention. Do not act like a one-stop-shop or a one-man-band. Figure out personal tasks and responsibilities and let others help paint the big picture. Remember, each of us approaches life at different paces.
Yes, there are deadlines to meet and budgets to make, but people aren’t robots.
Familiarize yourself with the work patterns of your workforce and try to establish environments that are conducive to productivity. Act as a pace car for employees who want to charge ahead without possessing all the facts, and tugboat captain to your slower-moving vessels.