Let Your Employees Work

Have you ever been trying to accomplish a task that required extreme focus, only to be interrupted repeatedly? Recently while reading the book The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan I was reminded of how frustrating this can be.

Are You Guilty?

I ask the question above not to make anyone feel guilty, but rather to get each of us to evaluate our actions and the impact they may have on others’ effectiveness. Even though this can apply to anyone, it is primarily directed at those of us who are in a position where we manage others. So what do I mean by the title of this blog article, let your employees work?

Dedicated Time

Recall the first question about being interrupted while trying to accomplish something that requires extreme focus. Actually, nearly everyone has tasks and responsibilities like this, yet their efficiency and effectiveness are both reduced due to interruptions. Think about things you are responsible for accomplishing that require you to remain focused for an extended period. What happens when you are interrupted? If you are like me, you might experience some of these:

  • Difficulty getting back on task
  • Having to regroup and collect your thoughts to get back where you were
  • Frustration and a sense that you are falling short of your goals

Trust me when I say your employees are no different. Interruptions impair their progress. That is why it is so important to let your employees work.


Why Does This Happen?

In a previous posting The Micromanager I discussed how someone who feels the need to direct what seems like every action of an employee not only frustrates them and in essence drives them crazy, but also reduces their desire to learn and improve. Although the manager may have the best of intentions, the actual results of their disruptions are quite the opposite.

A Solution

Actually there are a number of actions that may help remedy this situation, but the book above reminded me of one that is often overlooked; establish blocks of time to accomplish a task, during which time interruptions (short of an emergency) are not permitted. Be cautious in how an emergency is defined. Letting someone know the building is on fire is one thing. Stopping by to ask what they thought of the game last night is totally different. The first interruption is sensible, but the second is a time waster.

So, here is a suggestion. If you are the boss, whether the owner, CEO, COO, or a manager, set the tone. Start to create your own blocks of time to accomplish things. Talk to your employees about this and encourage them to do the same thing. Anyone doing this should communicate to others what they are doing. It may take time, but eventually people will begin to get the idea that you and others are serious about this practice.

This is one of the best things you can do to let your employees work as well as yourself.

So what about you and your company? Are you accomplishing less than you want and finding your hours excessive? Perhaps adopting this practice may help.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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