Avoiding Distractions in the Workplace

Avoiding Distractions in the Workplace

I recently wrote about the importance of creating your personal Zone where you can be super productive and mega efficient; however, I’ve been prompted to follow up after reading about a new initiative from an alternative Network!

The truth is there are too many distractions in most businesses, from the office chatterbox to the managers asking for data they can find themselves, from your mates texting to the latest news story popping up, which means it’s tough to stay super focused.

I believe in driving 4 to 5, 2-hour sprints a day, where a manager will agree with individual recruiters:

  • The plan
  • The activity level
  • The expectations 

Based on what needs to be done next. (driving agile 2-hour sprints over static day-plans always)

Simple stuff done really well, dropping bombs (great messaging), and pitching – not just selling jobs – means you will get a far better response, the outcomes that you want and performance increases by day, by day.

But to sustain max-effort needs the Bosses to change things!

The problem is having an environment where:

  • Being good isn’t the priority.
  • Core time isn’t respected and cherished.
  • People think doing just enough is acceptable.
  • Time off trumps promotions and reward (they are mutually exclusive to mere mortals)

This environment creates a troupe of meerkats (it’s called a mob or clan btw), looking for mischief and reasons to appear busy, but not getting things done, unlike an office full of shxt hot sales-people at it and on it (which we call a tribe these days!), actually getting things done.

As Recruitment Business Leaders, we are always looking for new tech, methods and processes to give our people an unfair advantage, but sometimes it’s too much, and recruiters get distracted.

Here are the things to consider, to really get the best from your people and avoid them being busy fools and help avoid all of the occupational distractions that kill operational efficiencies.

Some of you will like, love and adopt and obv’s others of you will hate, but here goes anyway!

  1. DON’T sign up to daily online Sales Apps, it’s ‘white noise’ and one size does not fit all
  2. Coach your Billing Managers to become facilitators and give back time to their teams and not rob it – if they can find the data, either they or admin does it, not the sales team!
  3. Reduce meetings to 10 mins wherever possible, ‘we’ve got 10 mins. so what would you like to get from this time?’ No need to give people an hour a month, and only those who need to be in meetings need be there. Suggest people walk out of meetings if they can’t help!!
  4. Make ‘sprinting’ standard and precious so people love it. This is your people’s money-making time and they need to see it exactly like that, so say it once, say it twice and say it 1000 times until it sinks in.
  5. Define a set Lunch-time, so everyone is on the same time zone (lunch-cover rotas or if you’re late you cover!) you work to achieve a morning’s goals together- review and go again as a tribe!
  6. Special rewards for the good ones and make it harder to achieve, it seems people are giving away lunch clubs these days just because people are turning up on time. Be smart with your awards, more flexibility, impromptu treats and involvement in decision-making = everyone, wants to be mates and feel special because just getting them pissed these days isn’t enough. Make sure it’s cool to be good in your environment, and align all of your focus so that you recognise the ones that are extra special.
  7. Yellow cards and walks around the block for people distracting others – then warnings – then red cards, and let them go to another company to cause distractions! Zero tolerance, have no time for time-waster, and even less time for time vampires.
  8. Take mobiles aways during sprints! With fines to enforce – Nigel Frank did this and achieved amazing results. FOCUS, FOCUS FOCUS!
  9. Start every day with a call to arms, don’t let people drift into their morning’s work. Claw back 2.5 hours of graft per person by making sure everyone goes at it on the B of Bang. 
  10. Avoid, avoid, avoid occupational hobbies. The tool-kit (rec-tech, advertising, training, infrastructure…) is there to help people do more in a shorter time-frame, not do the same in less, while costing you/the business more! Either turn off licences or make people pay for tools they just play with (including Linkedin).
  11. Turn off personal email during prime time – no exceptions – work is work!
  12. Limit smoking breaks, tea breaks, pool time and stop people walking around on every call! (You are having a chat if walking around not using your E-brochureware & POS)
  13. Limit the live dashboards to only present the things that really matter to your recruiters. It’s massively important you don’t confuse the wood for the trees and people are distracted by things that matter to you at a board level and not to staff in their day-to-day job.
  14. If people have personal issues going on, send them home (on your time), to fix things for a couple of days! Work is for people to make money not sitting about mopping and bringing everyone down.
  15. No YouTube or playtime on the web at lunchtime – let them have their time to chill, stretch their legs, get lunch, but when in the office, it’s all about business and making money!!!

The current climate is so fluffy, and I genuinely believe bosses are letting their staff fail when they really wanted to be exceptional the day they started!

It’s you, not them!

They will love you for helping them make bundles of cash – that’s way cooler than watching 5 hours of TV in the office a week!!!

Your call.

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