How to Keep Employees Focused at Work

Oct 11, 2021 | 42Gears Team

Keep Employees Focused at Work

If you want to learn how to keep employees focused at work, you're not alone. If you work in a demanding environment, you may also want to know how to keep employees focused on safety. In any case, it is an important topic. Unfocused workers aren't achieving their full potential, and could wind up causing accidents.

Every industry has its own methods for keeping employee productivity high; that said, there are a few universal tips that anyone can apply. By reviewing these tips, you'll have a good head start in your efforts to promote a focused workplace.

1. Model Clear Expectations

Some workplaces operate under the assumption that focus is an assumed, default state. Unfortunately, this isn't true, and it's also not fair to employees. If you fail to set proper expectations, but then penalize based on your implicit understanding, it will harm workplace morale.

You might ask how expectations can help with how to keep employees focused. The key is to set expectations not just for the final product, but also for the workflows employees use to reach it. This includes mid-project milestones employees should reach, and the time employees should spend per day on each project.

It's not enough to set clear expectations; it's important to model them, as well. It should no surprise no one to hear that employees emulate their supervisors' behavior. If supervisors miss meetings, leave work early, or conduct personal calls during work hours, employees will notice. If asking company executives to adhere to these rules is infeasible, then they may need to spend less time around employees.

2. Promote a Focused Environment

Even employees with the best intentions may struggle to focus if their workspaces are distracting. This may be a consequence of having an open office setup, or perhaps supervisors frequently interrupt workers mid-task to ask questions. While open work environments do have benefits, such as promoting collaboration, they can come at a cost.

This extends beyond the physical office to the devices employees use. If work-essential apps have to share screen space with the default games and social media apps that come with a device, for example, that will be a constant distraction. You can hide these distractions using the Kiosk Mode feature of a mobile device management solution.

Even if you've implemented Kiosk Mode, some frontline work environments are inherently distracting. In these cases, it may be best to use context-sensitive device management tools. For example, SureMDM by 42Gears offers Driver Safety Mode, which prevents drivers from using devices once they exceed a specific speed. This forces employees to focus on the road, so it's an important part of how to keep employees focused on safety.

3. Reward Positive Behaviors

You may have decided to research how to keep employees focused because of a specific employee losing focus. However, you should resist the urge to criticize them individually, especially in public, as this can be strongly demotivating. Focus goes hand-in-hand with motivation; bursts of public criticism are unlikely to boost motivation.

You may not be able to watch everyone at every moment, but there are ways to indirectly reward focus. High productivity, timely high-quality work, and long periods without workplace accidents all speak to a culture of focus. Even if you make distractions inaccessible with MDM software, that doesn’t mean motivation is automatically high. It's important to reward these indirect signs of focus.

Conclusion: How to Keep Employees Focused And Safe

As you can see, there are a few key elements needed to keep employees focused and safe. Some rely on software, some are emotional, and some are logistical. Setting clear expectations, implementing device kiosk mode, and reinforcing focused behavior are all elements of a successful workplace-focus strategy. Of course, this is just the start of what you can do to promote focus, but as long as you keep these measures in mind, you'll be off to a great start. 

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