How to manage distracted employees
The great thing about a plan is that it gives you something concrete to reference and use as a benchmark to gauge progress. Additionally, all organizations have risk management plans, strategic plans, operational plans, and business plans … so why not also have distraction elimination plans? Remember, distractions rarely self-resolve. So the better the plan, the better the results.
Offer other resources when needed.
Sometimes, even with the manager’s help and a solid DEP in place, the employee is still distracted. In these cases, the manager has to know when to offer additional resources. If your organization has an employee assistance program, you may want to consider making a recommendation to an appropriate resource or service.
If your organization does not have an employee assistance program, then present the idea of additional help in a supportive and neutral fashion. You could even suggest it as a step in the DEP, as in “If the outlined steps in this plan don’t resolve the issue, then the employee will seek outside assistance in the form of a counselor or therapist.” The key is to help the employee find the needed resources in order to determine if their situation is more serious than simple distractions.
No More Distractions
The next time you notice you have some employees who are underperforming, don’t immediately reprimand them. Instead, take the time to determine if there’s something you or the company can do to remove the distractions from the workplace. Distractions don’t have to be a major part of the workday. You can help minimize them. Remember, the fewer distractions people have, the more productive they’ll be.
Marty Martin known for his state-of-the art content presented in an engaging, dynamic fashion, has been speaking and training nationally and internationally for many years. His book, "Taming Disruptive Behavior," is being published by The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE). Dr. Martin is the director of the Health Sector Management MBA Concentration and Associate Professor in the College of Commerce at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit his website: http://www.drmartymartin.com.
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