Give 100% Attention

Category: People


In your presentations and book, you give many valuable ideas for improving staff performance. If I were to make only one change in how I manage my staff, what would you recommend?

Beth, PA

Dear Beth,

That’s a great question! It’s challenging to make a lot of changes all at once. The best method is to choose one area that seems achievable and work on that area until it comes naturally to you. Then move on to the next.

That being said, I believe the best place to start is to be totally present and give 100% of your attention to your employees when they come to you with a question, comment, or a challenge.

When I was a manager, I was very, very busy! I believed I was so busy that I could never stop working. Therefore, I was almost always multi-tasking. I’d be browsing an email while my staff member was updating me. Or I’d take a call rather than letting it go into voicemail. One day I woke up and realized this wasn’t being efficient, it was being RUDE!

From that day on, when an employee came into my office for any reason I would stop everything I was doing and give that person 100% of my attention. If I needed to finish a thought on an email I was writing, I’d ask them to hold their thought for a few seconds, finish the sentence, and then ask them to begin.

The results from this small change were astounding. People who used to just drop by and start talking began to make appointments or ask if it was a good time. Those people who used to pop in every time something happened, started to save things up and visit only a couple of times a day. And, my relationship with all of my staff improved immeasurably.

So, if you make only one change, I encourage you to start giving your employees your 100% attention when they come into your office.

Have a great day!