Time to Refocus

I’m just back from a relaxing week away. As is often the case after time away, yesterday I found it quite tough getting refocused on business.

Whether you’re drawing breath at the end of your busiest season, or just back from a well-earned late summer break, it’s all too easy to drift back into things without much focus or purpose.

Which inevitably has an impact on employee engagement, productivity and customer service.

In today’s blog I share 7 ideas to re-energise and engage you and your team to get you back into the swing of things and on a roll for the last quarter.

But before we get onto that I wanted to share what I’m focusing on, which might be a perfect way to re-energise some of your team.

Management Essentials online programme for new or aspiring managers.

Management Essentials is a 7 week (2 hours per week for 7 weeks) online programme and is the ideal starting point for any new manager or aspiring manager.

The programme supports managers by

  • Furthering their skills to manage & engage their teams effectively
  • Increasing their confidence in getting the best from their team
  • Demonstrates your commitment to your managers by investing in their development

We start on Wednesday 19th October, with the final module on 30th November.

Here is a sample of the feedback from previous programmes

“Caroline’s method of delivery is fantastic- simple, easy to understand and on the money.”

“I would certainly recommend this programme as a positive and interactive way to engage with a team, to get the best from individuals –leaders and operatives –and to focus on strengthening teams and maintaining teamwork to ensure an exceptional and consistent customer service ethos.”

“I have to say the content was excellent as was her delivery, and her ability to engage the attendees. Homework and follow ups all added to the embedding of the material. Very useful and highly recommended.”

If you have junior managers in your team who would benefit (or you’d like some support yourself) you can find more here

1. Celebrate

If your team were working hard right over the summer let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

If the end of September marked the mid-point of your financial year, now is an opportune moment to review progress.

Summarise and share your successes and highlights from the last 6 months, and recognise your team’s contribution to these.

Give recognition and praise where it’s due so it creates a buzz amongst your team for the remainder of year ahead!

2. Looking forward

A knowledgeable team not only gives them confidence, it enables them to make decisions and help build trust with your customers.

Take time to review and share your plans for the remainder of the year ahead, share up-to-date product information, what’s happening in your industry, with your competitors, or anything in the press.

It can feel a bit flat if it’s back to business as normal; give your team something to look forward to.

3. Set mini goals

It can often feel as if you’re not achieving much in the first few days or weeks back at work, or when you’re recovering from a busy period. What short-term projects or goals can you set which gives them some focus and enables them to see some quick results.

4. New challenges

Now that we’re well into the new school year, if you’ve not done so already now is a good time to take stock of the team’s development needs.

Not everyone wants to progress, but that doesn’t mean you should let them stagnate. A bored employee is unlikely to wow your customers!

Time off often gives people time for reflection and can prompt them to start thinking about other options, career moves or even career changes.

Schedule 1:1 reviews as early as possible. Discuss individual contributions and where they fit in with your plans, and how you can add variety, set new challenges or stretch them.

Identify and utilise people’s strengths, providing further development where needed to bring out the best in these areas.

5. Fresh perspectives

When people have been away from the business for a couple of weeks, or even a few days, they often get a fresh perspective and see things in a new light.

What ideas have your team seen on their holidays or days out which they’ve appreciated and which could be applied in some way in your business?

Take a few moments this week to ask their views on any opportunities they can see to add value for customers, improve productivity or simply make things more enjoyable.

6. In it to win it

Focus people’s attention by aiming for an award. It can be great motivation for those with a competitive spirit: Just being nominated for an award is a great booster in itself, as you’re showing your team think them worthy of it.

7. Play from a 10

It only takes one person to resent being back to work after a fantastic holiday or quality time with the kids, to rub off on everyone else.  If we’re smiling and happy, confident, enthusiastic and energetic it might not always rub off on everyone else, but it’s a better bet than if you’re down and resenting being back at work!

So whether you’ve just had break and gearing up for the last 3 months of the year, or just taking stock of your summer season, don’t let anyone’s post-holiday blues get you down.

Take Action

If you only do one thing – take some time out this week to sit down with your team and share your plans for the next 3 months and the help them see the part they all have to play in achieving your goals.