Every four years, diehard soccer fans, and those who jump on the bandwagon such as myself, all come down with a case of World Cup fever. For more than a month, the world’s finest soccer superstars battle it out on the field as billions of viewers across the globe anxiously watch to see if their team wins. With many games taking place during working hours, companies are finding that some employees are more focused on the World Cup and less focused on work, slashing productivity.
It’s no secret that passionate soccer fan employees will find a way to watch the games, making the productivity lost during those times unavoidable. Knowing this, companies are searching for ways to best deal with it by focusing on how they can leverage the World Cup to enhance employee engagement in the long run.
Some companies have come up with creative solutions and are hosting World Cup watch parties to help boost workplace productivity and employee engagement. Morningstar Communications is one of those companies. Our entire team gathered in our boardroom earlier today to watch the U.S. play against Germany. We all had a blast watching the game and enjoyed the brief break and quality time spent together.
Productivity is a major concern for all companies, large, small and in-between. The bottom line is that employees who feel valued and engaged will not only stick around, but also be more likely to be productive long term.
Looking for more creative ways to boost workplace productivity during the World Cup and other major sports events? Check out these suggestions from Forbes, which include holding an office pool and giving time off to hardcore fans for more results-oriented work.
Organization is essential to success, and we all have our own styles. Tech-savvy people tend to prefer digital organization on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc., whereas others choose a more visual, hands-on method such as jotting notes on colorful Post-it notes.
My forte is list creation. I make them for everything. It is getting to the point where I need a master list to keep them organized. My “fun” category typically involves my bucket list, a list of outfits to wear to work, and my personal favorite – a list of activities to do this summer (which include Royals baseball games and a search for the best patio in Kansas City to spend my Sunday afternoons).
The other category, which includes everything related to work and school, is a never-ending to-do list. Time constraints and deadlines consistently surround the communications field and success requires a certain level of organization. My method of staying organized is simple: Write it all down otherwise I will not remember it, let alone do it.
It is no secret that regardless of how closely we plan out and prioritize our tasks, there is always a chance that something will come up and prevent the completion of other tasks. However, Victor Cheng, co-founder of Entrepreneur-to-CEO Mastermind, offers the following simple steps to help you focus on what’s most critical:
1. Sort your list in descending order. Start with the tasks that have the highest priority at the top and the lowest priority at the bottom.
2. Draw a line through the middle of your list. Split the list in half with the most important tasks and upcoming deadlines at the top.
3. Spend four days a week working on the top 50 percent of your list. In order to prevent accidentally dropping the ball on any of your tasks, focus on the first item on the list and finish it completely before you start the next item. If you find you are unable to complete a project until something else is done first, move on to the next item that became a higher priority.
4. Spend one day a week on the bottom of your list. You will find that some tasks remain at the bottom half of your list for many weeks at a time, depending on their urgency.
Tagged Kelsey Wolf, Lists, Morningstar Communications, organization, Planning, PR, productivity, public relations, tips and tricks, To-Do
So, what are you waiting for? Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week and plan a to-do list, but anticipate time for projects that were never on your list to begin with.
I somehow was lucky enough to enjoy two vacations abroad in the first quarter of this year. And although I took some significant ribbing about it, I admit, it was lovely to unplug, relax and enjoy the history and culture of the very different destinations.
The side benefit I didn’t realize until I returned was how much getting away allowed me to be more productive at work when I jumped back into it. Just in the last week I’ve spoken to at least a half-dozen friends and business associates who expressed feelings of being overwhelmed at work, too busy to focus and burned out. In an era where we are all pulled in so many different directions, both at work and home, feeling overwhelmed seems to be an ever-increasing occurrence, especially when we take work with us on our smart phones wherever we go.
If you read my infrequent posts, you know I’m a big fan of HBR, and just this week I found two articles specifically addressing the issue of focusing and improving productivity. I especially liked Tony Schwartz’s blog about doing one thing at a time (with advice that includes taking regular and real vacations, so I am doing something right!).
Interestingly, the other post is from several years ago, but was trending as one of the most commented on stories in the last 24 hours, and it speaks to the ignore list. I like that thought. What can you cut out of the long list of tasks so you can focus, get all the important things done and still find time to re-energize? And, hey, if your ignore list includes skipping reading my blogpost, I hope it’s because you’re planning a get-away!Tagged Morningstar Communications, productivity, Professional Development, Sheri Johnson, Strategic Communications
I was honored to speak to a group of Kansas City business leaders as part of The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Business Brainfood” Series a few weeks ago. The topic was “Small investment & big return: Boosting employee engagement through effective internal communications.”
I shared some rather sobering research on the decline in employee engagement over the past two to three years. The stats on how willing employees are to go the extra mile and put forth discretionary effort paint a poor picture. The impact on overall performance in an environment where folks want to only do the bare minimum ultimately means lost revenue due to poor productivity. Fortunately, I absolutely believe effective internal communications can help improve morale and foster more motivated employees. Best practice companies are using both online and offline tools to communicate company direction as well as stimulate peer-to-peer conversation (which, by the way, is where some of the most exciting new internal communications strategies are directed).
Several other trends were discussed in the presentation, and attendees had a chance to weigh-in from their own perspectives about some of the challenges and opportunities in internal communications/internal marketing. The transient nature of today’s workforce and the stark differences in how employees view their relationship with their company today vs. prior generations made for a great discussion. As the recession graphs start to trend back upwards, our clients and organizations should (hopefully) begin to turn their attentions back toward motivating the workforce.Tagged Business Brainfood, employee engagement, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Internal Communications, Matt Tidwell, Morningstar Communications, productivity, Professional Development