8 tips for better attention to detail at work

How much attention to detail matters?

attention to detail

As a leader, you’re walking a tightrope when it comes to making daily, hourly, or minute-by-minute decisions. These decisions regarding what aspects, deadlines, behaviors, and policies require radical attention to detail in order to produce high-quality work with effective outcomes. You can choose to give meticulous attention to every small detail and drive yourself completely off the deep end, or you can focus on developing thoughtful approaches to looking at the big picture and seeing what may not necessarily need to be micromanaged.

How do you know which details matter?

Effective leaders place their focus on only the most important details

It’s easy to say, “focus on what matters,”… But, how do you decide what matters? That’s where we come in. Let’s first make the distinction that paying attention to detail is not the same as paying attention to ALL the details. Not to mention that trying to focus on all the details will be a quick ride to burnout.

As a leader, you must become uber self-aware and learn to focus on what truly matters.

Paying attention to those important tasks, those bigger picture ideas, is what’s going to continually drive your company towards success.

You must be consistent and disciplined.

You have to be strong enough to avoid getting sidetracked and placing too much focus on small details that don’t matter to your overall business growth.

One example is focusing solely on job performance rather than employee well-being. Effective leaders know that ultimately when you spend time focusing on the enhancement of employee well-being, job performance will naturally take care of itself.

Successful leaders also know that they should place more value on the traits that make a person human, as opposed to prioritizing placing value on the work a person does. This will have positive results not only in the performance of individual team members but also on the team as a whole.

Most people on your team want to be valued not just as a member of the workplace, but as a key person that has an influence on the success, balance, and future of the business. They just want to know that they matter.

Good leaders care personally and genuinely about team members as individuals.

By viewing individuals as valued, trusted, and capable human beings that have the ability to deliver stellar results, you’ll see that you have to worry far less about the small details. You will find that you can then pay attention to big-picture items, such as project fruition.

Letting go of the small details will allow you to make more insightful decisions and conclusions because you’re processing jobs on a simultaneously larger but more in-depth scale.

WIN: What’s Important Now?

Get into the habit of asking yourself this question frequently. It’s a gut check that will tell you if you’re focusing on what you really need to be or whether you’re filling time with fluffy minutiae that doesn’t serve your big picture or immediate needs.

8 tips to paying more attention to detail with your employees

Reminder: Investing in your people not only as a team but as individuals can greatly reduce the challenge of needing to micromanage them and create more space for focusing on big ideas.

Here are just a few ways you can help achieve enlightenment about the sense of employee engagement, personal responsibility, and trust:

1. Stop multitasking

We might be starting to sound like a broken record where this topic is concerned, but it’s tough to over-emphasize the lack of productivity and quality that the archaic idea of multitasking creates.

Do single tasks thoroughly and expect the same from your team members.

2. Be present

Be present when speaking to or engaging with your people. They deserve your full attention and will respond accordingly once they know that they’re a top priority for you. Telling your team that you appreciate their feelings, moods, and values goes very far in creating loyalty and a positive culture.

Also, be sure to spend quality time with your team that isn’t always just centered around results and work conversations. Putting some effort into relationship-driven conversations is another way to promote employee engagement and loyalty.

3. Share

Share yourself with your team. Gone are the days of the heartless corporate leader that is running a kingdom. People are inspired and motivated to follow you when you are viewed as a real human.

Sharing personal experiences and personal stories helps humanize you.

4. Be authentic

We tend to hit hard on this too! Employees want an authentic leader who is trustworthy and real, just as you want that in your team members. It’s important to give that back to them.

Let’s be honest. Unless you’re an Oscar-winning performer, people can see right through you when you’re being fake or inauthentic. It erodes your integrity and trustworthiness, so let’s just skip it, please.

5. Learn their motivations

Think about what drives and what motivates you. What brings you excitement and delight, and how often do those things show up on your calendar? Is it daily? Is it even occurring monthly? Are you making an effort each day to prioritize tasks or experiences that you look forward to?

Now ask yourself: are your employees doing these things as well? Why do they want to work for you? What are their main goals and motivations? What are the things they love and look forward to? Knowing your employees and why they choose to be with you is a necessary detail that you absolutely should be focusing on.

6. Care about the small things

Don’t confuse this with paying too much attention to insignificant details that don’t matter. Care about the things that make your employees unique. Take the time to learn the names of their children, partner, and even pets.

Knowing significant dates like birthdays and anniversaries or their favorite foods and hobbies helps your employees feel valued and will help you develop a greater connection with them. These small details, once acknowledged, create a sense of camaraderie that can help your business thrive.

7. Give specific and detailed feedback

At One TEAM, we believe feedback should come in a 4:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback. This promotes clarity and proper expectation management.

Don’t just say, “I didn’t like that.” Instead, be detail-oriented. Say, “I really like X, Y, or Z, but I want to also talk about how we can improve or change A, B, or C in the next project.” Can you see how that attention to detail will go a long way in bettering your organization and its practices?

This skill requires perhaps the most attention to detail. However, once mastered, it can yield some of the greatest results that will affect all avenues of your organization.

8. Be consistent

True growth lies in regularly practicing attention to the proper details. Don’t just pay attention to these things when something critical is going on. Sweating the small stuff needs to happen on the daily. By eliminating small mistakes and getting names and dates straight, you send a message to employees that attention to detail matters without having to micromanage every little thing.

Asking for someone else’s feedback is a great next step

It can sometimes be difficult for those of us in the trenches to be able to step back and see what we really should be paying attention to. If you need help, we’ve got you! A fresh, outside perspective can go a long way when it comes to providing clarity and prioritizing details in the workplace that will drive you and your team toward success and fulfillment. Feel free to reach out to us to chat or brainstorm.


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