Managing Your Business

Are you causing interruptions?

Supervisors frequently need to know the status of projects or other issues their employees are handling. But is there a way to get this information without interrupting your employees and compromising their efficiency? Try these tips to reduce interruptions:

  • Never say "now." Ask employees to deliver requested information or completed projects within a time frame, such as between 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. This will keep employees from abruptly having to stop working when you need something.

  • Only share specifics. When delegating a task, outline a project's specifics and do not overwhelm employees with endless details. Also, allow employees to ask questions and make clarifications. This will help avoid disrupting employees' work when they have questions later.

  • Give preparation time. When discussing proposals or procedures, set a meeting date. This will give employees time to prepare their ideas rather than forcing them to brainstorm ideas immediately.

Source: Adapted from Communication Briefings, November 2001 issue.