Helping Teams Balance Short-term Tasks with Long-term Company Direction

Here are 5 things leaders can do to keep employees focused.

Look down or look up? Keeping team members focused on immediate tasks and the longer-term horizon is a challenge for leaders.

According to Richard Read, director of corporate human resources and global talent management at Glatfelter, short-term focus and big picture thinking “each requires different talents, a different set of skills, and a different amount of time depending on the [individual’s] role.” Finding the right balance for your employees is key.

Whether you’re managing an individual, a small group, or a department, Read offers these tips for focusing each team member on what matters most:

Connect employees to goals and objectives. As a leader, your primary task is to help employees understand and buy into the goals and objectives that are critical to the moment, to the department, and to the company.

Connect with employees individually. Listen to your employees and engage with them. “Allow them to consider their own development and planning and to communicate effectively back and forth [with you] about those ideas,” says Read.

Create an environment that fosters innovation. Read’s best managers understand how much freedom and interaction each individual needs on any given project. They encourage employees to go and “bounce” [around challenges and proposed solutions] and report back as needed.

At Glatfelter, the Impact Zone Leadership competencies help leaders stay focused on creating an environment that accomplishes results for their customers, shareholders, and employees while moving the company forward. The program identifies five company-wide behavioral styles (referred to as global competencies) that are used across the entire Glatfelter talent-management spectrum. They are:

  • Lead and engage
  • Communicate effectively
  • Deliver results the Glatfelter way
  • Build talent and teamwork
  • Foster innovation and continuous improvement

By developing these competencies within every employee, Glatfelter leaders know that everyone remains focused on what matters most.