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Quick Follow-ups Move Projects Forward

Do you find projects running behind on a regular basis, or employees unmotivated to get tasks done? You may want to tweak your management style to include this quick follow-up technique.

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Do you find projects running behind on a regular basis, or employees unmotivated to get tasks done? You may want to tweak your management style to include this quick follow-up technique.

Done tactfully, a brief check-in can be a big motivator for employees. It takes much less time than you may think and in today’s world can be done very easily using email. A quick email message asking about the status of a task or project can take only seconds: “Hi Sally, where are we at with the lab redesign report?” or “Hi Roger, how close are we to finishing the safety analysis?” This reminds employees what they should be focused on. Furthermore, because it is important enough for you to ask, it in turn becomes meaningful to work on. That is the motivator. You will be surprised at how quickly employees respond and become focused on the completion of that project. Be cautious to use only probing questions (where are we, how much longer is, who is working on) and avoid “why isn’t this done?”-type questions by email that can potentially demotivate. Also, as you approach a deadline, rely less on email and turn your attention to a quick face-to-face interaction to get fast results.