In the business world, the phrase, “instilling a sense of urgency” is thrown around a lot. Usually used by managers, they try to help employees understand a timeline and drive results. But, what does that phrase actually mean?
What Is a Sense of Urgency?
In the real world, obviously, a sense of urgency means that you act quickly to get something done. In the business world, it means pretty much the exact same thing. Having that sense of urgency means that you learn of your tasks and you get right on them. It can also mean that you do something with a sense of urgency, you should be doing it without being told to and to do it in a way that is done effectively. You typically hear the phrase around management, marketing, and sales.
Why a Sense of Urgency Is Important
Having a sense of urgency is a great skill to have. As a worker, it is your job to complete your job duties and drive results. Getting on your job the right way shows what a committed employee you are. It also helps motivate others in the team. If someone is doing well because they have a sense of urgency, it can lead to other workers following suit. Therefore, you can have a whole team with a sense of urgency. It can also lead to your workers improving other skills such as time management, efficiency, independence, and more.
Types of Employees
In 2017, Gallup had a report on how workplaces are doing. It states to have identified three kinds of employees. Understanding these kinds of employees help management understand what kinds of tactics to use to make their employees have a sense of urgency.
An engaged employee is someone who enjoys their job. They are someone who works actively to make the business a better place. These employees already have a sense of urgency and get things done. Many tend to have a feeling of responsibility for themselves and their team. About 33% of employees of the United States are engaged employees.
Not Engaged Employees
The not engaged employee is the kind who prefers to show up, do their work, and go home. They may not be interested in the job they are at, thus, they show little energy or passion for the business. Not engaged employees need a manager who has the sense of urgency to ensure that tasks are done at the business. About 51% of American employees lack engagement in their work.
Actively Disengaged Employees
The worse kind of employee, the actively disengaged employee not only hates their job but finds ways to undo the work the business has accomplished. This type of worker is far from driving the results needed for the business. For example, they will disengage employees from their tasks or they may make tasks more difficult to handle. In order for these employees to have a sense of urgency, managers need to know how those people work and work with them, to foster positive workplace relations and improve morale. If not, then it is probably best to let them go. About 16% of Americans in the workforce are actively disengaged employees.
How to Have a Sense of Urgency
There are many ways to help your team get the sense of urgency that it needs. Take some of these tips as an example.
- Make your own decisions, smartly and quickly.
- Try not to stress in front of your team.
- Keep an eye on obstacles for your team and learn of ways to overcome them.
- Create a team culture that works toward positive outcomes, rather than the task itself.
- Clarify what the consequences of failure are.
- Understand what methods work and don’t work for your team and apply it.
- Encourage teamwork amongst the team to promote a better working group.
- Always celebrate small successes.
- Give praise in ways that the employee appreciates it. Find what drives them and match that in their feedback.
- Always provide a constant stream of reminders and share when the deadline is.
- Eliminate unnecessary meetings and keep them short.
- When communicating, get to the point of the subject. Advise your team to do the same.
- Show off your leadership prowess by completing your tasks.
- Show efficiency with body language.
- Provide encouragement to the team about why they matter.
- Create urgency in your team by having them do more tasks that go beyond what they do.
- Hold a one-on-one meeting with your team. Learn about them and what drives them.
- Learn what the motivators are for the team and use it as part of your urgency strategy.
- Remind the team about overworking and burnout. Make sure that they take time off.
A sense of urgency is what creates a strong team and drives results. It also creates change in the business in management and organization. While a sense of urgency is always used in the business world for certain paths, this should be applied to everyone.
Besides, the quicker you get your work done, the more free time you have. But, make sure that you do your job well, otherwise, you’ll have to do it all over again.