Attention to detail: you either have it or you don’t. At least, that’s the common mentality in a typical business strategy, but the reality is that becoming more detail-oriented is a teachable soft skill that can have a major impact on an organization.
Overlooking minor details can be costly. You’re not only spending labor hours and resources to correct a problem, but also trying to figure out where and how the problem occurred and how you can prevent similar issues from happening in the future.
Perhaps most importantly, a lack of attention to detail can have a negative impact on employee morale. No one wants to think of themselves as the person who always drops the ball, and those who struggle with details may feel unsuited, unskilled, or otherwise unable to advance in their careers.
In some cases, it can be as simple as training your employees on how to be more aware of their work. Here are some actionable tips you can start using in your business strategy.
You can learn a lot about how your employees work simply by watching. Look for the details that are routinely missed and the obstacles that could be preventing thoroughness. To be clear, this shouldn’t just be an assessment of the employee’s performance, but also the tasks at large. It’s true that some employees just aren’t detail-oriented, but employers should examine the factors they can control and fix first.
Create a Work Guide
Having a detailed plan can help employees understand their full responsibilities in a task or function. This can be particularly helpful if employees are often distracted or interrupted.
Make a List
Use a checklist for multistep tasks.
For time-consuming or step-intensive tasks, having a checklist can ensure that no critical steps or details fall through the cracks. This can also help the employee stick to a schedule if they need to complete a job within a specific time frame.
Stick to a Schedule
Having a set time limit for tasks can help employees stay on track and pay close attention to their work. If employees are struggling to focus on the details, consider implementing a stricter schedule for their workday.
Keep It Simple
Detail-oriented employees are those who are most likely to multitask successfully. For those that aren’t as focused on details, they may be better offer sticking to simple projects. Adding more work to their existing responsibilities may create more stress and pressure than they can handle.
If possible, try to avoid last-minute deadlines or overloading them with projects. You might gradually increase their responsibilities over time once they feel comfortable and confident with their current workload.
Use a Peer-Support System
Work together for an optimal outcome.
Having a second set of eyes can help employees find errors in others’ work, which could, in turn, help them recognize issues with their own work. Having a peer review their work can help to take the pressure off of being perfect while also showing them ways they can improve their work quality.
Though not every employee will be in the top one percent of detail-orientedness, business leadership teams should recognize that there are ways to help their workers improve. Start by making the workplace a fun, positive place to work and watch how it can help your employees focus.