Urgency (n): 1. Importance requiring swift prioritized or persistent action; 2. Motivation to find the nearest bathroom.
Many leaders agree that having a sense of urgency at work is important, but don’t exactly know what that means (hint: it’s not moving as fast as you can from task to task). A proper sense of urgency indicates determination and efficiency, and it looks purpose-driven and thriving. How do we instill the proper urgency to our teams without becoming neurotic? Read on and find out!
Teams that have adopted urgency as part of their culture have higher productivity and morale. Why is this? They are making progress and solving problems. Developing patterns of calm, yet urgent behavior improves efficiency and establishes a positive reputation with clients, whether internal or external.
The foundational principle of building urgency on a team is to have a habit of meeting deadlines. Create this momentum and other to-dos will begin to fall into place. You’ll notice that the team will anticipate roadblocks and address them early, and they will be focused on goals without getting strained. Not every task can be absolutely urgent, so be sure to stagger and communicate deadlines as priorities change. And as always, be empathetic to your team’s struggles and give them more than a fair share of positive recognition.
Read this to learn more about how to create urgency without stressing your team.
A sense of urgency can introduce positive energy and excitement to a group, but you may find your team lacking and not understand the reason. Perhaps you feel your employees are just slow or lazy, or wonder why they don’t work as much as you do. If this is you, take a moment to consider whether you have clearly communicated standards to your team. Have you told them the pace you expect work to be done at? Employees can’t read minds, especially if even you don’t know the standards you expect of your team.
Having a sense of urgency is a skill, so first make sure that you lead by example by working with a strong sense of purpose and then set clear expectations with goals and deadlines for your team.
To get some quick tips about motivating urgency on your team watch this.
Urgency indicates relative importance and doesn’t always look the same to everyone, so it’s no wonder that the word gets thrown around in a panic-stricken rush. Urgency becomes a useful, positive tool when you understand that it doesn’t mean as fast as possible. It means prioritizing efficiency and using a time-saver mindset which excludes phrases like “I’ll just do it myself,” or, “it has to be perfect.” Things change fast no matter what industry you’re in, so utilizing urgency is a must.
For an excellent post about urgency in a time-saver mindset, check this out.
Speaking of panic-stricken rushes, have you ever eaten at a crowded and chaotic restaurant? The team’s mindset can make all the difference as hosts, servers, and cooks manage the restaurant floor. Mistakes and burnout are the inevitable costs of constant rushing, but the steady momentum of urgency makes customers feel valued as employees carry out their purpose-driven work.
Give your team a taste of the kitchen by challenging them to play Overcooked! a restaurant game that helps with delegation and team-coordination (and having fun).
Try this game on steam, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch.
Efficiency is key to having a team that works in urgent unison. Having the correct tools to keep everyone in the loop is essential, and one free tool you may want to check out is ClickUp. This program helps teams plan, track, and collaborate on projects to create workflows
For a tool to help you coordinate due dates and projects, get this.
Oh, and don’t forget the best remedy for a lack of urgency is this.
See you 'round the 🔥 ,
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