How to Manage Distracted Employees

by Marty Martin, Psy.D., Director of the Health Sector Management MBA Concentration and Associate Professor in the College of Commerce at DePaul University

As all managers know, workday distractions are everywhere, stealing your employees' precious time and productivity. Between new technologies that beg for people's attention to the prevalence of shortened attention spans, everyone on your team has the opportunity to be more distracted today than in the past. Of course, being distracted at work creates numerous problems from missed opportunities to strained business relationships. Therefore, you need to effectively manage your employees so their distractions are minimized.

First, realize that there are two categories of distraction. One is internal distraction, and the other is external distraction. Internal distractions include any physiological, emotional, attitudinal, biological, or physical discomfort. Some examples include having an upset stomach or a headache, worrying about a personal or professional matter, feeling overwhelmed with tasks, sitting in an uncomfortable chair, experiencing anger toward a co-worker, grieving a loss, etc. Any of these things can quickly take an employee off track from his or her tasks.

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Five Steps for "Off the Grid" Sales Success

by Lance Cooper, keynote speaker and author of Selling BEYOND Survival: The Essential System for High-Activity Sales Professionals

Many entrepreneurs and high-activity salespeople get stuck in survival mode. They don't organize activities to establish a better, more stable way of living. They end up doing sales activities to provide for survival needs, such as mortgage payments, food and minimum debt payments. This earns them a high-tension, on-the-edge financial existence. Salespeople automatically default to activity levels that keep them eating, sleeping, communicating and traveling. As a result, they make subsistence, not ambitious lifestyle goals, their organizing focus. Today's matrix, or on-the-grid norm, then turns into selling to survive and not to prosper.

Other high-activity sales reps focus on the goals set by their sales managers. Sales quotas and resulting incomes typically reflect the company's minimum requirements, and not each rep's present or future needs. Reps do their duty, and though this is a commendable character trait in many settings, it obscures the future reality of their own sales and income goals and causes a lack of fiscal stewardship. Many sales reps get a high-five for their faithful service only to borrow money to pay for a new roof.

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Management Courses and Technician Academy

AOCA understands the importance of educating our members. During the last several months, volunteers have been hard at work updating the content within the Management Courses and Technician's Academy to ensure we are providing members with the most up-to-date and relevant information.

The Management Course updates will be incorporated into the 2014 sessions in Indianapolis, Toronto and Dallas, and we're excited to share that the improved Technician's Academy has gone live! Notable updates include:

  • Updated product photos within course
  • Information on social media usage
  • Up-to-date safety regulations
  • Restructured section on motor oils

The content and functionality itself are not the only parts of the Technician's Academy that were revamped. With the revisions to the outdated Technician's Academy came a need to modify the system we use to house the course, and so AOCA is pleased to announce a new home for education: AOCA Learning!

Designed to track your learning, the Technician's Academy and exam are currently available in the AOCA store. Once you complete your purchase in the AOCA store, usernames and passwords will be emailed within 2 business days.

Member price: $30.00

Non-member price: $60.00

Further your industry knowledge with AOCA!

Word of Mouth from iFLEX 2014

If you had any doubt that iFLEX 2014 in New Orleans was a success, see below for some comments gathered from the attendees via our conference survey!

"Ths was my first AOCA conference. As someone new to the industry, I found the conference had the right balance of digestable information and support. I especially appreciated the opportunity to informally network with more seasoned operators!"

"Wonderful convention; very informative and practical. Very excited to see our industry alive and thriving!"

"Very well planned out. All board members are doing an excellent job, and the management team is great. My hat off to everybody for a outstanding show."

"I was very inspired by the "What if ....." presentation. I learned that it is not enough just to solve the problems of today, but I need to be thinking about the problems of tomorrow."

Don't Forget to Save the Date for iFLEX 2015

When: March 9-11, 2015

Where: Disney's Coronado Spring Resort, Orlando FL

We Will See You in "The Sunshine State"!

iFLEX 2014 Session Recordings

You can now purchase session recordings and handouts from iFLEX 2014! On demand webinars of the 9 educational breakout sessions are available in the AOCA store at the discounted rate of $75 for iFLEX 2014 attendees and $125 for non-attendees

Purchase iFLEX 2014 Session Recordings now via the links below!

Click here if you attended iFLEX 2014

Click here if you were unable to attend iFLEX 2014


April 2014

• How to Manage Distracted Employees

• Five Steps for "Off the Grid" Sales Success

• Management Courses and Technician Academy

• Word of Mouth from iFLEX 2014

• iFLEX 2014 Session Recordings



April 28-29
Indianapolis, IN

Register now!

September 23-24
Toronto, ON, Canada

October 21-22
Dallas, TX

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