Multi-Tasking is becoming essential

Organizations, in a quest to maximize productivity with the help of minimal resources are identifying and retaining employees with “multi-tasking” abilities. Are you ready to don different hats at different hours of the day?

Superman’s most impressive feat was perhaps his balancing act. Besides being a hero, he was also a newspaper reporter. Tennis ace Venus Williams is also both an entrepreneur and a dress designer. And unlike Superman, she is real! And an efficient multi-tasker.

During testing times like these, companies are forced to enhance their performance levels and seek quality from its employees and if you are an excellent multi-tasker you definitely have an edge over the rest, points out experts.

According to CEO, Bates the term, multi-tasking most of the times has an incorrect connotation. If multi-tasking is the ability to do more than one task competently in order to foster better results, then it should be referred to as ‘multi-competency’ he adds. A shining example of this is the Indian cricket team. The reason why we are almost the No.1 ODI team and the champions in 20-20 is testimony to this. It’s a coming together of individual who can do 2-3 things and most importantly, do it well. So our captain is not just a captain, but a good motivator/leader, a fine wicket keeper and a destructive batsman. The list can go on and on. Yuraj, the Pathan Bros and Sehwag are not only good batsmen but also excellent fielders and bowlers. And even our very own champ Sachin knows that he needs to make a contribution either with all or one of his competencies.

Multi-tasking is valued to evade a crisis situation. The management favors multi-tasking because it increases the output with fewer employees. Instead of layoffs, multi-tasking would help employees retain their jobs in tougher times as they would have the know how to move to other streams wherein manpower is required. But organizations need to train employees in house or through external trainings. A certificate at the end of the training would also help.

Multi-tasking leads to different job responsibility thereby increasing an employee’s knowledge base and skill. Considering today’s job market, multi taskers can adapt to another role in the organization and maintain cost efficiency. However, employees should not be overtaxed as a tired mind and body cannot germinate fresh ideas. At Paramount, multi-tasking is adopted in security, ground handling and in-flight services. Security personnel also handle assignments in ticketing check-in counters, boarding gates besides their core functions. Ground handling personnel also look after passenger convenience. Our cabin crews are trained to handle catering assignments as well. This allows our employees to grow within the organization and employees who had started their careers as cabin crews have now moved to managerial positions in in-flight services.

Multi-tasking is not suited for everyone. But if optimizing productivity and decreasing costs are your main goals, then you will be able to juggle complex tasks tactfully.

Global Logic enlists a few advantages:

1. When there is a pressure on reduction of workforce, multi-taskers can manage more than what is required to be performed by them.
2. In case there is a ramp down in a team, multi-taskers can find ways in different projects as they are capable enough to handle different skill based jobs and are not restricted to anyone particular role and
3. During tough times, companies retain employees with multi-tasking skills.

Head HR Lion-bridge India suggests ways through which organizations can encourage multi-tasking at the workplace:

1. Identify additional responsibilities that employees can shoulder
2. Ensure these are broadly aligned to their area of work; don’t give them something that they cannot find value in or identify with
3. Train them to take on more responsibilities and equip them to bridge gaps in knowledge and/or skill.
4. Motivate them to stretch the boundaries of their capabilities.