Understanding why your organization continues to struggle with productivity and turnover is the first step to transforming your workplace. In today's fast-paced and highly stressed business landscape it's becoming harder and harder to stay productive, whether it's on a strategic project or on supporting customers and team members.
It's no secret that streamlined management tools and processes play a vital role in increasing the performance and reducing the workload felt by all employees. These key items have always been a part of what keeps organizations agile, dynamic and significantly contributes to the well-being and work-life balance of everyone in the organization.
In this article, I'm going to share how you can elevate your workplace's culture, productivity and overall growth of your organization. Plus, how to keep an eye on emerging performance management trends and ways you can research to find the right tools for streamlining your existing processes and systems.
They key to increasing productivity is making sure that everyone is using their time wisely. Time is your most important resource and when wasted, it can't be recovered. While I won't be discussing time management, the easiest way to ensure that everyone in the organization is using their time effectively, is to start by putting the right tools and processes in place.
For example, this can mean using a formal project management tool, instead of Excel to track your projects. Or using a survey system to collect employee or customer feedback, instead of individual email communications. If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of virtual project management tools. Asana, Trello and Basecamp to name a few.
The goal of these tools are to ensure smooth and effective day-to-day operations and allow employees to focus more on bigger and more important tasks assigned them.
These tools also allow you to set and track your goals which is the second and perhaps the most important way to keep your team productive. Not only does goal setting create clear expectations for everyone involved, it also allows for an exchange of ideas on the best way to achieve that goal. What better way for your organization to be more productive, than by having your employees putting their heads together to find the best approach to getting something done?
To effectively use goal setting as a tool for increasing your productivity, you'll want to try following the 5As approach. Assessable, Aspirational, Aligned, Accountable and Agile.
‣ Assessable means your goal is quantifiable and can be accurately measured and assessed.
‣ Aspirational means your goal is something that you (or your team) can actually achieve
‣ Aligned means your goal is aligned with your greater operational strategy
‣ Accountable means you have the right people in place who are responsible for the different aspects of getting the goal completed and can be held accountable to get their parts done
‣ Agile means your goal is flexible enough to adjust to changing in demands or priorities
Now that you know the strategic steps you can take and the systems to put in place for increasing productivity, let's discuss what you can do to actually make sure your team members using their time wisely.
Planning ahead is crucial to elevating your workplace's productivity. Goal setting and project management tools are a great start, but all the tools and goals in the world won't help if your team isn't on the same page, or their disengaged from the work. The easiest way to avoid this is to start by holding regular 1-on-1 performance check-ins.
I'm not talking about your quarterly or annually performance review. But instead, short 5 - 10 minute check-ins that can be had throughout the week, month or the year. Keeping in touch regularly while removing the pressure of a "performance" evaluation, actually increases the employee's desire to contribute and be more involved. Which leads to increased performance.
Another approach you can (and should) take, is to provide regular rewards and recognition. Have you had someone tell you "Good Job!" or "Well done!" after you've completed a particular project or task? (If you haven't, that's a discussion for another article), but do you remember how it felt to be recognized for your work and effort? Well, your employees will also appreciate feeling the same way. People have been observed to work twice as hard when their work environment provides regular validation and appreciation for their efforts. Focusing on different approaches to providing individual employee recognition goes a long way towards elevating your work culture, and many employee recognition strategies can be inexpensive to implement.
Building a Balanced and Productive Workplace
Putting the right tools and setting the right goals helps with creating a basic framework for productivity in your organization. Checking-in regularly with your team members and individually recognizing those who contribute and excel goes a long way towards improving overall productivity. As you can see, kickstarting your efforts toward elevating your workplace isn't difficult. It also isn't a walk in the park. As with any operational change there will be resistance and you'll want to make sure that your transformation doesn't distract from your core mission as a business, or from supporting your customers. As you work to decide on the best approach to create a balanced and productive workplace, what can you do to improve your chances of success?
I'd like to invite you to explore our Strategic Expansion overview program. In this 13-minute on-demand virtual experience, we share how we provide a simple way for organizations to strengthen their teams, build leaders and elevate their workplace culture during this great resignation. Signing up for this free overview experience also provides you with a Strategic Expansion toolkit, which will help you keep an eye on emerging performance management trends, improve your team's remote-work discipline, their focus and strategic thinking, and commitment to quality in their work. Get you free toolkit by using the button below.