As a content manager, your performance boils down to productivity. The quality and quantity of work your team is able to produce has a direct bearing on how effective your strategy is, and ultimately, how much money you make for your company. You need to justify the costs of your own salary and that of your team, and consistently hit your performance targets, but how do you know if you’re on the right track? If you aren’t, how can you improve yourself?
Monitoring and Analysis
Productivity is unlocked with the same key as marketing and advertising strategies—careful monitoring and analysis. Just like you need to determine how many impressions, clicks, and other metrics your articles are getting, you need to figure out how effectively you’re working and where the strong and weak points of your team lie. How can you track these productivity-related metrics and make improvements to your overall value?
Strategies for Productivity
These are just some of the ways you can improve your team’s performance:
- Use metrics-based reporting software to track productivity. As these ImageNow consultants demonstrate, the most important step in tracking productivity in the modern world is to select and implement the right software product to do the work for you. It’s too hard to keep track of everything manually, and even if you could, it would be hard to draw meaningful conclusions from the data you’ve gathered. Instead, reduce your goals down to key performance indicators (KPIs) and track those metrics with the best software you can find.
- Keep all your documents in a central, shared location. It’s also a good idea to keep all your team’s documents (and other forms of content) in one central, shared location so everyone has access to everything all at once. Google Docs is one popular solution, due to its intuitive user experience and low cost (it’s free to start). This will accomplish several things at once; you’ll make sure your workers always have access to the files they need, you’ll encourage faster collaboration, you’ll make training and learning easier for people looking to learn from others, and you’ll have a track record of who’s producing what and when.
- Hire the right people and part ways with low-performers. Even if you have immediate needs, it pays to take your time during the hiring process. Think carefully about your hiring requirements, scout your candidates thoroughly, and only bring on the people who will raise your overall team’s performance reliably. Then, don’t be afraid to let people go if they end up bringing your productivity down. If they can’t keep up with your other teammates or meet your expectations for them, you need to be able to move on.
- Pay attention to how much time each strategy takes. Instead of looking at your overall performance indicators, make sure you zoom in on individual sections of your strategy. For example, how much time are you spending to create infographics versus how much traffic are they generating? How is this proportion different from your standard articles or your videos? This will help you rebalance your efforts and eliminate your worst-performing strategies based on how much effort you’ve spent.
- Identify and eliminate distractions. The worst part about distractions is the fact that they’re hard to notice. The solution is to put measures in place to readily identify and then eliminate distractions however you can. For some of your workers, that may include stricter break schedules, while for others, it may include apps or plugins like StayFocusd, which limit time spent on time-wasting sites.
- Avoid neglecting micro tasks. When tracking how you spend time throughout the day, it’s easy to skip over “micro tasks,” which only take a few minutes to complete. These are things like checking emails, writing down topic ideas, or making a few quick edits to a document. These take time from you, and need to be counted with the rest of your efforts if you want an accurate projection of your productivity.
- Experiment with new working styles. Experimentation will help you highlight which of your strategies are working and which ones aren’t. Try new working hours, new policies, or new workflows, and see what effects they have on your team’s productivity.
- Network with other content professionals to learn even more. Finally, meet up with other professionals in the content industry whenever you have the chance. You’ll get the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn new tactics and approaches you wouldn’t have considered on your own.
These eight strategies, working together, will allow you to work more efficiently as a team and have more objective insights for how and why your work is effective. Not only will this lead you to achieve better overall results, it will help you prove your value to the people above you. The best part is that these strategies don’t expire, and you’ll only get better at using them over time, yielding you better and better results.