Productivity in the workplace is on the decline. But not your productivity, right? Last year, output per worker decreased by 1.9 percent, and overall, workplace productivity has grown at only half of the rate in this decade that it did in the last. Productivity is a critical component of success in business. The more productive your teams of workers are, the more efficient they are at using time and resources, and the more effective they will be at accomplishing their objectives. This ties right into the business’s bottom line: the more productive your workers are, the better chance you have of increasing your revenue and profits. Here are three things to think about to ensure your company bucks the trend, and increases your employee team’s productivity.
1. Manage Time
Poor time management is one of the fastest ways to lower your team’s productivity. Ensure you optimize your team’s time in support of your business and your goals. Take time every single day to manage your team’s time. Make sure that you plan how your team is going to work each day carefully, so that you allocate enough time to the team to accomplish its objectives. A good rule of thumb is to spend the first 20 minutes or so at work each morning planning out the rest of the day. Make sure you account for the inevitable interruptions and time overruns in your team’s schedule, too. If you are a manager, protect your team’s schedule as much as possible, and try to prevent interruptions and items of lower importance that can become a distraction, and decrease productivity.
2. Communicate Effectively to increase productivity
Clear communication is critical to increasing team productivity. Everyone on the team should understand what the priorities are – for the day, the week, or for the long term. The team members should also understand the importance of one objective over another, and how much time and effort they should devote to each. In addition to clear communication of priorities, open communication and transparency are equally important to productivity. As a manager, you need to foster a culture of frank and honest communication between you and your employees. You not only want but also need them to let you know when they are experiencing resource shortfalls, or to be willing to share innovative new ideas to advance the organization. Work to ensure that you not only appreciate this type of communication from your team, but expect it.
3. Invest in Technology
Time management and organizational culture are critical to improving your team’s productivity. Ensuring your team has the right technologies on hand to be as productive as possible is equally important. Build online workspaces that help your workers collaborate more effectively. This is extremely important if your workers are distributed in multiple locations.
Likewise, ensure that your business has effective video teleconferencing technology, so that teams can meet virtually and share their ideas. Invest in good mobile technology – smartphones, tablets, and laptops – to help your teams be productive no matter where they are working.
Finally, ensure that any technology investment you make comes with requisite training and clear business rules, so your teams know how and why to leverage the investment. Because technology is an investment.
Your team’s productivity is a critical component of your business’s success or failure. Make sure you stay laser-focused on building productivity by managing time effectively. This will ensure your company has a culture of clear and open communication. You can also leverage technologies that optimize your team’s effectiveness. Doing all these things can increase productivity, and put your company on the road to higher profits.