Productivity and efficiency go hand in hand. As Forrest Gump might say, they’re like “peas and carrots,” and both are vital to your company’s success. Businesses that lack these two essential ingredients to success will find that life is “like a box of chocolates,” to once again quote Forrest, because they will never know what they are going to get. However, increasing your team’s workplace productivity and efficiency will reduce inconsistencies and variance in your organization’s performance and lead to more substantive and sustainable results. Here are five tips that will help you in your effort:
1. Establish and monitor measurable goals.
This may seem like an obvious first step, but it is not always done. Teams work more effectively when all the members of the team clearly understand what they are trying to achieve; likewise, teams will usually not pull together if goals are unclear, objectives are vague, and benchmarks are immeasurable. Take time (before you even assemble your team if possible) to consider exactly what you wish to accomplish and how you will measure your progress towards attaining that goal. This will give you the opportunity to more carefully consider what type of people or skills you will need on your team in order to be successful, and it will also allow you to develop a system for measuring your group’s progress towards your goals. If you find that your goals or objectives are not measurable, you may want to consider revising them. They may not be clear to your employees as they are currently constructed, and as the manager you may not be able to accurately gauge your company’s progress unless you conceive of better ways to assess data.
2. Clearly define roles.
Understanding your team members’ strengths and weaknesses will help you determine where they will be most successful within your organization. Assign them to duties that will foster their growth and success, and then give them the room they need to grow into the role you have assigned them. Doing so will allow them to work with more confidence, and they will take more ownership in the success of the venture, which in turn will lead to more personal investment among the employees and a greater chance of achieving optimal results.
3. Establish parameters for open communication.
Do your best to foster trust and cooperation among members of the team and between team members and their leaders. If associates feel free to express their ideas without fear of repercussions, both the quality of the input they provide and the team’s overall synergy will improve. Be sure to share constructive feedback with the team, but also make it clear that they are free to provide constructive feedback to management. When this is accomplished, the work environment becomes more pleasant and less intimidating, and the result will be increased efficiency and productivity.
4. Reward good work.
Nothing incentivizes people to do their best like rewarding them for their efforts. Figure out what makes your employees tick and find ways to motivate them. Some people thrive on public recognition and praise. Others are motivated by money, benefits, or time off. Some seek greater opportunities for advancement or larger roles in future decision making. Whatever motivates the individuals on your team, determine what you can realistically offer that will encourage them to produce at even higher levels.
5. Keep it simple, but keep vigilant.
Leaders must be careful not to overwhelm those with whom they are working with too many tasks, pieces of information, etc. Doing so can hurt morale and possibly lead to confusion and stagnation. Oftentimes less is truly more. Find policies, platforms, and procedures that work for your organization, and focus on those. However, it is important to continually monitor the productivity of your business and to seek new ways to enhance efficiency where possible. Proactively managing your business in this way will help you be a more effective leader, which in turn will lead to better results from your team.
In conclusion, increasing your team’s productivity and efficiency doesn’t have to be complicated. A handful of practical ideas properly implemented can get the job done. Nevertheless, improving efficiency and productivity is always an ongoing process, so be sure to devote the proper amount of time and effort to it in order to help your business thrive.
If you need help building your team or helping them to be more productive, we can help! Leadership Excellence offers a variety of leadership development programs to help businesses in Cleveland, Akron, Medina, Ohio and surrounding areas achieve a higher level of success. Get in touch with us today to learn more.