Productivity is an important keyword for any business. Regardless of your industry, you’re looking to get the most productivity out of every hour and the best return on each dollar spent. Take a moment to carefully look at the way things are now done and you may find several areas that are ripe for improvement using these strategies.
Implement a System for Regular Feedback
Image via Flickr by ms sherwood
Positive feedback is an effective way to encourage employees while increasing productivity. Don’t let your staff fall into a complacent routine where no one is really analyzing the systems in place. Train your managers on the best ways to offer constructive criticism and coach their teams. Put a system into place that involves regular scheduled check-ins where employees at all levels will receive feedback.
While feedback from superiors is important, it’s also useful to schedule meetings where employees can get feedback from their peers or even those beneath them. You never know where the next great idea will come from.
Evaluate Your Regular Meetings
Many companies fall into a routine of holding certain meetings every week regardless of whether there’s an important agenda or not. If you have recurring meetings that are held primarily out of habit, take stock and consider whether they’re really important. You can increase productivity greatly by eliminating unnecessary meetings and giving this time back to the employees.
Review your agenda before the meeting and cancel it if you won’t accomplish anything worthwhile. Comb through the list of attendees as well and simply send meeting notes to anyone who isn’t essential to the topic at hand.
Set Goals and Make Lists
Goal setting is nothing new, but too many companies still focus on the big picture and not the minor goals leading up to it. Set goals regularly and divide these into small, achievable tasks. Completing a whole report is too large of a goal to seem achievable in a day. Divide this into sections due weekly and separate these further into the number of pages to complete each day. If you’re not checking several items off your list every day, your goals are too big.
Learn to Disconnect From Devices
Technology is important to businesses today, but there’s a great benefit to simply unplugging as well. In the United States, we spend 20 percent of our time on computers and 30 percent of our time spent on mobile devices engaged in social media activities, according to a Nielsen study.
Sites like Facebook are huge time-wasters, putting a major dent in productivity. Encourage employees to disconnect and you’ll see productivity skyrocket. Ban smartphones from important meetings and keep your project rooms tech-free when possible. You can brainstorm much more effectively when your attention isn’t divided.
Improve Your Company’s Software
Using outdated software systems might save you money on upgrades but it’ll cost you in the form of productivity. Take advantage of job scheduling innovation with powerful new software to do the jobs you’re used to struggling with on inefficient systems.
Explore different software solutions available to you and invest in those that will help the company work faster and more efficiently. Encourage all employees to take part in this discussion and you may discover new programs and software solutions you never would ‘ve heard of otherwise.
Facilitate Communication Within the Company
If you have a large company, employees may not know many colleagues outside their departments. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to hold an ice cream social to get everyone acquainted (though that’s not a bad idea).
Unisys created a system where employees built profiles highlighting their expertise so colleagues can easily find internal resources when they’re researching a topic they’re unfamiliar with. Develop your own program to help employees connect with the right people for the job when they need a hand outside their department.
Flexible scheduling is a simple way to increase productivity quickly. Not all employees will work best with a traditional 9 to 5 schedule. Allow employees to telecommute or work different hours. Try a BYOD program that lets employees use their own technology for the job so they can take it home with them.
As long as the job gets done and employees are easy to communicate with, there’s no reason they can’t enjoy some freedom from the rigid structure of the traditional work day. You’ll quickly find that many employees are more productive working nontraditional hours.
These strategies will help you increase productivity in nearly any department. If your company needs a jump-start, put one of these practices into place now.