Optimize Your Team's Productivity Systems
When we think of productivity, we usually think of it at an individual level. "Emily has been getting a lot done this week! How is she doing so it all?". "Ben has been slacking on his deliverables this month. What is going on with him?". Rather than understand team productivity on a larger scale, we often whittle it down to their names. While there are plenty of hacks and recommendations that individuals can try to optimize productivity, they are usually short-lived.
Why is this? Well, the problem is most people do not work in isolation. While less accurate in the Covid-19 age, meetings are still held, and projects keep rolling in. There are other ways to improve the productivity of the whole team while not singling out the individual. Here is how you can make your systems work for you.
Many large and productive organizations have emplaced tiered daily get-togethers. First starting with the lowest level/frontline workers, then immediately after their respective supervisors, and repeated up to the executive team.
Problems are addressed at the lowest levels and pushed up if left unresolved. This way, the lowest levels of the hierarchy have a connection to the top. Beyond that, decision-making will accelerate productivity by decreasing the number of unnecessary emails to sort throughout the day.
Show your work
Most of what exists in a work environment is invisible in the computers we use or held in our team members' brains. This makes it increasingly difficult to know what teammates are making progress on or where a project stands. Make it a priority to hold files in an online platform like Teams, SharePoint, or google drive. Take it a step further and create project plans showing who is to to do what and when. Making your work visible to others can keep them up to date on the latest project work without them having to criticize you with emails.
Have an emergency horn
Throughout the day, we check a handful of platforms and devices that we use to stay connected with our team members. This forces us to check all of them because we do not set a precedent that they should be used for different communication types. Identify one as an emergency horn so that it eliminates the need to always check all mediums. That way, instead of shuffling through the variety of platforms, you know there is only one that you need to be aware of. Designate the rest accordingly. Break it down to what makes sense for your business. For example, use email for meeting invites, slack for catching up, and text messaging as an emergency horn. Use trial and error to find the best mix. It is not important what you use but rather that you have a system.
Match responsibility with authority
Given the responsibility for a task but not having the power to make it happen is common in business. If you trust the teammate with a task, make sure they have the power to execute it. Misaligning the two will degrade trust and create more inefficiencies. Please do not make the responsible team member jump through hoops to get it done. Make it as frictionless as possible. Trust your people and give them the tools to help your team succeed.
While focusing on the individual when attempting to increase productivity can have its benefits, its effectiveness will be limited unless you work primarily independently. To make a lasting impact on performance, you must build efficiency at a system level. Contact Ignite to learn more about organizational effectiveness and how to maximize the the cohesiveness and output f your team.