There are many aspects of a successful business. You need to have a talented group of employees, offer a high-quality product or service and achieve sales goals. However, perhaps the most imperative thing to a successful company is actually how productive your team is.
Unfortunately, despite the increase in technology, tools, and apps to help us in our day to day lives, productivity has actually been going down over the last decade plus. This decline in productivity also affects the overall economy as well. In fact, over 60% of income differences across different countries can be explained via productivity differences between the areas.
With that in mind, this article is going to look at 10 effective ways that you can improve the productivity of your team and, as a result, have a more successful business.
1) Communicate effectively
In a professional relationship, whether between coworkers or between CEO and lower level workers, communication is incredibly important. Communication should be a two-way street and employees should be able to reach out and voice their concerns with you. However, there is nothing wrong with taking some time to be “uninterrupted” as a CEO to ensure your duties are completed as well.
Communication is also about more than what you are saying, as the presence you have and the voice you have are also incredibly important. You should be as authentic as possible and try not to talk down to employees.
2) Use technology and apps anywhere you can
Technology has changed how we talk to each other, how we entertain ourselves and how we run businesses. Nowadays, a CEO or his/her team should always be on the lookout for new technology that can boost the productivity or their teams.
Apps and technology can help in all business areas such as accounting, project management, marketing, sales, IT and more. Cost shouldn’t be a big issue either as most of them will pay for themselves very quickly based simply on how much more your employees will get done.
3) Don’t be a slave to your email
As a CEO or business owner, you are likely getting a ton of emails every day. However, there is a good chance you are too busy to be constantly checking it. As a result, you should try checking your email at only a few scheduled times a day.
In addition to you exhibiting this practice as a CEO, it is also good to share it with your team. Answering, checking and responding to unnecessary emails can be a huge time waste and productivity killer. In fact, stats show that most people spend over a quarter of their time at work using email.
4) Know the strengths (and weaknesses) of your team
Some employees do great in certain areas but aren’t super comfortable in others. If you want your team to be productive, you need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of everyone. If someone is a better fit in marketing than in operations based on skills, don’t be afraid to make the switch as long as everyone involved is okay with it.
Simply put, the more you know about your employees, the better you will be at finding the perfect fits for them. Not only will this improve their mood and productivity, but it can also make your company more efficient if everyone is in the right place.
5) Be sure to Prioritize
No matter what kinds of business you operate, there are a lot of tasks to be completed daily. With so much on your plate, it can be hard to manage everything and ensure everything gets done and nothing is forgotten.
Because of this, prioritization is key. There are different strategies you can use for prioritization, but in general, the most important and pressing tasks should be taken care of first. Don’t feel the need to handle them in the order they hit your desk, either, as when you got the task shouldn’t play a part in when you finish it by.
6) Keep accurate time sheets and schedules to keep everyone on the same page
One of the biggest factors in being productive is knowing what to do and when to do it. If you don’t keep accurate time sheets or schedules, it can be very confusing and stressful for employees. Thankfully, scheduling is made easier nowadays due to the various types of tools and software out there which can help.
These can often come with customizable scheduling features, easy-to-use interfaces, and so much more. By using these tools, you will ensure everyone is on the same page and is aware of not only when they work, but also what they are supposed to be doing.
7) Cut down on time-consuming in-person meetings
While meetings can sometimes help good ideas flourish and team members communicate, they are also one of the largest time and productivity suckers out there. These meetings can take hours of your time every week and stunt productivity in a large way, and many CEOs should reconsider the idea of meetings altogether.
Maybe you will only meet in person once a month, and hold other meetings via Skype or within an application or tool. This way the team is still all on the same page, but without wasting a large chunk of your day. Too many companies and CEOs are tied to the traditional meeting, and it is costing them a lot of time and money.
8) Use the “two-minute rule”
This is a productivity trick that everyone can use, so feel free to share it with your team and coworkers. When a new task comes to your desk, if you can complete it in two minutes or less, you should do it, no matter how serious or unimportant.
It is incredibly easy to do and can stop these small tasks from building up. This method keeps you focused on the bigger picture and stops you from having to spend hours trying to remember or deal with the little things once they have stacked up on your desk.
9) Provide feedback and praise for a job well done
While people receive a paycheck for their work, some people need a little more. If employees feel that their work is not appreciated or that they are not valued enough, it can absolutely ruin their productivity.
Something as simple as thank you or some other acknowledgment of effort from a CEO or high-level executive is enough to really brighten someone’s day and get them being as productive as possible. Sure, an email or message saying “good job” is nice, but it’s definitely not the same as the CEO of the company recognizing your hard work in person.
10) Provide a positive culture and work environment
The quality of your work environment can have a direct impact on how productive a team is. The workplace should be clean, bright and cheerful and office policies shouldn’t be present. In addition to that, you should also aim to have a professional culture in the workplace.
Of course, a bit of fun and some jokes are okay from time to time but don’t let it get out of hand or become unproductive. Also, ensure your employees are uplifted at work, and not knocked down. The happier and safer people are, the better employee they will become.
In conclusion, these are 10 proven ways that you can increase the productivity of your employees. Productivity often goes hand in hand with success, so by having a productive team, you will likely have a successful team.