How to improve productivity in the workplace
A problem for businesses of all sizes, improving your productivity can be as confounding as it is essential. Whether it’s digital distractions, resource issues, or any other number of tiny problems – optimising your productivity can lead to a happy workforce and greater returns without the risk of resource expenditure or burnout.
So, what ways can you easily improve or refine your approach to productivity when it truly matters most?
How can productivity be improved?
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing your productivity, there are a number of tools or approaches at your proposal that can truly make a difference. These include-
1. Recruiting people that work the right way: Depending on how your business is run, it will help to seek out individuals during the recruitment process that add valuable hard and soft skills to your company. This can be as simple as being au fait with project management practice and a track record of delivery or be able to add new elements to your company. Being able to collaborate well with others and be receptive to feedback is a massive help too.
2. Streamline Communication: One of the biggest delays facing professionals is needless chats and emails. Embedding a text chat or email system can help refine communication and ensure that there is a physical record of decisions and ideas that can be reviewed at a later date. This can be incredibly useful when dealing with clients and setting boundaries early on in a project can pay dividends further down the line. This can also allow for clear concise communication through all levels of your business, avoiding confusion, contradictions, and allowing you to get a clear view of the current state of play.
3. Manage mental health: One of the greatest unseen risks, individuals can often find themselves pressed to work with maximum efficiency or deal with a workload that is beyond them. This can quickly lead to personal issues and an overall reduction in their ability to clear work. Be sure to be open and considerate with your staff and, if mental health or personal issues are evident, that they will be accommodated with empathy and care.
4. Enable autonomy: Everyone will work differently and – while having a unified approach is essential – allowing individuals to work the way that they prefer to ‘get the job done’ can be a massive boost for your teams. This can be as simple as allowing them free reign to approach tasks, pursue their leads and ideas, all while validating their decisions with their manager. This can save time, resource, and open your work up to opportunities and approaches that would otherwise remain unseen.
5. Avoid Burnout: One of the biggest risks for many professionals is finding themselves approaching exhaustion with their workload. It is essential that projects are correctly budgeted for and, while clearing mountains of work may look good on paper, teams will reach breaking point and your train will derail pretty quickly. Even the knowledge that there is a safety net and company-wide understanding about professional care can make a massive difference when it comes to safely delivering projects.
6. Add incentives: While motivation is different for every individual, having concrete goals and rewards to work toward can massively help your approach to internal efficiency. This can range from simple bonuses, to potential raises, and stock options. Or it can include publicly thanking individuals and making their efforts known to others or entering them into competitions. Talking to employees on a one-to-one basis can allow you to better understand their career goals and offer rewards that map to their key motivators and encourage them to work with greater efficiency to hit key KPI’s and delivery dates.
7. Metricise and analyse: The only way to get a true handle on your productivity is to understand where your efforts are potentially falling short in the first place and what the barometer for ‘success’ is. This can be helped by using a software platform that allows you to aggregate information about project data, expenditure, and timeframes – allowing you to track progress over a long and short-term timeframes, empowering you to make the right decisions for your teams.
8. Facilitate remote work: When it comes to dealing with unavoidable issues or attracting skilled workers, allowing for remote roles can help reduce overheads and allow your team members the ability to pursue their roles exactly as they prefer to. This can involve the use of collaborative platforms such as Office 365 or other bespoke tools to optimise your approach and save valuable time.
9. Train and educate: When it comes to driving for efficiency, taking the time to improve the knowledge and practical skills of your teams can be incredibly helpful. This can include deploying timeboxing tactics, showing best practice approaches for professional communication, and common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to problem solving and procrastination.
10. Right tools for the job: If you’re truly looking to get the most out of your teams, being able to use the right range of digital apps and tools can help improve your team’s approach. This can include automating key tasks, setting reminders for delivery dates, or allowing your line managers to check in on projects and ensure that budgets are not being wasted and that key deadlines are not at risk of being breached.
If you want to learn more about improving your productivity, our team at Practical Software is here to help. With many years’ experience, our teams work with you to provide a solution that tackles your business needs and ensures you are fully equipped to handle the challenges that can face your business.