Productivity in a working environment is key to ensuring excellent results and continuous improvement and effective output. All people in management and leadership positions need to be on the lookout for ways to improve and develop the productivity in the teams they lead and manage. This is a key way to make your team stand out from the crowd and develop a favourable reputation either with other businesses you work with or within a larger organisation. If you are in a leadership role or are simply looking for a few ways to improve your own productivity then continue reading for our 5 simple steps to improve productivity.
Manage time effectively
Time management is essential for increasing productivity, and there are some key ways to do this. One of the best ways to manage your time more effectively is to create a prioritised to-do list which you can refer to when deciding how to structure your day to day working activities. Another key way to manage your time effectively is to use an app like google calendar or similar calendar apps to create a working timetable to follow, this is a great way to factor in all of the tasks you have for a week and fit them into your working hours. By doing this you are allocating time efficiently and ensuring you will complete all of what you need to do. This will make you more productive and will then this will ripple effect across your team.
Respect individual needs
Any working environment is packed with individual people who will all have their own specific requirements and needs. One of the best ways to increase productivity is to understand individual needs and respect them. Some members of the team will be parents who need to work around the schedule of their children, some may have geriatric family members for who they are a primary care for, some will belong to protected communities and will have their own social needs to be mindful of. Do not treat your staff like a monolith, if you do productivity will suffer. By understanding who your team are and working on ways to support their individual needs, you will be effective in making staff feel valued and respected which will make them want to work harder. This will then improve your productivity.
Limit distractions of all kinds
Productivity is dependent upon focus, and one of the biggest challenges to focussing on work is technology. This means it may be time to instruct staff to no longer have their phones out at work which is not going to go down well but may be a necessary policy to implement if you notice a dip in staff productivity. Another distraction to limit is unnecessary meetings, if we have learned one thing from working from home during the pandemic is that so many things can simply be put into an email. Meetings are time-consuming, potentially intimidating, and take staff away from their work, so it is a good idea to limit the number of meetings held over the course of a week and to ensure all meetings are concise with designated time set aside for further discussions that only the relevant staff need to be a part of instead of allowing a meeting with all staff drag on and eat into their time to work.
The environment you are working in is such a major part of how you work and can be productive. If your working environment is too cold or too hot you’re distracted and uncomfortable, so a small step is ensuring your work environment has heating and fans/AC to ensure at all times of the year your staff can be comfortable. Further to this, allowing staff to personalise their workspace with some ornamentation or photos of loved ones can be excellent for productivity as these items are understood to reduce stress. By reducing stress you increase the productivity of your employees and ensure they will feel comfortable and ready to work in their environment.
Motivate and Uplift
Everyone likes to hear praise and positive feedback, this is a no-brainer. Your staff will respond well to being told regularly that they’ve been doing a good job but also make sure while you are generous with your praise that it is always warranted and detailed. Explain why something a staff member has done was good, what worked well and why did it work well? Also, make sure you uplift staff when they make a mistake, normally when something goes wrong that’s because somebody made a mistake. Very rarely is there ever an error caused by intentional negligence so instead of seeing mistakes as a chance to put somebody down, use them as a chance to uplift. Mistakes can be teachable moments where you not only explain why something was wrong but how to make sure that doesn’t happen again in a constructive manner. This will improve motivation and productivity in your team because they won’t feel intimidated but will instead feel uplifted and supported in their work.
By following these simple steps you can expect to see an improvement in productivity and develop your leadership skills. These steps are effective not only because they will improve your productivity but also make holistic improvements to working relationships and will instil lasting productivity as opposed to productivity inspired by circumstance or intimidation.