Setting expectations for productivity

I have five questions for you to consider:

Are your employees spending time doing busy work rather than focusing on helping you improve the company’s financial health and profitability?
Are your employees aware of what you expect from them?
Are you certain of what you expect from your employees?
Are new hires educated as to how their activities impact the company as a whole?
Are new hires educated as to why job functions must be performed a certain way?

It’s rare that a new hire walks in the door questioning the process used to perform their daily tasks.  Instructions are given as to how to perform the tasks of the job, and the employee follows those instructions regardless of any imperfections in the process.  If an employee has been hired to analyze the financial health of the organization, but spends the majority of her time gathering and compiling information, are you getting the most value possible?  Or are there ways to make her job more efficient, and increase the value she can add to the organization?

Awareness that there is a problem is the first step to correcting the problem. If you fail to set expectations for automation and efficiency in the workplace, your staff will continue to do things the way they have always done them.  Making people aware of the idea of working smarter rather than harder empowers them to improve the way they do things.

One way to create an atmosphere of efficiency, teamwork, and empowerment is to give your staff permission to improve their work environment and improve the efficiency of tasks they perform.  Changes and improvements can range from re-positioning equipment to automation of data gathering and reporting activities.

Far too often the method by which […]