How to Improve Productivity

3 Eff words that can increase your company’s productivity

And no, we’re not advocating cursing as a means to an end. Although in your organization’s march toward better productivity it might serve to make you feel better at times…

We can all agree that better use of time, employees, and resources is the goal as we try to streamline our companies and survive the competitiveness of our industries. The question I have is this: Are we defining what that means exactly?
Better use of time = Efficiency
Efficiency is, at best, an overused term. Many of the tools and approaches deemed to make us more efficient are not much more than distractions. The only true way to grasp efficiency is to only focus on the tasks that get you closer to your goal. Shortcuts are helpful, but all of the really important tasks to be accomplished to grow your business have little to do with technology or time management. Those most important tasks typically require stepping outside your comfort zone and engaging people, managing deadlines, and negotiating various deliverables.

The use of your time to master the tasks necessary to meet these goals will result in the efficiency you are looking for.
Better use of employees = Effectiveness
Effectiveness, in my experience, is rarely evaluated. Are your employees busy? Absolutely. In fact, you are probably at a point where you need to hire more to keep up with the endless pile of tasks not completed by your current staff.

Yes, busy is good. Busy work… not so much.

You are paying talented, educated, and experienced people a good salary, but what type of work are they engaged in? Is your employee with a B.S. in Accounting and 5 years experience pounding the keyboard pulling data out of multiple systems and creating […]

How do I make my employees care?

Your primary focus is the growth and financial health of an organization or the smooth operation of a department. You make efforts to provide your employees with the perks to keep them loyal, and the motivation to make them care as much for the well-being of the organization or department as you do. Yet despite your best efforts, their heart just isn’t in it. Both you and your employees are in a cycle of trading their time for your (or your organization’s) money.
So how do I break this cycle?
Unless you’re Google or Facebook, and can afford to provide over-the-top employee perks and benefits to keep employees interested and focused, you’re going to have to speak to their desire to be part of something great. The companies that retain top talent and get the most out of that top talent give those employees what they are really looking for – a sense of accomplishment and ownership. You see, the benefits and perks are all nice, and great for recruiting, but those are not the things that keep top talent engaged. For that to happen, people need to feel a sense of ownership.

Most of my posts speak directly to improving productivity in the workplace, although I did touch on empowering your employees in an earlier post. Simply empowering them, however, won’t break this cycle. You are going to have to lead them. I see many good managers, but very few leaders. Directing traffic, assigning tasks, and monitoring progress is a management activity – more or less the “what” and “how” of daily work activities. A true leader instills the desire to understand the “why” behind the daily undertakings. If you want your employees to care about […]

  • Upgrade Productivity
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    Is it time to upgrade the way you do work? The productivity gains can be substantial.

Is it time to upgrade the way you do work? The productivity gains can be substantial.

You review your personal technology devices – cell phone, computer, tablet, laptop – every year or two. Your company (hopefully) reviews technology platforms and equipment every two to five years. So why are your internal processes the same ones that have been in place since… well… ┬ádo you even know when they were established? The gains to be had in productivity are no less substantial than the advances we’ve seen in technology. The changes that are put in place are usually reactive in nature and necessary to keep up with growth. At some point it’s going to be time to step back and evaluate how work is done from start to finish.
Let’s look at this from a different angle
We all want to see results faster, attain information that has already been compiled, be given enough data to make informed decisions, and believe in leprechauns. The first three might actually be possible, but first you’re going to have to step back and look at how business is being done. You’ve been keeping up with the growth and hiring people to help maintain the increased data flow, but you never really feel like you have the entire picture in front of you. Instead of focusing on the specific tasks being done every day, let’s step back and look at daily operations from a data flow standpoint.
Data flow and how it relates to productivity
Chances are, when you established the way business is done you were probably not operating with all of the data input and management systems you are today. Rather than review the processes and activities based on the new information, you have probably taken one of two courses of action. You either slightly altered the […]