Rethinking Productivity

Measures of Success.

Nowadays, companies can’t just gauge productivity merely with data or across-the-board measurements. Higher-level studies have shown that workers display different behaviors in their ways of completing tasks.

This reality makes it necessary to deal with each worker’s idiosyncrasies in order to foster productivity. A cookie cutter methodology will lead to missteps. Fitting your delegation style, however, promotes a greater level of contentment and enables your employees (or assistant) to reach his/her highest level of performance.

Keep them smiling!

KPIs are all very well and good but they can also lead to over-reliance and complacency. Looking instead at individual mindset can be an eye-opening experience, and there are specific ways to avoid being in an overwhelming position

It’s important to place your employees in the correct generational context. Not every approach will work for every age group, especially as our workplaces are more and more staffed by Millenials, rather than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers.

With a greater comfort level for digital tools and tech-based resources, Millennials are digital naturals, necessitating less use (possibly) of a standard office layout and infrastructure; think instead about telecommuting opportunities and project management platforms with built-in messaging.

Simple deadlines might also need to be re-thought. It’s better, instead, to focus on achievements for your employees. They’re important to your employees, and thus should be important to you too! Studies frequently show that appreciation of an employee’s accomplishments ends up being far more influential than some other kind of reward. Even monetary bonuses can be sweetened (and made more impactful) by a public recognition of contributions. This approach can also help a lot with employee retention.

Figuring out how to measure “achievement” can be tricky. It’s easy to fall into the trap of subjectivity when looking at workplace contributions on a person-by-person basis. A good way around this is to look at your organizational (or even personal/familial) large-scale objectives; how does your employee’s contribution measure up to that yardstick?

Once you’ve realigned your focus to be more about individual accomplishments, the next step is ensuring your providing positive reinforcement on a real-time basis.

Thinking about “gamifying” (yes, it’s a word) your workplace (or home) environment can ensure a visible and engaging rubric for rewarding accomplishments. Are there ways of introducing a game of competition, organized around your larger-scale goals, in order to promote and recognize the achievements of individual employees?

Play the game

While we all still need to get paid in order to survive, frequently it’s not the only motivator at work. There is a greater drive toward wanting to be a part of something bigger and worthwhile. This ties in to that sense of individual achievement, and a clear, attainable, and well-articulated vision or mission will assist you in keeping everyone motivated.

2017’s workers are much more focused around adaptability, out-of-the-box problem solving, and a sense of aspiration. When your team sees itself as trusted with ownership of their positions within your organization, results follow.

In addition, having a clear idea of how you engage your employees and team-members can be vital in increasing productivity. When you find a way to associate “good” emotions (pride, enjoyment, contentment, etc.) with an employee’s engagement with his/her work, you ensure a redoubled amount of engagement in the future.

Clear communication is vital, also, to dialing into employee engagement. Making sure that an employee feels their ideas or points of view have an easily accessible forum for discussion ensures that they feel like their work is worthwhile.

Are you listening?

Something to bear in mind is our past discussion of breaks. We have finite resources when it comes to work and attention. Pushing ourselves (or our team members) beyond a point of exhaustion or burn out is extremely counterproductive. As part of your engagement efforts, ensure that employees are encouraged to take breaks. They’ll feel like they’re not having to keep their noses to the grindstone, and they will be much more likely to feel respected and valued.

Perhaps the motto for any employer hoping to dial up their organization’s productivity is “work smarter, not harder.” Find ways to better bridge the gap between you, your organization and, most importantly, your employees. Because without  them, things would be very difficult indeed!

 

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