Businesses are constantly looking for ways to make their employees more productive. While the concept of workplace productivity has different definitions depending on who you ask, it’s ultimately defined by results. Every job function has a deliverable that can be measured, like meeting project deadlines, closing support tickets, or generating revenue.
While there’s no universal secret sauce for getting the most out of your employees, there are some general concepts that we could all benefit from practicing, both on the individual & company level. Enabling employees to be more productive usually involves some combination of well-designed processes, company culture, and the right business technology - while we’re not perfect by any means, here are 4 ways we try to unlock workplace productivity at Votacall that might help you out.
Set Tangible Goals
Companies that set tangible expectations stand a much better chance at growing than those who don’t. Thinking “big picture” about what you’re trying to accomplish can be pretty daunting, and also doesn’t provide enough direction to help you get there. It’s important to understand the scope of your individual work and how it impacts your company overall - from there, it’s up to you to work backwards and break your work down to a daily level. Obviously nothing is set in stone, but having a day-to-day sense of direction goes a long way towards being more productive.
It’s also important to set goals that you can realistically attain. This isn’t exactly a novel concept, but it’s one that a lot of people overlook - ambition is never a bad thing, but there’s a pretty fine line between “reach” goals and wishful thinking.
Hold Better Meetings
Meetings can either be your best friend or a huge time waster. All too often, we can find ourselves sitting in a room without a clear directive. This usually happens during “standing meetings” - you know, the ones that are consistently on your calendar but don’t always seem to provide a ton of value?
If this sounds familiar, consider shaking things up. I’m not saying you should do away with standing meetings entirely - just that it’s OK to cancel them if you have nothing to talk about. If you only need to meet with one or two members of your team, try taking a walk with them to grab that afternoon coffee rather than going by yourself. By doing this, you free up the employees that don’t have a contribution to make, and make the standing team meetings that do occur much more valuable.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback from your team members about your current meeting setup - effective collaboration requires that everyone feels they have a part to play, and effective collaboration is essential to workplace productivity.
It’s been said many times, but the modern workplace isn’t confined to an office space anymore. In order to attract and hire the best people, companies have flexible working arrangements and don’t limit their hiring pools by geography. While remote team members are now the norm (and with good reason), they can present a real logistical problem if a business’s technology doesn’t enable them to do their jobs.
Take time out to build a mobile strategy for remote employees to ensure that all your team members know how –– and when –– to get in contact with each other. Your remote workers should also have access to the information they need. In some cases, that means being able to call, message, or video chat with their team members. It also means they should have access to shared knowledge libraries (like internal wikis) to get answers to FAQs quickly and easily.
Ideally, all of your team members should be able to access the same files, programs, and information regardless of their physical location.
Invest in the Proper Tech
A company that encourages employees to set goals effectively is one thing - a company that gives them the tools they need to achieve them is another. Investing in the right business technology is a must, and the definition of “right” depends entirely on the nature of your business. Ask around internally to figure out what your employees think would make them more productive, whether it’s by saving them time or facilitating more open communication.
At the end of the day, it’s not smart for any business to overlook its technology infrastructure. It’s also important to recognize that the way companies roll out their technology upgrades is just as important as the actual technology they’re using. If your team members don’t understand how to effectively use a new piece of technology or software program, then you’ll struggle to see much return on your investment.
We all want to improve workplace productivity, but we don’t always know where to start. Usually, doing this doesn’t require a major shake-up. Think about how you can re-imagine your company’s established processes in a way that would make you more efficient and effective. If there’s a tool out there that you think would make you more productive, look at it as a valuable investment rather than just another business expenditure.
By enabling collaboration and streamlining existing processes, you can make sure your teams are set up to achieve the business goals that will drive company growth.