Stunning Productivity: 5 Ways to Improve Team Performance
In this article, The Productivity Pro's founder, Laura Stack, talks about how managers can increase personal and team productivity .
The best advice I ever received was given to me by a person whom I had never met, but he did not see me. It was Peter Drucker. Studying at the university, I read his work, there is my favorite quote: "There is nothing more useless than productively doing what you do not need to do." Or else: "Productivity is the ability to do things right, and efficiency is the ability to do the right things." Drucker and many others believe that there is a difference between the two terms. In general, they can be given the following definitions:
Efficiency, or the ability to do the right thing, usually refers to successfully obtaining the expected and desired result. It characterizes the extent to which the goal is achieved, the problem is solved and profit is made. Anyone with the right training or good instruction can do the right thing. An appropriately programmed robot can handle this. Efficiency alone is not enough to recognize a good leader.
Productivity , or the ability to do things right, is the execution of work with minimal time, effort and money. This is the shortest distance between the goal setting and the mark on its achievement. The "productivity" of a business significantly reduces the amount of resources needed to complete the work. Productivitytakes into account the real situation, but finds a way to persuade her to her advantage.
Today, after nearly 25 years of lecturing and writing articles about productivity, I began to believe that in business, productivity should include efficiency. Productivity without efficiency can be devastating. It doesn't matter how well your team climbs Mount Everest if you were planning to climb Mont Blanc. And when a mechanic replaces a punctured tire on your car, it does not matter how productively he does it, the tire is still damaged. It turns out that, in fact, we want to get effective productivity.
You, as a leader, really want to increase the productivity of your team and yours personally. This requires effective productivity. Efficiency without productivity is often unproductive. Therefore, good leaders combine these two characteristics to increase the productivity and profitability of their teams. Here are some examples of how this is done.
1. Use technology.
A technological breakthrough in the last century made it much easier to complete more tasks in less time. Therefore, be receptive to emerging new trends, devices and programs, encourage their use. Let your employees bring and use their own devices for work. Why not take advantage of a productivity boost you don't have to pay for? If they want to be able to check work mail in their free time, not only let them do it, but help. (We recommend reading a useful article about 5 new mobile applications that increase your performance )
2. Provide instant access to work information from anywhere.
Team members can work from almost anywhere with WiFi. If possible, let them do it. When my office manager has a child who is sick, I let her work from home that day. This is quite simple, and allows it to some extent maintain performance. You should also encourage your employees to work remotely . Using WiFi, Evernote and other nice applications, you can always be in touch. Workers can always get access to work information wherever they are: at home, in a hotel, at a conference, in a dining room, etc. Provide them with a reliable, secure way to share ideas and interact, allow them to be more flexible and responsive.
3. Measure everything.
You can better influence a situation when you understand it through numbers. Keep track of all the metrics that matter to your team - from the number of hours worked and reports generated to productivity per hour of work time. Use a reporting system, project management software, SharePoint, Google Docs sharing tables, an Outlook Scheduler, or just a whiteboard to keep track of important team metrics. You can use ready-made programs or order your own development.
4. Have regular brainstorming sessions.
Meet with your team periodically to exchange ideas on how best to achieve strategic priorities and improve processes and procedures. Look for intersecting areas and eliminate redundancy. Constantly discuss that what your employees do does not add value to the company. Eliminate operations that become unnecessary after changing the platform. Make sure that each employee maintains full documentation so that a new employee can quickly get in the know. Do not filter your thoughts, let your ideas be cross-pollinated, giving interesting hybrid fruits. Consider ideas from other industries and apply them in yours - remember that banking terminals inspired McDonald's to create the “Drive through” service.
5. Set performance targets and track their implementation.
After agreeing on ideas with your team and setting goals , set up a special schedule for achieving them. As in any project, break these goals down into small easily manageable parts, each of which has its own indicators and terms. After the goal is achieved, set a new one.
These five benchmarks will provide a sufficient basis for the implementation and support of initiatives to achieve effective productivity. Always remember that in business, productivity is not just speed. If she lacks efficiency, she is useless, whatever the speed of execution.
PS We recommend another article on the topic - To become a leader for others, first become a leader for yourself.
Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult