Are you tired of the word productivity? I am too. I would bet you that it's one of most overused words in our vocabulary.
Now there is nothing wrong with being productive and it's certainly preferable to being busy. But the issue for you is how to be productive.
As a leader, a large part of your responsibility is to make ideas happen, in a chaotic environment. So you are always on the hunt for better strategies, best practices, killer tools, and even consulting productivity "experts."
Frankly, I think you are over-complicating the issue. How do I know, because I have also been on that same fruitless hunt? I used the better strategies, found the best practices, applied the killer tools, and even consulted the productivity "experts." And still I struggled to make ideas happen.
The result of my ineffective productivity was a frustrated team and confused upper management.
Productivity does not come natural. It's an organic, ever evolving system that you develop over time. And what I have discovered is that productivity has less to do with strategies, best practices, tools, and experts.
It has more to do with a plan of action, in my case three action items.
1. Share your vision with your team
Your team needs to understand where they are going. Like any great journey there needs to be a final destination. Why? Because 1. it gives your team clarity and 2. it allows your team to measure its progress. Without those critical pieces of information your team will languish; questioning your why and ultimately their why.
Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric, explains that "essentially, this is the way to attract the best people and have them do their best because everyone wants to be part of something bigger than just coming in, collecting a paycheck and going home."
2. Celebrate your accomplishments
Nice job! Great work! Well done! These are powerful team building words.
And recognizing your team for a job well done is not only agreeable, but it contributes to a robust company culture. In the 2015 Employee Recognition Report, SHRM/Globoforce Survey found that companies are paying particular attention to culture as a competitive advantage.
Companies are witness to how cultivating a healthy culture, through recognition and appreciation, improves employee work satisfaction. And ultimately, increases the company's bottom line.
Here’s what companies who took part in the survey had to say about their employee recognition program:
- 90% say it positively impacted engagement
- 88% say it helps instill and reinforce corporate values
- 85% say it adds humanity in the workplace
Yes, a simple "thank-you" is always appreciated but in today's competitive job market employees are looking for more creative recognition programs.
3. Work within constraints
Brooklyn-based designer Damien Correll, explains that, "constraints usually make me think in a different way than I would maybe naturally think."
Yes, having an unlimited budget, resources, or support sounds like the perfect plot. Unfortunately, there is a catastrophic downside to the unlimited plan -- unreliable expectations.
Giving your team carte blanche is equal to you saying "I have no clue what I want so you figure it out." Next your team will become paralyzed, locked in the deadly struggle of ideation.
Creating restrictions. Setting expectations. Designs an environment where there is a bias towards action on an idea. Your team is then free to become hyper-focused on what matters most, allowing them to make the expected progress.
Chances are you already have a productivity system that works for you. And all you ever needed was a better operational framework. I would start with #2.
And leverage an employee recognition program that will drive the productivity of your team and improve the bottom line for your company.