This is a guest blog post written by Andrea Hewett, Social Media Business Director
for Holt Marketing and Management Services, Inc.
If you haven’t already seen or heard the multitude of blog posts, articles, podcasts, etc. that exist solely to stress the importance of productivity in the workplace and how to get better at it, then you are either new to the internet, our blog, or both.
Chances are that you already know how important productivity is to a business, but do you really know if you are being as productive as you can be? Do you understand why it is so important to the company and how to improve productivity?
Some people would say, “I can’t work any harder or faster than I already am!” and maybe that’s true, but is your productivity producing the desired results? Are you so overworked that you start to slow down toward the end of the day or week? Are you working so many hours that the company could have hired two new employees for the amount of overtime they are paying you?
Are you being efficient?
Productivity isn’t just about getting things done, although that is important. Productivity is about getting the tasks done that help the company achieve growth. If you are getting bogged down in the details and are not helping your Company achieve long-term sustainable growth, then you aren’t REALLY helping your Company.
I know…those are fighting words but look at the big picture: if your Company does not increase profits to cover rising costs, it will have to be made up for by cutting costs. Eventually, you will have to start reducing staff. This will lead to more work being done by fewer employees, more overtime, more costly errors, etc. I think you can see where this is heading.
Many people don’t know that the Company isn’t being productive, including many top managers and business owners. Because employees often fear for their jobs, they often cover up or neglect to report errors they feel are minor. Employees also shy away from notifying Management about issues that they are having or that they are overburdened because they don’t want to be seen as a complainer.
The truth is: decreasing productivity kills businesses. Since your people are your most important resource, it is vital to listen to issues and innovative ideas from employees…they know the business and if you have taken the time to recruit the best employees, then you can trust that they want what’s best for the Company (as well as long-term job security for themselves.)
It is also important that you care about your employees’ health and well-being. Just as you would make sure your equipment was maintained or up-to-date, it is important to make sure that your employees are comfortable and well. Tired, overworked employees do not make productive employees.
I’m not suggesting that you exemplify Google and add nap stations, etc. to your workspace; but getting your processes in order so that your employees can get the most done within a standard workweek would go a long way to showing employees that you care about them and that they are important to your team. Making sure that they receive extra help to ensure that the workload is accomplished in advance so that they can take holidays off is another productivity booster.
You can check out other ways to motivate your employees to improve productivity here:
Because improving productivity is such an important aspect of business, I went through and found some great articles that will help your Company and its employees set the stage for success:
While this is an older post, it has a great free resource for optimizing your email inbox (which is probably the biggest productivity-killer ever invented!) Don’t take my word for it though, check out her post!
This article discusses which decisions are critical and should be focused on first, as well as the importance of time-boxing. If you aren’t familiar with the concept and haven’t seen this post, I highly recommend taking a look!
This article gives you some great tips about becoming more productive by using tricks to reduce stress at both work and home to be more productive. Don’t miss this post with highly effective tips, productivity tools and links to other productivity articles!
This post discusses actual tools you can use to save time on your social media posting. If you aren’t utilizing social media in your business, you are falling way behind your competitors and should read this immediately!
Key takeaways from all of these articles:
Plan ahead – make sure you get a jumpstart on the next day’s work by outlining your day.
Don’t let your email inbox control your work day – schedule time frames to check email and add new tasks received to your task list rather than letting it distract you from the more important tasks at hand.
Focus on the most important tasks first, regardless of their difficulty.
Don’t let unproductive interruptions ruin your workday – opt for shorter, more efficient meetings and have coworkers email you information with the understanding that you have specific time frames to go over it.
To pull it all together, we are offering our performance improvement checklist to get you started:
What productivity tips do you have to share? Have you read these articles? What did you find to be the most helpful in this post? Good luck, I hope this post finds you with holidays off! If you have any questions or comments, please contact us or share in the comment section below.