Have you ever had one of those workdays where you felt extremely busy, but when reflecting back you realize you hadn’t accomplished anything? Or a workday where you couldn’t get yourself to focus on the task at hand, because your mind was bogged down with personal thoughts or problems? We’ve all had those days, and as an individual we are often able to bounce back and pick up our slack. But looking at your organization as a whole, how do these lost moments of productivity affect your company?
Productivity is the bread and butter of results. It is defined as, “The use of your time, talent, energy, intelligence, resources and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to your goals.” Regardless of what industry you work in or what your current business goals are, productivity is crucial to improved results.
Active vs. Productive
There is a difference between being active and being productive. Take a look at your time spent at work vs. the time you spend working. Is what you are doing the best use of your time? Are you consciously working toward reaching your goals? These are questions to ask yourself every day in order to achieve productivity. Peak productivity does not occur by luck, rather it is a product of intention and awareness. Deliberately working towards both individual and team oriented goals is the key to a productive workday which will ultimately lead you to better results.
Establish Desired Outcomes
Before you can focus on productivity, you and your team must be clear on the goals and outcomes you desire. Understand how your organization currently performs, how many leads come in a day and where your current sales are coming from. In order to improve productivity statistics, you must have recorded history to compare, and a clear idea of what needs to be improved. After your goals have been established, you can break them down to focus and measure the daily or weekly actions needed to achieve the desired outcome.
Individual Daily Goals
In a 2015 Deloitte study, employees were found to be most productive when focusing on short-term goals with regular feedback, coaching, and development. By creating goals for each individual, such as daily sales actions, success rates, conversion rates, or the number of meetings set up/conducted, you are giving your employees an actionable and easily-digested way to stay productive while working towards the ultimate goal.
Use this performance measurement system to help your employees grow. Create benchmarks for each employee based on their past performance. Individual goals should not be one-size-fits-all. There should also be a plan in place for counseling employees who may be falling behind due to unproductivity. By identifying the areas where an employee is struggling, employers can work to help the individual reach their full potential and grow as a professional rather than letting them go (and paying the cost of turnover).
Along with individual goals, creating daily or weekly goals for your whole team also incentivizes individual workers to perform their best. Team goals instill accountability throughout your organization, and help to provide a supportive and productive work environment. With this goal, your team will work together to support one another, instead of individual members who may feel the need compete against each other.
Accountability and the knowledge that others are counting on you to hold up your end of the goal is a strong motivating factor that will create a culture of trust and productivity within your organization. By holding yourself and your team accountable, you will see your whole organization working hard to meet their goals and achieve the results you are looking for.