Consider how you can create a better work environment for success. Maybe that means cutting unnecessary meetings or allowing your employees to work from home where they won’t be interrupted by coworkers.
Make sure you also equip your employees with the right tools to be productive. Now is the time to invest in a robust CRM for your sales team, an integrated marketing platform for your marketing team, and any other programs that can help team members observe trends, stay better organized, and pull the data they need to take action.
Develop a Culture That Rewards Productivity AND Integrity
Any company can put together a nice-sounding mission statement lauding values like integrity, honesty, and hard work, but words don’t always translate into reality. A company’s ingrained culture can directly influence the quality of its job candidates and the pride and passion employees take in their career. In its widely shared slideshow about its company culture, Netflix writes, “Actual company values are the behaviours and skills that are valued in fellow employees.”
Consider your company’s culture. What values do you truly support? If your employees are unmotivated and regularly goof off, it may be time to make some changes. Writing for Inc.com, John Boitnott advises leaders to search for and examine what he describes as motivation killers: “abrasive personalities, lack of organizational vision, absence of opportunities for professional development, poor communication systems, autocratic management styles, and the feeling of lack of appreciation.”
A company culture focused on results must also be tempered with a strong commitment to integrity. Push your employees to achieve, but don’t push them too hard, or they could go cartwheeling off the ethical high ground.
Establish Clear Goals and Metrics
Your employees can’t possibly know how to meet and exceed your expectations if you don’t give them a target. Likewise, you won’t be able to measure your team’s productivity if you don’t have quantitative data to compare.
Set goals for your employees to help them understand your expectations. Consider working in concert with each of your employees to identify useful and reachable targets that maximize their contributions and support their personal strengths. In this way, you allow the employee not only to participate in the trajectory of their careers, but also to take ownership of the goals you set together.
Regularly Assess Productivity Metrics
Now that you’ve established clear, personalized goals with each of your employees, you can assess how well each team member is performing. This will allow you to support your high-performing superstars and to quickly see which employees need coaching and assistance.
Most employees are not lazy or dishonest: If they fail to meet their goals, it may be because they don’t have the knowledge they need to perform their job. They may also simply be bored in their current positions. Both of these issues can be fixed. Consider inviting the employee to review their productivity data with you and then challenge them to propose a solution that will help them accomplish their goals in the office. Again, by encouraging employees to take control of their careers, they can give you the solutions that they need and take more ownership of their performances.
Tips for Employees to Make the Most of Their Time
- Organize and prioritize
- Declutter your workspace
- Clearly lay out your game plan for the week:
- What do you need to accomplish each day?
- How much time will each project take?
- Which projects have the highest priority?
- Limit interruptions
- Incoming calls and co-workers dropping by can break your concentration and take up time
- Block off a conference room to work on a project to avoid distractions at your desk
- Read your email at intervals instead of opening each one as soon as it comes in
- Consider telecommuting on certain days
- Avoid unnecessary meetings
- Don’t set aside an hour to meet about an issue or initiative that can be addressed with a quick phone call
- Politely decline the meeting invitation and follow up with the organizer
- Get personal on your own time
- Conduct personal business during down time:
- Lunch hour
- Break time
- After work
- Communicate wisely
- Don’t spend 20 minutes crafting an email to the person sitting in the next cubicle
- Save time by picking up the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk
- Don’t delay the inevitable
- Finding other things to do so you can put off a less preferred project will only end up wasting time
- Don’t procrastinate
- Dive in and tackle tha task at hand