Workplace productivity is a bit more than a productive workplace. Quite often it appears to be a direct equivalent of team efficiency and a core responsibility of a project manager. Let's discover all the ins and outs of the topic as well as opportunities for improvement.
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Workplace productivity is one of those phrases you hear from everyone but can hardly make them explain what it is. People often tend to have their image of productivity, which usually has nothing to do with the general definition.
However, workplace productivity is not a buzzword or a trend but a vital necessity for proper business functioning. Measuring how efficiently the work was done is essential to understand whether your team can succeed in the future.
The problems of ineffective tasks completion, poor communication, and low workplace productivity of the team members are the main obstacles to overcome for a project manager. Grouping different people into a team and making them work efficiently is always a challenging process that directly impacts workplace productivity.
However, if handled wisely and with a particular approach, you can make your team accomplish unique goals. What does it take to make that happen? Let’s discuss workplace productivity and how it can be precisely measured and improved.
Talking about workplace productivity, people often refer to how much work is done during a particular time for a specific work environment. Thus, when a business is operating at its total capacity, the workplace productivity should be maximum. However, it is not always the case.
A business’s workforce is a critical contributing factor to business success. Productivity in a workplace means how efficiently the employees complete the tasks and accomplish company goals. Thus, it is more about quality and approach than speed.
Keeping workplace productivity high is one of the main tasks of a good project manager. Besides, productivity needs to be a visible business issue, and all employees should improve it on their side.
Sometimes it seems that measuring workplace productivity is easier said than done. The matter is that workplace productivity is often confused with employee productivity. Workplace productivity measures how fast and efficiently the team can provide a high-quality result. While employee productivity measures the amount of work, an individual can perform over an amount of time.
Thus, workplace productivity measurement is where the combination of various graphs and charts rein. Weekly, monthly and quarterly reports, performance reviews, statistical data, and balance figures serve raw material for workplace productivity measurement.
Keeping precise track of all these metrics is essential to identify the input and output correctly.
However, several vivid signs signaling low or poor workplace productivity, with no additional research or calculations. These are:
- Low quality of work
- Missed deadlines
- Low work engagement
- Turnover increase
- Profitability decrease
- Low output.
The essence of workplace productivity is simple — the more productive your team is, the more tasks will be accomplished and goals achieved. Therefore, if you spot at least one of the signs mentioned above, start working on workplace productivity immediately.
All businesses are different. They all have different teams with various skills and abilities. However, they all have one goal in common — they want the work to be done efficiently. Undoubtedly, all managers have their approach to increasing goals achievement.
Improving workplace productivity considerably expands the chances of the company as a whole to reach goals. Let`s dwell on the tips to help your team cope with the tasks on time and within the budget.
1. Hire the right team
First things first. Creating a productive work environment starts with smart hiring decisions. A good team starts with hiring the right project manager. Only in such a case is there a chance to compose a professional and productive team of experts, particularly for the project.
A good project manager knows how to deal with different specialists and how to balance various personalities. Workplace productivity, in its turn, heavily depends on the balanced team and correct responsibility sharing.
The best way to accomplish smart hiring is to determine whether the candidates share the same values as those established company values.
2. Know your team strengths and weaknesses
Now when you have a selected team, you need to learn more about each employee and the team as a whole. A good project manager always knows what works best for the team and objectively estimates the capacities.
On the other hand, it is even more important to learn about weak points and work even harder. Employees are often asked about their weaknesses at interviews or performance reviews, but their answers are hardly reliable.
The same trick won`t work for the team. Only observation, analysis, and overcoming real-life situations can help you identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
3. Work on the priority orders and tasks guidelines
A good project manager always knows how to prioritize and assign tasks to minimize conflicts, misunderstandings, and delays. Furthermore, the team needs instructions on performing tasks and managing time most constructively.
Dealing with a long to-do list is the task of a project manager, not the team. Prioritizing tasks helps to invest time wisely. Keep track of the time spent on the critical functions within the project.
This will help to avoid inaccuracies in estimations. Thus, giving realistic deadlines for tasks won`t be a problem for you.
4. Set clear goals for every team member
Setting clear goals starts at the hiring stage as well. Writing a clear job description for each team position is the first goal-setting task for you as a project manager. Thus, both you and your employee will have clear expectations from the start.
Besides, it is essential to provide precise short-term goals and instruction all the way long. Engagement in achieving smart goals and completing tasks in realistic deadlines will keep the team motivated. Employees will feel the support of a manager and satisfaction from the challenges accomplished.
5. Track the tasks and project status
Project tracking is a standard project management method used to track work progress. This way, by comparing the actual to the plan, you can measure the workplace productivity and identify the potential threats.
Project tracking helps to identify what work has been done during what time and with what resources are involved. The following are a few things required for proper project tracking:
- Deliverable milestones
- Realistic and measurable goals
- Clear deadlines
- Regular team meetings
- Objective estimation of risks
However, project tracking is not for excessive pressure and stress. Make sure your team perceives it as a helpful tool used to make sure everything runs smoothly, not for pushing or establishing total control.
6. Discourage multitasking
Every project manager knows that multitasking is the killer of productivity. Modern technologies have made multitasking a natural state of things, but unfortunately, it can lead to memory problems and a decline in productivity. Even simple tasks become much harder if an employee gets distracted and can`t focus on its completion.
Besides, quite often, more tasks mean more mistakes, causing even more stress and anxiety. In addition, devoting too much time to multitasking and getting things done leaves no memory space for creativity.
Thus, discourage multitasking. Help your team members to make step-by-step to-do lists and avoid distractions. Support your team in the attempts to say no to combining minor tasks and allow enough time to put brains at rest.
7. Hold meetings
Holding short mandatory meetings every week is an excellent way to be well informed of all the processes and control risky matters. Regular meetings not only keep people informed but also hold each role accountable for completing their part.
Besides, a minute talk about what was done last week and what will be done this week helps the team members feel their interdependence and team spirit. However, the employees will be more engaged and focused if they feel your interest in their needs. Therefore, a weekly team meeting is more about listening behind the actual words for a project manager.
8. Make use of the software
Luckily, emails are no longer a key tool for the project manager. A wide variety of project management software and tools make the process more digitized and less complicated for the project manager and the team members.
Project management software and productivity tools play a huge role in boosting teamwork and workplace productivity. Having the right project management tool on your side will help get things done in time and increase collaboration.
The quality of this software appears to be even more important in bringing together remote teams for project completion. In this case, the balance is essential, as too many processes can prevent your team from reaching its full potential.
9. Eliminate distractions
Technologies are essential for our work, but they are also huge distractions. Messaging apps and social media often grab the attention and engage in matters that are hardly related to primary tasks.
The truth is we live in a distractions-filled world, and whether we realize it or not, all of them kill our productivity. If it is not possible to focus on essential tasks in your office, think of a quiet place where it is easier not to get distracted.
Make focus and dedication to the tasks one of the team values to respect each other’s time.
10. Give feedback
Last but perhaps the most essential item on the list is feedback. There is no way to boost your team productivity without introducing the feedback culture into your work. Different things work differently for people. Therefore, your team will not understand what is done well unless they learn what is good, sufficient, and wrong from you.
Expect and insist on providing feedback on your work as well. This will make the collaboration easier. Besides, feedback also encourages open dialogue culture within the team, as this is a two-way process. Thus its productivity will increase as well.
Teamwork is similar to a process that involves mixing numerous ingredients to get the result. Not only the quality of these ingredients and the proportions matter. The way you combine them is essential as well.
Empowering your team to do its best requires combining different actions, all sharing a common aim. Thus, there is no single recipe for your team to achieve high workplace productivity. However, providing constant support, taking care of a healthy work environment, providing feedback, and working on the processes together always work great.
The above-discussed tips are not the only possible ones. Without meaningful and concentrated effort on your part, they will just remain items in the text. These are several fundamental tips to start with.