How to improve productivity as a manager
When you’re a manager, you’ve got your work cut out for you. You have to figure out how to balance all of the logistics of managing a team and making sure you hit your metrics while still making sure that your team members are taken care of. Whatever your situation, you have to make sure that your team is producing results. So how do you make sure that productivity stays up?
In spite of how important it is to make sure that team members are engaged in their work, only about 25 percent of business leaders say that they or their company has a strategy for managing employee engagement. While sometimes it may seem like the only option you have is to stand at your office door and shout at your team to work faster, harder, longer, no one likes feeling like a slave driver. So what can you do in order to make sure the work gets done? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you work with your teams to make sure that productivity—and morale—remain high.
Provide a healthy work-life balance
There’s no doubt that you want your employees doing their best work as often as possible, but that’s not going to happen if they’re distracted by things they need to be doing outside of work. Allowing your employees to take care of their lives outside the office will allow them to focus on the task at hand when they are in the office.
One study by Wrike showed that as many as 87 percent of workers—including team members, managers, and executives—overwork, with 39 percent overworking by five or more hours each week, and only 42 percent believe that they maintain a good work/life balance. Allow your team members to keep that balance and they’ll be better prepared to get their work done when they come into work.
Eliminate unnecessary meetings
It’s surprising how often team leads will demand hours of work and then require standing meetings to “help” with the process. While occasional meetings can certainly be beneficial, repeating meetings are often unnecessary and can interrupt your employees’ workflow.
If there is an issue that needs to be discussed, then, of course, you should gather your team together to meet and discuss it. But having meetings when they’re unnecessary only serves to take up valuable time and interrupt your team members’ workflows.
If there is a meeting scheduled, give your team members the right to decline if necessary. While some meetings may be crucial, others are not. Give them the ability to decide whether this meeting will help them to accomplish their job or if their time would be better spent working on other things.
Implement software solutions to boost productivity
There are several software tools available to help your team increase its productivity, such as business process management, or BPM, software. PNMsoft defines BPM as “a business solution approach which views a business as a set of processes or workflows.” BPM software helps teams to streamline those workflows to make sure that everything is done in the proper order and as efficiently as possible. A BPM solution will provide management tools as well as analytics so that you, as manager, can see where your current process is working and where changes might need to be made.
When workers are overloaded with work, the natural impulse is to work on everything a little bit at a time, but this is a mistake. Instead of getting a lot of work done on several things, what really happens is that they are spending a lot of time on those tasks without ever really getting things done. Multitasking has actually been shown to decrease productivity by as much as 40 percent. It’s better to just focus in on a single task until it’s done.
This might seem a bit odd, but the temperature of your office can actually have a significant impact on the work your team gets done. Studies have been conducted and shown that working in an environment that’s too cold can actually increase feelings of sadness or loneliness, and since happiness can boost productivity by as much as 12 percent, that’s not something you should just let slide. Meanwhile, when the room gets too hot, employees can feel sluggish and feel less productive. Experts have suggested that the sweet spot for maximum productivity is somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let them do their jobs
Some managers feel the need to control every single aspect of their team’s work. This ends up creating a bottleneck and delaying a lot of work unnecessarily. Trust your team members to make decisions about their work. That way, when they do come to you with a question, you know that it’s one that’s worth your time.
When you allow your team to be self-sufficient, they are more likely to own their roles. The reason you have a team is to make sure that the work gets done. Your job isn’t to micromanage every single detail of the process. Your job is to set up the process and make sure things continue to run smoothly.
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