Productivity is something that every business team wants, yet few take the time to cultivate. And if you want to get better results in this area, there are some specific changes that will have to be made. 

4 Ways to Encourage Maximum Productivity

Productivity is more than just pure output. It’s about getting desired results with less effort and in less time. It’s about being efficient with your output. 

Productivity is not spending more time working and doing busy work. It’s not “playing office” or pretending you have a lot of tasks on your list. It’s not even checking tasks off a list. Productivity, for your business, is about accomplishing goals with fewer resources and in less time. 

Very few businesses are operating at their optimum productivity levels. But the good news is there are always opportunities to improve. Here are a few useful ideas:

  • Cast Vision

Remember that productivity isn’t a number – it’s a way of doing business. It typically produces certain numbers, but the number isn’t the goal. You want your team and business to adopt a certain approach. The problem is that your team doesn’t know what this approach is, which leaves them blindly shooting for an unknown target.

Set clear goals and then communicate what those goals are to your team. Cast a clear vision of what you’re striving for and why. Then give each team member a chance to buy in or step away. This may seem like overkill, but it’s the only way to ensure your team is fully bought in.

  • Promote Better Collaboration

One of the downfalls of a good team can be a lack of communication. In an age of remote working, virtual teams, and dozens of communication channels, it’s easy for your team to think they’re on the same page when they’re actually completely off target. 

Promote better collaboration by creating clear feedback loops and making everyone aware of who they go to with specific needs, problems, questions, or concerns. A flatter organizational hierarchy is better in this regard. 

  • Support Mental Health

Processes play a key role in productivity, but we can’t boil everything down to a technical system and expect productivity to follow. There’s also a softer side to the equation. Your team is human and they must be nurtured. 

Don’t downplay the importance of proper mental health in promoting productivity. Your team needs to be practicing healthy habits in order to perform at their best. In addition to encouraging proper sleep and healthy eating (both of which can be supported with better workplace policies), consider issues related to focus.

Distractions are, by their very nature, productivity killers. Look for chances to nullify distractions and put your team on the right track. For example, give each employee a Xen device, which is a pocket-sized wellness companion that helps them stimulate the vagus nerve while listening to music at their desk. Another practical tip is to switch from email to a platform like Slack for all internal communications. (This is shown to improve focus.)

  • Invest in Team Building

A fragmented team will never be a productive team. There might be individual parts that are productive, but their efforts will be weighed down by the others. But if you can get your team to “gel” as one unit, big things will follow.

Team building may sound like a cheesy corporate initiative, but it can actually produce profound results. Rather than cheesy activities like rock climbing and white water rafting, try things like brainstorming sessions, conflict management simulations, and mock projects. The goal is to get people to work together and depend on one another, while also leaving the door open for people to develop stronger interpersonal relationships. 

In order for team building to actually work, it can’t be something you do once at an annual company retreat. Make it a consistent part of your organization’s culture and DNA.  Weekly team building activities can produce significantly better results.

Give Your Team a Productivity Boost

At the end of the day, you can’t force productivity to happen. It’s up to team members to put forth the effort required to maximize their efficiency and output. 

You can, however, set your team up for success by implementing some of the suggestions highlighted above. And if you do this over a period of several weeks or months, you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the bottom line.