7 Productivity Tips for Your Team in 2020
Before getting into an article on productivity tips, it is useful to define the term “productivity”. Productivity is a term that gets thrown around often in business. Yet, it is often misused.
The dictionary definition of productivity, as an economic concept, talks about the rate at which good or services are brought forth or produced.
We also often hear the axiom “work smarter, not harder”. Indeed, when it comes to productivity, we want to maximize production with minimal effort. So, here are seven productivity tips for your team, so that you can be ultra productive in 2020!
Automate the Simple Processes
Certain processes are so tedious, that no one wants to do them. They might seem complicated, but the truth is that they are simply boring. Consider automating these simple, annoying processes with apps or plug-ins.
For example, a few notable applications exist to automate employee leave tracking. Vacation Tracker is one of them.
With Vacation Tracker, keeping track of employee leave takes a few clicks. Vacations, sick days, parental leaves, or any type of paid or unpaid time off, can be entered and requested in seconds.
Currently integrated with Slack, this application lets Approvers or Administrators receive notifications when team members request leave. These notifications appear right inside of Slack. Then, the requests can be approved or denied in seconds.
Other simple processes such as time tracking, employee onboarding or ordering lunch, can all be automated.
Allow for Flexible Work Hours
If you want to get the most out of your employees, giving them flexible work hours might be an interesting solution.
Flexible work hours let employees work when they feel they’re most productive. It has been proven that some people are more productive in the mornings, while some are more alert and have more energy in the evenings.
It’s a practice that is becoming increasingly important to the modern workforce. Employees don’t see why they need to ascribe to a specific work schedule, particularly when working on individual tasks.
For teams working flexible hours, it’s important to communicate well and to keep meeting times at moments that are convenient for all.
Build Strong Collaborative Teams
The logical next step is to build robust collaborative teams.
Sure, some tasks lend themselves well to individual work. However for most projects, multidisciplinary teams can get the job done faster. In fact, having multiple people use their unique skills to advance a project is a great way to increase both productivity and efficiency.
The best productivity tips for strong teams usually include communication, at the top of the list. Solid and transparent communication is key for any team in any industry.
Foster the Right Work Culture
In another blog post, we have talked about the importance of building a great team culture. The two key elements that are required to foster the right team culture are Vision and Leadership.
In a nutshell, great work culture doesn’t just happen magically. It takes careful planning and effort to foster the right work culture that will lead to increased productivity.
It takes a clear mission and vision to rally the team to a specific and attainable goal. Moreover, it needs to be a goal that a team can get excited about. Then, it takes the right leader to motivate that team to put in their best work to reach that goal.
Use the Right Tools
As with automating simple processes, using the right tools will help your team “work smarter” rather than harder. Indeed, updating the tools used company-wide can boost productivity.
Of course, there is usually a cost with upgrading company tools. In particular, updating hardware is usually very expensive. Therefore, it can only be done every 3 to 5 years, at best. However, upgrading the hardware that a team uses can go a long way in improving productivity and morale.
Nevertheless, using the right tools doesn’t necessarily involve investing in brand new laptops or iPads for the entire team. It could be a simple upgrade to the software a team is using. Surveying trends and knowing which collaboration tool might be best suited for your team could be a good place to start.
Review Old Processes
Unfortunately, processes that are inefficient, slow or redundant make workers feel frustrated and unproductive. To improve both morale and productivity, review some of your most used processes and notice if there is anything slowing down productivity.
Moreover, it could be helpful to gather feedback and ideas about various processes directly from the team members executing them. Then, find a way to modify the process, or see if you can remove it altogether.
Finally, find out if it might be possible to automate certain processes.
Meetings are often the greatest productivity killers. Numbers from some U.S. companies show that employees spend about 37% of their time in meetings. However, this figure increases to almost 80% for managers, on average. This means that managers spend most of their working days in meetings.
Too many meetings, or meetings that just drag on, greatly affect employee drive and productivity.
Try team collaboration apps such as Slack, Microsoft Teams or Jira to help structure projects in ways that help to streamline project management and communications objectives. In fact, these are great tools to reduce meetings to a minimum.