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Are you looking for ways to improve productivity in your business?
To do this, you need to support and enable your employees to perform as best as they can. In this post, I’ll share some of the critical ways you can enhance productivity. Let’s go!
Creating complete workflows is an essential task that takes considerable time to get right. But when you’ve fleshed out a solid workflow for different areas of your business, it essentially runs on its own until you make deliberate changes.
For example, let’s consider social media marketing. When creating a workflow for your social media presence, you need to start with your goals and who your audience is.
And from there, you’ll need to figure out what kind of content you’ll post, how often, and how you’ll make images. You also need to figure out a posting schedule and the tools you need to use. As well as give responsibility to the right people.
Turning these general-level ideas into practical steps where there’s no confusion on what you’re doing, why, and how is critical.
As a leader, you need to set workflows in place or delegate this kind of setup to someone skilled.
When employees have clarity on how to write posts, what hashtags to use, when to post something, and more, they’ll be able to focus on just doing the job. It’s your job to set parameters and processes and in this way, you create clarity for your employees.
There needs to be a fine balancing act between building workflows that offer structure to your team and stifling their creativity.
At my workplace, we’re a 100% remotely operated company. We have employees from around the world working in different time zones. It would be unwise and even impossible to dictate every single step that people should take to achieve their work goals.
I suggest creating goals, subscribing to good tools, setting up timelines, and then letting your employees figure out the smaller details.
With some careful monitoring at first and by tracking how your workflows do, you can offer suggestions and make changes that get work done but also keeps everyone happy.
At my workplace, we don’t restrict the number of days a person can take as paid time off. At one time, we did set up a fixed number of days but it became an additional burdensome task that lowered productivity for many people.
Tracking how many days of leave a person took, how many days they had left, and coordinating when they can take time off are not good uses of time for us. And, it unnecessarily restricts people from making the right decisions for themselves.
Today, we offer unlimited paid time off and this gives employees the ability to decide for themselves how much time off they need and when. This kind of flexibility makes people happy and creates less admin work overall.
Give employees the best tools
The saying ‘a poor workman blames his tools’ doesn’t apply in many cases. If you want your team to save time, get work done, and also be creative, then you need to make their work as easy as possible with the help of tools.
Let’s look at some critical tools that can help people communicate effectively and focus on their work:
- Chat messaging platforms like Slack for internal communication
- Video conferencing tools for ‘face-to-face’ communication where employees can discuss things in real-time
- A file storage solution that’s cloud-based so that everyone has access to the necessary assets and files
- An HR tool where your employees can take time off, coordinate vacations or workdays with other employees, and get details about their benefits
- Project management tools like Asana to create schedules for specific tasks and to track their progress
- Relevant tools for specific tasks like designing, carrying out customer service tasks, social media scheduling, SEO tools, and more
- Analytics and CRM tools to help your employees know whether their marketing efforts are working and what they should change
Good tools will help employees focus on their actual tasks. It’s not essential for you to take an all-in-one suite to keep everything in one place. Today, most tools have integrations that make it possible for you to connect seemingly disparate platforms.
Work with communication, design, and data tracking tools that have the best user experience. And the results of such a decision will show how happy and effective people in your business are.
Collect feedback and ideas
An unlikely but powerful way to get the best from your employees is to collect feedback from them. Your employees working in different areas like customer support or product development will have insights from their day-to-day experience of carrying out tasks.
They may understand a customers’ pain points or know about features you need to add.
Your employees’ knowledge is a resource that you can tap with the help of regular communication and feedback techniques. Let’s look at specific steps you can take.
- Hold brainstorming sessions
- Have regular one-on-one meetings
- Create an ideas board or channel for people to share their thoughts
- Send out feedback surveys
When you get useful insights from your team, you can use their feedback to give them the tools and processes they need. As a result, they’ll become more productive.
And more importantly, when they feel appreciated and listened to at work, they’ll enjoy working for your company more and bring their best.
In my business, we have a special ‘cheers-for-peers’ channel on Slack. Here, we enable all team members to send out short messages of appreciation to each other. The leaders of the company also frequently use it to recognize work done by people.
The benefit of such a channel is that it’s easy to send notes of appreciation to anyone in the company. Everyone on the team can see this public acknowledgment of contributions made by other people. And it’s great for companies that work with remote teams where people work in different time zones.
Find a way to show appreciation and give positive feedback in a public way to people in your company. Recognizing people’s work gives them an incentive to continue doing their best.
Employees can boost their productivity when leaders give them direction and support. Direction can be setting up reasonable KPIs for them and creating a friendly and positive work environment. And support can take the form of tools and feedback.
Keep looking for ways to make work efficient and easier for people who work for you. And you won’t just help them be productive, you’ll also make room for creativity.
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