No matter what your company sells, makes, transports, or teaches, an increase in productivity equates to an increase in your bottom line. Productivity is a measure of how effectively your human resources are engaged in your business' essential activities.
Disorganization, constant distraction, or confusing policies disrupt an employee's ability to execute their responsibilities. Emotional conflict or frustration inside the office can spill over into customer service interactions.
On the other hand, a smooth operation reduces stress levels and supports happy and healthy employees — the foundation of a successful organization.
Seven ways to maximize productivity
Some business leaders see productivity as a way of getting more from their team. That is the outcome. The best approach to enhance business performance is supporting your team with the tools, training, and structure they need to operate.
Here are seven ways to maximize productivity in your business:
1. Leverage available communication and collaboration tools
Remote team collaboration has grown beyond emails. Digital collaboration tools are connecting people — enabling effective communication through devices, technology, and intuitive visual displays.
Digital collaboration enables us to connect with a broader network of participants to work together more effectively. All team members receive updates in real-time, and management can measure individual employees' productivity through performance analytics.
Increase efficiency, boost transparency, and streamline all communication through a central hub with tools such as:
2. Simplify and automate
The longer we've been doing something one way, the harder it can be to change. Adaptability over time is fundamental to business performance.
Assess your business operations. What tasks are being performed daily? Is there a way to automate any daily tasks to free up more time to focus on other projects or activities?
Automation can help simplify and optimize workflows and the demand for mobile infrastructure means a cornucopia of new software solutions. Invest in solutions that automate mundane processes so you can allocate your team's time to more profitable activities.
A great example is report generation and distribution. Spreadsheets and reports are time consuming, but great software exists to automatically collect and distribute information on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Many tools visualize the data for you and provide historical data so you can benchmark performance over time — or even forecast future performance — all helping you make better business decisions. That’s why we created our business dashboard.
Appointment scheduling apps and booking software can help you manage appointments or bookings — whether you are in professional services, health, beauty, or fine dining. Some are even free (for example, Meeting Scheduler by HubSpot) — so, don’t be afraid to shop around.
3. Organize workflow for priority and clarity
It's easy to drown in a flood of digital alerts, making sustained focus difficult or impossible. Organize your daily workflow to minimize intrusions and adhere to a clear set of priorities.
Focusing your business’ workflow on productivity is all about working smarter not harder to achieve more. Planning work based on priorities and with a defined goal helps your team to manage a greater volume — and deliver.
When you know which daily tasks are essential, you can help employees focus on what matters most. Building positive habits around daily routines, time management, focusing on execution, ensuring productive meetings, and task delegation can drive momentum. But most important, ensure communication is clear and that urgent messages are not lost in a sea of chit chat.
4. Implement time accountability and measurable goals
Productivity is the measure of how well time is spent. Whether working online or in-person, transparency is crucial. Giving each employee clear daily goals and targets helps them work more efficiently and establishes clear metrics to measure progress. Project management tools such as ClickUp are useful tools to manage people, projects, and everything in between.
The result will be clear guidelines and expectations. You'll also learn more about the nuts-and-bolts of your business and may discover new insights and ways to improve.
5. Elicit and respond to feedback
Employees and customers have an experience of your company that is different from yours. This outside perspective is valuable and can help you consistently drive growth and improve business performance. Regular feedback gives you an inside peek at your business.
Approach staff and customers with genuine curiosity about their experience. Online surveys are a great way to collect anonymous feedback.
On a scale of zero to 10, how likely is it that a customer would recommend your business to a friend or colleague? It may seem like a simple question, but this question is used to calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS measures customer experience and can be used to predict growth, and is used by businesses globally.
But how do you measure your team’s experience? Measuring eNPS (‘e’ for employee) gives you visibility of your team’s satisfaction. Employee satisfaction boosts productivity, which in turn can enhance customer experience and increase loyalty — as well as your profitability.
Feedback is great, but outcomes are based on action. Once you’ve collected and reviewed your feedback, don’t simply file it away for another day — evaluate what you can do and (as Nike says) just do it!
6. Create an efficient and smooth-functioning environment
Creating and maintaining a positive work environment boosts morale, retention, and productivity. Your environment impacts your mood, so office design is a valuable business investment.
You don't need a fully staffed gym and an Italian espresso machine (though it helps). Focus on establishing a positive work environment. Attention to small things like office temperature, lighting, having a breakout or lunch space where your team can have some headspace, standing desks, or ergonomic (and spacious) desk design can raise employee mood and performance.
A team that feels valued is more motivated to show up and contribute.
7. Minimize opportunities for diversion
If you've seen the sitcom The Office, you know the potential for time-wasting and distraction in an office setting. Focused employees accomplish more and make better choices.
We all need time to take a breath and relax. Time away can increase productivity but encourage employees to put away their phones to use during personal time. Create a distinct separation between work time and breaks and celebrations.
Clarity, simplicity, and efficiency
Achieving maximum productivity requires you to assess what your team does daily and create conditions that support their best performance. It requires oversight of your business so you can see peaks in performance as well as gaps.
The 9Spokes business tracker gives you a view of your business' performance across marketing, sales, finance, HR, and inventory — all in one central dashboard. Whether you're a team of one or many, having a business dashboard saves you time by providing a single source of truth. Knowing what's happening in all areas helps you to evaluate performance and take decisive action as required.
Boost your productivity. Sign up today.