10 Steps to Greater Productivity
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
It is a well-known fact that the key to success is productivity. While this might be perceived as common knowledge, there are still businesses out there that struggle to foster such an environment in their office. Instead, they find that they are failing to work at maximum speed, struggling to stay organised and generally unable to take the next step. There are so many distractions along the way - set milestones can get blurred.
Luckily, all is not lost. A number of strategies can be utilised to make sure that your team thrives, and that an engaged and positive mindset reaches an all-time high.
Here are 10 Steps to Greater Productivity and fostering a more productive mindset to help your business grow:
1. AVOID COMPLACENCY
An office should never be content with just getting by or ticking along. Instead, you should forever be aiming to improve, innovate and increase growth. The goal should always be to increase efficiency, work smarter and more effectively and make more money, which may not be achievable in the current office conditions. If this is the case, stop making do with what you have; kick complacency to the kerb and replace it with a keenness to develop. Something as simple as looking beyond the current workforce and investing in a Virtual Assistant could be the catalyst to quick and efficient change.
2. EMBRACE CHANGE
Whilst change can be difficult it can really harm productivity if you resist looking to the future and moving your business forward. Don't lose sight of your foundational principles but be aware that it can be detrimental to resist change in the current technological climate. It seems that not a day goes by when there isn't a new development to make people's jobs easier - whether it's an updated computer system or faster internet speed or platform that can create efficiencies, measure results or keep you ahead of the curve. Be an early adopter, keep learning and innovate. Outsourcing administrative tasks to a VA working remotely can help you to focus and give you time to develop strategy - often VA's are highly proficient with the latest trends, tools and platforms that can streamline tasks and keep you organised and on track. So become a change agent, rather than being shut off to trying something different, try exploring the unknown and seeing if it results in increased productivity.
3. PRIORITISE PROCESS & DEADLINES
It is essential that the workforce have clear goals and deadlines. Lacking clear process and a staged pathway with defined milestones can cause a slow-down in productivity and motivation. Without a cohesive sense of purpose, the drive to succeed gets lost and projects lose momentum. Ensure that deadlines are clearly communicated and understood for a shared perspective. Deadlines should be achievable, ambitious and actionable with accountability for the whole team. Keeping track of progress is essential and missed deadlines shouldn’t be allowed to just come and go without any real evaluation. Instead, each one should be analysed to see why it occurred and if any individuals or departments may need a helping hand in future.
4. HIRE EFFECTIVELY
Staff turnover can be one of the most disruptive scenarios for any team - and to a certain degree people coming and going inevitable. Ongoing talent development to maintain a highly skilled workforce is complex and often scaling up operationally difficult for smaller businesses. Sudden changes to the status quo can also be extremely disruptive and lead to negativity and hinder both morale and productivity. Hiring talent is hugely time-consuming and expensive which is why more business leaders are outsourcing certain roles, projects and tasks to consultants and remote workers often targeting the skill deficit required for projects or tasks that are slowing growth. This is also cost-effective as it keeps permanent headcount down whilst maintaining momentum.
5. AVOID RABBIT HOLES
Distractions are everywhere so try to avoid rabbit holes! Bad decisions can cost a business time and money but also send you down a confusing path. An office can be turned upside down by distractions, mistakes or errors in judgment, which can have far reaching consequences for productivity. Of course, no one sets out to make a bad decision, and the majority are made with good intentions but keeping focus is imperative and being acutely aware of the competition key. The decision-making process can be a disaster waiting to happen if you don’t have the time or resources available to conduct proper research beforehand. Being able to communicate clear steps and guidelines to teams should be based on sound knowledge and judgement to promote trust and harness productivity. Often Virtual Assistants help lay the groundwork in research, help define process or take on time consuming data gathering / research.
6. USE TIME WISELY
Structure, punctuality and good time management leads to increased productivity because it makes sure that every single minute is being taken advantage of. Of course, this doesn't necessarily doesn’t mean being sat at your desk by 9am or working late every day, but don't be afraid to communicate clear expectations and ensure you lead by example. Cut down on excessive meetings or conference calls without a clear agenda and stick to allocated times.
Keeping on track isn't easy, managing schedules, inboxes, travel arrangements are onerous tasks, so let a skilled Virtual Assistant salvage those precious hours by taking care of this for you enabling you to concentrate your valuable time.
7. FOSTER DIVERSITY & TRUST THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS
It is certainly true that like-minded people can work as a highly productive team and great teamwork the foundation of most businesses. This should also mean that companies try to foster diversity where possible. Often a new voice can encourage fresh perspectives and start a whole new conversation. This can bring not only diverse opinions, but new skills to the table. Companies that really want to hit a new level of productivity shouldn’t be afraid to welcome people with different views, skills or those from varied backgrounds.
Trust the experience and advice of others and be willing to stay humble and concede to a better strategy and get on board. This approach should also be used when it comes to offering experienced professionals the chance to offer their support and expertise.
8. ORDER, ORDER!
Order comes in many different forms, from inbox / calendar management to clear process and best practice. However, many business leaders struggle to stay on top of the simple things - travel arrangements, household tasks, replying to emails, marketing posts to name a few.
Don't let chaos rule, don't let those everyday tasks keep you behind the pace. The best way to ensure that everything is clear, concise and well-ordered is by making sure that administrative duties are completed well before there’s any risk of project slippage.
9. PLAN TO SUCCEED
Invest in some time to assess the hurdles ahead and manage any shortfalls and risks and tackle problems head-on. Plan to Succeed. Pitfalls shouldn’t just be brushed under the carpet because this will only aggravate the problem further and come back to haunt you. Be honest with yourself, identify strengths and weaknesses and introduce measures to ensure any silos are avoided. Careful measures should be taken to avoid a repeat in future. Often a simple plan, better organisation and clear thinking can detect a fault and put it right – saving you time and money in the long run.
10. AVOID OVERLOAD
Are you someone who always says yes and finds it difficult to delegate? Often as a business grows there is a temptation or unspoken pressure to accept new projects and adapt taking on the workload and role of another person. Being able to scale up and increase full-time headcount could be out of scope so consider enlisting the help of skilled, outsourced professionals as a more cost-effective solution - and avoid overload at all costs.
Why not use SavvyDesk?
Any business that is serious about increasing productivity in the office should use the services of a Virtual Assistant. An experienced, reliable professional can assist on a short-term basis or an ongoing project across many areas from traditional PA/EA tasks to broader admin projects, travel planning to lifestyle management. For more information, Click Here and get in touch with SavvyDesk today.