Currently, one of the greatest challenges for any manager is to increase the productivity of their teams. This challenge may present itself in different ways in the realities of different companies, but the paradigm is always the same: how to get them to produce more without crossing the line of exhaustion of the talent?
Solving this dilemma is the Holy Grail of corporate and team management. After all, greater productivity means greater business profitability, more cohesive and reliable teams, and it is also a magnet for attracting new talent who are interested in being part of a top team.
However, being more productive at work cannot mean working more than necessary or even being unhappy in daily tasks. Your team often spends more time at work than with their own families, and they need to feel welcomed and satisfied to deliver the best of themselves.
In today’s post, we will talk about increasing the teams’ productivity and how to achieve it in a healthy way with practical tips. Ready to start?
Why increasing productivity means increasing profitability?
Increasing the teams’ productivity means extracting more value, more deliveries, more quality, etc., from a team without having to increase it to achieve this. This ends up generating, at first, a reduction of the costs with the hiring of new teams, but also an aggregate cost saving that generates greater profitability.
When we think of an extremely productive staff, we cannot think that it will be just less people who are able to do the job as well as a larger, but less productive team. No: each team represents training costs, overhead, managerial and even legal and bureaucratic costs.
Therefore, a leaner team also generates a much greater structural economy in the company than the saving itself resulting from having fewer people working and bringing a greater result. That way, profitability only increases and there is an opportunity to transform part of these additional gains into even greater improvements in the teams’ productivity.
What is the current productivity of your teams?
However, first of all, you need to look inside your company and understand what its current productivity is. After all, to increase the productivity of any team, it is necessary to know its current deliveries and actually understand if it is to “blame” for the low productivity.
The issue of low productivity in companies is more common than you think, and may be divided into at least 3 major occurrences:
Productivity issues caused by employees: productivity issues arising from employees happen within the team and may be due to the wrong choice in a selection process, or even an outdated and uninterested employee.
Productivity issues caused by management: the productivity issues that may arise from management are related to poor personnel management, leadership issues, and team management routines that are harmful to productivity (micromanagement, etc.).
Productivity issues caused by tools: the issues that may arise from tools are related to the tools that are accessed by the teams to carry out their work more efficiently. Some examples are specialized software, robust systems, application licenses to streamline daily tasks, etc.
Therefore, before proposing any improvement in the productivity of your company, look closely at these factors and try to identify bottlenecks in each of these occurrences. That way, it will be easier to create an action plan and start making gradual improvements.
What are the ways to increase productivity?
After conducting a thorough audit of your team’s current productivity, it is time to put everything into practice. There are many ways to increase the productivity of a company and each one can have its specificities.
However, there are some practices that are more likely to work in any context. It is about those that we will talk a little further below:
1. Set better goals
Goals are an important factor in increasing team productivity. A poorly defined goal can, instead of increasing, decrease the company’s productivity due to the frustration generated and unforeseen investments made to try to “save” the situation.
A good way out is to adopt the SMART methodology when setting goals. The acronym, in English, means that the goals and objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
In practice, this means that goals can no longer be “pulled out of the hat”. They need to be precisely formulated, looking at metrics that can be measurable and that are within the range reachable within the company’s time frame and market reality.
2. Invest in training
If your business management considers training as an additional expense rather than an investment, this may be one of the issues standing in the way of increasing the productivity of your teams.
Training is essential to ensure that well-prepared professionals are able to provide bigger and better deliveries. In addition, the employee who receives regular training feels valued by the company and motivated to bring greater results.
3. Implement an analytical culture
Implementing a data-driven culture in the company brings great benefits, and one of them is increased productivity. When the team is used to searching the data for answers to operational problems, they are better able to provide quick and efficient answers to any setback.
When intuition is abandoned and an analytical look is applied at work, the results arise.
4. Create programs and career plans that reward performance
There is no point in holding meetings, making speeches, and even asking for commitment to increase productivity if there is no compensation from the company.
Therefore, create a clear and comprehensive career plan. In addition, create performance reward programs, either based on goals or rewarding above-average teams with regular promotions.
5. Make your team feel at home
This is a very important practice: remember when we said that your team probably spends more time at work than with their family? Therefore, in order for them to produce more, you need to make them feel at home.
Have an environment for relaxation in the company, provide snacks and food so that they may take breaks during the day and refresh their minds. Establish policies on flexible hours and even home office, which may start being implemented on an interval basis.
All these practices will make a big difference in the final result delivered by your team, in addition to providing a welcoming feeling and dramatically improving the talent retention.
6. Invest in management software
We have also addressed the importance of adequate tools to increase the teams’ productivity. Therefore, invest in management software capable of quickly and efficiently bringing management data about all aspects of the company.
Time-consuming systems or even the lack thereof can delay many processes and considerably decrease business productivity.
How about starting to increase productivity today?
For your company to benefit from increased productivity it is necessary to start investing and taking action so that the improvement can be done today. The longer it takes for something to happen, the more intricate and complex the productive relationships become, and the issues more difficult to solve.
If you want to learn more about making your teams and processes more efficient, find out what Lean Six Sigma is and how your company can benefit from it.