More than ever, the productivity of your employees will determine the success of your business. Ensuring their physical and mental health will contribute to a consistent and high-performing team.
Although maintaining productivity in these trying times that we are in will undoubtedly require mental and physical fortitude, willpower is not the only resource you have available.
There are likely, inefficiencies in your company. Inefficiencies that, if solved, would result in higher productivity and less frustrated teammates. Who could not do for greater efficiency and productivity along with a more satisfied and focused team?
Whether we look to philosophies and religions on the human condition or research-backed data, it is clear that people want their work to matter. Nobody enjoys or desires to be inefficient and ineffective in what they do. Studies show that domestic abuse in developing countries increases when men lose a sense of purpose and productivity to the family when foreign aid attempts to help.
If you could raise your team’s productivity and the sense of purpose and richness to the company, wouldn’t you want to do that?
Robinson and Schroeder, in their book The Idea-Driven Organization, argues and explains how organizations can increase their productivity by encouraging innovation.
Although it shouldn’t be needed to be said, those on the front-lines of the company often have great insight into the gaps and inefficiencies of their company. They feel and experience it and are sometimes the most desiring and willing for change to secure success— their own and the company’s.
Here is what you need and can do to empower your employees and raise their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Be humble
To engage with your team, understand what they’re saying, and possibly employ an idea, you will need to be humble. You will need to acknowledge that you don’t know everything and that someone may know something, one thing, about the situation that you do not.
- Give space to think and form ideas
If you’re an idea person, it means that ideas come easy for you. They come to you on the way to work, in the shower, walking the dog. Not everyone, however, can formulate ideas in their heads so quickly. You can organize small group meetings company-wide for the sole purpose of brainstorming.
- Reward people for their ideas
Everyone likes being rewarded for their contribution. A good idea that leads to increased performance is undoubtedly a contribution that should be rewarded. If you’re worried about finances or how to pay for these bonuses, don’t worry. Although some may want a monetary reward in recognition of their contribution, many would be honored with a personal email, a lunch, or a company announcement.
- Continuous gradual change
If change is a scary word for you, don’t be nervous. Change doesn’t necessarily have to be big and earth-shattering. There’s a Japanese term called kaizen teian, where kaizen means “improvement,” and teian means “suggestion.” The belief behind this term is that small changes applied regularly and over a long time will result in significant benefits in the future.
- Improvement meetings
As opposed to a brainstorming meeting that is less focused on solutions and more on generating ideas, a session specifically for improvement is another option. In this meeting, you ask people ahead of time to find a gap or problem and do the research to defend their suggested solution. Everyone in the meeting can weigh in, based on the evidence and analysis, and come to a collective decision on resolving this issue.
- Create an “idea board”
Some people in the privacy of their own homes have what is called a “vision board.” It is often a cork-board where people pin pictures of travel destinations, inspiring words or quotes, and anything that inspires them to a better future. In the office, there can be an “idea board.” A board where people can visualize their problems and solutions. Part of Einstein’s path to discovering the theory of relativity was picturing himself on a high-speed train racing a beam of light. By having an idea board, you can help people visualize a way forward and hold them accountable for any dream or idea they may have brought forth.
- Just ask someone
Finding ideas shouldn’t be rocket science. It could merely require a conversation with someone. Take someone out on the front lines, be humble and curious. Say something like, “Hey Jackie, I can’t see and know everything that’s going on. As a front-line working, I know you see and know things that I don’t. I want to make this place better for our team and our clients. What do you think we could do to make things better for everyone?”
- Productivity is everything
As business likely becomes even more competitive in the future, you and your team will need to be performing at the highest possible level. To do that, you most likely need to make changes that will only come from new ideas. Those on the front-lines of your business and everyone in-between will probably have insights and ideas ready to help you and the company increase their performance, productivity, and even profits.
People like to win and be on the winning team. Your employees want to succeed just as much as you do. Give them a chance to help you and themselves stay and become even more competitive in this ever-changing market and world.
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