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Gain the Skills to Improve Productivity in Your Business

by Marianne Stenger

We’d all like to add a bit more productivity to our business process. Which areas do we target to make this happen? Often, the answer is in rethinking the basic steps we’re taking in terms of technology, time management, and employee morale.

Let’s take a look at five essential ways to improve productivity in your business.

Use the right technology

It’s easy to assume technology has some inherent value that will increase business productivity on its own. The reality is that more time is wasted when we adopt the wrong technology than when we adopt no technology at all. It’s essential to deploy the right tools for the job, even if those tools may not be the newest or flashiest or trendiest on the market. Do your proper research, find case studies of businesses like yours adopting technologies similar to the ones you’re considering adopting, and test the tools on a small task or project before committing to full deployment.  

Build employee trust

Flexible working schedules and empowering employees. Taking personal interest in them rather than trying to boost productivity by increasing work hours. Don’t tie productivity directly to compensation or pressure them to “work harder” by cracking the whip. Instead, take a personal interest in them, ask them what they need to be fully invested in their job, and try to provide them with a chance to make a meaningful contribution at work.

Use the right time management tool.

We all want to know how to become better at time management. Since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, we need to choose the tool that’s best for us personally or for our company. First ask yourself how you want to measure your productivity. Do you want to divide tasks based on their size? Use 1% of your day for planning? Do the tasks you’re most motivated to do first? Sort tasks by level of urgency? Figure out when you’re mentally freshest and focus your efforts then? Create blocks of work time interleaved with periods of rest? There’s a different tool for each approach, but it’s worth taking the time in the beginning to figure out which approach works best for you rather than waste time adopting the wrong tool for the job.

Make productivity part of teamwork

When everyone is focused on improving their habits together, it becomes easier not only to create better productivity strategies and plans but also to stick to them. If you’re constantly distracted from your work, but no one is around to notice, you’re less likely to get back on task. Effective teamwork not only involves working on tasks together but also practicing strategic thinking in terms of how to get those tasks done efficiently. Make it something employees can help each other with, not just to hold each other accountable but also to celebrate productivity together.    

Aim for lean

Productivity involves operational excellence, which is the ability of employees to see the flow of value between employee and customer. When there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, how efficient are employees at proposing solutions and tackling the problem? This is called a “lean environment” and means that decision making is kept at a minimum, supervisors are rarely called when a problem arises, and any barriers to the flow of value are removed with as little effort as possible.

Browse through our Business Skills and Productivity Library to improve and develop your business skills and confidence.

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