Improving workplace productivity is more difficult than people think. We all want to work in an environment where team members would get jobs that fit their skills. Someone under-qualified for their task may feel anxious about making mistakes. Someone overqualified can easily lose interest in the work, making them detached and their output haphazard. Simply put: members of a team who are in their element produce better results.
As the project leader, it’s your responsibility to see just how workers fit into their roles. Assigning tasks shouldn’t just be matching people up to whatever task needs to get done. Encouraging your team to access their natural flow takes consideration and good judgment. Here are a few tips to improve productivity in the workplace.
1. Be clear and specific in your plans
Giving employees a general goal instead of assigning specific aspects of work for them to do won’t get anyone anywhere. Ensuring specificity in task assignment can improve productivity and shows you which workers are fit for certain tasks.
General goals are directionless and aren’t going to encourage your employees to work better. For instance, assign someone to maintain the order tracker, another person to look after the packaging materials, etc. It also helps to invest in project-specific tools such as a PO box to minimize downtime.
It might require micromanaging, but this system ensures that every task is assigned to the right person. This cuts so much idle time, and everyone feels in their element. This way of delegation works better with an open-ended project, but working with a deadline, this approach can be adjusted.
2. Simplify your methods
Sometimes a bigger project or assignment can be daunting. The sheer amount of work that has to be done by one person can lead to them either being overwhelmed or turning in less than satisfactory results. Task paralysis can also take place, and that greatly affects deadlines.
Deconstruction of big tasks into smaller, more manageable assignments makes the task feel easier to digest. Zooming out and only focusing on the bigger issue can be daunting, so don’t shy away from cutting it down. This will make your team’s workflow better, now that they’re faced with something that doesn’t make them anxious.
3. Record everything
Recording every step of the process is needed to see what works and what doesn’t. Create a project document that you can add notes to, and be specific with dates, times, and tasks. With clear documentation, you can spot and isolate work issues by backtracking history.
Forgetting to record tasks and changes can seriously affect your timeline and productivity. You’re essentially going back to square one if something goes wrong in the later stages of the task. You won’t have any guide to at least speed the process up, and you and your team will have wasted so much time and effort.
4. Organize your files
The first step to achieving better productivity at the office is making sure that your team is organized. Declutter old files and archives to make room for new documents and office appliances. Organizing office space feels like wiping an old slate clean, and it makes things feel fresh. Energy moves better in a clean and clear space, so toss old things out.
You also have to organize your online storage. Investing in more storage space through remote drives and cloud systems is all right, but it will cost you so much down the line. Organize your servers so that it’s easier to link up with your team and lessen hosting costs. You don’t need to hold on to some digital copies of work done five years ago, so unless it’s really relevant to your most recent projects, scrap those files.
5. Identify the goal
Set a clear beginning and end to a project. Not knowing the clear goal will make your team struggle aimlessly and keep them wondering when they are truly finished. Define the metrics for completion and success at the beginning of the workflow project so that you have something to work towards instead of going in blind.
For example, a success metric for a marketing campaign can be hitting a certain sales target. That number will inspire your team to focus on hitting it through better methods. Simply put, goals provide direction to a project.
6. Foster cooperation
At the end of the day, you are still a team. Let your team members know that it’s okay to develop solutions and processes with each other. Different perspectives of finishing a project can introduce ideas that you might not have even thought about, boosting everyone’s morale.
The bottom line
Giving your employees a chance to shine and monitoring every step of the project process carefully can improve productivity. We hope these tips help your team become the best it can be.