In the current business market where your competition is hungry to take your market share, growing market is demanding more out of less, your customers are chasing you to deliver high quality results in shortest time, leaders cannot escape but to think of having their team’s productivity as their top most priority.
In fact when asked 9 out of 10 leaders say “my biggest concern today is my team’s productivity and I am constantly thinking of ways to improve it”
So, what can leaders do to ensure that their teams are delivering optimal results at workplace and are highly productive?
Here are the 4 Key Leadership Practices To Improve Your Teams Productivity. These practical strategies are the gateway to boosting your teams overall productivity and performance.
Build A Positive Workplace
Positivity can be contagious and so is negativity. Researchers say that positivity at workplace can increase productivity by at least 12% and the impact of negativity can drop your team’s motivation and commitment by up to 78%. It is clear that negative behaviors like politics, blame-game, playing favorites, little or no recognition, unclear goals, etc can lead to high stress and burn-out. It invariably lowers the productivity of individuals and the teams.
Building positivity at workplace means, each member of your team feels belonged and valued. Every person on your team encourages the other to be the best, they recognize that the efforts are collective, all feel inclusive and everyone’s ideas are valued and welcomed.
As leaders, build a positive workplace with the below everyday practices as part of your culture:
- Encourage the language of responsibility over language of blame
- Appreciation behaviors and tasks that are well done – what you appreciate gets reinforced
- Share credit – no one ever climbed the peak alone, so share the credit for all the job well done
- Encourage collaboration over competition
- Celebrate successes – it reinforces positivity and encourages togetherness
Cut The Meeting Time
A recent survey done in a range of industries revealed that 65% employees feel that meetings keep them away from completing their own work and 71% employees say that most meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
Well, if this is not a worrisome the pre and post-meeting blues is the perfect recipe to kill the productivity of the teams that are involved.
When asked, “What are the top reasons that meetings fail?” They say:
- No/ unclear agenda
- No active participation from all
- Conflict takes the big seat in the meeting
- Unprepared presenter/ participants
- Lack of actionable
- Lack of direction
- Wrong people present and right people absent
If meeting time is killing the productivity of your team, you are left with only two options. Have meetings that are A MUST and cancel all those that you think are just GOOD TO HAVE. Take some time to make a list of meetings that you and your team is part of (every day or every week) and identify which are good to have meetings, take a decision to either cancel them or reduce the time spent in such meetings.
Let us look at how can you make meetings more meaningful.
- Check if the purpose of the meeting is clear and well communicated (if not, reconsider the meeting)
- Check if the structure of the meeting, start time and end time is set (if not, plan the structure)
- Validate if everyone participating in the meeting will contribute (if not, reconsider the participant list)
- Foresee if you will face any conflicts (If so, handle them separately and not during the meeting)
With the new age workforce growing in numbers, complex business structures and the need for the speed of doing the business, it’s time that leaders choose different models of working.
Leaders must divorce the dependency culture and build a culture where controls are minimized, decisions are decentralized, and ownership is encouraged. Dependency culture does not get the best out of people. It restricts freedom of expression and freedom of failure, which results in little or no new ways of thinking. It also increases the turn-around time and fails at allowing people to take ownership.
The fact is every person on your team wants to bring their best to the workplace. However, when they experience the culture of dependency their motivation lowers, performance dips and does not rise beyond these dependencies. Researchers have illustrated how positive expectations influence the quality of performance, productivity and the motivation at the workplace.
Hence, it is inevitable that leaders build a culture of high influence and high expectation and not that of power and control. An autonomy culture is where leaders promote ownership, encourages learning from failure and accelerates growth through innovation.
Remember, autonomy is the new economy!
Clear Collaborative Purpose Driven Career Goals
When it comes to driving productivity through career goals, there are three major factors Clarity, Collaboration, and Purpose. Missing one of them can lead to lower motivation and impacting the overall productivity of your team.
Unclear or ambiguous career goals create inertia among the team members. Such goals slow you down and eventually lead to lower morale among employees, higher cost and several unmet expectations. Setting clear goals but without collaboration is presuming that the employees are inspired enough and are aligned to your vision and your goal. A goal without sense of purpose may create short-term success but not long-term drive to live up to their potential.
When as a leader you set clear, collaborative and purpose-driven goals, your team starts to believe that they are not just part of something that is transactional but something that is transformational.
These 4 simple yet powerful leadership practices can bring a huge shift in your team’s performance. As a result of these 4 practices, you will find that your teams are more inspired to bring their best selves to the workplace. They will be willing to go extra-mile impacting the overall productivity and profitability of your business.