Productivity in any business is a critical element of success. When an organization is running like a well-oiled machine, employees are engaged, and everyone is focused and contributing to the company's goals, which translates into a competitive advantage and increased revenues.
And the research speaks for itself:
- Organizations with highly engaged employees have an average 3-year revenue growth 2.3 times greater than companies whose employees were only engaged at a moderate level. (Source: UNC Kenanflager Business School)
- Employees who exercise their strengths on a daily basis are 8% more productive and 6x more likely to be engaged. (Source: Gallup)
- Productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees. (Source: The McKinsey Global Institute)
- However, it's not all wine and roses in the day job. Productivity can be hampered by poor communication, excessive workload, poor management practices, and even email – with a staggering 28% of work time spent dealing with it.
- So how can you sidestep these productivity-sapping hazards? We've devised four simple steps to get you from wadding in treacle to skipping through your work day.
Fortunately, there are some key processes available to help business owners and managers get the most out of their employees. The use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is one such process that can help to measure employee performance and productivity. By employing KPIs companies can easily track employee progress, set goals, identify areas for improvement, and gain insights about how their organization works as a whole.
But KPIs are not the answer alone – they need to be implemented alongside some basic productivity best practice so here are 4 steps to becoming a productivity legend using KPIs:
In this article:
- Multitasking doesn't work!
- Organize tasks into bite-size chunks
- Say NO, delegate, and create accountability
- Automate and organize your data to get quicker insights
1. Multitasking doesn't work!
We all multitask for the wrong reasons. Generally, we indulge in it because it makes us feel busy, and busy feels good; it feels like we're being productive. We are constantly blasted with overloads of information and demands on our time. However, doing lots and lots of tasks at once only facilitates cognitive load; it doesn't increase our brain's capacity. In fact, we end up switching to less demanding (and often less accurate) cognitive strategies.
So, it's time to ditch the multitasking and focus on one task at a time. Create prioritized to-do lists at the beginning of each day and plan your time in blocks. And, if possible, set regular intervals to check your email until those times, and if possible – try switching it off.
Making lists is one of the best ways to track your tasks. It can be helpful to break down each item into smaller parts that are easier to complete. This makes it simpler for you to keep track of your progress toward completing items on your list.
2. Organize tasks into bite-size chunks
The best way to get dug into that big project is to reduce the whole into manageable and digestible parts. It may seem like common sense, but taking those tasks and tackling them logically is not. There's always the temptation to tackle the smaller tasks first. We do this twofold; we avoid the larger tasks as they feel more daunting and require more time to complete, and secondly, we like to feel productive - so lots of little ticks give us the sense of immediate accomplishment, sometimes to the detriment of the overall productivity.
Stick to the plan. To avoid reworking tasks, work through each one in its logical sequence. Utilise project management software or even a simple spreadsheet and tick off the tasks one by one.
3. Say NO, delegate, and create accountability
Trying to tackle too much is a common trait of motivated and driven individuals. It's a trait that is formed by the control-based illusion that nobody can do the task better or nobody can do it as efficiently. Subsequently, others learn this behavior and are more likely to pile on the tasks.
Saying NO, and learning to delegate tasks to others is a skill worth cultivating to improve overall performance within teams or departments. A key to successful delegation is to create accountability. Ensure that others will be held accountable and provide a process to monitor the progress of those tasks.
Managers often avoid holding people accountable, but using visual aids like KPI dashboards can help track tasks and target progress without making employees feel micromanaged.
Another great way to keep informed on the progress of tasks is to use the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system. KPI Software also offers the ability to show progress towards defined targets and goals.
4. Automate and organise your data to get quicker insights
Another productivity killer is what we like to call data addiction. Its symptoms include hours and hours drooling over spreadsheets, accompanied by further hours of interpreting that data in various, almost fantastical theories while coming to limited conclusions.
It's time to get your data, Metrics, and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in shape. By automating these data points onto easy-to-understand visual representations such as KPI Dashboards or Reports will free up hours and hours to get on with other tasks. It will also allow you to make better, more insightful decisions quicker.
Research shows that those people who are engaged in the workplace are simply happier and more productive. A few practical steps can make a massive difference in the quality and enjoyment of work. By improving productivity, communication, and delegation skills, a business can benefit from employees focused on the organization's wider goals and strategic objectives, which positively impacts the bottom line.
Productivity is essential to a successful and efficient business, but it doesn't have to be daunting. By following the four steps outlined above, you can become a productivity legend in no time! Take advantage of KPI tracking software and automated data collection to make better decisions faster, prioritize tasks through lists and delegate responsibilities with accountability. With these tools and techniques, you'll be on your way to becoming a productivity guru!