As your business grows, it is important to note that your employees hold the power of productivity. However, you can help them be more productive by implementing these 7 productivity hacks for your business. Implementing these productivity hacks can not only improve workplace efficiency, but also relieve your employees of some of the anxiety that often comes with feeling overwhelmed from too many tasks, or having a disorganized day.
Building a more efficient team takes training. Without it, they will never adopt new methods or technologies. You also need to make sure everyone is not only onboard but that they have a say in how these methods are implemented. Get them involved in the process.
Use these productivity hacks to make your team, and ultimately your business, more efficient.
Cut down on unnecessary meetings.
According to research, employees attend about 62 meetings per month, on average. A mid-level manager spends about 35% of their time in meetings and executives spend up to 50% of their time in meetings.
What’s worse is that 47% of employees have stated that meetings are the number one time-waster in the company and do nothing to add to the bottom line. 91% of the meeting participants have reported daydreaming during the meeting. 65% of senior managers said that meetings kept them from completing their own work.
Why do companies have excessive meetings?
It is true that some meetings enable creativity and innovation and allow people to foster relationships that can provide good use of knowledge transfer and information exchange.
Executives and managers who want to show they are good leaders by sacrificing their own time for these meetings, often think it’s good for the business. However, they are not viewing or quantifying the toll it takes on productivity and the well-being of their employees.
Having a productive meeting.
The meeting should only be to set the course of action, assign tasks, and set milestones and deadlines. Everything else can be done through email, chat, phone, and project management or collaboration software.
The next time you think about having a meeting, make sure you understand the cost and sacrifice involved in having that meeting. Businesses spend $25 million per day or $37 billion per year on unproductive meetings. So, think twice before you put a meeting on someone else’s calendar. It may save the company a lot of time and money.
Utilize project management tools.
Project management tools are a must-have for every business that has open projects or major ongoing projects that require collaboration and support from a team of individuals.
Close work proximity, open-office environments, or open-door policies enable team members to walk over to your desk to discuss tasks and project issues. But these conversations can end up being a huge waste of time.
Utilizing project management tools can keep these conversations to a minimum. Platforms such as Slack, Trello, or Basecamp can help your employees save valuable time, as well as enable them to divide tasks among team members and allow them to complete projects efficiently.
Encourage better time management.
Seeing employees at their desk does not mean they are working, but you don’t necessarily want to watch them like a hawk or micro-manage them either.
The best thing to do is ensure they are properly trained on time management. Show them how they can improve their efficiency and productivity by utilizing time management techniques. Encourage them to take courses on time management and seek out colleagues who have excellent time management skills, to find out what they are doing.
There are many mobile, web, or desktop applications that allow you to better manage your time. Seek them out and see how you can make your life easier with one, or any of these tools.
Encouraging your employees to take short breaks when they drift off, can help them re-focus their energy on what they were working on and get it done faster, with higher quality output.
Automating your business can create efficiency, increase productivity, and remove human error from the equation. There is business process automation, where a set of activities that have become routine, are automatically done by a computer or software program on a scheduled basis. There is also marketing automation, software that can plan, coordinate, and measure marketing campaigns.
Implementing a business automation plan can greatly improve your business, and allow for continued growth. However, automation software can only do what it is programmed to do. If your business or marketing processes are poor, to begin with, then the automation software will only amplify those bad processes. Before you begin implementing anything, make sure your business and marketing processes are best in class from the start.
Gamification is a strategy that fosters competition and enhances productivity. It has been around for a long time, but it was essentially used for video games, by applying a set of activities to solve problems through the use of game elements. Today, businesses use it as a way to motivate employee participation and engagement.
Gamification allows for the encouragement and appreciation of hard work by setting up a reward system for completing tasks. There are different types of gamification strategies. Some use point systems to offer incentives, such as paid vacations. Others may use competition by displaying positioning boards (think, number one salesperson or employee of the month), or even job promotions that are up for grabs.
Multitasking is not something to brag about as a good skill to have. It’s simply not true. When you think you are multitasking, you are actually switching from one task to the next, over and over again. It also leads to more mistakes and less productivity. (see related: Top 5 Brain Hacks To Optimize Performance)
In fact, a Stanford University study showed that people who consider themselves multitaskers underperformed on memory tasks and showed a loss of sustained attention. They essentially took longer to perform tasks, did not remember as much of what was being performed, and made more mistakes. Bottom line…don’t do it. Focus on one task a time until completed and then move on to the next one.
Eliminate Digital Distractions.
Our world has become inundated with distractions, and it’s affecting our work. If you want to make yourself more productive and have more focus, you need to eliminate any digital distractions from your workspace.
One way to do this is by making sure you keep your mobile phone on silent and stowed in a drawer where you can’t look at it every 30 seconds.
If you focus better while listening to music, then it should be music without any lyrics. Music with lyrics is too distracting for you to focus on your work.
Another way to eliminate distractions is to limit the hours for office visits. In other words, set boundaries and visiting hours for people stopping by your desk or office.
The final thing you could do is only respond to emails two or three times a day, at designated times. That way you are focusing on the task at hand and not checking your email every time you hear a ding, or see one come in.
If you want your employees to be more productive, implement these productivity hacks, but also give them the opportunity to learn new skills and new ways to be more productive. In the end, it should only help your company grow. Foster their growth and they will drive your business growth in turn. To truly be effective, these methods must be reinforced and ongoing.