Businesses are operating on global stages, with teams that will increasingly be comprised of multigenerational Remote and Gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors across multiple locations. Strategic adjustment and transformation in rapidly changing times is a business necessity. The discretionary effort and talent of our teams must be harnessed to create meaningful jobs and lives, whilst simultaneously accelerating productivity to encourage financial performance and success.
Enhancing productivity requires a balancing act between defined metrics and goals and engendering human commitment and loyalty.
In this moving landscape, Company Vision and Purpose need to be deeply attuned with the Values of existing employees. The merging of individual and organisation purpose will help motivate your teams towards goals that they are intrinsically connected to. Purpose and Values should also reflect inclusiveness and diversity in opinions, skills and workforce composition. Diversified human assets can directly affect productivity in that products and services are internally driven by different perspectives/expertise and therefore positively impact creativity, problem solving and quality control. This will help define your culture and unique selling points.
• Does your Talent Strategy incorporate skills as well as values gaps?
• Have you included employee values into your Strategic approach?
• Does your Communication Strategy allow for education on Company Vision, Purpose and Beliefs and regular updates of Company performance and success?
• Does each individual understand their role and its contribution to the bigger picture?
Whilst Strategic and Operational Goals need to be agile and allow for change, it is still advisable to have an Inspiring Vision (up to three years) but also an annual, 90, 60 and 30 day plans that directly translate into how your human talent and indeed your technology needs to be aligned to measure efficiency. Each individual in the company should have objectives which reflect these KPIs in corresponding timescales. Whatever strategic matrix or model is used, the KPIs should include quantitative goals and qualitative measurements to encourage business growth whilst reducing costs; improving customer satisfaction, supplier SLAs, process targets, employee engagement measures and workforce flexibility.
• Are goals/incentives/reward packages reviewed and adjusted to reflect Individual and Organisational Purpose?
• Are one-to-ones and performance reviews allowing for operational alignment to strategy and also prioritising both behavioural and financial metrics?
• Are employee and team skills and work patterns matched/adjusted/outsourced for different tasks?
• Do team members receive upskilling, mentoring and training to ensure skills are continually refreshed?
Technology is a key vehicle for productivity in workplaces. The technology used should be attuned with the needs of our organisational Purpose and People. We should conduct an audit of our technology platforms, plot workflow to avoid overlaps in processes and encourage asynchronous working. Especially with multiple work-life demands - time management, flexible working and utilising technology wisely can help streamline effort and collaboration thereby improving individual and organisation performance.
• Examine the reason you have particular technologies present and the purpose of each for example: Slack (informal collaboration); Microsoft Teams/Zoom (meetings); JIRA (tracking projects)
• Plot processes and ensure that they are aligned with technologies to automate as far as possible; especially time consuming tasks that are routine.
• Display Organisational Vision, Values & Purpose on technological platforms and performance dashboards to encourage a culture of alignment.
• Ensure that online team meetings have an agenda, time limit, contributions from all and clear recognition of individual and team successes.
Effective Leadership Communication is the springboard to productivity as it encourages employees with their journey by removing obstacles, navigating the way forward and empowering with appropriate information, skills and resources. Helping employees feel valued and giving feedback when employees are off-track or struggling is vital. Increasingly, teams will become self-directed and may even be self-forming across functionalities. Leader communication needs to be sensitive to differing learning styles. It should avoid intrusiveness, and encourage autonomy. The ‘leader’ is now there to embody the culture, support collaboration; and encourage effort towards key deliverables.
• Does your Communication Framework include the following: Senior Leadership Visibility; Information regarding company results; Recognition of individual and team contribution; Provision of team and one to one check-ins; Formal and informal gatherings?
• Is honest two-way feedback an essential part of your check-ins for individuals and teams? Do team members understand how to give empathetic feedback based on behavioural examples?
• Are you as the leader able to recognise poor performance and tackle it constructively in the interests of the team/organisation?
The pandemic has certainly highlighted the importance of Wellbeing. Employees have multiple stresses including uncertain economic times, the changing nature of work and blurred boundaries between home and work. Mental health issues can massively impact individual and organisational productivity.
• Do you pay attention to wellbeing in assigning tasks and timeframes?
• Have you encouraged flexible work patterns and effective time management habits to reduce overwhelm?
• Can you spot the signs of stress or burnout in yourself/your team?
• Have you measured the cost of poor wellbeing to bottom line results? E.g. Absence, Turnover, Grievances.
Productivity enhancement is about aligning mind-sets with actions to set the stage for outstanding performance.