Whether you’re working from home still or you’ve returned to the office, you’re still limited to a finite number of hours each day. And if you’re helping with your children’s schoolwork, you have even fewer hours to get your own work done. And your team is likely feeling the same way, stressed and busy and needing more hours in the day to accomplish their goals. But if you can help them maximize their productivity, they’ll be successful and you’ll be boss of the year. Here are some unexpected ways to improve your team’s productivity.
Be a good example
It’s hard to really buckle down and get work done when your supervisor isn’t doing the same. As the boss, you set the tone for the workplace and play a big role in dictating the company culture. Use your time wisely, plan ahead, streamline and minimize meetings, and distinguish between what’s most urgent and most important to work more strategically.
Help your team manage their workloads by looking at the big picture and figuring out what they should be spending their time on. Outline goals for them and be clear about your priorities. They’ll accomplish more if you can help them determine what they need to be working on now and what they can put off until later. Otherwise, they’re putting too much energy into too many things at once and not really completing any of them.
Be clear about expectations
Once you set goals, be very clear about deadlines and individual responsibilities. Don’t micromanage, of course, but let your team know who should be doing what and by when. Nothing kills morale and breeds resentment more than when people feel overworked, pressed for time, and underappreciated.
Keep close tabs
If your team is working from home, now is a crucial time to establish regular check-in times. After all, it’s easy to assume your employees are getting their work done when you don’t see them very often. Talk to them about time management, handling challenges, what resources they need, and where they are in respect to important deadlines. And keep a close watch on them as individuals. It’s 2020 and people are struggling. Recognize when your people are overwhelmed, depressed, or on the point of breaking. If they are, get them help. This might mean lightening their workload, pushing back deadlines, or helping them secure help from mental health professionals.
Have an open door
When you do check in with your employees, don’t weigh them down with advice—hear their viewpoints and ask for feedback, too. When your team feels like their opinions are respected and validated, they’re more likely to work harder and stay loyal to their team. Plus, by acting on their feedback, you’ll be able to facilitate a more productive team.
Empower your team
Grant your team the autonomy to make decisions. If they’re constantly checking in and waiting to hear back from you, they’re certainly not using their time efficiently and you’re demonstrating that you don’t fully trust them to decide for themselves.
Research shows that people are more productive when they take breaks. They return from their breaks energized, in a better mood, and ready to power through some work. Regardless of your company culture, encourage your team to take a lunch break, some weekend rest and relaxation, or just some midafternoon chill time so they don’t burn out. And now that people are working from home, don’t stress if you don’t hear back from them right away. Maybe they’re taking a timeout to prep dinner, do some laundry, or help a child with some schoolwork—whatever they need to make them feel productive and in control.
For more tips on maximizing your team’s productivity, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh