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Having Productivity Issues? Learn the Basics of Workplace Productivity

A company can have a team of skilled, talented, and educated professionals where each team member has relevant training and experience, a good attitude, and a solid work ethic. Members of the team get along well with each other. When you put all these together, you get to achieve results. The team gets to deliver high-quality projects on time and to spec.

However, the problem is the pieces do not always fall into place.

One teammate promises to deliver and then doesn’t. Deadlines are forgotten, meetings are being missed, and important communications being misplaced. We even lose track of our to-dos. As a result, when one person fumbles, the whole team scrambles. This leads to failed projects, frustrated teammates, and financial losses.

A total of 1,160 professionals were interviewed on how individual performance can affect team productivity within the organization. Ninety-four percent of those interviewed revealed that at least one teammate frequently misses deadlines, 85% said that at least one teammate appears busy but fails to complete tasks on time, and 91% said that at least one teammate spends too much time on unimportant tasks. Significantly, the study showed that 9 out of 10 professionals interviewed revealed that when one team commits any of these blunders, the team and organization suffer.

People come to the workplace with various skill sets and backgrounds. They know how to navigate the application, develop programs, oversee communications, manage resources, devise strategies, or lead people. Yet, only a few are well versed in workflow management or even had formal training on it. Yet, nobody gets a degree in Workplace Productivity.

Expertise vs. Effectiveness

Results of a McKinsey Research showed that knowledge and skills cannot make up for low poor productivity practices that can affect morale and results. Expertise is how people work. Effectiveness is what they can do. There is a key difference between the two.

Expertise can refer to people who have good intentions and rich technical backgrounds while effectiveness is the inability to manage workload. Based on the research, as a person’s roles and responsibilities increase, productivity begins to fall. To thrive in a world of endless tasks and inputs, it is essential that key productivity practices are developed.

Mastering Key Productivity Practices

In how work is done, even small fumbles have a huge impact. With key Workplace Productivity practices, organizations can move to be smart and strategic.

Taking on each of the productivity practices can deliver a great impact on organizations.

  1. End with Next Steps. Undertaking this first productivity practice can result in projects moving forward seamlessly. This can also reduce the need for future meetings.
  1. Capture Commitments. When commitments are captured, team members are more apt to get work done on time and foster trust. A sense of care is communicated to teammates resulting in increased confidence.
  1. Dedicate Time to Each Work Mode. Critical projects and tasks are completed when time is allocated to each work mode. Team members become more effective if time is demarcated.
  1. Saying “No” When Needed is the fourth productivity practice. This will foster a culture where teammates seek real solutions, rather than agree to every request out of a sense of obligation. This behavior will spur focus and engagement. In an organization, it is okay to say “No.” A YES mentality will backfire the minute men have too much on their plate.

Organizations will always have top performers as well as average performers. What is important is the ability of organizations to develop their people into top performers. Having a good mastery of the key productivity practices can boost productivity to a high level despite multiple roles and responsibilities.

Beyond these practices to improve personal productivity, a company can also adopt some Lean Workplace Productivity methodologies, such as Visual Management and 5S for the Office.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Workplace Productivity practices? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint of our Workplace Productivity Primer here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is the marketplace for best practices in business management. Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. The documents at Flevy (https://flevy.com) are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience. Flevy covers 200+ management topics, ranging from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

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