Leaders are always working on productivity improvement. They follow countless approaches that promise productivity improvement. But considering that people in the organization are still busy in work, covered in emails, and not able to focus on important priorities, we can say that these productivity tools and techniques just do not hack it.
The problem is not with these different approaches. The problem is that they fail to take into consideration that most of the employees in the organization do not work in silos. They work in complex and interrelated functions and it is these interdependencies that have maximum effect on individual employee productivity. Leaders should work at the system level and not at the individual level, to improve productivity.
This Transformation Tuesday, let us look at measures to improve productivity:
1. Classify your problems
Most progressive and productive organizations have categorized the daily problems or issues, with a defined escalation system. The first category includes a discussion of issues at the shopfloor with the frontline employees at the start of the day. The next category includes supervisors for 30 minutes. Followed by the supervisors are the managers for the next 30 minutes. Followed by the managers are the VPs for 30 minutes.
After the VPS is the executive team for 30 minutes. Problems are addressed from the lowest level in the organization. If the problem is not resolved at a particular level it is escalated to the next level. This process strengthens the linkage between the different levels in the organization. It also fastens the decision-making process and most importantly, it improves productivity.
2. Implement Daily Work Management
Most of the work in an organization is not known. It is either in the computer systems of the employees or in their heads. Hence it is difficult to know what people are working on, whether they are overburdened, or they do not have enough tasks at hand. So, daily work management is a technique where each task is represented by a card with details like who is working on it, when is the task to be completed, and what is the status of the task (completed or escalated). This mechanism allows for better accountability and distribution of work.
3. Define the communication channel
Organizations can make work easier for the employees by defining channels for communication based on the urgency of priority of the assigned work. It will help improve productivity as employees would not spend unnecessary time checking all the emails. For example, of the work is of high priority and high complexity, then the employees should pick up the phone and discuss or have a face-to-face meeting.
4. Give authority along with responsibility
If an employee is given the responsibility of a particular task, then he/she should be given the authority to take the necessary decision, without being dragged into the endless loop of emails, meetings, and calls. Allow the employees to take low-risk decisions and they should only require approval for high-risk decisions.
The chase of individual productivity is needed and worthy. However, to improve productivity you must make the systems strong and defined. To make a real impact, leaders must work at the organizational level.
Written & Compiled by Faber Mayuri