According to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, the biggest retail company in the world, “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
Employees are the most valuable assets of any organisation. And leaders know for a fact that the success of the business depends on the resources, priorities, and employee productivity.
But how will you be able to achieve that?
Let’s take a look.
How Your Employees can Become More Productive And Achieve Their Goals
Did you know, according to Voucher Cloud, “The average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day.”
As a leader/ supervisor, one of the biggest responsibilities that you need to shoulder is to inspire others with your authenticity and actions. If you do this well, everyone in your team will be super productive and efficient.
However, one of the biggest challenges for first-time supervisors is to balance this leadership mindset and focusing on helping people while still finding time to complete their own tasks.
While there is no best method to help your employees become more productive and efficient, here are seven approaches that will definitely help make your life a lot simpler.
Reinforce the bigger picture
Right from the executives all the way down to the entry-level employees, everyone deserves to know the why behind the company goals. How is their contribution towards a specific goal significant for the organisation? How does it fit in the bigger scheme of things? What will happen if they’re able to achieve this goal?
As a leader, you must answer these questions for your employees. It becomes easier for them to understand why and how they fit in the overall picture and how they can navigate their way through the system.
Again while breaking down the goals, it is important to keep track of the bigger picture and not get so much involved in the details that the end result becomes out of focus. Leaders who are able to drive people with passion and focus inspire their employees to take relevant action in achieving those goals.
Connect with your employees regularly
This point cannot be emphasised enough. Connecting with the team regularly to know how they’re doing is very important. Do they have any concerns? Are they on track with their goals? Do they need any support?
You may also conduct weekly or monthly catch-ups to share business updates and priorities, recognise their hard work, reward them for any accomplishments. Carrying out a retrospective or debrief is another way of checking what went well, what did not go well, and what could be the potential action items for the next month. Having these check-ins not only makes your employees feel valued, but boosts their morale too.
Foster a positive attitude
Coaching your team members for productivity and performance can be made exciting. Team activities can be fun and can foster a positive spirit and attitude within the team. Using illustrations, diagrams, and charts creates a fun environment and the team members feel more relaxed and driven to share their focus areas and work towards them.
Martin Seligman, a renowned positive Psychologist developed this model called PERMA to highlight the essential elements we all need to make us happy. They are:
- Positive emotion
- Relationships (positive)
Start by thinking about how you can increase and improve each of these elements in your team. Following that, spend time to reflect on the work you do on a daily basis. Do you know about the strengths of your team members? And how often do they use their strengths? If not, then conduct a SWOT analysis to find out about their strengths.
Then you can use the MPS (Meaning, Pleasure, Strength) process to observe how you can utilise these strengths to bring about a change in their work and career.
Finally, take some time to work on your Emotional Intelligence (EI) as this is a critical skill for leaders to develop a deeper awareness and how they can use it to impact their employees.
Set realistic goals into achievable chunks
Goals may seem overwhelming if they are not broken down into smaller and more achievable chunks. Most of the people who are success-driven take a look at the goals and then plan backward. Instead of starting with the yearly goals, they always start with a monthly goal.
It’s similar to running a marathon. You don’t set out by thinking you will run 30 miles today, you first set your target for five miles, then 10, and gradually cover the remaining miles. If you’re taking baby steps towards the goals, you’re more likely to achieve them.
complete one task properly instead of multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is definitely a big myth. According to research, “Multitasking can hurt your productivity by 40%.”
If you think you can achieve all at once, you will definitely miss out on something, either big or small. In the process of achieving goals, quality should always take precedence over quantity.
Here’s how you can focus on goals and track them closely:
- Create a to-do list of not more than four to five items for the day and then track them religiously to completion.
- Set deadlines for yourself and make sure not to miss them at any cost.
- Avoid checking your emails in a robotic manner and do away with the urge of instantly responding to all emails. Some emails need to be thought through. Allow that time to draft a response carefully and then send the email.
- Book meetings for a shorter duration as it is the general tendency of people to get to the meat of the discussion and quickly wrap up the points when there is not much time in hand.
Another way could be to incorporate the 1-3-5 rule in your work schedule. This means you need to start your day by tackling the most challenging tasks followed by the medium-complexity tasks and end your day with the tasks that are smaller and the easiest.
Seek out feedback Proactively
Someone rightly said, “there is always room for improvement.” If you’re a leader, this is certainly applicable for you. And there is no one better than your employees to provide feedback on your growth areas and the overall business goals. The timing of getting feedback is as important as getting honest and actionable feedback.
Some of the questions you might consider while seeking feedback on the goals could be:
- What do you think is happening now and how is this going to impact us in the long run?
- What steps have you taken towards achieving your goals?
- Does this goal conflict with any of your other goals?
- Are there any concerns or barriers in achieving these goals?
- What should be the cadence to track and review the progress of these goals?
Here’s what you can do when asking for feedback:
- Keep the feedback discussion very future-oriented.
- Be very specific about the feedback-related questions. Avoid questions like, “what do you think?” etc. by all means.
- Let your employees know that this feedback process is an important contribution from their end in adding value to the overall system.
- Give them ample time to think about the questions and then come back with their responses.
Celebrate every milestone
We’re always so engrossed with celebrating the overall win that we often tend to ignore or overlook the milestones that helped us reach the end goal. Make sure you celebrate every small milestone as each one of them is an accomplishment. Take time to congratulate each of your team members for their hard work and offer positive reinforcement. Always focus on the brighter outcomes if the goal is achieved rather than emphasising on the downsides of the journey.
Here’s how celebrating every milestone benefits you:
- It boosts your mindset and physiology.
- It releases feel-good hormones within your body and makes future accomplishments and successes more likely.
- It strengthens and reinforces motivation and in turn enhances the momentum.
As John Stahl-Wert, a best-selling author and speaker as well as an acclaimed authority in the field of leadership development rightly said, “When we celebrate a milestone, we are reminded to give thanks for the rest of our everyday moment.”
Irrespective of the strategies you employ to help your team members become more productive and reach their goals, there are certain members who would never be a great fit for the current job. You can definitely use performance development plans to track their progress, but if they’re still not able to show a considerable amount of progress, then you might need to take the hard call.
You know for a fact that every member in your team will not be able to perform like a rockstar. But your role as a supervisor or a leader is to bring forth these rockstar qualities out of ordinary members. Ultimately, it’s you who should be able to set your team up for success while achieving your organisational and personal goals.
Author: Egle Adomynaite – Content Partnership Specialist, Skale