Last week I outlined how simple things like restraining meeting time and setting email conventions can help you get more out of your staff. By incorporating the following five tips into your company’s culture and office life, you should similarly experience an increase in the productivity of your workforce.
6. Know when work is ‘good enough.’
Always remember the law of diminishing returns: Each additional increment of time or effort achieves less than the previous increment. Quit gilding the lily and chasing perfection. Embrace “good enough” and make completion and execution priorities over indefinite attempts to achieve perfection.
7. Allow employees to focus.
Provide employees with — and encourage the use of — ‘do not disturb’ signs. Once focus is broken, it takes several minutes to get it back. In today’s modern open offices and cubicle cities, interruptions are nearly constant. A ‘do not disturb’ sign on one’s desk is an effective and polite way of saying, “if this isn’t urgent, please come back later – I’m busy.”
8. Share data and metrics.
There are numerous studies demonstrating that simply showing someone data is enough to generate performance improvements, even in the absence of a directive. Make figures related to absenteeism, productivity, output, year-over-year performance, etc. highly visible to everyone. Believe it or not, this alone will make a difference. Incentives and a little inter-departmental competition here can be healthy.
9. Invest in better lighting.
A poorly lit office makes people feel logy and down. It’s also harder on the eyes. If you want people to be productive and efficient, the least you can do is give them a workplace that doesn’t feel like a dungeon.
10. Provide continual feedback.
When you read/see/hear something you like, say so. Make sure the person it came from hears it. When somebody does good work but it appears as though nobody noticed, that person is less inclined to keep up the effort. Of course, the converse applies, too. Feedback is a universally underestimated tool for improving productivity. Make it a priority.
Increased productivity from your staff needn’t require great time and effort from you as the business owner. If you implement even a few small tactics that will help your employees focus on their jobs, you and your business will see results.
Jay Lebo is one of the founders of Gravitas Business Architects, and has been helping companies multiply growth and outperform the competition for more than a decade.