Productivity problems can seem like a real challenge to overcome and they can strike at any time. Your best team can become unmotivated and unproductive with little warning, but you can solve productivity problems and get things back on track.
One of the best ways to deal with productivity problems is to try and prevent them in the first place by adopting a more innovative framework. By using a more innovative framework you’ll be able to improve communication, promote creative free thinking and ensure your employees are more motivated.
Productivity issues can happen across all businesses and at all levels, but you don’t have to put up with them because they can be fixed. Below I’ve outlined some of the most common productivity issues businesses can face and how you can fix them.
If you’re working in an office there are going to be a lot of distractions you could be busy writing a paper or answering emails only to take a break to check the news. You tell yourself you’ll only be a few minutes but then you end up spending hours just messing about online when you should be doing work.
Now that’s a more extreme example a more common distraction in the workplace is the risk of playing about on your smartphone when you should be doing work or getting caught up gossiping with co-workers. Every workplace regardless of the industry can suffer productivity issues because of distracted employees, so how do you fix this problem?
Thankfully preventing distracted employees is easier than you might think, the first step should be to limit distractions whenever possible. Smartphones and the internet are essential to most modern businesses so you can’t exactly stop people from using them, can you?
Instead, build a more trusting and open relationship with your employees let them know they have the freedom to take a break to unwind and relax. However, you should also make it clear that when they are in the office they are there to work. You can take more a lax easy-going approach but make sure you strike the right balance.
This is one of the most common reasons for unproductive employees and worst of all it can be very difficult to prevent. Every workplace will go through periods where they just have to carry on with the more mundane daily tasks. There might not be any exciting big projects on the horizon so your employees can easily get bored dealing with the usual day to day tasks.
So, how do you fix this problem? Well while you might not always have exciting work to do you should encourage your employees to be creative so they can make the more mundane tasks more interesting.
You might also want to impose a schedule with your employees so they can get the more boring tasks done first before moving onto the more exciting stuff. It might be difficult doing the more mundane tasks first thing in the morning but trust me your employees will feel much more motivated once they’ve got them out of the way.
No Creative Freedom
This problem is in many ways the neighbour of the productivity issue outlined above. If you’re to ridged in your management style then your employees can feel incredibly limited in how they can work. This can cause huge issues with productivity because your employees will only be able to work one way.
They will soon grow bored with this and not feel motivated to work hard. Thankfully combating this problem is easy all you need to do is encourage your employees to be creative. OK, that sounds simple enough but in practice, it can be much more difficult simply telling your employees to be creative won’t make them creative, will it?
So, as a leader and manager, you should foster a more open environment and encourage your employees to share their ideas with you. You’ll still need to monitor things of course because greater creative freedom does come with some risks.
One of the best ways to do this is to utilise a more innovative OKR framework. An OKR framework will help you track your objectives and results better while also enabling you to better monitor the work being done. OKRs are also great for defining what you want your employees to actually do, which is certainly going to be useful for the next issue as well.
No Clear Set Goals
If your employees don’t actually know what they are supposed to be doing then they will be sure to suffer serious productivity issues, won’t they? So, it’s essential that you clearly set out what your goals are for your employees. Remember goals aren’t just for big projects either your daily tasks will have end goals as well, won’t they?
And they are just as important to complete but if your employees aren’t sure what they need to do to get from point A to point B then they will feel unmotivated and unproductive. But thankfully this problem can be dealt with in a number of proven to be effective ways.
OKRs, as we’ve already looked at, are one of the best ways to do this because it allows you to outline and define your objectives, therefore your employees will know what they need to do in order for you to achieve your desired outcome. But OKRs aren’t the only way to ensure you always have clear goals.
Smart goals are another great framework to employ, a smart goal is a goal that is specifically designed to make every important aspect of your objective clear. With a smart goal, you’ll have the specifics, measurable outcomes and realistic agreed upon results all worked out. You’ll also have the timeframe/ deadline set out as well.
When combined with OKRs smart goals are a great way to ensure your employees will always know what they are doing. So, if you want to combat and take proper preventive measures against productivity problems in your business make sure you take these solutions into account and focus on utilising OKRs and smart goals.