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3 Ways You're Getting in the Way of Your Employees' Productivity (and How to Stop)

Focus day

Choose a day on the week and block 3-4 hours of focus time: turn your phone off, stay away from your emails, and focus on just one or two high-value activities that will make the most difference in your company.
Encourage your employees to do the same.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

3 Ways You're Getting in the Way of Your Employees' Productivity (and How to Stop)

3 Ways You're Getting in the Way of Your Employees' Productivity (and How to Stop)

https://www.inc.com/david-finkel/3-ways-youre-getting-in-way-of-your-employees-productivity-and-how-to-stopdraft-1583174943.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Unnecessary meetings

Meetings should be held to create value. So if you feel a meeting doesn't create value, don't hold it. Letting your employees use that time to work will bring you more value.
Choose your meetings wisely and mare sure you stick to the agenda during your time together.

Focus day

Choose a day on the week and block 3-4 hours of focus time: turn your phone off, stay away from your emails, and focus on just one or two high-value activities that will make the most difference in your company.
Encourage your employees to do the same.

Clear deadlines and deliverables

Your team should a clear idea of what they need to focus on and the milestones to be met, in a quarter.
Failing to have clear deadlines and deliverables will lead to confusion and will sabotage employee productivity.

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Focus on value

The key to any productivity system is to focus on value, not effort.

Instead of focusing on completing as many tasks as possible from your to-do list, focus on the highest-impact ...

Do a mind sweep

This process walks through a list of prompts in different categories, looking for things you're trying to remember and commitments you've made and gets them out onto paper.

It will help you clear your thoughts and get the distractions out of your head.

Review the week to come

Take the time to review the coming week's schedule and organize it into large chunks of time, with tasks grouped by importance and urgency.

It will make it easier to manage your work.

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Setting employee expectations
A recent study reveals that almost half of all U.S. employees are unsure of what's expected of them.

Setting clear employee expectations can benefit your business. Management must co...

Employer/Employee expectations

Employee expectations to maintain:

  • Displaying a positive and respectful attitude
  • Working with honesty and integrity
  • Performing their work to a reasonable standard 

Employees expectations;

  • Proper training, support and leadership from management and access to resources
  • Timely and accurate payment of wages
  • Safe working environments
  • Explanation of responsibilities, company policies and procedures
  • Regular feedback from supervisors or managers.
Team expectations

Team expectations refer to the behaviors that occur while working together on tasks. 

  • Respect and courtesy to everyone.
  • Be accountable for your work.
  • Be reasonably flexible about task assignments.
  • Be willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Work safely together.
  • Be open to constructive feedback.
  • Be self-motivated and reliable.
  • Share ideas for improvement.
  • Be cheerful, positive and encouraging to other team members.

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Steps to an effective delegation
Steps to an effective delegation
  • Always provide feedback.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on things.
  • Be clear about what you want your employees to do.
  • Delegate the right things.
Must-have questions for 1:1 meetings
  1. How’s life? - Helps with building trust.
  2. What are you worried about right now?  
  3. What rumors are you hearing that you think I should know about? ...
Benefits of a learning culture

During the last recession, companies that invested in their employees, in part by providing the training they needed to move forward in their careers, enjoyed profit gains of 26 percent, compared t...

When hiring, screen for learners
  • Ask about passion projects. Learners tend to pursue something else outside work (training for a marathon, playing with a band, etc.)
  • Focus on curiosity as much as hard skills. Bring up problems currently facing the team and see how the candidate responds.
  • One of the most important things to a learning mindset is the ability to admit you don't know something. So be aware of how they approach the things they don't understand.
Learning as a company policy

This means explicitly defining ongoing learning as a core company value.

Empowering employees can mean providing the time or money to enable learning - in other words, offering learning opportunities as a job benefit like health insurance. 

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...
Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.
Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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Delegation = effective management skill

Without the ability to delegate effectively, it is impossible for you to advance in management to higher positions of responsibility.

Learning how to delegate is not only about maximiz...

Delegation method and staff experience
  • For new and inexperienced in the job staff -  use a directive delegation style (Tell exactly what you want them to do).
  • For staff that has experience in the job (they know what they are doing) - use the effective, management by objectives delegation method (Tell people the end result that you want and then get out of their way).
  • When the staff person is completely experienced and competent, your method of delegation in this case is simply, easy interaction.
Question to consider when before delegating
  • Who can do this job instead of you?
  • Who can do this job better than me?
  • Who can do this job at a lower cost than me?
  • Can this activity be eliminated altogether?

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Dealing with a crisis

A crisis can strike any company anytime, anywhere. Advanced planning is the key to survival.
Before a crisis strikes, business owners should think about how a disaster would impact employees...

Crisis management
  • Have a plan that includes specific actions that will be taken in the event of a crisis.
  • Identify a spokesperson and prepared them to deal with the public and the media.
  • Be honest and open.
  • Always inform your employees. This keeps the business flowing smoothly.
  • Communicate with customers and suppliers.
  • Over-communicate. A lack of updates will allow rumors to fill the void.
  • Be sure to establish a social media team to monitor, post and react to social media activity throughout the crisis.
Fuel growth while managing uncertainty
Fuel growth while managing uncertainty
  • Prepare for multiple outcomes that are within your control.
  • Refine your business plan. Adjust your strategies to your business’s current situation so you can u...
Segmenting your day

This is an essential aspect  of successfully preparing for your day: you separate your actions into small chunks and focus only on the mini-goals of each segment.

The alternative is...

Leverage the power of systems

Probably the most influential step you can take toward creating a consistent practice of success is to invest in the systems that make your life run like a well-oiled machine.

Systems allow you to leverage your and other people’s time.

Ask for help

We all plateau. It’s frustrating but also a normal part of life. The key to bursting through ceilings, be they mental, physical or financial, is to hold yourself accountable. That doesn't mean accountable for doing it all, but accountable for getting help.

You’ll be surprised by how much further and faster a little help can take you.