You might be looking to increase the workplace productivity in your company. But what you really desire is performance. There are many consultants hired daily in large and small companies who work with teams on time management, but in the end there is not much movement. Productivity in the workplace is not some blanket fix-all.
Your employees have the potential, but potential does not equal results. An April 2016 Harvard Business Review article showed how companies are off base when looking at productivity alone. The author found in his study that employees were often doing their jobs, and doing them well. But even with all the new tech tools that are constantly coming out to support productivity, the increase in the measure of the US workers productivity is small.
This is because we are looking at the wrong measurement. It is not productivity by itself. There is not a one size fits all program that will be the same for each employee. Results are the measurement. But few people are talking about performance. Instead they want a quick fix.
The Gap Between Potential and Performance
There is a real gap between potential and performance, and that is what I teach to companies. I have surveyed and interviewed hundreds of people about their potential and the results they achieve. Many are disappointed. They know they should be accomplishing more in their careers. Your people do desire workplace productivity, but there is little understanding of who to get there in real time.
There are ways to cross this gap, but the whole team needs to be engaged in charting the course. It is not about work life balance. The theory that saving time makes everyone happier and increases employee productivity is flawed. To improve workplace productivity you cannot have just one answer. Each person is held back by a variety of things, and acknowledging this is an important first step.
It sounds good when hiring a consultant to think they will have a magic wand that will increase productivity at work. However, if it was that easy then that consultant would be booked solid. But she or he does not exist. There is no one size fits all magic answer.
Workplace Productivity is NOT Time Management
Time tracking is not the answer, as time management is a false god. A 2019 Forbes interview points out why it is “Attention Management”, not time management that makes the difference. That is how you get your people to perform and achieve results. Blindly chasing seconds is not how to improve workplace productivity. (Check out this article, as it is filled with expert advice by the industry leader on “Attention” as a key to workplace productivity – and supports my beliefs about performance).
Day to day workplace productivity involves many factors. No employee comes to work in a vacuum, so their work environment is only part of the equation. Mental health issues and feeling included are real problems in our modern workplace and do impact the productivity and the performance of each person. For decades these topics were ignored, but companies that are willing to address them are reaping the rewards.
Plans, Passion, and People
The answers in my workshop fall into four areas that add up to improve workplace productivity while doing what your really want – Results and Performance:
Plans: Achievable goals are key to success. If people do now know what they want to accomplish, they can easily get caught up in busy work. “Busy” is a faux badge of honor in our society, and it is not leading anyone toward workplace productivity. To be doing work is not the same as doing the right work. Goals and plans help individuals and teams navigate the way across the gap from potential to performance.
Purpose: To move beyond workplace productivity and get to performance your whole team must understand their purpose. But this is not just “Knowing your Why?”. The idea of your “why” is nice, but it does not go far enough. We have to get to the real purpose for each person and the whole team. This is not a simple conversation and can only work when your people are excited about their jobs.
Passion: If people hate their jobs, then all the training in the world will not move them closer to results. Surveys show a majority of workers are unsatisfied with their current employer. Think about this, if over half your people would leave if an opportunity appeared, how does that impact the results they are achieving? Yet when people enjoy their work and feel passion, they are more creative. They seek ways to cross that gap.
People: All opportunities come from people. The need to feel connected and part of the team is natural. Productivity in the workplace increases when employee morale is higher. This comes from many factors. It has to do with the relationships with co-workers, bosses, clients, suppliers, etc.. Many in business roll their eyes at the power of your network, yet when we dissect the path of the most successful, it is their connections that opened the doors.
Beyond Checking Boxes for Workplace Productivity
Too often workplace productivity / productivity in the workplace training programs are designed to make people feel good. Few classes encompass goals, work satisfaction, customer service / customer engagement, social media, etc.. Decreased productivity is never what the manager is seeking, but investing large number of hours on the wrong solutions will distract people from getting more done.
A successful workshop has to be more than something that looks good. “Fine” is what one human resource executive told me about their last company training. What? Fine? You need to look back with enthusiasm and feel like some on your team hit a “reset button” and were now taking action to navigate their path across the gap between potential and performance.
And never forget – investing in great training is an important part of your employee retention strategies.
Consider Thom Singer
If you are planning a team training with the focus on workplace productivity / productivity in the workplace, let’s customize a way for your people to attain the possible and work past the paradox of potential. We all want the same thing, and that is results. My workshop is interactive and gets people to explore their own situation and that of the people around them, with a positive performance oriented approach.
I have been speaking and training for over a decade, and am often ranked as one of the most engaging speakers at a conference. My goal is to start a dialogue that continues long after the workshop is over. Success for me is when your people say “remember what that guy said last year…” and are taking meaningful actions.
Thom Singer’s corporate training program is designed to get people to take action on crossing their gap between potential and performance. He is the host of the popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast (five years and 500 episodes) and the author of 12 books. www.ThomSinger.com
Go beyond workplace productivity. Get to performance.