So yet another Monday morning and we were all struggling to get our actions in place. While it’s easier for the founders to accept the fact that they chose this path and need to come out of the weekend hangover before the client meeting on the other side of the town, what about your employees? Are they still figuring out how to upload the pics from last night party on Facebook or have they submitted only a skeleton plan just to meet the deadline? Here are few tips to get the most out of your team in terms of quality and quantity of work.
4 Actionable tips to increase productivity of employees at work
1. Announce to the world “What are you going to do today?” -Every morning like we are required to mark our attendance on the employee register, make it a rule for every employee (including the founder) to post on the company/department mailing list mentioning, “What are you going to do today?” and another mail at the end of the day saying, “What did i do today?”. It’s a basic ToDo list that you share with everyone who works directly with you. The accountability and commitment that would be required now is much higher than for a task list that sits in your private calendar. (Read: How to Keep up Your New Year Resolution [Seven Rules] )
I know a few companies who have tried this and every employee felt the difference in their own productivity. Suddenly there was competition amongst employees to make their ToDos longer and also achieve them. All this also because the founder was appreciating and questioning the tasks everyday.
2. Ask them “Is this the best possible? / Are you happy with this?” – So this guy who you expected to create this superb deck of slides for the client presentation has just delivered something worse than your 5 yr old kid would. You probably want to f*ck his a** off right there. Instead, ask him politely “Are you satisfied with this?”. And now wait for him to come up with a list of elements he can improve. Don’t phrase the question against him but with him.
You will see how much he can add to his own work that he had declared was complete. This would happen without the cost of sounding bossy or demanding.
3. What are you doing now? – So this mid level manager is enjoying his afternoon coffee and browsing through the FB pics. Drop by his cubicle and say a casual “Wassup?”, let him figure out the answer in a minute. Your work is done. Make him feel that somebody is around and is actually bothered about what he is doing today, doing now. The idea is not to make him answer you, but answer himself.
4. Let him set deadlines. – A basic rule while setting product time line is to let each of the members involved set their own time lines. This will make them more committed to it. If you think the dates are not as you expect to be, just follow step 2.
While managing a team, you can probably get all work done by asking simple questions. You only become bossy/snobby when you start answering your own questions.
Read: HR Management Tips
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]