When we think of productivity, we often measure it in terms of individual effort and output. There’s a problem with such logic – people don’t work in isolation. They usually band together in an organisation, and it’s their combined, synergistic output that counts. That’s right – productivity is a team sport.
It’s up to you to create an environment that unlocks your employees’ productivity. Here are some tips to get you going:
- First, get rid of all paper. Yes, paper is a robust medium but the information on it can’t be readily shared without massive duplication of effort. And duplication is the enemy of productivity.
- Don’t rely on office apps. They were big in the 90’s because they were faster than paper. But spreadsheets and desktop accounting systems kill productivity. Simply because they live in one person’s computer, they don’t promote security, sharing, collaboration or data integrity.
- Have a centralised database. Every bit of information about your business or projects should be stored in and retrieved from a centralised database. It acts as central exchange that organises every transaction efficiently.
- Make information easy to find. With all your info in a single, central repository, it can only be found in one place, so staff don’t have to hunt around for it. Less searching means more working.
- Anywhere, anytime data access. Long after staff have gone home, management often continues to work. Their nocturnal efforts set the stage for better productivity the next day. So make sure they have 24/7 access to your system, using a modern web interface that can be accessed from any device.
- More messaging, fewer meetings. Meetings are a vital part of strategizing. But if you can use messaging – especially group chats – to check progress, do so. Creatives are especially wasted in a long stand-up where their feedback takes up a fraction of the time spent.
- Track time effectively. How your staff use their time is the basis for productivity. But you can’t solve what you can’t measure. So an effective system for tracking time is essential.
- Don’t get in the way. The less an employee is interrupted when working, the more productive they will be. A good system like Chase lets you see what’s going on at a glance, without looming.
- Get a project manager. If you’ve grown as a business, this one might be obvious. But if you’re at a point where you feel you’re not keeping up with demand, it might be your signal to invest in your first project manager. They’ll make sure each campaign is properly resourced, timed and costed.
- Get a traffic manager. Again, obvious for firms who have been there, done that. If you’re still growing, a traffic manager keeps an eye on your portfolio of projects. They apply bird’s-eye thinking to the agency’s productivity, resources and capabilities.
- Avoid multitasking. Some people swear they can do it, but science shows that multitasking kills productivity in most workers. Let employees focus their energy on one job instead of jumping between entirely different tasks randomly. You’ll get better results in the long run.
- Take away the admin. While no creative can avoid timesheets, try to remove every other mundane administrative task from their plate. If you can automate those tasks through your computer system, you’ll have more time for strategy and creativity.
- Minimize email. Emails are often a source of confusion because no one but the sender and receiver have the information (how many times have you forgotten to CC someone on a conversation?). Group messaging, collaboration software and even a good project management system will keep all stakeholders informed, making these tools much better for productivity.
Productivity is a two-way street. You can do more with increased effort, but you can also create more time for work by cutting down on wasted minutes. If you’d like to know how to make your agency as productive as it can be through computerised systems, give us a call or get hold of us on Facebook . We’d love to help you.