Without improvements in productivity, economic growth cannot be sustained. A business’s growth depends on its ability to maximize innovation, work practices, capital, and labor in order to achieve greater output.
What factors affect productivity?
There are a number of different factors that impact productivity. Productivity is a personal issue. It is something that needs to be measured, nurtured, and improved at the level of the individual.
After all, we all have different ways of working and different motivators, right? Focusing on this will enable any business to truly unlock the key to productivity.
The following are the key drivers in terms of productivity:
- Our habits
- Our choices
- Our task style
- Our motivations
- Our de-energizing actions
- Our clarity or lack of it
- Our perceptions
- Our unconscious incompetence
- Our general lack of self-awareness
- Our reluctance and ability to change
- Our access to self-coaching support tools
We believe these are the key factors impacting productivity. It’s a personal matter, so it needs to be tackled on a personal level for the entire organization to truly benefit.
In order to accelerate your business, productivity must be measured, nurtured, and improved at the level of the individual. For this to happen, a combination of three critical ingredients are needed: learning, coaching, and alignment.
Productivity can be learned
Productivity requires people to expand their individual capacity to respond. This involves a combination of learning, coaching, and alignment. Until now, the focus has been on ever greater access to learning, but the mistake is that it was clustered around skill acquisition, rather than being viewed as granular. Moreover, the people that really needed the coaching were not gaining access to it – it was simply a luxury for managers and others in high positions. And, alignment has been absent altogether!
Managers are the Catalyst
Ineffective managers are stifling productivity more than effective managers are catalyzing it. This leaves a management deficit in unproductivity organizations. Being managed demands a personalized approach. Managers need to accommodate a person’s motivations and task styles. This demands a manager with a high level of emotional intelligence so they can understand all members of their team. They also need to communicate with clarity so that all team members truly understand their roles and how their efforts align with their motivators and overall picture.
The three sides to the triangle: alignment, coaching, and learning
Let’s begin with alignment. People achieve more when their actions are aligned to an outcome.
If we are to sustain our performance and continue to achieve, four elements need to be aligned:
- Task style
We need to have self-awareness. We need to recognize how we get things done in our own personal ways. This could be using certain tools, whether you need to convert a video from MOV to MP4 or share files with your team. It could mean taking audio notes rather than written ones.
The interplay between the four elements mentioned above builds cognition and practical integration within our daily routine.
This is something that flows into other aspects of our lives. We feel inspired once we have found the ability to self-solve. It’s a snowball effect, getting more and more powerful, stimulating change.
In the workplace, to ensure what really matters happens, alignment is the most critical ingredient.
Next, we have coaching. Coaching and productivity is the equivalent of lubricant and an engine. The latter cannot operate without the former.
An issue a lot of businesses face today is that coaching is merely reserved for the more senior employees. It has wrongly become a privilege.
When coaching leverages new granular learning, people benefit from greater awareness and an empowered sense of responsibility.
The third side of the triangle is learning. Learners are more self-aware. They have critical personal insight as to the reality of their choices and the consequences that will come if they make that said choice.
Because of this internalized accountability, people’s approach to learning is freshened. They do not merely view it as acquiring a skill. It is about enhancing their own ability to self-solve.
This drives engagement and improves productivity by initiating a gradual transition to learning autonomy.
When people have access to actionable learning, productivity increases. This is because we as humans like to see a blatant connection between what is communicated to us, what we do, and what we experience.
Businesses today need to move towards more personalized learning. Social media and technology are facilitating this.
How it works
Through understanding the methodology and thinking behind the process of sustainably accelerating achievement, employees can enable themselves to achieve more by using a set of tools, techniques, and models.
The process is all about facilitating productivity by generating an independent change in people.
Let’s take a look at the four productivity catalysts…
- Clarity from leaders and managers about their expectations
- Staff provided with the personal responsibility for improvement
- Improvements need to be given a blatant link to the most prized motivational drivers to each individual
- Improvement is to be seen as granular – it is not about wider skill acquisition
This is the four-step recipe for productivity at any firm.
It is all about equipping people with the right techniques and tricks so that that they can make better decisions and collaborate with greater efficiency.
However, for this to be effective, employees need to be given greater responsibility within the workplace. There needs to be trust.
Paradoxically, in a world that is so fast-paced, in order to ‘speed up’ our operations, we actually need to slow down. We must slow down and assess ourselves for what we are. What are our habitual ways? What drives and energizes us to succeed? What de-motives us? What are our typical ways of working? Only once we understand this will we be able to unlock the key to productivity amongst every employee.
To conclude, productivity is often considered a business-wide problem, but it is a personal issue, and treating it as such can bring massive gains.