3 Ways to Optimize Productivity in Fragmented Workplaces

With fast-changing markets, fragmented teams, and unprecedented business disruption, so how can new work management approaches help leaders optimize productivity on the right work?

Productivity has long been a central measure of business success. Now, as the world faces challenges and disruptions associated with a global pandemic, priorities and success criteria have shifted.

Looking after the wellbeing of ourselves, our families, and our colleagues comes before everything else. But as we all adjust to life working from home, one of the things keeping business leaders awake at night is how to keep their fragmented teams productive on the right work.

So let’s look at what does productivity look like today?

In the current environment, we need to rethink what we mean by productivity. Leaders need to appreciate that employees working from home now have other demands on their time, whether homeschooling their children or caring for at-risk relatives. Productivity in our new world of work means keeping physically isolated individuals focused on the right work, in the time they have available. It’s about prioritizing work and being able to adapt to changes on the fly. So here the top 3 ways to optimize productivity!

1. Agility

More than anything else, the digital age requires businesses to be operationally agile. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, businesses were up against more change and disruption in markets than ever before. Such a disruptive environment means companies need to be able to respond quickly to changing priorities and demands. The ability to work quickly and ensure you’re focusing on the right activities at the right time is particularly important now that employees are juggling work commitments around personal and family priorities. Agility demands capacity, flexibility, and velocity. Businesses need to have sufficient capacity in terms of resources and expertise to complete the work they need to do. They also need sufficient flexibility in systems, processes, and technology to enable a rapid response to changing priorities. And they need to be able to work at sufficient velocity to switch between priorities and get tasks completed on time.

2. Autonomy

To achieve such operational agility, employees need autonomy. It’s important to think about how people want to work and to let them get work done in their own way. By enabling people to be masters of their own domains, you give them the confidence to work freely and productively. Such empowerment needs to be supported by the right information, customizable technology, and clear leadership. Any technology chosen needs to be easy for everyone in your organization to use in their roles. We use Visuant to drive our business and global customers!

3. Alignment

If people are working autonomously, you need to have checks and structures in place to ensure they work in a way that is aligned with your company strategy, departmental goals, compliance requirements, and other business imperatives. Alignment is all about transparency, ensuring people can see how their own work connects to your company goals. Using IT solutions that enable cross-departmental visibility throughout the organization will allow employees (wherever they are working) to see how their work connects to company objectives and impacts results.

So in today’s fast-changing and fragmented world of work. Striking the right balance between these three interdependent attributes above is the key to overcoming operational friction that can slow growth, hinder transformation initiatives, and stall productivity.

Looking for an easy to use management tool, which consolidates all your data into one location and provides you with dynamic dashboards? Check out Visuant® Business Performance Software here.

Michael C. Watkins Jr., Sr. Director of Info Technology, Competitive Solutions, Inc.

Tips to Deal with Conflict and Increase Productivity

Tips to Deal with Conflict and Increase Productivity

The workplace is more diverse than ever before.  Leaders have teams with a variety of individual backgrounds, conflicting viewpoints, multiple generations, and varying amounts of experience.  Great leaders are adept at managing emotions, opinions, needs/wants, and inspiring their people to work as a cohesive unit.

The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall.

The following tips will help to more effective handle conflicts in the workplace:

  1. Define Acceptable Behavior: Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won’t be tolerated.
  2. Hit Conflict Head-on: you will minimize the severity of the conflict by dealing with it quickly.
  3. Understanding the “What’s In It For Me” Factor: If you approach conflict from the perspective of taking the action that will help others best achieve their goals you will find few obstacles will stand in your way with regard to resolving conflict.
  4. View Conflict as Opportunity: Hidden within virtually every conflict is the potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity.  Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions.

Studies show a direct correlation between workplace conflict and lost productivity.  Some leaders spend more than 30% of their time dealing with conflict, which equates to lost time and lost productivity.  By dealing with conflict head-on, leaders have an opportunity to learn from conflict and keep their team focused on productivity.

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