Develop Productive activities in Office Environment –
If you own a business or run a company you would know the importance of making your employees ultra-productive with productive activities. But even after applying tips and tricks, your employees can’t be productive until their environment supports productivity. So, before talking to your employees about being productive, do your part to make your office a rocking, productive activities in the environment. productive activities
If you follow these tips we’re going to describe here, you will have an office full of productive activities and vibes.
A note of warning here – don’t expect that it would only be about the office environment, but it will go much deeper.
To give a hint – if your roots are in proper order, you will create extraordinary fruits.
Focus on core values
The core values of the organization will ultimately decide whether it increases the chances of building productive activities in the environment or not. Ultimately the organization’s core values stem from your own core values (if you’re the founder of the company). If your core values revolve around autocratic way of being, the working environment will be supporting values like being obedient, not thinking on one’s own and always following orders. But being autocratic doesn’t ensure productive activities in the environment. You’ve hired people because you want them to think and be productive for you, not for commanding them to follow your orders. Humans are not good to follow orders, robots are. If you want to make your office ultra-productive, change your core values from being commanding to being collaborative.
Leadership is not good enough if it’s not supportive. Imagine working for someone who doesn’t support you for whatever new ideas you come up with to implement, how would you feel? Will you be productive under the leadership of that leader? You would say a resounding no. Then why do that with your employees? According to the recent McKinsey study, it is being seen that being supportive is one of the most important traits of leadership. If you’re supportive, you don’t need to push your employees to be productive. With your support, your employees will work voluntarily, will come up with new ideas, innovate on their own and make your company stand out amid the noise. Be a supportive leader and your office will become ultra-productive by default.
Working with, not for
Have you seen that language difference? It matters a lot. Founders, entrepreneurs who describe their smart employee like – she/he works for me, it’s a statement which should be avoided. Why? You don’t hire those smart employees because they can work for you, but because you can work with them, use their skills, knowledge, and experience. And when you say that your employees work for you, subconsciously you feel superior to them and there are chances that you want to control them to follow your doctrines and decorum. Yes to run an office, there should be few things to be followed. But know in your heart that if you don’t value a smart employee now, s/he will join your competition and all your productive practices will go in vain. Thus, champion smart people. Don’t demean them, but value them and they will make your office ultra-productive because smartness is always contagious.
Work on your culture
Your office culture starts and ends with you. When in an organization an employee is asked to follow some decorum, they don’t take out the company policy and check; rather they look at you, the owner. For example, if you ask your employees to come on time, they don’t look out in the company book for policies, rather they see whether you come on time or not. If you want your office to be productive, work on yourself and maintain the integrity then go out and declare the office decorum. With a sense of integrity, you will be able to inspire people to maintain decorum and office culture will get better. Once the culture is conducive, the ultra-productive office would be its direct output.
Value of a learning organization
The organizations are realizing the value of learning. Knowledge management is the new word for productive activities in the environment. If your employees are not learning more, actually they’re decaying. So, build systems that support learning and acquiring knowledge. When an employee comes to an organization s/he should not be only utilized for her/his existing skills, rather s/he should be given an opportunity to learn more, acquire more skills and get better as a result. The concept of a learning organization was brought by Peter Sent in his book “The fifth discipline”. If you have not built a system yet to encourage learning and acquiring knowledge, begin now. Your office will naturally be ultra-productive.
Create good vibes in the office environment
When your employees will enter the office, they should feel productive at work. And you can create that environment. Find out some great inspirational quotes and make posters out of them and then paste in walls, cabins, toilets, mirrors and on the places where people can see. Put a book of inspiration on the desk of every employee and paste a deadline to read that book on their cabin with a thank you note. Be creative. You can do a thousand things to make the office a place for ultimate productivity. Make sure that once your employees enter the office, they should feel like not leaving it even after a stipulated time. That’s how you will make sure that your office is ultra-productive with the help of productive activities.
Most organizations don’t encourage the employees to set their mission statement aligned with organizational goals. If they do, the mission statement itself will encourage employees to be more productive at work without the need of any external influence. Simply arrange a meeting and show your employees how to set a mission statement. And tell them in a few words what the organization is going toward in the next 5 years. And make sure that each employee should find out what makes them tick and how that quality is going to help the market organization to achieve its goals. Frame their mission statement after a careful look and out that on their desk. Every day they will get reminded of what they have to do each day to validate their mission statement and to contribute their part in achieving organizational goals. Then ultra-productive activities in the environment will be just by-product.
Invest in employees’ projects
Google has a policy. Every day at Google, people who work there can spend 20% of their working hours into their own creative projects. The reason Google does this is to encourage its employees to be autonomous in their own way. They can pick any time and do their own thing. This sort of productive practice encourages belongingness for the company. If you want to make your office ultra-productive with productive activities, then you should leave out some time for your employees and let them pursue their own thing. Leadership has evolved a lot in these many years. It has transmuted from spoon-feeding the employees to allowing the spoon to be created by employees. And that’s the reason being productive now is all about offering more autonomy than to encourage obedience.
If you have a conception that creativity only belongs to people who are artists, painters, authors, and sculptors, then you are absolutely wrong. All people who can create are creative. And the only thing that ensures creativity is a steady stream of thinking to do things better, to improve a place, an idea, a thing or a project. If you have a project, don’t just tell your employees how to solve your problem. Sit with them and brainstorm. Ask them to come up with ideas and the ways of execution and reward the best idea. If you encourage creativity in your office, naturally it would be an ultra-productive place to work with the help of productive activities.
Distribute books on being productive at work
It’s simple but very few people think about it. Go to a store and find out the best books on being productive at work. Then start an employee development program. Each month provide one book on being productive at work to each employee and next month another one. Create a feedback loop by asking them to implement one big idea from the book in office premises. If you encourage them to develop themselves and take action to make them productive, then they will also be sincere and accountable to your efforts and will improve their output as a result.
Conduct internal training programs
If just pasting some inspirational posters on the desk would do the trick then all organizations would do the same and as a would be able to create ultra-productive activities in a working environment. Even if it helps, it’s not the holy grail of making your office productive. The roots are much deeper and you need to work on them.
Instead of conducting programs externally, it’s always good to organize internal training programs to bridge the gap between what they’re producing now and what they’re capable of producing. And if you conduct internal training programs, then the cost of doing training will also reduce and you will get a productive office.
Create the instant feedback loop
An organization thrives when it has a built-in control mechanism with its execution structure. If you create a benchmark for each performance and ask your employees to perform at that level, you don’t need to use any performance measurement mechanism. You will get instant feedback and on the basis of that, you can take action. If an employee exceeds the expectation, reward the employee and if not train him/her so that now s/he is equipped with the skills and knowledge to perform at that standard. Being productive at work is easy if the proper system is in process.
Find out the inherent motivation of each employee
As an employer, you should know that not all employees are motivated by external factors like money or benefits or a vacation. Many people are motivated by the intrinsic factor like appreciation, to be able to do something for a non-profit organization, to create something unique and to feel important. No matter what it is, the core motivational factor drives each individual to be productive at work and lack of it makes them unproductive.
So, finding out what drives them is the most important part before you can improve it. Simply use a questionnaire and ensure that they need to be honest with you because that will help them as well. Once you find out what it is that motivates each employee, hire someone to motivate them each day. And notice. Within a few months, your office will become ultra-productive with the help of productive activities.
Set a productive activities measurement system:
Everyone loves extra benefits. Create a system with a few key areas where your employees will be asked to performing at a certain level. Make sure that the key result areas should not be more than 5 to reduce confusion. Once the key result areas are set, simply set a benchmark that each employee should reach. Make it an easy target. And then set up brackets. Within 5% of extra productivity, 5% of extra cash; from 5-10%, 10% of extra compensation and so on and so forth. If you create this system and can execute it, then not only your office will become ultra-productive, each employee will reach their highest productivity level.
Get rid of distress
Stress is the worst enemy of productive individuals. So, as an employer, your first concern would be to get rid of stress. Stress is of two types – one, eustress which is good because it encourages people to perform better; two, distress which is the killer of the ultra-productive individual. Make sure that your employees push their envelopes but not as much that they feel distressed. Ask from them enough not to be comfortable, but not so much to make them distressed. What you can do to ensure that? You can offer them a better work-life balance. You can give them the flexibility of where they should work. Recently, Infosys asks its employees to work from home 9 days a month. Be creative. Think long-term and then decide what you can do to make sure that they are not stressed out. If they are facing any personal difficulty, arrange a counseling session instead of pressing him/her for more work.
You can see that being productive at work is not a matter of environment only. But its roots are much deeper than that. If you value your employees, they will provide value for you. And with all your efforts your office will ultimately become a place where being productive at work is the default mode.
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