Productivity is one of the cornerstones of any successful business. But the truth is, most CEO’s are approaching it wrong.
The most common challenge I hear from CEO’s is that building trust is the key to employee productivity.
Many CEO’s use measures like regularly checking up on employees through micro management tools such as tracking software or grilling them during one-on-one meetings. Some even still require employees to report how they spend their time.
Productivity in the 21st century is a complex thing to measure and goes beyond the simple “output optimization” that has long dominated business best practices.
Instead, productivity is nuanced, encompassing a business’s needs at a particular moment and the human toll of meeting those needs, in addition to typical “input/output” measures.
So how do you give your productivity metrics a facelift and start building trust:
Productivity starts with a strong mission, goals and clear KPIs.
One of the most effective ways to motivate employees is by having — and communicating — a strong mission.
Employees who connect with a company’s mission are typically more interested in the work they’re doing day to day and are more likely to work for a company that promotes a strong sense of purpose.
By defining a strong company mission, and living it every day, CEO’s can motivate employees to attain big goals.
Employees often go above and beyond when they believe their work is making a difference in the world.
Clear KPIs should quantify how well business goals ladder up to the company mission, not the other way around.
If you don’t proactively define productivity, someone else will do it for you.
It’s essential for CEO’s to explicitly discuss with their teams how the company regards productivity, both on the management side and with individual contributors.
If executives fail to proactively define what productivity means to the company, other stakeholders will project their needs onto productivity metrics without accounting for the whole picture.
CEO’s have to learn to get ahead of what’s considered productive; otherwise, the definition will take on a life of its own.
Being productive does not equal being busy.
At the end of the day, productivity is about how much value a team is adding to the company, not the amount of work it’s doing.
Whatever metrics a company adopts, value should always be the backbone of how productivity is measured.
So, do you want your employees to be productive or just busy?
Every business leader should take a hard look at the metrics they use to see what they’re asking their teams to do.
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