Using Long-Term Strategy to Boost Day-to-Day Productivity
In a world with social media, mobile news apps, streaming video, and constant connectivity, the American business world has developed a distraction epidemic. Even dedicated, focused employees can get lost trying to distinguish between must-do, urgent tasks, and ones that simply need to be completed daily or weekly. It may surprise you to learn that one of the best ways to help employees fight back against cluttered to-do lists is to keep their eyes on the big picture.
Use Goals to Develop a Strategy
It goes without saying that leadership sets the tone for the workplace. If the folks at the top are engaged and productive, they will be surrounded by engagement and productivity. Conversely, if they seem stressed, distracted, or unfocused, their employees will mirror that right back at them. One of the most important things managers can do is identify company-wide goals and communicate them to their staff. Folding all these goals into an overarching strategy should be the ultimate target, but it must be built from the ground up.
Use Key Priorities and Winning Propositions to Build a Plan
Having a staff with a clear understanding of the organization’s goals is a great pathway to productivity, but if they are broad, unrealistic, or immeasurable, they’ll be dead on arrival. Look at your business’ key priorities and assign simple goals that can be tracked and measured.
Here’s an example of how this all locks together. Let’s say your strategy is to become the number one sporting goods store in the region. Your priorities are to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. In this scenario, two great measure able goals could be to increase sales revenue by 5% year-to-year and have fewer than 10 customer complaints a month. You can plug in whatever the appropriate number is, but the key is that by attaching numbers, you can review over time, measure progress and hold staff accountable.
Make Sure Everyone’s Role is Clearly Defined…
To ensure productivity after assigning goals, you need to make sure everyone on staff is clear about what they’re expected to do to work towards those goals.
…But Make Sure They Understand How They Fit into the Big Picture!
Never gloss over the need to make sure employees understand how their work fits into the strategy. If someone thinks what they are doing is pointless, or has nothing to do with the strategy, they will disengage and fall victim to distractions.
Having a clear vision and clearly communicated strategy and goals will drive employees to focus and do their best work!