It’s important for a project manager to be focused and energized throughout the workday. Another essential task, and even more challenging one, is keeping the employees’ productivity levels up.
With all office distractions, whether work-related or not, it’s easy to lose motivation, stop paying attention to the detail and lack effort to improve performance. A project manager’s task is to help each of the employees start getting more done and feel more accomplished as a result. Here’s how:
It’s a proven fact that doing meaningful work boosts individual and team’s productivity. Often people are doing their work without seeing the big picture and understanding their role in the team activities.
This can happen due to repetitive day-to-day tasks, lack of recognition at the office, overworking, or other reasons.
You can turn that around by bringing meaning to the table. Setting this as your goal for the year will also lead to more engaged employees who perform better and are satisfied with their jobs. Additionally, it will prevent them from job searching, which will bring you additional benefits if the “brain drain” problem is relevant for your company.
To help people on your team see how meaningful the work they do is share the big picture with them. Describe how each individual’s efforts are helping the organization move forward, grow and reach more customers.
You can also try to understand what motivates each member of the team and assign them tasks accordingly. This is a great chance to get to know them and see what else they are passionate about, or what their next goals are.
Another approach to adding meaning to everyone’s work is rethinking the professional development you’re offering. Consider updating your employee training program and creating new opportunities for your team members.
If you’ve improved your productivity over the years, you probably measured how you’re spending your time, after which you eliminated the small bad habits, unproductive activities and anything non-essential that was part of your day.
What’s left was clarity and energy to get the important things done. You should do the same at work.
Delegate wisely. Be careful not to overwhelm your employees with tens of little tasks that need to be completed right away. If it has to happen this way and there’s no way to prevent it, consider providing them with a tool that helps handle multiple tasks. This can be a simple to-do list, a timesheet or a work management system.
You need more time when you’re bringing in a new client, starting a new project, have to use a new tool, or else. So do your employees. Give them the time necessary to adjust to anything new at the workplace.
Meetings often end up being yet another distraction in the day of an office worker – or sometimes even a remote one. You can try preventing it by having stand-up meetings. That’s a sure way to cut the time it takes to discuss everything, keep people engaged, even let anyone remember more and take part in the discussion.
Standing should be a practice you encourage during office hours too. Even if your employees are telecommuting, share with them the benefits of standing while working for their focus, creative energy, and productivity.
Always have a clear agenda for each meeting and make sure it’s delivered to everyone attending it in advance. This way people can prepare for all the points you’re about to cover and will know what’s next.
Most often people aren’t aware of the habits, actions and even thoughts slowing down their work process and ruining their performance. That could be distractions and interruptions during work, not taking breaks in regular intervals, not monitoring how much time is spent on each task, or else.
What can you do here as a project and team manager? Notice how your employees spend their hours when at work, talk to each one and ask them about their energy levels during the day, use an employee tracking tool to see whether they aren’t multitasking and thus feeling drained in the afternoon.
There are plenty of ways to keep that under control. But your goal here is to spot the negatives, let employees know how that’s hurting their work style and overall performance, and give them advice on how to change it.
The best thing about following the strategies above is that when a team member boosts their individual productivity, it fuels everyone’s motivation to do that too. Eventually, team members think of new ways to get more done and share with each other what works for them personally. This way, projects are completed on time, and you have a fresh and hard-working team at your service.