By Josh Spilker
Periods of rapid growth can be very exciting for a small business — it’s an obvious indication of success. But, it can also be an overwhelming time that involves lots of changes. Unfortunately, many managers and leaders experience total burnout by taking on more work than they can handle, and in the process, totally killing their productivity levels at a time when they are needed the most.
In fact, 61% of workers agree that a heavy workload was the number one cause of productivity decline in their workplaces.
Making productivity part of your company culture, especially during rapid growth, is the best way to ensure that your team doesn’t fall prey to this growth dilemma that many companies face. Here’s how to do it.
Encourage Employee Engagement
Encouraging your employees to be more engaged and involved has been shown to have a direct link to productivity increases. One study even found that highly engaged workers were 21% more productive than disengaged ones.
Creating a culture that encourages this sort of engagement will require everyone to make an effort and participate by working together as a team for the betterment of the organization. Encourage open communication between team members and superiors, and offer helpful feedback and support to help everyone improve together.
Also, be open and ask your employees if they have any suggestions or strategies that could help them be more productive, especially during times of change and growth. Since they understand what the office looks like during the day to day, they may have some great ideas that leadership and management would never have thought of. By getting everyone more involved in the process, you will be encouraging a type of culture that is sure to empower employees to be more productive, and will eventually lead to effective employee advocacy for the organization.
Use Specialized Tools
As your business expands and grows, it is very likely that your previous tools and systems will soon be outgrown as well. What may have worked for a small team might not have the capabilities that a larger team will need to get the job done.
As your business expands rapidly, your software systems will need to be able to keep up with the increasing demands. Take the time to find appropriate collaboration tools with features that will fit the needs of your team, especially when it comes to things like communication and scheduling. Project management software can be a great tool for growing businesses to incorporate as they help keep everyone on track with assignments and deadlines.
Companies that integrated effective project management software tools experienced an 18% increase in productivity, along with improved customer satisfaction and overall quality advances.
Lead by Example
There’s no doubt that employees look to the actions of their leaders to determine acceptable behavior. Therefore, if the managers of your business do not prioritize productivity, it is unlikely that your workers will. Be an example to your employees by maintaining a good attitude and accomplishing your work on time. If you place productivity and efficiency as a priority in your own practices, then your teammates are sure to follow in your footsteps.
There are some simple strategies you can include in your daily practices to help you improve your own productivity skills, such as focusing on tasks one at a time, rather than trying to multitask. Or, consider more methodical productivity techniques that many entrepreneurs use, like the Pomodoros. This method breaks down your day into twenty-five minute sessions of high productivity along with ten to fifteen minute breaks in between, to help you keep your mind focused.
The key is to find a system that works for you. Your employees will likely take notice of your efforts and follow suit. Successful mindsets start at the top of an organization. Take the time to be a mentor to your team members who are struggling or want to improve their output and offer to help them find methods that work for them.
Cultivating a productive culture is vital to a successful business, especially in times of rapid growth. Empower your employees to become engaged with the process by working together and listening to their suggestions. Implement effective tools that keep everyone connected, and lead your team by setting an example of productive leadership. As things change and new team members are brought on board, encouraging an open, productive culture is necessary to keep the team afloat.