How to Help Employees Be More Productive

When a business is looking to increase productivity, there are several routes they can take. Typically, it requires lots of changes rather than one big massive change in the workplace. It’s the idea that a number of small adjustments can add up and really have a big impact on the overall productivity. One area that shouldn’t be overlooked or marginalized is your employees. When you give them the tools and skills they need to be productive, the entire business will flourish.

So, what are the tools and skills needed? How can you help your employees to be their most productive? Here are some tips and information that you can use.

Limit the Amount of Stress

While there are going to be jobs that naturally come with stress, many can limit the amount of stress and pressure on employees. As Capital Wired discusses in a recent article seen here, people have enough stress to worry about nowadays. Coming into work and having more stress piled on isn’t going to help them be more productive or “light a fire” under them. Instead, it will cause them to become flustered, which can lead to mistakes and errors.

Obviously, there are deadlines and workplace pressures that can’t be avoided, but keeping things organized, prioritizing tasks, and creating a positive environment that motivates employees tends to get much better results.

Provide Employees with Support

In order to succeed, employees need the proper support, and by support, we mean adequate and sometimes on-going training, the time required to complete tasks, a budget, and other staff to work with. This support will allow employees to reach their maximum productivity.

Proper Technology and Tools

There is also the functional aspect of being productive. It’s very hard for employees to be productive if they don’t have the right software, tools, and technology at their fingertips. Investing in the latest technology is an investment that your employees and, therefore, your company will benefit from.

Encourage Employees to Share Ideas and Thoughts

Because your employees are the ones who are actually doing the job and seeing the challenges on a daily basis, it’s important they feel welcome to talk to you and share thoughts and ideas. They may have suggestions on how a process can work more efficiently, they may seem issues that aren’t clear to you, and they will have a better idea of what solutions will work best.

You need to know if they feel they can’t do their job, and why it is that they feel that way. Employees shouldn’t feel scared or apprehensive about approaching you with concerns and criticism.

Give Employees the Permission to Take Breaks and Walk Away

Sometimes, work can get overwhelming and once that happens employees will start to suffer, which affects the job they are doing. As an employer, it’s up to you to recognize that employees need to step away sometimes, take a break, and take that time to decompress. They can come back refreshed and clear, ready to take on their work with enthusiasm. Stepping away from their desk when they need that break shouldn’t be looked down on.

Each of these tips will help you to create a workplace environment that encourages and facilities productivity.

4 Ways To Develop A Stronger Team

It can be argued that one of the most important parts of your role as an executive or leader of your company is the ability to manage a successful team. Your employees are your responsibility, and their success depends on whether you can get everyone working together and producing great work.

You’ll be glad to know that there are ways to develop a stronger team and make sure you’re all bonding on a regular basis. Doing this will help your company perform better, individual careers will take off, and everyone will be more satisfied to come to work each day. Above all, you should take your role seriously and put in the effort because your staff members depend on you to guide them.

Develop Your Skills

To lead your team effectively, you have to brush up on your skills and know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Work on yourself first before you try to develop and lead a team of people. You can do this through executive coaching sessions that will instantly improve your career. The team of qualified and experienced individuals who run the programs know exactly what to focus on to help you succeed. The better you are in your role and at your job, the easier it’ll be to create a strong team of employees.

Play To People’s Strengths

You should always delegate wisely and avoid giving assignments to just anyone because it’s faster and easier. To get the best out of your team, you should know who’s good at which tasks and what skills each person brings to the table. It will give you and your team a better chance of getting the work completed efficiently and correctly the first time. If you aren’t sure, then spend time getting to know each employee, analyze their abilities and how they handle the assignment you give them.

Schedule Teambuilding Activities

Your team will instantly become stronger when you participate in fun and exciting team building activities together. It’s not only about the work, but also how your employees interact and support each other. Mix it up and go out to eat one week and give them challenges to complete as a group. It’s vital to build camaraderie among your team as it’ll show positively in the work that’s performed in the office. You need your employees working together towards a common goal and not competing against each other to be the best in every situation.

Encourage Open Communication

Be an advocate for open communication between your team members. Remind them that they’re on the same side and should talk and help each other succeed. You should aim to create a positive environment that welcomes mistakes, as long as people are willing to discuss what went wrong and can learn from them. Make it clear that although you’re busy, your door is always open. Hold team meetings and let everyone have a chance to speak and bring up questions or concerns.

Don’t let your team fend for themselves. Step up and be a good boss by working on your skills and helping your employees deliver their best work. It’s never too late to make this your goal and improve the results you and your team are delivering to the company.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article

How To Be A More Effective Leader At Your Company

Being a leader is hard enough, but then you have to worry about being an effective one on top of it, which can, in turn, be incredibly stressful. Your company is counting on you to deliver your best results and you can’t be caught dragging your feet on the job. Being a good leader means you’re willing to step up and put yourself out there with the purpose of benefiting the group.

Always be brushing up on your leadership skills and thinking about what you could be doing better. The minute you start to get comfortable is when you’re going to lose your edge, which may cause you to lose some of your pull too. Your first step is to learn a few tips that will help you be more effective in your leadership position.

Always Make Time for you

Where some professionals get it wrong is that they’re always focusing on their tasks and other people. Remember that being a strong leader comes from inside you. This is why it’s important to put yourself first and take care of yourself. You can’t lead if you don’t feel your best and have the energy to do so. It also includes you taking the time to educate and train yourself on what you need to know to be more effective in your role.

Speak up

Leadership is all about having the courage to speak up and ignite change. If you notice a process that’s in place that’s holding everyone up then address it with the relevant parties. For example, if payroll is failing to provide pay stubs efficiently then tell them to use a company who can provide the service at a low cost and avoid fake paystub maker. Although it’s not your job to implement this change, you’re speaking up and being a leader to help the greater good.

Expand your Circle

To be a good leader you have to step outside your circle and get to know other people from different departments. There’s no room for having clicks and being secretive if you want to take charge at your company. Make time to get to know people in all positions and ask for their feedback regarding how it’s going for them. Have an open door policy and let everyone know they’re always welcome to step in and chat about anything that’s on their minds.

Delegate Wisely

First, you have to know how to delegate, and then you have to do it wisely. This means assigning appropriate responsibilities to others and people seeing you as an authority figure, so the work gets done on time. You must be clear and assertive in your delivery. To be an effective leader you have to be viewed as someone who means business, but also as someone who is easily approachable if there are questions or concerns.


Being a leader is crucial to the inner workings of your company. There’s always room for improving your skills and becoming more effective. The best way to learn is to start practicing new behaviors and getting more experience.

StrategyDriven Management & Leadership Article

3 Effective Strategies for Keeping Employees Focused on the Task at Hand

The reason you worked so hard to complete an executive masters in business administration program is that you wanted to make a difference. Over time, you saw areas which could have been handled more efficiently and at lower costs within your organization. Although you were already in a position of authority, you felt you needed better skills to keep things flowing smoother in accordance with best practices, as outlined in the company manual.

The one issue you kept running up against daily was keeping employees focused on the task at hand. You’ve finally gotten that online executive MBA degree and it’s time to put it to use building strategies to keep your team on task.

1. Complete an Assessment of Why and How Employees Become Distracted

The first step in building any strategy is to determine what it is you’d like to accomplish. The end goal sets the stage for any strategy because, by its very nature, a strategy is a roadmap to success. In this case, you are using your MBA to define common causes for distractions, in order to facilitate a more focused approach to the jobs at hand.

2. Create New Policies to Avoid Distractions

One of the best strategies is one in which you set new rules. In the course of assessing the source of distractions, you’ve discovered that altogether too much talking is going on about things totally unrelated to what they are currently working on. While you don’t want to be a hard taskmaster, you do want to keep things moving along to increase productivity. Why not set a rule that talking is allowed only in terms of job-related issues and all other conversation is best left to the break room.

3. Keep Peripheral Distractions to a Minimum

As you studied for your executive masters in business administration online, you knew that you needed to be in a place where there were minimal distractions. As a result, you set aside one room in your home where you couldn’t hear the television and noises from the playroom couldn’t filter in. You can use the same strategy on the job! Reroute foot traffic through areas where employees aren’t sitting at desks or working on the line and try to keep announcements over loudspeakers to a minimum.

Research indicates that distractions on the job cost employers over $10,000 per person per year!

In the End – You’re the Boss

You can clearly see that distractions are costing your company a ton of money each and every year. Not only do distractions cut profits, but they also increase the risk of inferior quality of work. In fact, you may even want to open the floor for discussion among the very employees you’ve found to be most distracted while on the job. Their input could be invaluable. They might define a whole new set of issues they find distracting, after which you can devise strategies to reduce those as well.

Your job as an administrator is to devise and implement strategies. Reducing distractions is a great place to test your newfound skills. Don’t let it be your last.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article

What Does It Take to Create a Good Design Team?

A great design team is only as good as the staff within it. The team itself includes the personnel, all of their assigned roles within the team, personal objectives, their methodologies and software (like the new Altium designer 18 package), and the framework they use. When any of the above component parts of a team are missing or misaligned, things tend to go wrong or are placed at opposing sides which leads to difficulties completing tasks on time, if at all.

Multiple Roles or Single Roles

Depending on the person and the size of the team, it may be necessary for team members to perform multiple roles on a project. When mixing too many roles for a single employee, this can create difficulties as it’s both difficult for them to embrace collaborators for each of their distinctive roles, but more so when two or more of their roles conflict with each other with no one to act as a referee.

Some roles also don’t mix well with others. The person funding the project shouldn’t usually also be a designer on the project because their motivations may get muddled. Is it more important to create a better designed circuit board or website, or to keep to the development costs within the budget set by upper management? Where is the line drawn?

Every Team Member Has Professional Advancement

With advancement, we don’t necessarily mean a promotion. It’s important beyond position and money that an employee feels invested in the project and its outcome. It’s also useful when they feel that the project adds something new to their cache in the industry and is something that can go on their resume as a selling point.

When a project lacks that special something that’s different to what they’ve done before, or they’re not being allowed to advance in their knowledge and involvement, they begin to feel stagnant. In some senses, it doesn’t matter if they been given access to the cutting-edge Altium designer 18 software ahead of its release or been responsible for new areas of a design project, there must be something there to spike their interest and sustain it throughout completion of the project.

Successful Teams Are Often an Eclectic Mix

When looking at any design team, you’re unlikely to see a herd that all dress alike, talk alike and look somewhat similar. Diversity across the team is a good thing in many cases as is the previous project experience they bring to the table. New blood brings fresh perspectives and ideas on how to do things differently, more efficiently, or simply better. It’s important that the team leader embraces diversity in the ranks and does not see a culture developing where people who are different get hammered down until they conform. Conformity is usually the death of the type of creativity that’s badly needed in great design execution.

Great design teams are carefully put together and managed. Every team is likely to be quite different to the next one. Embracing those differences rather than citing them as reasons why a previous failure occurred, encourages the best creatives to work in a team environment that they might otherwise find too stifling.