Table of Contents
Abstract ... 2
Understanding the Causes of Unproductivity ... 2
Procrastination ... 2
Inability to See the Big Picture ... 3
Information and Noise Overload ... 3
Lack of Measurement System ... 3
Background ... 3
Enhancing Corporate and Individual Productivity ... 4
References ... 6
Productivity basically measures how effective are the sources used. In US, 60% or less of work time is actually spent productively1. To be able to manage sustainable development, independent from its sector, every organization must develop credible methods to measure the productivity of their employees and processes. Those methods should always include the humanity factor and be based on actionable metrics, not on vanity metrics, which can be easily manipulated and may not correlate to the numbers that really matter.2
Cost of either corporate or individual unproductivity can be sleepless nights, leaving money on the table, paying apaying a fine, missing an one-time opportunity, preventing to fulfill people`s potential or many other immediate or long-lasting effects.
This paper will help to understand the causes of unproductivity and how corporates and individuals can improve productivity through hands-on tips and example cases.
Understanding the Causes of Unproductivity
We sometimes cannot muster our motivation or energy until deadline or even until a crisis. The reason may be a fear of failure or not knowing how to proceed. We are much more likely to procrastinate when dealing with a new task or a new situation. It is important to understand if procrastination is consciously or unconsciously made.
Inability to See the Big Picture
Employees and individuals should be able to understand where they stand in the big picture and how their effort contributes to complete the puzzle. For instance, Google provides emotional intelligence courses to its employees to help them to be more mindful on their work ecosystem: their coworkers, clients, products, etc.3
Information and Noise Overload
Although it is nowadays getting harder to do it, it is still possible to limit your information intake to selected sources. Noise can be your own voice such as finding excuses like lack of time and resources, etc. Do not listen!
Lack of Measurement System
Employee or an individual should be able to follow where he stands on the way to go, whether he is on track or not. Measurement method should be simple to be understood by everyone and to be applied consistently and time-efficiently. Changing the evaluation system very often will create demotivation on employees. Timeframe of the evaluation should be reasonable enough to reflect the real performance. For example, let us think of the performance measurement of a business development manager. His task is to get new clients and make them bring revenue and to hand over to account manager after certain conditions (relationship, revenue threshold, etc.) are fulfilled. His performance should be based on the revenues not only until handover but also after the handover. Because the revenues until handover may not be representative and the revenue potential of the client may be much higher on a longer term. Account manager should be instilled with a sense of responsibility to make sure the revenues should be improved and he should be given clear goals for certain time frames based on the client`s revenue potential. Post-sales development meetings that both business development managers and account managers join will help to track the performance over time.
In all cases, evaluation methods should not ignore humanity factor and should be not developed just for the sake of having an evaluation method. Lack of humanity would kill the inspiration.
Time Wasting at Work, Atlassian, 2015
2 E. Schonfeld, „Don`t be fooled by Vanity Metrics“, Techcrunch, 2011
3 J. Pinsker, Corporations' Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation, The Atlantic, 2015