While the past few years have changed some of the ways we used to define our productivity, from a business perspective productivity is still generally something that needs to be regulated and improved. But racing to review employee activity, preferences and improvement usually neglect a simple fact: employee productivity starts at a systems level.
To empower employee productivity, businesses need to constantly revisit and improve their existing processes, culture, and policy.
Increase employee autonomy and authority
One of the most powerful ways productivity can be increased at a systems level is by giving employees more freedom and authority, rather than misjudging towards more top-down control. Increasing employee autonomy and power can also massively decrease workflows. If an employee is responsible for a task or any assignment, they should also have the authority to make decisions relating to that task without waiting for approval or sign-off.
Improve communication processes
Another great way productivity can be increased at a systems level is by establishing clear communication protocols. Without adequate, two-way communication, you can’t expect expectations or responsibilities to be clear to your team. One big difficulty many businesses face today is that there are so many communication channels and platforms in use, people aren’t sure which technology to use and when.
Increase work visibility
The third change you can make to improve productivity at a system level is to increase work visibility. With so many employees working remotely, it’s more important than ever to keep workers visible. When teams work in isolation – potentially spread across different countries and time zones – it’s easy to lose sight of team capacity and availability.
Eventually, businesses don’t need to spend huge amounts of money to improve productivity at a systems level. In general, it’s the things that cost the least that make the biggest difference – like establishing clear communication protocols, increasing employee autonomy, and giving people the time and space to thrive in their work.