I recently surveyed 14 corporate CEOs and executives. They revealed top productivity challenges. When you pay attention to and mitigate these challenges, you will boost your productivity – within your organization as well as in your own life!
Here is the exact question I had asked them:
“What's the number one challenge around productivity that you see either within your organization or you have experienced in your career?”
From their responses, I have distilled down to the following top productivity challenges. I offer some tips and strategies, including some from the executives, to boost your productivity.
1. Poor Managers
- Poor managers don't know how to properly motivate their employees.
- They don't provide recognition when due which leads to complacency in their teams.
There are two questions here:
- How did those “poor” managers become poor managers or were they so all along?
- What can corporations and senior managers/executives do to train those poor managers?
I suggest CEOs and executives implement management and leadership training. Once implemented, they need to intentionally monitor the progress in their organizations. Employees need to be recognized of their achievements in a timely manner.
Side Note: Employee Recognition is a subject very near and dear to me. I will visit that in my future blogs.
2. Multi-Tasking And Lack Of Focus
- Multi-tasking is a HUGE issue, unfortunately.
- Lack of focus, i.e. inability of companies to concentrate on what is truly important.
- Distractions like emails, social media, & short attention spans
I hear people say that they have too much to do and not enough time. I notice so many people who attend meetings and their faces are buried in their laptops or smartphones. This must stop! Yes, there is a lot to do. I get it, but when you lose your focus, your productivity goes way down.
Pay attention to your tools and processes. Make them super efficient so that teams execute faster and better.
… it is just critical to establish clear goals and keep the organization focussed on achieving the set goals first and not losing sight of the priorities with distractions. – Ted Miracco, CEO, SmartFlow Compliance, LLC
3. Too Many Meetings
It is not a perception. It's a reality! Not only managers and their employees but also CEOs and executives are “sick and tired” of too many meetings.
- Too many meetings in a day. Every day – Every week
- Back-to-back meetings
Employees start to believe this “reality” that there is no way out from this “madness of meetings”. Whoa! I just came up with this cool acronym MoM: Madness of Meetings. 🙂
Folks, this should not be the “reality”. When do you actually do the work? When do you eat? When do you sleep? When do you go to the gym? Believe that you really don't have to go to all the meetings that you accepted.
Believe that you really don't have to go to all the meetings that you accepted. Start learning to say NO. You ask, How do you do that?
Start learning to say NO. You ask, How do you do that? Here are some tips to get you started. Ask yourself the following questions to bring clarity:
- What is my Focus for today, this week, and this month?
- What are the 3 most important things I must get done today?
- DO I really need to be in this meeting?
- What value would I be adding if I attend this meeting?
4. Gap Between Corporate Goals & Employees' Talent/Roles
- Organizations' overall strategy not aligned with Employees' talent and/or roles
- Lack of consistent strategy
- Clear understanding of organizational goals
In order for employees and organizations to be productive in everything they do, the goals must be aligned – with organizations' strategy and employees' talent and/or roles. When this happens, there is no time wasted in unnecessary tasks. There is no confusion as to what needs to be done first.
The strategies and goals need to be consistent and clear for them to be meaningful to employees.
In my Daily Journal, when I write I am doing meaningful work every day, it sure feels so good and boosts my motivation.
5. Unrealistic Volume of Work & Expected Speed
So much to do, so little time!
When employees are asked to do a ton of work and do it with an unrealistic speed, it actually has a slowing down effect. People make more mistakes while rushing to get stuff done. Noticed I used the word “stuff”? That's because employees in such situations are simply “running faster” and lose the FOCUS, get tired, become unhealthy over time and simply become unproductive.
Two steps forward and one step back is really not being productive in my books!
In some cases, the exact opposite has been the situation where people don't have any sense of urgency. When this happens, people are complacent and move rather very slowly. There might be some motivational or cultural issues going on as well.
6. Too Much Planning – Not Enough Actions
This is a good one! Sarcastically speaking of course 🙂
It is also related to umpteen meetings (mentioned above) people schedule and attend doing what? PLANNING!
No wonder productivity is so low in so many organizations. Take educated and calculated risks, but go take action! Attention to details is needed, but don't fall into “Analysis Paralysis” trap.
It's better to have a mindset of “What if it actually works out great” than of “What if it fails or doesn't work”.
7. Lack of (Committed) Business Processes
The lack of a business process which was bought into by everyone is another huge productivity challenge. Developing complex products in a large organization requires
Developing complex products in a large organization requires participation of everyone. Everyone must participate in the definition of and commitment (“buy-in”) to the business process. Such business process forms the common language for the organization. It dramatically improves communication and execution.
Business processes imposed from outside rarely gain the buy-in and adoption that is required for a productive organization.
I hope this was a useful read to you. Comment below with any thoughts you might like to add.