Are you looking for more organizational productivity?
Where do you think employees would be more productive: in an organization that spends time connecting employees and aligning their performance with the mission, or ones that do nothing to keep employees working together?
The difference is dramatic.
In a study by McKinsey & Company, 84 percent of employees said they were highly productive in organizations that focused on engagement. This was through activities that helped them get to know each other better, set joint goals and had a culture of coaching employees to perform.
These high-performing companies are creating a positive, goal-seeking environment.
On the other hand, in organizations that ignore employee engagement opportunities, staffers say they are only seven percent effective.
That’s a 12x difference.
Ok, dumb question: Which company would you rather work for?
As a leader, there’s a huge payoff—in high organizational productivity—for engaging with your team and moving them toward a common goal.
Here are four strategies on how to do it.
Here are 4 Communication Tips to Get You Higher Organizational Productivity:
#1 Connect With Your Employees
Connect directly with each employee. Spend some extra time with each employee when you have a one-on-one meeting.
Let’s say you are meeting on a particular project. Rather than jumping right into the meat of the discussion, first, catch up.
Ask how it’s going; how they are doing. Ask your colleagues about their families. You can talk about vacations (past and planned) or even superficial stuff like their favorite order at a coffee house.
Remember, everyone is going through something and generally loves talking about themselves. Of course, you have to gauge how deep and personal to go and only go as far as comfortable.
I sometimes arrange meetings with employees just to have these discussions.
We might not have pressing projects to work on, but to catch up, I’ll schedule a meeting or Zoom and spend some time getting to know what’s going on in their life. I’ve found these conversations to be invaluable in motivating staff towards greater organizational productivity.
#2 Engaging Your Team Improves Motivation
Get the team engaged. At the beginning of meetings, do an ice breaker. This is a fast, easy way for everyone to share one quick thing about themselves, which sets the stage to ask more questions later and have a pleasant conversation.
Start with general concepts, like what everyone is streaming. Keep the recommendations short, and everyone will follow up with each other later if interested, which is the goal of the icebreaker.
Need some ideas? I put together a list of 30+ Workplace Ice Breakers you can download for free.
I’ve found when employees get to know each other better, they begin to like each other. And when they like each other, they want to do a good job—for each other.
That’s an interesting twist on organizational productivity.
We imagine that we’re working for the organization’s greater good, when in fact, our desire to accomplish big goals is energized by liking the people we work with.
Recently we had one employee on our team who went on a three-week camping vacation. Everyone was eager to know what it was like driving 3,000 miles, living in a camper, seeing the beautiful Milky Way every night, and even where they went to the bathroom and showered. Ok, TMI, but we had a great conversation, with everyone laughing and learning.
You can also hold an event, like a picnic or barbeque. With COVID still swirling, some are hesitant to attend an indoor meeting, so outdoor gatherings may be best for the time being.
#3 Make Sure You’re Talking Regularly with Your Supervisor—Or Board
If you’re not the boss, then be assertively communicating with your direct supervisor.
I have a philosophy about communication at work: if you don’t talk with your boss, you don’t exist. I know that sounds harsh, but if you feel like you’re not getting any facetime with your supervisor, your supervisor doesn’t know what you are doing and may think you are goofing off and unproductive.
Schedule some time and run through your projects and discuss the direction of the organization or your department. You might even take the opportunity to strategize about the future and your part in it.
If you happen to be the CEO, like me, then make sure your “bosses” know what’s going on.
In my case, I have officers of the company, an executive committee, and a board. Communicate with them and keep them up to date on what’s happening in the organization.
I engage with our chair frequently and with the executive committee every four to eight weeks.
Don’t expect them to read too many emails; you’re going to have to call them occasionally or have a short conference call or Zoom. Trust me, it’ll pay off, as they will feel good about your company’s progress, leading to a greater sense of organizational productivity.
#4 Don’t Forget About Your Engagement—Are You Showing Up?
Finally, communicate with yourself. Make sure you are showing up to work with your full self.
Ask yourself some questions. Are you giving it your all? Are you putting in the time? Slacking off? Working too hard?
Give yourself an honest evaluation of how you feel you’re doing, and it’ll be a healthy exercise that motivates you to engage.
There’s actually a scientific term for this “talking with yourself.” It’s called Linguistic Shifting. Rather than say, “Am I showing up, giving it my all,” ask (and I’ll use my name here), “Is Barry Moline showing up to work? Is Barry fully engaged?”
By asking these questions in the third person, it’s a bit of an out-of-body experience. It allows you to answer more honestly, and if you don’t like the answers, make a shift in your behavior and actions.
You want to be productive, and you want high organizational productivity in your workplace. Use these many ideas to reach out to others and achieve maximum engagement.
Sometimes it feels a bit awkward, but I’ve found over many years of experience, it always works.
Get out there and engage!
Barry Moline is a keynote speaker, 25-year CEO and author of Connect! How to Quickly Collaborate for Success in Business and Life. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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