Productivity is a fundamental requirement in an organizational environment. This implies performing activities with greater quality and in a more intelligent way, optimizing the use of resources, such as time.

Collaborators often complain that they cannot be more productive because they have too many tasks and responsibilities. And this begs the question:

 Is the number of tasks too high, or is it the way that processes are defined that undermines efficiency and productivity?

Processes should help organizations carry out their activities on a larger scale and improve the efficiency of operations. They offer a way to measure progress and productivity, which makes people feel more efficient and responsible. When implemented correctly, processes allow organizations to perform complex jobs by standardizing and simplifying tasks, which are necessary to keep businesses running smoothly and free of problems.

However, many processes are implemented in such a way that they end up leaving people with their hands tied. This is a downside, as they end up creating more restrictions than benefits.

If a team’s day-to-day routine is characterized by numerous requests for permission to perform an activity, if people spend a large part of their day writing reports or filling in spreadsheets, attending meetings that do not contribute anything, or responding to unimportant emails, you have a problem.

How is it possible to innovate if everything is labeled “urgent” and has to be executed as quickly as possible?

At some point, people will give in. They will have to decide whether to perform a priority, something urgent or something that must be done as quickly as possible. The rest will be postponed until it is forgotten, or, if it really matters, it will be carried out at another point in time. This prevents employees from striving for changes and improvements in the way processes are carried out.

Learn about four obstacles that undermine productivity in a company:

1. Delegating, but hampering decision making

Delegating more responsibilities to people, but then still requiring them to get signatures or approvals to do anything. This often reflects the manager’s lack of trust in the members of his/her team.

How to overcome this: Trust is one of the pillars in any relationship. A relationship of trust at work encourages cooperation and commitment, creates a receptive environment for the presentation of new ideas and overcoming difficulties, resulting in an environment that is less rigid and which offers greater agility in processes.

2. Focus on the process, not people

By being concerned with standardizing the whole process, optimizing activities and solving problems, leaders only concentrate on the process and forget about people. This does not work.

How to overcome this: Processes cannot speak or offer suggestions, nor do they know where the difficulties lie. That is why the human factor is fundamental when it comes to improvements. People involved in day-to-day activities are aware of the difficulties and can often contribute ideas about what needs to be changed to solve problems.

3. Too many meetings

Collaboration does not mean that every action or decision made requires meetings involving the entire team. This taxes people’s time and compromises the efficiency of their work. Quite often, this practice is simply a company tradition. No one really knows how or why it started, but it has always been that way.

How to overcome this: This is a good indication that new policies and procedures need to be defined. If they already exist, they need to be reviewed to improve productivity.

4. Lack of understanding of the vision and mission

Vision and mission are two elements linked to business strategies, but which end up impacting a company’s processes. When collaborators do not fully understand them, they may act differently than the company expects, and productivity is undermined when they carry out their activities.

How to overcome this: The purpose of a company’s existence should be clear and understood by all collaborators. When the operational level knows the guidelines, it is possible to avoid a number of problems and rework. This results in better quality products and services as well as more satisfied customers.

If you recognized that there is opportunity and that you need to improve productivity in your company, we invite you to learn more about SoftExpert Excellence Suite (SE Suite).

SE Suite is an application platform, interconnected in a collaborative environment, which replaces a number of isolated management systems. It addresses diverse business aspects, increases efficiency and ensures the visibility and consistency of information.

Marcelo Becher

Author

Marcelo Becher

Specialist in Strategic Management from PUC-PR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

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