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How to Increase Your Team’s Productivity by 38% Overnight

Before I show you how, take a moment to imagine what your business or workday would look like if all the employees who worked for you dreamstime_xs_12835034 cropincreased their productivity by 38%.

How much more product could you ship? Sales and business could you gain? Level of customer service could you increase? Profit margins could you increase? Stress and pressure could you alleviate? SLEEP COULD YOU GET AT NIGHT??? Just imagine the difference. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s actually gets even better.

What if in addition to all of the above, your employees became more cooperative and helpful with each other? Can you say “Work Nirvana?”

So how do you do it? According to Workplace Research Foundation, highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity. That’s all you need to do. Get your people engaged.

Oh, you want to know how? Conventional wisdom would tell you to get your executive team together, maybe hire a research firm, pour through studies, send your leaders to training and then strategize on what changes you can make in pay structures, policies, procedures, incentives, events, etc. While I don’t argue that a fair and decent environment is important, I will say that a highly engaged team could work in a garage with cardboard boxes as desks and crank out mind-bending results. Doubt it? I have two words for you: Apple Computer.

You don’t need to completely alter your business or pay structure or policies. What you need is to change the way your people think. It has to be an inside job. There’s no other way to create lasting change.

Let’s first understand what we’re dealing with. Boy (or girl) has dreams. Boy goes to school, gets on a career path with high expectations. Things don’t go as planned for boy. Work is harder than expected, hours are longer, people are a-holes. Life hands boy a few blows, boy become man . . . still working hard, but the list of the things he wants keeps growing and getting farther out of reach. Man wonders if he will figure things out, begins to doubt himself, others, and life in general. Man believes he will get himself closer to that which he desires and have more success by looking out for #1. Yes, that’s it. Self preservation is how to get what you want. Man worries about himself and his needs above all else. Insert name, male or female, the story is the same.

What does that look like in the workplace? A bunch of stressed-out people fearing they’ll ever achieve their dreams, sharing physical space, but primarily disconnected from each other whose primary motivations are their own needs. DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR??? Enter unhappy and unhelpful employees . . . the polar opposite of what you want.

A happy, helpful employee is a highly engaged employee. A highly engaged employee is happy and helpful. Grab your magic wand, use one of the wishes the Genie granted you and give every one of your employees everything they want to be happy right now. Then they’ll be helpful and engaged. OK, so you’re not Harry Potter or Aladdin, so try this instead:

1 – If you don’t know already, find out WHY you’re employees choose to work for you. Why are they in the field they are in? What is it that they want to achieve? If you know their motivation, you will be better equipped to guide, support and assist them in achieving what they want. Walk up to them and simply ask. “I’m curious about something. You come here every day. You give up your time for a paycheck so you can do what? I’d just like to know what your dreams and goals are so if the opportunity comes up for me to help you, I’ll recognize it.”

2 – Hold team-giving sessions. Gather your people in groups of 6-10 people. Explain the purpose is for each to better understand the goals of the others and offer insight and assistance to achieve those goals. Each person, one at a time, shares a goal he or she has or a particular challenge he or she faces. For the next 5-10 minutes (you choose the amount of time, but make it the same for each person,) the rest of the group brainstorms on how they can help. When the time is up, move to the next person and repeat the process. The rules are simple: Be honest, be kind and be helpful. Crossing departments with this type of exercise is excellent as it creates more diverse thinking.

The idea is simple. Human beings have an innate need and desire to feel cared for and protected. Show them you do care by finding out what really motives them. Get them looking out for each other and some pretty remarkable things will happen. Human beings are also goal-striving beings. When your people feel they are cared for and they see how their high engagement (read high cooperation) gets them closer to what they desire, your job as department manager, branch manager or CEO just got a whole lot easier. Find the point where these two dynamics come together and watch your business purr.

If you would like additional outside help, then hire an employee engagement specialist to come work with your team.

Keryl Pesce

Happiness Expert & Employee Engagement Specialist



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