Great leadership is not about dictatorship but guiding people in the right direction and working collaboratively towards the accomplishment of shared goals. Effective leaders understand the importance of developing systems and habits to boost productivity and time management. As a leader, your time is your most valuable commodity, use it wisely!
Implement these 4 strategies to boost productivity, see better results and save time:
- Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
Setting clear goals and expectations from the start will provide your team with the direction and clarity they need to perform and achieve the desired results. Better yet, involve your team in this process. If they feel that they’ve played a role in agreeing the goals they’re more likely to commit to playing their part in achieving them. Encourage others to focus on tackling priority tasks first. Outline specific timeframes for each goal and review progress regularly.
A classic and effective approach is SMART goal setting. SMART goals are:
Specific: Ensure that the goals and expectations you set are clearly defined. If the goal is too vague your team won’t be motivated to accomplish it. Define exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there.
Measurable: You must be able to measure progress to see if you are on track, to celebrate wins along the way and make necessary adjustments if challenges arise. Ideally goals relate to key metrics of business performance e.g. sales, profit, market share, employee retention. How will you measure progress towards your goals?
Attainable: Goals must be realistic. Stretching you and your team is a good motivational tactic but setting unattainable goals will demoralise and destroy confidence. It’s important to find the right balance between setting stretch goals and goals that are too easily achievable. With the accomplishment of ambitious goals comes a deeper sense of achievement.
Relevant: Make sure goals are aligned with the company’s mission and values, otherwise they are a waste of time and energy. Smaller goals must align with the wider objectives and aims of the organisation. Relevance is about matching goals to the overall company strategy.
Time bound: Every goal must be assigned a time frame. How will you know if you’ve accomplished a goal if you haven’t set a deadline? Setting time frames means you can celebrate when you get there, review progress and set new targets. Working towards set deadlines and achieving them can increase motivation and commitment.
- Appreciate and Reward Success
Great leaders make others feel valued and appreciated, they express gratitude every day. A sense of worth is what inspires people to perform and work productively. Treating others with a positive regard encourages them to work harder and smarter. As a leader you need to ensure that all wins, both big and small are celebrated and that people receive the recognition they deserve. A team suffering from low morale won’t be productive. Rewarding success is a crucial element of building a positive company culture where people and performance thrive. Great leaders ensure that everyone knows that the role they play is pivotal to the success of the organisation.
- Keep Communication Channels Open and Transparent
As a leader you need to welcome regular conversations with your team and the delivery and receiving of open and honest feedback. Feedback is critical for efficient and timely decision making. Open communication is vital for identifying problems and for finding solutions to these problems before they escalate. No one should be fearful of sharing their suggestions, opinions and concerns. Leaders must respond promptly to feedback and in a comprehensible manner so that team members and customers know that they truly care about their opinion.
- Know and Understand Your team
To be productive as a leader, it’s essential you develop a full understanding of the skill sets, strengths and weaknesses of each team member so you can assign tasks and projects accordingly. You are responsible for identifying talent and putting it to best use. You are also responsible for providing the necessary resources, support and training to help others reach their full potential. Show your team that you care about helping them develop and that you value the progress they’ve made so far.
Remember that as a leader you are accountable for hiring the best talent, facilitating continuous learning and professional development and encouraging work-home balance to maintain high levels of performance and productivity.
If you’d like to know more please contact me here.