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3 steps to better productivity for enterprise organizations

February 14, 2023



One scroll through LinkedIn these days and you’re sure to see someone talking about layoffs. Companies may arrive at the decision to lay off employees for different reasons, but the feeling is always the same. People are grateful, sad, and looking forward to what’s next. 

And from what we can see, what’s next is going to be more of the same focus. Tech companies want to make sure that their organization is as productive and efficient as possible. It makes sense, of course. We all want to make sure our employees don’t burn out, that our customers get the most value possible, and that our company continues to grow. 

But if we aren’t making changes to the way we define and measure productivity, will any of these changes be worth it? We don’t think so. 

The first step to making sure the future is better for employees, customers, and organizations is to agree on what we mean when we talk about productivity and how to measure it. To help that conversation, we’ve outlined the three most important steps to aligning on productivity and eventually achieving the levels of productivity you need. 

Let’s get into it. 

1. Decide which productivity approach makes the most sense

Productivity is more than one thing. Right now, the conversation seems to be focused on the ratio of revenue generated to cost of operations. While that isn’t an incorrect measurement, it is incomplete. To accurately measure productivity, organizations need a much more granular understanding of workflow behaviors. 

As a team, your organization must first decide how you will measure productivity. Identify the high-value activities for each department that move the needle for current customers or make it easier for your sales organization to find new opportunities. At the same time, look for low-value activities that split focus from your business goals. By removing low-value activities and prioritizing high-value activities, you ensure that each individual works on tasks they feel passionate about and that impact your business. 

The next component of productivity companies must decide on is how much time to spend on each activity. When you know how much time each individual is spending on various customer-facing tasks and internal team work, you can see what parts of your workflow need additional or fewer resources to be more productive. Once all teams agree to each of these elements and how to measure them, your organization can start to work towards improving productivity in a real way. 

2. Identify and share best workplace practices

With each organization clear on the workplace behaviors they need to focus on, they can begin tracking the most important performance metrics. The benefit of agreeing on specific metrics to track is that it encourages people to share knowledge and help establish best practices. 

Right now, executives likely see a group of high performing employees and a group of lower performers. The reason for the discrepancy could be anything from training to personal reasons to lack of information. A smart executive will control for as many variables as possible by ensuring each person has access to all the information necessary to be productive and successful in their role. 

As your enterprise scales, this gets more difficult, unless you have a solution in place that automatically identifies and shares the most productive operations and procedures. The sooner you put these solutions in place, the faster you’ll be able to see how productive your team can be. 

3. Optimize for what your employees do best

Finally, to make your team the most productive they can possibly be, you must automate or optimize the low-value activities they must complete in their day. Certain workplace activities cannot be eliminated completely, but they can be optimized or automated so they don’t take up too much of your teams’ time. 

Consider recurring meetings, note-sharing, reporting, and time-tracking. These all need to get done, but they don’t need to be done by your team members. Automation tools ensure they are completed with a level of accuracy unattainable by your team members. Avoiding human error, automating tasks, and freeing up time for your employees to focus on the work that matters most is the best result of a more focused, productive workforce. 

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