“Spot your galvanisers” and 5 other ways to boost productivity

Sorry but it’s not Brexit’s fault. It’s not even a result of the last recession. The UK’s productivity crisis is a behavioural problem. That’s according to Amanda Sokell who has been helping growing companies create order in their processes and systems for 20 years. She believes it’s possible to create momentum in workforces but, “until we recognise that our lack of productivity is a behavioural issue, nothing is going to change.”

For the latest Mindlab Academy interview, we get the inside track from Amanda on how businesses can overcome the lethargy, and ultimately profit from peak productivity.

Measure it

As with any change programme, you need to work out where you are and where you want to get to. ‘Productivity’ is a word we all talk about but very few organisations measure it. So work out what your productivity number is and have a plan about how you will do better, communicate it and track it. You can use tools like www.productivity4.com as a great starting point.

Set your stall

What is your brand promise and does every person in the organisation know it? Every business is known for something and every person in every team has to know how they contribute to achieving that. It is in the collective that a vision creates momentum.

Know your worth

People get confused between productivity and efficiency. Efficiency is doing something with the minimum amount of effort. Productivity is creating the greatest output for the least input and has a financial metric attached to it.

When a business doesn’t fully understand the value of what it’s doing and prices its services and products to reflect that, I hear alarm bells. Look at the costs of every part of delivery and reduce your outgoings as far as possible.

Spot your galvanisers

A massive correlation between levels of engagement and levels of productivity has been borne out time and time again in various studies. In short, we know this to be true: the most engaged workforces are the most productive.

Spot your galvanisers and identify what sets them apart. Find those that are dragging the company down. What is your model to move them up to the next level of engagement so they’re excited to be on the journey with you?

It’s not just about the individuals. Look at whether your environment and organisational set up helps or hinders people to do their best every day.

Get into the details

The vast majority of ancillary processes are in tacit stage and have not been written down. They’re in someone’s head somewhere. You can sit in a room with five people and they will all come up with a different version of every process.

Nail down your internal processes to the extent that you would for your products. Make it explicit in a flow diagram. It’s remarkable how much of a difference it makes.

Reward it

Make it clear to employees that increased productivity means a more profitable business, some of which will be passed on to them. Share success in the wage packet. Now that’s an interesting conversation to have with people.


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