There are many ways to increase productivity. As an individual, professionals should try to hone their skills, get better and must manage their time, resources and tasks to come up with the best possible results. As a company, one has to instill practices that will fuel productivity. There are many tools that managers, business owners and professionals without any leadership role can use to increase productivity. Motivation, beginning of day sessions, pep talks, leading by example, incentive programs, timely appraisals, adequate rewards for performers and fitting promotions for the deservers are just some of the many ways one can enhance productivity.

There are two other elements that can produce better results, at an individual level and for the organization as a whole. The two elements are understanding expectations and accountability. When individual professionals know what they are supposed to or what is expected of them and when they are held accountable, they would deliver the results and they would also take the appreciation or criticism for the work done.

  • In most organizations, people don’t know what exactly the company expects of them. Sales targets, customer satisfaction scores, time of coming in and going home, time spent on the workstation logged into the system and timely breaks; these are just the typical expectations. A professional in the marketing department of a company may be expected to deliver a campaign that changes the fortunes of the company. A prototype specialist may be expected to reduce the budget on research and development without hampering the quality of product conceptualization. These are expectations that cannot be strictly confined to key responsibilities allotted. A company must be lucid about every expectation. Professionals are not mind readers. They don’t get to know what exactly you want them to do. Speaking out will make them think about what you want and they will endeavor to achieve that.
  • Holding someone accountable will always produce better results. When teams fail to achieve a common objective, everyone tends to pass the buck until someone is found to be the scapegoat or the leader takes the onus. While the leader is obviously accountable for the whole team, every individual is also accountable for his or her contributions and the overall success or failure of the team. The degree of accountability will be less than that of the leader but it exists and must be bestowed.

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