Busy or Productive?
Are we busy or are we productive? That is often a question that you as a leader must ask yourself.
I am too busy or I'll do it when I'm not too busy is the most common expressions that you will hear in a day's work.
Before you can identify if you're busy or productive you need to know what is busy and what is productive.
If you look at the dictionary busy is described as having a great deal to do and that is exactly what it is. Everybody has a lot to do in order to achieve organizational goals.
But at the end of the day can any results be shown from being too busy or is there still just as much to do at the end of the day?
What is the difference?
Also at the same time, the dictionary tells you that productivity is the quality of producing something and the effectiveness of the effort. It's measurable and you can clearly see the output result vs the input.
Busy will normally result in one of the following:
- Not achieving goals
- Delayed projects
- Substandard performances
- Low quality of work
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of team spirit
- Work overload
- Important matters left on the wayside
Productivity has a different outcome and as we already said there is a measurable input-output which will show in the following results:
- Goals are achieved
- Team spirit and morale is higher
- Results are positive
- Your team is motivated and focused
- There's always time to be innovative
- New Concepts are born
So you will ask yourself how do we become productive instead of busy?
How do I fix it?
There are many things that you can do as a leader to ensure that your team is productive in what they do. Two of the most important things is work measurement and process development.
Work measurement will require you to identify key performance areas and create key performance indicators to guide you and your team to success.
If your team knows that everything that is important will be measured then it will direct their focus on the important stuff instead of trivial pursuits.
Let the team know what is important and what is the indicators that they will be measured against. Everybody at the end of the day is responsible for results and positive outcomes for the organization. Nobody is there just to be busy.
In order for them to be guided in the right direction, it is your task as the leader to make sure that all the necessary processes are in place and maintained. To create a culture of sticking to processes will make life much easier and goals more achievable.
In summary, if you want your team to be productive then they must be kept busy with the right things and not be left alone to make their own decision on what is important and what is not.