The key to unlocking potential is productivity

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort” - Paul J. Meyer

What happens when capable staff aren’t as effective as they need to be? When they become somewhat stuck, when they stop progressing and seem to be just treading water. Layer in not reaching goals or targets and the result is the disillusioned employee. Companies who ignore employees in these situations do so at their own peril because there’s untapped potential with an opportunity to increase profit for those who can unlock it. Productivity is the key to unleashing this potential.

Just because someone is in a senior position, appears competent on face value or was once a high achiever doesn’t mean they’re productive at a personal level. Age, seniority or past performance has no relevance. Those who aren’t performing to the expected level have something holding them back. From my experience, it’s likely that something is productivity. It’s easy to understand why workers lack clarity when they get really busy. You know when there’s more work to do than the time available or there are so many interruptions that reduce the time to do the work.

In these situations, the importance of workflow is often underestimated. The organisations I consult to on workflow realise a range of impactful benefits that help workers process their work faster. For instance, email might seem trivial (it’s just email) but a 40% improvement in email management is significant when the average worker spends an estimated 28% of the workweek managing email. For many not managing email effectively is a major blocker to clarity in such a way it impedes their ability to perform efficiently.

Once workflow is aligned to how the person works best, the next area to review is what they’re working on. Essentially, what’s the work they need to do to be successful in their role and how is this planned, scheduled, prioritised and actioned? This is where the real impact is achieved with productivity improvements of 100 minutes per person per day typically reported.  

Untapped potential is there to exploit when workers know how to develop a rhythm of work to relieve pressure and achieve better outcomes in less time. Productivity is the key to unlocking it.