Kevin was starting a new product development project with his team. He knew that deadlines are short and he needs to put all his efforts in action straight away. The kick-off meeting for his team delivered clear goals, deadlines and roles for the responsible team players. The project got started. After several days he noticed that the atmosphere in the team started getting intense. People got to complain, more and more negative emotions appeared, communication became weaker, level of trust went down. At this point, Kevin started observing and talking to people individually and here is what he found out:
- Feeling of being busy or even overloaded
Some of the team members looked overwhelmed, moreover, in personal conversation they expressed the feeling of not being able to cope with their responsibilities, being too busy to manage all, not able to keep up with deadlines… In such situations it is important to measure the workload and the capacity of a person. If results show that the workflow is heavily overwhelming there is a need to make changes: to reorganize activities in the timeline, to delegate, to communicate with the client about the deadlines and agree on the best solution.
On the other hand, just a feeling of being busy will not bring results at the end of the day. Only productive work (achieved goals, completed tasks, finished projects, satisfied customers, etc.) with accomplished results can bring the feeling and joy of fulfilment.
2. Lack of commitment
It is wrong to think that showing up at work or in a project and doing something to be busy is all that is required at the workplace. The goal is not just to be busy, but to be productive, delivering results, getting things done on time and working to build the organization. Building an organization is a long term commitment that should concern every employee. Otherwise, the one who is just coming to “to do his job” will never deliver great results, will not be interested in generating new strategies, delivery or growth.
Showing and living the mission of the organisation, spreading faith of the value that it is created by the team help to engage team members to get committed more. It is worthy of trying as the payoff in quality, communication, satisfaction, financial results will grow.
3. Different understanding of work productivity
Most of people in one organisation when asked what they call productivity will give you different answers. Above all, the definitions of their personal productivity might differ from their general description depending on their values, personal standards, experience. Variety is good, you might say. Maybe. But what if all employees could have similar mindset on work productivity in your company? What if it could be defined as: keeping company (team) set standards (defined for all projects) based on efficient communication, feedback and provided skills development.
In every business, it is important to establish standards. Employees should be familiar with what the company expects from them. They need to know what they should be doing as well as their assigned roles. Without clear or explicit expectations, people tend to find excuses when they fail to achieve targets. Be clear at the outset: define what you expect of everyone, and how you expect people to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities.
4. Lack of result orientation
When we are productive, we can celebrate achieved results, evaluate and move on to the next project. Only knowing where we are heading to, we can notice when we arrive there. People are different, some enjoy the process of the work, some are uplifted by communication, some enjoy ticking the “to do list” or focus only on what has to be done. Nothing is wrong in having a different perspective on a workflow itself but it is necessary to communicate clearly what is the result expected. If the team doesn’t know or forget, it will be harder to get the results which are not clear upfront.
Courage is needed to remind what the goals are and to ask team players where they are in current process: what is going well, what struggles do they have, what support they need.
God has promised to bless all the work we do so that we can be productive. “They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do” (Psalm 90:17).
If you want to learn more about courage from the Bible, continue reading my blog