Roger Kahle

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Commonsense Tactics for Maximizing Productivity

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Leverage your team members’ strengths and use top talent strategically.

As a business owner, figuring out how and where to put the resources you have to good use is an everyday challenge – and in a fast-moving business, it’s easy to get lost in the day to day. It turns out that managing your team’s time with a few commonsense tactics can not only help you increase your productivity, but also allow the talent you have to really shine at what they do best.

First, it’s important to understand every employee’s hourly rate. Knowing this simple internal metric is as essential as bringing in new business. Why? Because knowing the internal cost of any initiative will quickly allow you to align the right talent to the job.

Top accounts often require your top talent, but, when appro­priate, consider opportunities to encourage growth within your organization – by involving junior or mid-level talent in projects that allow collaboration with top talent. This helps empower growth from the bottom to the top of your business and can be a strategic investment in and of itself.

Second, nurture talent and allow people to shine at what they do best. That senior team member who has a special affinity for social media and seems to understand Twitter better than anyone you know? Put them on point for starting a more consis­tent and relevant social media presence for your practice. When staff branch out into new territory, offer praise and applaud wins in front of the entire team. You will build loyalty and also embolden other employees to give feedback to one another.

Finally, encourage employees to focus on attention manage­ment instead of managing their time. Attention management includes focusing on the big fish first, assigning value to your time, and programming out distractions like batch-checking email and scrolling through social media. Attention management is about focusing on what is important as well as understanding when those things need to be done. Identifying only one thing that is most important to moving your company forward and making that your focus for the day can also be an effective way to deploy attention management.

We all resort to business as usual when our plates get full, but taking time out to deploy a few simple tactics to maximize your team’s talents and time can lead to running a more productive, profitable and even happier practice.

Next steps

Things to consider for the future:

  • Calculate the internal costs of your team – do the results make you think differently about who you assign to which project?
  • Identify an employee whose natural skills might benefit your practice outside their current role
  • Think about how to engage talent at all levels of your business in your next big initiative

Sources: americanexpress.com; forbes.com; entrepreneur.com; linkedin.com; nytimes.com; hbr.org; the1thing.com