Discover team productivity tips and helpful leadership insights. Turn office sloths into corporate cheetahs with growth mindset tips, adaptability skills, and a re-ignited passion for work.
Unfortunately many offices these days have what I call the “office sloths.”
Now, I mean no offense to actual sloths. But… in the fast-moving world of business, being an office sloth just doesn’t cut it.
So, how do we get these office sloths to speed up and become something more like “corporate cheetahs”? I’m here to share productivity tips to help you to do just that!
I even gave a TEDx talk on a topic I call “Fun is A High Performance Fuel” …where I explained how fun should not just be a “maybe” at work. It should be the fuel behind productivity at work.
So, let’s delve into tips for improving your team’s productivity so you can start transforming those frustrating office sloths into impressive corporate cheetahs.
Imagine someone who moves so slow you want to hit the fast-forward button. They’re not bad folks, they just haven’t caught up with the need for speed in today’s work world. Did you know that bored or unmotivated workers cost companies big bucks? Like, really big – we’re talking billions!
For example, take Bob from accounting…
Nice guy, but he takes a week to finish a task that should take a day. It’s not just frustrating for his colleagues. It’s a financial drain.
When Bob delays his reports, the whole decision-making process gets stalled. Projects get delayed, and opportunities are missed.
Research from Gallup shows that disengaged employees, like Bob, can cost organizations approximately 34% of their annual salary due to lack of productivity.
That’s thousands of dollars down the drain, just because of one office sloth!
Now, imagine the opposite: someone quick, smart, and always on the ball. These are our “corporate cheetahs.” They’re the ones who get stuff done before you even finish saying “Hey, can you…” And it should come as no surprise that studies report that companies with these quick thinkers do way better.
For example, consider Sarah from the marketing team.
She’s the epitome of a corporate cheetah. Not only does she churn out high-quality work at lightning speed, but she also inspires others.
According to a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, high-performing employees like Sarah can increase overall productivity by 5 to 15 percent.
This isn’t just about being fast. It’s about being efficiently fast.
So, there you have it – the slow-moving office sloth and the swift corporate cheetah. The question now is, how do we bridge this gap and turn the former into the latter?
Harvard psychologist Carol Dweck’s research emphasizes the power of a growth mindset. It’s about believing in the ability to grow and change.
To encourage this mindset, you should regularly hold workshops focusing on personal growth and how to embrace resilience during tough times. You should also start meetings with success stories of people who overcame challenges through perseverance. Encourage your team to adopt this mindset and watch them transform.
Example: Imagine a team member who always says, “I’m just not good at public speaking.” Begin by validating their feelings, then introduce the concept of a growth mindset. Use examples of well-known public speakers who started off with the same fears. Shift this to a growth mindset by encouraging them to think, “I’m not good at public speaking yet, but I can improve with practice.” Offer resources like a public speaking workshop, pair them with a mentor, and create safe opportunities for practice, such as internal team presentations. Watch as they gradually transform from avoiding presentations to volunteering for them.
The corporate cheetah thrives on adaptability. In a PwC survey, 76% of CEOs agreed that adaptability was a key skill. To enhance adaptability, integrate scenario planning and role-playing exercises that simulate change into your training. Celebrate adaptability in performance reviews and recognize those who demonstrate this skill. Create a culture that rewards adaptive thinking and watch your office sloths pick up pace.
Example: Your company is implementing a new software system. Some team members might resist, preferring the old way. Foster adaptability by organizing hands-on workshops demonstrating the new system’s benefits. Create a buddy system where those who adapt quickly can help others who are struggling. Soon, even the most resistant team members start seeing the value in the new system and adapt their workflows accordingly.
Time management isn’t about doing more. It’s about doing the right things. Implement time management training sessions that teach techniques such as the Eisenhower Matrix or the Pomodoro Technique. Teach your team to identify and focus on high-impact tasks.
The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, suggests that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. Reinforce this principle through regular team discussions where you collectively identify and evaluate the 20% of tasks that matter the most.
Example: A team is overwhelmed with tasks. Facilitate a workshop on the 80/20 rule. Have the team use sticky notes to visualize all their tasks on a wall, then guide them through a prioritization exercise. Encourage them to tackle these high-impact tasks first. As they see the productivity gains, they become more focused and less overwhelmed.
In a LinkedIn report, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning. Establish a dedicated learning and development budget and a system for employees to request access to specific courses or conferences. Develop an in-house mentorship program where employees can learn from more experienced colleagues. Create opportunities for your team to learn and grow. It’s an investment that pays off.
Example: Offer regular training sessions or allocate a budget for online courses. Encourage employees to share their learning in team meetings, promoting a culture of knowledge sharing. For instance, a team member interested in digital marketing can be given access to a relevant online course. Support them in applying this new knowledge in a real project, thereby enabling them to see the direct impact of their learning. As they apply new knowledge to their work, they become more engaged and productive.
Passionate employees are motivated employees. A Deloitte study found that employees who are passionate about their work are more likely to be high performing.
So, conduct “passion audits” by having one-on-one conversations with team members to understand their interests. Integrate their passions into their job roles or allocate time for passion projects. Help your team find what excites them in their work.
Example: A team member seems disengaged. Sit down with them to discover their interests. If they express a passion for graphic design, allow them to assist in creating marketing materials, even if it’s not their primary job role. Let’s say they are interested in green initiatives. Empower them to spearhead a green task force within the company, giving them a platform and resources to pursue this interest. Their newfound enthusiasm not only boosts their performance but also inspires others.
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is crucial. Invest in communication skills training, focusing on both verbal and non-verbal communication. Create a ‘communication charter’ that outlines how team members should communicate with each other, including norms for meetings and email etiquette. According to a Salesforce report, employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best. Establish a suggestion box or an anonymous feedback tool to ensure everyone has a voice. Encourage open and transparent communication.
Example: Implement regular feedback sessions where team members can voice their ideas and concerns. Use tools like 360-degree feedback to provide a comprehensive view. When a team member suggests a more efficient workflow, implement it and give them credit. Create a ‘success story’ board where such achievements are showcased. This open communication builds trust and encourages others to speak up and contribute more actively.
Leadership is about walking the talk. A Gallup study found that managers who demonstrate high levels of productivity and work ethic have teams that mirror these qualities.
Conduct leadership training for managers, focusing on emotional intelligence and leading by example. Set up a peer-coaching program among managers to share best practices. Be the cheetah you want to see in your team.
Example: As a manager, if you want your team to be punctual, always be on time yourself. If you want them to embrace new challenges, be the first to take on and adapt to new tasks. Regularly share your own learning experiences and challenges with the team, showing vulnerability and openness to growth. Your team will notice and mirror these behaviors, leading to a more dynamic and productive work environment.
Transforming from an office sloth to a corporate cheetah isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon with moments of humor, challenge, and growth.
As a seasoned Behavioral Change expert, I’m skilled at sharing effective team productivity tips through my executive coaching, engaging workshops, and keynote talks.
Let’s collaborate to accelerate your team’s productivity from slow-moving sloths to dynamic cheetahs. Book me for a free exploratory call here now. Let’s make your workplace not just productive but also a hub of excitement and achievement.