Productivity is a big word. Every individual in every business has their own definition of what being productive is – what one person feels is a good day’s work might not quite fit with their manager’s ideas, or with the requirements set out by the company strategy. Of course, much of this comes down to how we measure productivity, and again this is different for every business. For some, it’s all about the financials, for others it’s about KPISs, and for others still it’s about establishing relationships. It all, ultimately, comes down to where you see the most value lying.

But at Holborn Assets we still believe that it is possible to approach the question of productivity from the other direction. Less about exactly what it means for every individual, and more about how we go about actually creating a team that can be more productive. So, here are our thoughts.

Create clearly defined roles, a shared vision and a sense of purpose

For people to create value for your business – however you define it – they need to understand why and how they are going to do this. In our experience, higher productivity only really comes when people understand completely why they need to be productive, and how they can contribute. To achieve this, you need to do at least a couple of things. The first is to create very clearly defined roles within your organisation.

Make sure that everyone has a clear sense not just of what they are doing every day, but why, and how it contributes to the overall success of the company. Roles and responsibilities need to be clear, but it’s also part of our job as leaders to create a shared sense of purpose – a common driver that encourages everyone to work together towards a success they will all share in. To create this sense of common purpose, you’ll need a vision for the company that everyone can aspire to. Identify what this is, talk about it every day, and make sure everyone buys into it.

Have good habits

This idea of doing something every day is also a big part of making teams more productive, because it comes down to making certain positive, productive behaviours habitual. This might take effort, and you might even face resistance, but it’s well worth persevering – behaviours that everyone finds tough at the start will become easier as they become good habits. So, if you think that it will help your team’s productivity if all meetings are restricted to 20 minutes, then do it. And then do it again, and again, until it becomes second nature.

Raising productivity in a team is rarely about doing one thing however – rather it is the sum of lots of small, positive habits that can, and will, take time to establish.

Give thanks – reward and recognition

A final word about productivity – it dies in a thankless environment. No one wants to work harder to add value to an organisation that offers no thanks for their effort – and so it’s clear that recognising and rewarding people properly for the great work that they do has to form a central part of a productive culture.

So, take the time to say thank you, properly and in front of everyone, when someone does something that helps to build your business. It will be well worth your effort.