Solving the Problem of "Everyone's Busy, But Nobody is Productive"

As a team leader or project manager, hopefully, you feel that everyone is working hard every day to achieve the goals of your company. You may not doubt that workers come into the office trying to do their best to complete tasks, maximize productivity and keep the projects moving forward. But, are they working on the right things? Are there ways to improve their productivity?

The truth is that there is a difference between teams that are just “busy” and teams that are “productive.” Although many think that the terms go hand in hand, they don’t mean that your organization is completing work in a way that is moving them forward. 

Busy teams are often wasting a lot of their time. They are hunting down documents, sorting through endless emails, performing administrative tasks that they don’t need to, and trying to find the things they need to do their job but they are not moving forward to get work done. This is a widespread problem within many businesses; a study found that workers spend less than half, 44%, of their time on their primary job duties. That means people are spending more time doing other things instead of working towards the responsibilities of their job. 

When your team is working on completing tasks that are aligned with the company’s key objectives, people become instantly more productive. Real work can be accomplished daily, and team members can feel more satisfied with their jobs.  

Here are three steps that will lead your team to ultimate productivity levels.

Align Business Goals

You can’t be a productive team or employee if you don’t align your work to the company’s goals and vision. You can use your company’s goals to tell you what work will look like for your team and what expectations for productivity should be in place. 

Everything a team or individual does should help move the company closer to the goal. Everything you do needs to tie back to what the business is trying to accomplish and at the same time, contribute to the bigger picture.

The key to aligning the work completed to business goals is communicating clearly to your team which tasks to prioritize. This type of leadership requires a strong understanding of priorities and how deadlines for every existing deliverable and new requests must be taken into account. 

Alignment with business goals fuels productivity from the start. When everyone knows what they should be working on and those actions it fit in with business goals, time isn’t wasted on tasks that aren’t a high priority.

Provide Visibility and a Commitment to the Process

By using an organized tool that allows for collaboration, real-time status updates, easy accessibility, useful task management, and communication in one, central location, you have visibility. When your team can log in and see where they are in a process, it allows them to ask questions like “why is this taking so long.” When those questions are asked, you can quickly begin to problem solve obstacles. 

Are People Used as Resources Only? 

Being busy, but not productive is a symptom of a team that only treats people like resources instead of human beings. You should never view your team as the only resources you have. Your team members are only human. They are susceptible to burnout, frustration, and even over-commitment of themselves to be able to get things done. All of these things contribute to teams that get lost in being busy. This is where great software can help everyone do their jobs better and take the burden busy tasks off the shoulders of the people that work for you. 

When working in tandem, you can use effective software, you can encourage your team members to focus their talents, time, and efforts on providing value to the organization through productive work. 

Cirrus provides a Secure Document Collection Portal to organize a specified Electronic Checklist of documents that are stored in the Microsoft Cloud. Borrowers and their advisors can see which documents are needed at each stage of the deal; upload sensitive documents quickly and securely, and view the status of the deal itself. By designing order from the outset, Cirrus eliminates the chaos downstream.