December 11, 2020
In our last newsletter I revealed my top ten productivity hacks, and the topic certainly struck a chord with many readers. It was our most shared newsletter to date and David Green and myHRfuture included the piece in the selection of their best people analytics articles.
Now I’ll focus on organizational collaboration, taking a look at where we stand, and in which direction we need to be going in as companies.
This is what I’ve learned while analyzing data on company collaboration. We need to fix organizational productivity - that we know - but first we have to understand how.
1. We’re distracted, overloaded, fatigued
Imagine that you just graduated from a good college and are interviewed for a junior manager position. You feel optimistic. But the interviewer is brutally honest:
“Hello Jan, so here we go! You’ll have 120 meetings per month. You’ll send 100+ emails a day. You’ll receive 1,500 emails per day. You’ll be CC-ed into many emails that may be irrelevant. You’ll have to flick through dozens of Slack channels also, every day (some of it will be relevant to you, who knows how much). When will you do your work, you ask? I don’t know - you figure it out.’
How optimistic are you feeling now?
2. Distraction is the new normal
2020 has brought workplace interruptions to an entirely new level. We have more weekly meetings, more meetings, more video calls, more written communication than before, yet our cross-team networks are decreasing. Productivity is a fickle thing. You’re bombarded with meetings, interrupted by Zoom calls, prodded at by emails - is it any wonder you’re feeling unproductive?
3. Hyper-collaboration affects our well-being
Our constant distractions and communication expectations are driving down our productivity and driving up our stress levels. We feel like we are doing more but our ultimate focus time, our time to put our brains to task, is tiny. Work satisfaction suffers.
4. Analyze your data ASAP
Taking stock of where we’re sitting by using data to analyze the situation is crucial for any business that wants to protect productivity and prevent burnout. Oftentimes, we work with companies who have no awareness of the gravity of the situation until they plug into their data. They need to find a new normal and they need to learn how from their data.
5. Share data with your team leaders!
Every team leader should be entitled to their productivity data. Trust me, they will want it. When managers realize how valuable their data is, they will jump at the chance to optimize their team’s performance.
6. Pick the right metrics and issues to focus on
One of the biggest challenges lies in deciphering which metrics are key. We are always happy to show clients which issues to zoom in on, interpret the relevant metrics, and learn how to improve.
7. First, fix meetings, emails, and chat
These are the most obvious aspects to change, and progress is easily tracked on a regular basis. Start with big meetings, recurring meetings, email CCs, cross-team meetings. You might be surprised by how easy shifting company culture can be when it comes to declining meetings, cutting back on redundant messaging, etc.
8. Create a culture of continuous change
You will soon find that once you start improving, it’s a recurring process. Don’t view this as a never ending challenge, but instead as something that leaders work on persistently, using data to bolster continuous productivity.
9. Take your collaboration tools to the next level
Document sharing, commenting, using modern tools like Slack, MS Teams, and pushing these tools to their limits - the companies that have had these tools had almost no change in 2020. They were ready, as every company should be. I still can’t believe that there are meetings where 4 people are sitting around a laptop or a screen with a USB camera, or the management board of the company. The ROI of this hardware is easy to calculate, yet companies still don’t do it.
10. Digital transformation 3.0 - A new breed of company
The benefits of implementing digital transformation, a transformation that fits to the changing mould of company dynamics, are enormous. The companies that are mastering their data and navigating into the years to come will fast outpace the ones left in the dark.
Join the new breed of companies and don’t get left behind - leave your competitors behind. Data can be your advantage.
Today, we would like to announce the launch of our health metrics. What are these health metrics? They show how well different tools are adopted in your company, how your productivity scores, and exactly how to improve these metrics to meet the set benchmarks.