By JOEL NEOH
Creating a culture of productivity is more than setting goals and driving workers to meet them. It’s about creating an inspiring environment that empowers your team to innovate and go the extra mile.
1. Build Smart Teams
Passion spreads, and people learn from interacting with each other. When putting together teams for projects, mix them up and put together people with different skill sets and experiences. I have a strong belief in hiring people who are smarter than myself and not allowing that to intimidate me.
At Groupon, I brought aboard Malaysia’s country manager Rafiq Razali to run day-to-day operations. He has a brilliant mind and working with him means I get to learn from him. That kind of relationship promotes us to challenge ourselves and grow, both as individuals and as a team.
2. Flexible Work Spaces
Our environment plays a big role in our productivity. The days of rigid office cubicles are fading, as employers understand the value in a workspace as dynamic as the team working in it. Different projects require different spatial needs and levels of interaction.
Setting up an office with moveable furniture and different sized tables allows people to find the space that suits their needs best. Teams can spread out across community tables. Those looking to work independently, can find a space where they won’t be disturbed.
It’s important to have spaces for unwinding too. Often, creative problem solving comes when we decide to turn our brains away from work for a while. Providing a space for people to relax and brainstorm outside of the box promotes genuine creativity when it is least expected.
3. Freedom of Movement
Along the same lines as creating a flexible workspace, allowing for movement will serve any leader well in driving the success of the team.
Productivity is fueled by interaction – with each other and the world around us. Try taking a meeting outside for a walk to get everyone’s blood pumping and thoughts rolling. Changing the scenery can inspire new insight and open everybody up to new concepts.
The best way to increase productivity is to make work natural. Along with getting people moving, it is important to allow them to move around the office and interact with each other as they see fit.
At my place of work, I don’t have an assigned seat – I can sit and get to work wherever it makes sense. I get to be a part of the team that makes the company run, and everyone knows they can access me easily.
On top of maximising productivity, working with the team fosters trust and open communication.
4. Happiness is the new productivity
There is no way to cultivate a culture of high productivity without taking time for fun. Nobody works their hardest when they feel stifled.
Create a lounge where people can relax on their breaks. Allow for personalisation of the office so that everyone feels like they’re making their mark.
Don’t underestimate the value of socialising as a group. Getting together to have a party and celebrating can have a positive effect on productivity.
My office throws awesome parties every quarter, giving people a chance to connect. People want to work for companies that are fun.
Ultimately, it’s in every leader’s best interest to create a culture that promotes productivity in a natural way. When a passionate team of people come together and share vision and ownership, accomplishment and creativity come naturally.
Evaluate the space you’re working in and the way your team interacts. Decide how to get started and keep the momentum going.