Increasing your team’s productivity is hard, here’s 13 ways to do it right.

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Why is instilling productivity tips so overlooked at the most opportune times? Maybe 4 times a year you will Google “how to make my team more productive.” Or you come across an article or helpful application that shows you how to make your team more efficient (maybe agile or scrum). Often enough productivity techniques get pushed to the side and aren’t considered a necessity for “right now.” But when you constantly practice productivity techniques, instill new softwares, and prioritize efficient workforce tools, you also keep your team motivated for high performance, and…

  • Cut payroll cost and generate more money.
  • Impress clients by staying on track, budget and track.
  • Have more time for growth, expansion, and internal revisions (and so much more!)

But here’s the real problem:

Employees can be resistant to change, they are emotional beings, and they get bored pretty fast. AND most commonly, you may think it takes too much time to instill these new practices so you decide not to use them.

The solution?

The benefit outweighs the cost, or in this case: time. Taking the time to constantly add more productivity tools and flows—yes right now—pays off and fortunately, we have done the homework and gathered 13 bulletproof tips on boosting your digital team productivity.

1. Give your team consistent and secure access to information (yes I do suggest the ‘mysterious’ cloud) 

As an owner, you appreciate that timely access to information is key to productivity. So, if your agency network is occasionally down, unsecured or sluggish, you are suffering a huge productivity blow. Provide your team with a reliable and secure network based on intelligent switches and routers as well as backing up all documents on the cloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. It allows workers to access information and all the tools they need in time to boost productivity. It also ensures that your team does not waste time waiting for files to load.

2. Give your team 24/7 access to their resources

To stay productive even when on the move or away from the office, your team needs to reach people and information they need, anywhere, anytime. Use tools such as Microsoft Project (if you’re a Microsoft user) or Resource Guru to give your team safe access to your agency network even when outside the office.

3. Ninja-Inbox 0

I scroll my Gmail account until its reading… well nothing – absolute zero – at least once in a week. For CEOs this is SO hard for you, I know it and I’ve seen it (getting 200 emails a day doesn’t help either.) So, I literally make it a point in my to-do-list. I have it as a top priority and each day it’s supposed to be reading zero, but this is too ideal. I don’t get to read each and every mail daily. So, once in a week works for me. Just think.. if you ignore your emails, you could stop work as your team waits for your input. 

4. Book 3-hour meetings

Working in an agency normally involves interruptions, and you never get time to see the big picture. To boost productivity, book your team for a 3-hour standup meeting every week and discuss the project progress. Most agencies have theirs as 1-2 but doing 3 hour ones allows to expand your mind and not just focus on the tasks for the week. This is the time to come up with the best work approach, let everyone knows what his or her role is, and how it really fits in the big picture. The meeting will also help you eradicate redundant tasks.

5. Give everyone some time…off

Give time. As in, allow you team some time off. It may sound counterintuitive that a day off can inspire enhanced productivity but it is true. A well-rested worker will be more productive than one who is stressed, tired and teetering on the edge of a burn out. Reward your employees who put in 110% with a little extra down time. 

6. Pay them what they want (almost)

Even your most royal employees will get demoralized if they feel they are not being paid at par or premium with their services. If your employees are in that state where they are constantly wondering how they are ever going to make ends meet, then they are simply not going to be giving their best at work. Productivity will diminish, so keep them motivated! Also, note that your workers will also compare their pay with what others of similar experience and skills are earning. You do not have to break the bank, but make sure you are shelling out enough to give them peace of mind. If you are not paying well for the hours you are asking them to come in, they will jump to your competitor, and you will be left with rookies. I guarantee it.

7. Embrace remote working

Allowing your employees to work from home or other off-site location can boost their motivation and hence productivity. It can allow them to spend time with their families, and to make good use of a full working day, particularly if they normally engage in long commutes. Note that your workers (who do not need to commute for an hour traveling into and off work) are more likely to work overtime and even during weekends if need arise to complete their work.

8. Create a feedback system

Saying “Nah, I don’t like that,” isn’t feedback. If you make it your commitment to give your workers and project managers feedback weekly, biweekly or even monthly, it makes it easier for your team to monitor their performance and to take corrective actions to attain their goals. Whether you adopt regular performance reviews or weekly one-on-one meetings to set goals and expectations, productivity will greatly benefit from regular feedback.

9. Offer cool devices and upgrades

If you facilitate your team to take advantage of customizable and affordable business Macbooks, smartphones, or tablets– you can realize up to 9 hours of enhanced productivity and encourage working on the go. There is also another awesome side benefit; these devices somewhat blurs the line between office work and home making employees more likely to do things such as answer calls or open mails even after work.

10. Feed your employees with (healthy?–nah) snacks

You will be amazed by how much productivity-boosting power you will get by offering your web agency team free lunch or holiday snacks. Staff meals enhance morale since they allow colleagues to talk more unreservedly.

11. Do your positive reinforcement duties

In one of the recent studies on employee motivation, it was revealed that 70% of workers do not need monetary gains to feel motivated. Recognition for work well done motivates them more than money. Do not be too tight with praise. If your team deserves it, say they are doing a good job but there is a line between too much flattery. 

12. Don’t be another boring 9-5 office

Whether it be surprises during work breaks or elaborate employee appreciation events, your agency team will always remember those fun times and they will keep them strong during rough days. Further, your team social gathering allows workers to interact and bond. This energizes the workforce and reinforces how effort is tied to the bigger picture. Some ideas? Get a wii room and play Mario Cart at lunch, maybe even add in a keg for happy hours after work (like some advertising agencies do) or give ½ day Fridays!

13. Embrace the change you might not really want..

You might find it tempting to stick to established work processes, but these might be hurting your team’s productivity. Conduct occasional departmental process reviews to eradicate useless busywork. This ensures that your team is not wasting time on outdated tasks.

Are we missing any tips to keep productivity at an all time high in your digital agency? Which ones do you find to be most applicable to your case?

Talk to me on Twitter or shoot me an email at kate@dashable.com.

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Author: @keswanberg