How productive are you?


This blog post has been produced in support  of the GBCC’s Growth Through People campaign. The views expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the GBCC.

It’s great to see the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce launching its Growth Through People campaign next month, helping businesses to achieve the results they need by managing their employees effectively and increasing workforce productivity. Here at LMI, we’re firm believers that the most important part of your business is the people within.

We have been working with businesses on a global scale to improve their leadership management and personal productivity for over 50 years. As part of the Growth Through People campaign, we’ve put together a series of blogs to talk about how businesses can effectively manage their staff, helping to increase productivity and growth.

Whenever the topic of productivity comes up, an aspect that causes the most consternation is how we measure productivity in the first place. How can we improve productivity if we’re not sure how productive we are currently; what if I’m as productive as I can be?

Of course, the key is defining productivity in the unique circumstances within your business, because only when you know what productivity means for your business can you work to improving it. And reaping the benefits this will deliver.

In the LMI programmes, we work with a specific form, ‘Definition of Productivity’ which helps everyone to set a baseline for their personal productivity. It typically involves discussion with team members at work, but it’s a relatively simple process to establish what it is you actually get through in a day at work.

We suggest productivity means doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time and for the right length of time. Whether you and your business provides goods or services, or a mix, you must know how much it costs to provide them and what revenue they bring. 

A large portion of the cost will be for the time you and others spend getting stuff done, on top of the costs for materials, office space, computers, etc. With all this information we can establish a simple measure of productivity:

Outputs / Inputs = Productivity

When you begin defining productivity for you and your business, consider three key areas;

  • Technological productivity - the use of more efficient machines, computers and other technologies to increase output. 
  • Worker productivity - having workers produce more output in the same amount of time. 
  • Managerial productivity - managers doing a better job of running the business. 

Developing systems and processes, is a means for enhancing productivity in all these areas.

It is easy to imagine the benefits to you personally and your business in particular, if you are more productive. We are not worried about just doing more stuff, but doing more of the important stuff; the high pay-off activities. This is the stuff you might not even like doing, but know it moves you and your business forward.

Improving your personal productivity means you will get more done in the day and by setting your productivity baseline, you will know how much more you have achieved and the direct benefit of doing it.

But improving your productivity doesn’t necessarily mean cramming more into your day. You may be at the point when you are comfortable with your life and what you earn. But imagine the benefits of completing your current workload in a shorter time - more time away from work to enjoy the fruits of your endeavours. Golf, cycling, painting, cooking, time with your family, whatever floats your boat; time spent guilt-free.

LMI encapsulates the concept of getting more done in its ‘Effective Personal Productivity’ programme, which has been shaped by the experience of thousands of highly successful and productive individuals. This is real-world advice, not highbrow theory untested in the heat of commercial battle.