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Naphtali Hoff


Maximal Productivity, Part 2

Sharing information effectively

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 13:03

Now that we have planned in part one what we want to see accomplished, step two, toward increased productivity, is to share information effectively. We must involve others to ensure that everyone is as productive as possible, and that tasks and projects move forward on schedule.

The five components of step two are:
1. Schedule regular standing meetings.
2. Plan for regular communication.
3. Implement and utilize collaboration software.
4. Delegate.
5. Monitor and review processes.

No project of scale can occur without clear communication. Everyone involved must know what needs to be done and how they’re expected to do it. To help facilitate communication, consider scheduling daily standing meetings (often called morning huddles or daily check-ins.) These meetings should be scheduled for first thing in the morning and kept short enough to comfortably complete them while standing.

Position yourselves in a circle and use the time to review the day’s tasks and individual responsibilities, as well as minor challenges that teammates may be facing. This will keep everyone in the loop and help work through small issues that can often halt progress. It will also build accountability because members don’t want to let others in the group down.

As well as the morning huddles, plan regular one-on-one meeting time with each team member to check progress in a more personal manner. The goal should be to motivate colleagues, get an update on their individual progress, and troubleshoot problems that arise.

The Table Group, led by Patrick Lencioni, advises that leaders schedule weekly time (45 to 90 minutes) for tactical meetings (to review activities and team metrics) as well as monthly meetings of a longer duration (two to four hours) for more strategic conversations.

If you lead a remote team, you might think in-person collaboration is great, but that it’s simply not possible for remote team members to be present at the same time and place. Remote and geographically dispersed teams face challenges streamlining their workflows and improving collaboration.

Some leaders continue to rely on email and other e-communication tools, such as WhatsApp, to share information. Despite the many benefits of electronic communication, it can also present some meaningful downsides, including the fact that emails can be ignored, pile up, and be difficult to find.

Efficient and fast communication should be in the form of fluid, not asynchronous, dialogue. Collaboration software, also known as groupware, can help any team, from the smallest startup to the largest enterprise, to quickly and easily share content in documents, messages, videos, and other formats.

Each employee can communicate additional information by making changes that the system tracks. The manager collects the inputs and sends the newly revised document to the target audience.

Another benefit of collaboration software is improved scheduling. Lack of scheduling can waste up to 36 percent of employees’ work time. Businesses that plan and schedule their goals and activities get more done and are more effective. Daily, weekly, and monthly scheduling allow teams to organize their workflows efficiently.

With collaboration software, for instance, employees can share public or personal calendars to know all meetings and deadlines. Workers can schedule daily meetings, planning meetings, conferences, brainstorm sessions, and more in just one click.

Of course, all of this assumes that you are prepared to delegate work. Delegation is a critical element to increased productivity because it allows leaders to focus on the things that they are uniquely positioned or required to do. Delegation also clears the organizational bottleneck by not making all work dependent on the leader’s input.

The final piece of the “share it” step is to monitor and review the above processes with your teammates. Stay on top of things and correct and redirect when necessary. This motivates colleagues (who don’t feel abandoned) and helps you catch problems early. Recognize key milestones, such as completed subcomponents, along the way.

When the process is complete, review everything to identify your successes as well as your failures. It is critical that complex processes such as communication, delegation, and of course, execution, be reviewed openly and often to keep things humming. Assuming there’s something to celebrate, applaud it. This can be anything from a simple “thank you” or “well done” to arranging for awards, gifts, or bonuses.

First published Jan. 8, 2020, on the SmartBrief blog.


About The Author

Naphtali Hoff’s picture

Naphtali Hoff

Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach, organizational consultant, trainer, and lecturer. He has a doctorate in human and organizational psychology, which analyzes successful individual or organizational change and development, and he holds two master’s degrees in education and educational leadership. Hoff’s personal experience in the leadership field allows him to understand leaders’ needs and craft solutions to help them optimize their performance and success.