When we think of productivity, we typically think about machines, or automation, or efficiency planning. But can you get to a higher level of productivity using nothing but people?
When I think about people productivity, I typically think it regards the influence of two major stakeholders: the customers and the employees. These represent the two sides of supply and demand: the customers are the ones who want your product, whereas the employees are supplying it. Therefore, if you maximize for these two audiences, you in turn maximize your supply and demand.
How do you maximize? Well, the best way to get people to do what you want them to do is to make them happy. In all simplicity, it goes as follows:
Happy Customers + Happy Employees = Maximum People Productivity
So, how do you get these stakeholders happy? This, in all honesty, is a subject all to itself and it is impossible for me to fully describe in a single blog post. However, I won’t leave you completely empty handed, so I’ll drop a few good tips.
The first is to make sure your stakeholders are happy, but not docile. You can make employees happy by giving them a lot of free time and snacks, but that’s not going to make them more productive. The way you make them happy really matters. Give them meaningful work, and control over their position, and they will work at their fullest. Same thing for customers; give them free stuff, and they’ll come… but you’ll be bankrupt before that even means anything. Make them work for it by assigning giveaways to referrals, or stay away from the strategy entirely.
Another tip: start with extrinsic motivation and end in intrinsic motivation. Motivation is really the key to this entire formula. I’m sure you can even see the connection to it in the first tip. Start by roping people in with the extrinsics (employees: high salary, good growth; customers: referral rewards, gamification) but make sure you cement the deal with intrinsics (employees: the meaningful control I mentioned above; customers: true brand loyalty).
These things; motivation, meaningful work, loyalty… they aren’t easy. If they were, they wouldn’t be competitive advantages. Take this information in mind, especially if you’ve already maximized productivity on other fronts, and it will serve you well.