Are you missing the big picture when it comes to productivity in your organization? When you invest in a productivity tool, certainly you want to see measurable improvements in the amount of work your team generates. That’s undoubtedly one of the most noted benefits of project management solutions, time-management applications and other tools.
While every productivity tool should increase output in some way, it shouldn’t only be about output. There is much more to it than that. Yet, even the savviest business leaders often fail to see the long-term value of the tools they have at their disposal. If output doesn’t increase instantaneously, they deem the investment a waste of time and money — and often jump to the next thing before they have realized the full power of the tool they were so quick to do away with.
That’s a shame, because the true benefits of the best productivity tools aren’t always immediately apparent, nor are those benefits always easy to measure.
When you get down to it, it’s not necessarily about the types of tools you adopt, but rather, how you define productivity within your organization. If productivity is nothing more to you than completing more projects in less time, you may be missing the true advantages of your software and applications.
I would highly recommend that when you evaluate productivity work tools you currently are using or investigate new options, that you don’t neglect to consider these — often unsung — benefits that have a huge impact on your business and your bottom line.
The quality of the work improves
The value of features that allow instant collaboration cannot be taken for granted. When team members can — with the click of button — check the status of a project, review everyone’s schedule, share information and communicate in real-time, they can make adjustments that improve the end product and the overall process. Better products translate to happier customers which translate to more money.
Long-term sustainable results beat out short-term gains
With online productivity tools, you gain access to analytics that will allow you to learn from previous projects. Pinpoint mistakes and areas to improve so that you can make future projects run more efficiently and smoothly. Such data allows you to make changes to how you plan, assign work, set deadlines and more.
Small, incremental changes slowly over time allow your team members to maximize their productivity and increase their output. It often just takes time.
Boosts in employee happiness = dollars and cents
If employee satisfaction doesn’t come to mind when you think productivity, think again. Few things in the workplace have a more direct impact on productivity than morale. When your employees really believe that you care about their total quality of life, they simply are more engaged, motivated and productive.
So how do you show them that you care about their quality of life? By making life easier for them. Productivity tools do that. They simplify collaboration and communication, they streamline processes and they save time. They ensure that workloads are allocated fairly. When used effectively, they just make it easier for people to their jobs. People leave on time more often, are able to take more personal time and experience overall work/life balance. Morale is improved and people are just plain happier.
Bottom line: Happy employees stick around, meaning you don’t experience costly turnover. So adopt productivity tools that make your people happy. It really is that simple.
Again, these aren’t benefits that you will immediately realize. When you first introduce a new productivity tool, you may even face a little resistance. It will take time to bring employees up to speed so that they see the full benefits of tool. Bear with it. The results will be well worth any bumps in the road you face early on.
Customer satisfaction is achievable
On the surface, we’re talking about tools that allow teams to complete work by customer-imposed deadlines. Productivity tools make it easier to keep projects on track so that you can deliver what you promised, and that is certainly the first step toward making your customers happy.
Just below the surface is the idea that these tools improve the overall product, and that certainly is a big part of meeting customers’ expectations.
However, dig a little deeper, and consider the impact of your team members on the customer experience. We’ve already talked about how productivity tools can boost morale and make employees happier. Happier employees have a better overall attitude, and they try harder to make customers happy. You want people who willingly go the extra mile to meet customers’ needs. If employees are miserable, disengaged and overworked, that won’t happen.
I want to reiterate that productivity tools should save you time and ultimately, money. They should boost your efficiency and productivity. There is no doubt about that. However, it’s important that when you evaluate such tools, you consider the long-term, big-picture view of how they can benefit your business. The value goes well beyond simple gains in output.