Being a successful agency requires consistent productivity. Productivity enables agencies to take on more clients, complete more projects, and stay as profitable as possible in a highly competitive industry. But what does it take to be truly productive?
Productivity can be improved through a number of small, easy to make changes, each eliminating unnecessary waste and streamlining resource management over time. The following 10 actions can quickly boost productivity at your agency and improve your team’s ability to achieve their everyday goals.
1. Stick to Time Limits - Allocate a certain amount of time for each task, with reasonable expectations. Team members should strive to finish each task within its time allotment and move on to the next task to keep projects moving forward. This can either be verified with time entries or simply used as a general expectation for resources.
2. Prevent Client Complications - Agency clients may decide that they want a very different outcome than what was originally agreed upon at the start of a project, resulting in lost time caused by restarting work. Make sure that clients stick to contracts or that changes are accompanied by change orders to prevent dips in productivity.
3. Encourage Regular Breaks - Taking breaks pulls team members away from tasks, but regular breaks are an essential part of keeping employees rested and focused while actively working. Make sure team members take their allotted daily breaks.
4. Find a Rhythm, and Music, That Improve Concentration - Noisy, busy offices can cause plenty of distractions and disrupt the flow of work. Letting employees listen to music and choose where they prefer to work in the office during the workday can minimize these distractions and help them concentrate on the task at hand.
5. Decrease Meetings - Meetings are a necessary part of keeping teams coordinated, but it’s common for an agency to have too many weekly meetings. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if an email, message, or quick conversation would work just as well to cut down meetings and free up more time for work.
6. Create Clear Priorities - Working in an agency means juggling many different tasks spread across multiple clients. Jumping between these tasks can decrease productivity as team members reset their focus. Make sure there are clearly communicated priorities so that team members can stay focused and plan movement between projects.
7. Stop Multitasking - While it may seem like multitasking allows a team member to move multiple projects forward in a shorter span of time, multitasking actually decreases productivity. Employees naturally lose concentration when switching tasks, causing slowdowns and increasing the actual amount of time spent on each task by the time it is completed.
8. Outsource Specialized Skills - Clients may request new tasks that require specialized skills. In the event of these types of projects, utilizing contract workers instead of having full-time employees learn new skills or work on projects they are not well suited for can make the most of each resource’s time.
9. Limit Notifications - Emails, messages, project management solutions, and smartphone applications all create notifications meant to grab the attention of users. Turn off notifications during critical working hours to reduce distractions and stay focused.
10. Do the Hardest Task First - There’s always a task that a team member isn’t looking forward to doing during the workday. Try to get this challenging task done first thing in the morning to prevent procrastination and keep the workday moving forward as planned.
Become a More Productive Agency
Reaching and maintaining new levels of productivity takes detailed strategies that can last for the long term. Learn what you need to do in our helpful ebook, “The Top 4 Productivity Obstacles Every Agency Must Overcome.