If you’ve spent a decent amount of time managing projects, you might’ve noticed the cyclical nature of the productivity of your team. This causes your team to be extremely productive during a certain period, and you’d have to powerlessly watch their productivity dwindle during another period. Have you wondered what causes this cycle? How much it costs you? Can you do something to stop it from happening again? You will find the answers to all these questions here in this article.
What Leads to Productivity Decrease?
Perhaps one of the greatest questions facing sociologists and management in the last five decades is, why do teams seem inconsistent in their productivity? How come we can reasonably predict when it happens? Why does it occur in different industries ranging from plumbing, software companies, and the food industry?
A lot of theories have been proposed, some absolutely absurd and baseless (for example, relying on star constellations) and others grounded in reality and research:
- Increasing overhead: one of the leading causes is speculated to be extra due-process and paperwork, which then workers need to go through as the project proceeds. In the beginning, the team can completely focus on the project if they don’t get distracted.
- Room for error: I think it’s relatively uncontroversial to state that extending an existing framework is much harder than starting from scratch and not having to worry about compatibility with a wider ecosystem. As the project advances, it grows bigger and more complicated, and when the team decides to tackle any task, they have to worry about compatibility and integrity with the parts already done.
- Motivation: one of the most nebulous concepts even to psychologists, there’s a consensus that motivation has an effect on how productive we are. When you start a new project, the goals are clear, morale is high, and almost everyone is excited about the new project. A month in, there are no clear milestones anymore and the project has become routine, and this is linked to lower productivity.
How Serious is the Problem?
Now that you have a clearer understanding what the problem is, it’s time to learn how serious it can get – this problem costs businesses around the world billions of dollars each year, and there are a couple of reasons for that:
- Low productivity, ipso facto, means less money for your company. It’s in your interest to keep your workers as productive as possible.
- This issue leads to an increase in the turnover rate of your business – a high turnover rate not only makes it less likely for top-talents to be interested in working for your company, but you’d lose a lot of money trying to replace those who quit.
If you are not careful, this seriously may lead to a slippery slope and a downward spiral to a pit of unproductivity and profitlessness. There have been numerous companies that went out of business for exactly this reason.
What Can You Do to Reinvigorate Your Team?
It’s fair to assume you’re on board with how serious of a problem this is now, and you are wondering what can you do to combat it successfully and keep your team’s spirit high. Well, there are a few ways you can go about this:
- An enterprise management software could be a lifesaver. Having a place to track your employees, how productive they are, and bring various aspects of the project will give you a huge information boost. You’ll be able to see the downward trend coming, you’ll notice which employees are becoming unproductive, and which parts of the project are facing hiccups. You can implement corrective measures before anything serious that happens.
- Creating an open environment for your team will go a long way – the economic calculation problem applies to companies too, and your team usually has much better knowledge about the minute problems facing production. Encouraging your workers to speak up will let you easily be aware of those problems and suggest solutions before they accumulate into larger issues.