Business efficiency: The Importance of Productivity During Down Times visit for full newsletter Importance of Productivity during Down Times In the summer of 1900... • The average life expectancy in the United States was 47. • A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11, which was an incredible sum because the average American made .22 cents an hour, or about $400 per year. • Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo. • Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school. • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. • There were about 230 reported murders in the US annually. Amazing what a century will change. Amazing what a few months will change. Growth ends, recession sets in, the … [Read more...]

Increasing employee productivity: an interview with Dave Kutayiah

I recently interviewd Dave Kutayiah, SR. VP of HR at ING Clarion Partners about how to increase employee productivity during down times.  I specifically asked him,"How do you get more work out of fewer people?"  He gave me permission to share his reply, because I believe my readers will also benefit: Laura, I am currently going through the same scenario with my HR team and my business partners are experiencing the same due to a recent workforce reduction. In a case like that, as a manager, you have to do the following: - ensure everyone understands why the team is leaner and meaner, - make sure everyone understands the strategy or gameplan and how they fit into the refined organization, - reinforce the importance of each team member and the fact that the stakes are much higher than … [Read more...]

Be a Productivity Role Model

Be a Productivity Role Model

Have you ever taken an honest look at how you are perceived around the office?  Your behavior, attitude, and reputation play a huge role in how you interact with coworkers and subordinates.  Others may listen to you because of your job title, but if that's the only reason, you have a serious problem on your hands. I’m not talking about superficial issues like dressing well or keeping a tidy office.  It goes deeper than that—to your attitude towards work and your attitude towards personal productivity. Do you have a reputation of exceptional organization, follow-up, and time management?  Or do people dread sending you an e-mail, because they know there’s a slim chance that they’ll ever hear back? Is your desk a black hole, where papers and requests go in, but never come … [Read more...]

Abandonment, outsourcing, discipline and other difficult productivity questions

Time is your most valuable possession. What tasks do you devote the most energy to every day? You may be working hard to climb the big ladder of success, but you'll waste a lot of energy (and time) if you discover it's leaning on the wrong wall. An intense, personal commitment to achieving your goals gives you the vigor you need to move forward every day. Try these time management tips on for size. 1. Practice purposeful abandonment. If you have too much on your plate, get rid of anything that doesn't meet your objectives or have long-term consequences for your work. Your only other option is overwork and flagging energy. 2. Get some help. Don't try to do everything yourself, especially if you're running a business. Hire someone to deal with all the repetitive or minor tasks anyone can … [Read more...]

Protecting your calendar from others: managing availability

While working with Teresa Gavigan, one of my clients, on her office organization, we talked about the challenge she was having with an overly booked calendar and what to do about it.  She had recently taken over another entire division and was splitting her time between the two groups, which were in two different buildings.  She had ceded her calendar over to her assistant but hadn’t set any boundaries around what meetings to accept and what to decline.  Her assistant was accepting meetings tentatively, which resulted in Teresa often being double and triple booked.  She told me she frequently felt like she was “having a Lucy Ricardo moment” as she dashed over to one meeting, then over to the next, then back to the other, never wanting to let one or the other down.  After months of … [Read more...]