Thanks to numerous technological innovations, the world is moving faster than ever with no signs of it slowing down. Email, texting, team communication software, and smartphones not only streamlined our workflow but left little excuse for a slow response or delayed work product.
Is your business keeping up? No leader ever says, "Let's move slowly." Yet I've seen many leaders who think their team is going fast, but in reality, they are barely keeping up with competitors.
Today's world isn't made for slow deliberation. In fact, we have all seen what happens when a business goes too slow or fails to adapt -- it often disappears as is happening today in retail.
How can a leader motivate their employees to work faster and be more productive? As an advisor, I've seen CEOs and leaders truly believe that their companies were going fast enough when in reality, they were suffering from dysfunction and inefficiency. No surprise, it all starts with leadership and setting the tone from the boss.
As Mary Kay Ash once said, "The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang." It's the responsibility of a business leader to inspire his or her employees with their own speed and productivity.
These are four ways leaders can motivate their employees into understanding why going faster works:
1. Refine Deadlines
When you're establishing deadlines, it's important to create smaller, more obtainable goals for your employees. Most start-ups measure time in hours, days, and weeks, which is helpful to keep a team motivated, engaged, and detail-oriented.
Instead of one deadline for a major project in its entirety, break up the work into reasonable chunks, allowing you to make shorter, more concise, and attainable goals for your employees. They will be motivated to complete these small tasks and get things done at a much faster pace.
How can you expect your team to get the job done without resources? Make sure your employees have all the tools necessary to get the job done, with no excuses.
If they need a new computer application to have faster and better quality results, consider purchasing it. If they need new smartphones, tablets, even a new office, think about investing. A well-equipped employee is an employee you can expect to deliver.
3. Work Smarter and Reduce Bureaucracy
I don't think leaders actually want to move slowly. Often times you realize there are faster and better approaches to getting work done more quickly.
Does your team's workday shrink due to endless hour-long meetings? Have fewer meetings and shorten them to 20 minutes -- that extra time lengthens the day and allows them to get their work down, without working late. Do your employees have to wait to get approval from multiple higher ups? Maybe they have to spend time filling out reports for their supervisors when they could be working.
Eliminate some of this bureaucracy and you will see tremendous productivity improvements.
4. Open Communication
Miscommunication leads to roadblocks and delays. Make sure you and your fellow leaders have full, complete open communications with everyone.
The more transparent you are, the more likely everyone will be on the same page. And make sure you solicit feedback, particularly about those things that are not working. Hear from your people about what their concerns are, and you will eliminate many future bottlenecks and even larger problems -- all of which translate to getting your organization to move faster.
Keeping up is not good enough. A leader who sets clear deadlines provides the right tools, reduces bureaucracy and masters open communications, cannot help but run a fast organization.