Teams of today are rapidly adopting a Productivity Mindset. According to the Harvard Business Review, leaders need to find ways to encourage a productivity mindset to remove organizational obstacles and improve workforce productivity.
With a productivity mindset, your teams need to constantly look for ways to unleash your team's creativity and productivity - by celebrating and combining the unique talents of each team member and finding ways to maximize their work flow.
What is Flow?
Think of those moments when you hit your stride at work, and your personal creativity and productivity seem to be at their peak levels. According to positive psychology cofounder Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this state is called flow, and it is an important contributor to personal creativity and well-being.
According to Csikszentmihalyi these are the 8 characteristics of flow:
Complete concentration on the task
Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback
Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down of time)
The experience is intrinsically rewarding, has an end itself
Effortlessness and ease
Balance between challenge and skills
Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination
A feeling of control over the task
Why does Flow matter?
Flow is defined as a state in which challenges and skills are equally matched, and play an extremely important role in the workplace. Flow is the ideal state that your team needs to utilize in order to be their most productive and creative. Because Flow is associated with achievement, helping your team find their flow could go a long way towards increasing workplace satisfaction and accomplishment.
Flow researchers like Csikszentmihályi, believe that certain interventions can be performed to enhance and increase flow in the workplace, through which people gain 'rewards that encourage persistence'. Fundamentally, flow lets you move forward faster.
What stops my team from finding their flow?
Workplace Interruptions is the number one killer of flow.
According to this Leadership IQ Survey, 71% of people report frequent interruptions when they’re working. When people are interrupted frequently, there’s also only a 44% chance that they’ll leave feeling like "today was a really successful day." When you’re trying to do work that requires concentration (e.g. drafting new presentations, outlining quarterly goals, completing performance reviews etc.) it’s nearly impossible to maintain a state of flow when you’re constantly being bombarded with interruptions.
This all complicates the process and only serves to slow the team's productivity. The inclusion of multiple tools also makes the entire flow sequence more cumbersome. Information winds up being scattered across different applications, channels, drives and emails. This often leads to those workplace interruptions in the first place.
Your team needs more information, so they shoot you an email. They don't understand how things are done, and you get a shoulder tap. They don't know where anything is, they call you or send a chat message. And they're not sure who is doing what, so you schedule a meeting.
When your team has to go through multiple steps in order to find who is doing what, the why, how and when of their projects, that disrupts your team's workflow and stops them from maximizing their productivity. By using the right tool to congregate all of that information, that can help minimize the impact of workplace interruptions.
What does a typical flow look like today?
A lead comes in, an idea is born, or a customer gives some important feedback. Maybe it's jotted down in a note taking app or shared in a chat or email. Your team has to decide on their next steps. Maybe a few team members have a conversation on what works best before someone actual makes a decision. They have to figure out where the idea was originally catalogued and then go back and find it. Then maybe they start doing some brain storming in a document. From there they decide and split up tasks by creating a task list in a task management tool. They have to attach a link to the previous document.
Any comments on the task are left in the task app or left in the document. Someone wants to know the status of the task, so maybe they create a Kanban Board to track the progress of the task. But he needs a better timeline to track that status for deadlines, so he looks into another project management tool for that feature.
So to outline that process:
Idea: Jotted down in a note taking app, shared in an email
Plan: outlined in a task app,
Define: Drafted in a document or via a file sharing app, content attached in the task app
Collaborate: Happens in emails, chats, non documented conversations, or left as comments in the different apps
Approve/Test/Review: Back to email, chat. Reviewed and edited in the app where the content was created. Approved in the task app
To accomplish a goal today requires the use of many different tools to do one task. By the time a task has been followed to completion, a typical team can use anywhere from 5-10 tools to get there. (This team uses 31 tools to make their SaaS team work!)
It's inefficient. It's cumbersome. It's chaotic. And it is not productive.
What does my team need to maximize their flow?
Your team needs one tool that will allow them to streamline and create an entire sequence of flow in one place. By reducing the number of tools you use, you spend less time constantly having to go to a hundred different places to accomplish your task.
In order to help your team find their flow, give them one multipurpose tool.
From ideation, to creation, to implementation, give your team a tool that allows them to do it all. A great tool will capture the who (is involved), what (needs to be done), when (is this due), why (this project matter) and how (we're going to accomplish this) of your projects in one place.
Here are some examples of how you can accelerate your team using TipHive.
create and share anything
keep information accessible and organized
keep content organized in topics that are easy to manage and oversee
plan, create, collaborate, and review all in one place
easily re-organize content as you go
set goals to be accomplished
assign content so everyone knows who is doing what
track where a project stands and how much there is left to accomplish
With a multipurpose tool to support your team's workflow, you can improve team productivity, create better transparency, and faster business reaction time. With all of your team's information in one place, spend less time being interrupted and more time getting things done.