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Workplace Productivity Dysfunction

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After spending 40 hours a week together, some teams within an organization become so close that they start behaving like a dysfunctional family.  In other words, professional behavior goes flying out the door and team members stop “playing nice.”  This, of course, is a recipe for disaster that often results in disengaged employees and a loss of productivity.

An event in Indianapolis in 2010 attempted to address these problems which are all too common in the workplace. The event was appropriately titled Five Simple Ways to Get Your Employees to “Play Nice”. The event’s speaker was professional communication coach Starla West, who discussed five simple ways to create and maintain a FUN and professional work environment where employees “play nice” each and every day!  Below were the event details:

DATE: Thursday, May 27, 2010

TIME: 3:30pm to 5:00pm (with open networking from 3 to 3:30pm)

LOCATION: The beautiful Skyline Club in downtown Indianapolis (One American Square – Indianapolis, IN 46282).

INVESTMENT: Only $35 per attendee.

REFRESHMENTS: Yes, of course!

Workplace Communication

© Flickr user AFGE

One of the ultimate goals for any organization is to get its employees to view one another as “internal customers” and interact with each other – productively and harmoniously – in an atmosphere of mutual respect. If respect is missing, then employees may not feel safe or comfortable in the workplace. When that happens, work may be inefficient and lacking in quality, which can lead to external customers being just as unhappy as the “internal customers” are.

We previously discussed how a well-designed workplace can be an efficient one, but simply having soft lighting and properly painted walls isn’t enough to have your teams work in harmony. You have to take steps to ensure that all of your employees find a way to feel comfortable while at work. It may not possible to completely please everyone, but it’s certainly possible to put methods in place to ensure function reigns supreme over dysfunction.

A blog post from Influence & Co. tackled a similar topic and brings up some quality points. While that post is directed specifically at sales and marketing teams, the suggestions it presents can apply to any division of employees. We’ve included two of those specific suggestions below.

1. Make an objections spreadsheet.

Have your sales team regularly update a spreadsheet with objections from leads. The marketing team can create content that speaks to those objections.

If your marketing team is aware of your prospects’ concerns, then they’ll be able to create effective — and conversion-focused — content.

5. Use meetings to compare proposals.

Schedule periodic meetings to revise proposals based on feedback from leads.

Marketing may think the sales collateral is great, but if it’s not answering questions leads are asking, it’s really not worth much.

Likewise, sales might think a proposal is informative, but if marketing notices it’s visually unappealing or difficult to understand, your prospects probably will, too.

Those two suggestions can easily be combined into one: Keep lines of communication open. We’ve discussed the problems with time-wasting meetings before, but the purpose of a meeting to compare proposals is to ensure that there’s communication between various departments. That makes sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals. This can be achieved any number of ways, whether it’s as straightforward as a meeting or something more outside the box. And to continue thinking of the workplace as a family, the occasional dinner together can do big things for turning a dysfunctional family into a functional one where everyone feels comfortable and valued, regardless of whether they’re the head of the household or the youngest of many siblings.

At AccelaWork, our goal is to deliver workplace productivity and stakeholder satisfaction. If you are interested in learning more about what we can offer your business, contact our business process improvement consultants today!

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