10 Productivity Tools That Can Make Or Break Your Business

Posted on Oct 22 2013 - 1:26am by Adam Prattler

Productivity Tools

In the United States alone, hundreds of billions disappeared in thin air due to lost productivity of disengaged employees in 2012. This is mind blowing. And, you don’t want unproductive staff updating his or her Facebook status every minute, pulling down your company to revenue losses. Anchor your business now versus unfruitfulness.

Performance Evaluation

There should be a stick, always. A monthly, quarterly and yearly performance evaluation on an individual and team level is crucial for any business.

How would you call out poor performance? How would you recognize performers? What’s going to be your basis of promoting folks on the floor?

Having a scorecard is like having another contract with your employee of the things you expect them to deliver in a specific timeframe. Especially for sales-intensive type of business, time is money.

Just be reminded that scorecard should be balanced. It has to contain both business and employee value.

Incentive Programs

A happy worker is a productive worker. Design economic incentives for employees at ALL levels. Carefully structure incentive program so extra payouts reflect well-defined revenue and targets.

Never incentivize mediocrity. They are already compensated for doing their jobs, which is tantamount to saying meeting the goals. Bonuses should be given to those who are exceeding expectations consistently.

Not all incentive program has to be directed to “self”. You can add variety. Extend employee bonuses in the form of “being able to help” the needy. Say for every sale made, 50% of the commission will be donated to their chosen charity.

Solid Internal Communication System

Notify employees of system interruption or maintenance ahead of time. You can probably hold your meetings, coaching or training sessions during this downtime. Managers and supervisors can prepare a list of things to do while maintenance is going-on.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System

Back in the day, you would have to answer phone calls and list down concerns one by one. After that, you tally which issues are prevalent and which customers are more likely to abandon relationship with the company. Obviously, these tasks require time, a lot of it.

CRM is holistic software that easily ties up with cloud. Based on a number of direct (emails, calls, SMS) and indirect factors (behavior, buying patterns, website impressions), data is automatically generated and interpreted for you. You are left with the “thinking” and strategizing aspects.

PMS (Project Management System)

Powerful software, PMS is the mother tracker of all tracking system in the entire workplace. It can perform cost estimation and analysis, planning, scheduling, budget management, resource allocation, communication and even decision-making.

So, what is left for your employee to do? The most crucial and most missed – execution.


Everything is faster (aside from cheaper) with cloud. It provides a more secured platform for employees. Most importantly, there is significantly less system downtime.

Use of Producteev

Producteev is an application that helps teams get the job done faster and better. It allows your employees to work on projects even when they are not physically present in the office or running on the field. It has a social vibe that shares even your to do list and calendar to your colleagues.

Producteev is also optimized for Smartphone use.

Use of Dropbox

Dropbox is heaven’s gift to small businesses. It’s a massive storage that one can bring anywhere anytime. Your laptop will not give up on you because you are stuffing it too much. Dropbox will share the load.

Collaboration Tools

You won’t normally see the collaborative quotient in a typical employee scorecard. There is no gauge for such skills. Especially if you are running a number of teams, you may want to consider injecting the collaboration factor in your individual performance matrix.

Another is turning your typical snooze fest meeting to a collaborative set-up, where you have a defined agenda and everyone gets his or her turn at the podium. Remember that a one-hour 5-person meeting is already equivalent to 5 hours of loss productivity.

Network Map

At this day and collaborative age, what companies must realize is the need to analyze the value created or destroyed deep within the employee networks. This simply means that you may have to sneak behind the employees back and see the people they often talk to or mingle with inside the office. This network map can tell you a lot of things: wasted time and opportunities, pattern of poor (or great) performance and attendance issues. From there, you can identify folks that need coaching and support.

But, the network map is not just about the negatives. You can also juice out something good in this. A knowledge-sharing group with impeccable work ethics is where leaders can harness best practices.

Managing productivity can be a daunting responsibility especially for large organizations. But you must remember that avoiding downtime is critical to all businesses, regardless of scale and nature.

Photo Credit: Flickr/pshegubj

About the Author

Adam Prattler is downright “gung ho” with his advocacy towards teaching people about ethical guest blogging. Join him and his community at Postme and help make a difference in the online community.