5 Ways CEOs Can Increase Productivity in 2024 Here are five strategies successful CEOs are leveraging to boost productivity as they look forward to 2024.
- Five key strategies to help leaders boost productivity in the new year
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My conversations with CEOs across the country keep returning to a similar theme: the need for increased productivity in the workplace has never been greater. Today, leaders are grappling with unparalleled challenges, from the digital revolution to global economic shifts to the post-pandemic business landscape. With this complex set of issues at hand, productivity has become the governance for measuring whether an organization is progressing or staying stagnant, and ultimately, falling behind.
As 2023 comes to an end and CEOs begin to build out their strategies for the year ahead, productivity is a key priority. Below are five key strategies best-in-class leaders are leveraging to improve productivity as they look toward 2024.
1. Get intentional about collaboration
With the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work, many employees have gained more control over how and where they work. While remote and hybrid work allows for reduced commute times and better work-life balance, the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life can lead to longer working hours and burnout. Without a regular cadence of in-person and virtual communication, there can be silos throughout companies that ultimately decrease collaboration. In these circumstances, meetings are often largely spent getting the rest of the team up to speed, resulting in productivity losses.
Open-minded and nimble leaders have been able to manage and adapt to these new models of work by maintaining a specific focus on fostering collaboration. They ensure teams regularly leverage both in-person and virtual opportunities for purposeful connection and communication.
2. Focus on effectiveness instead of just efficiency
In today's world with high inflation, low unemployment and minimal growth, leaders are realizing they can't use their standard productivity models to forecast growth. Just because employees can do the same activity in less time, doesn't mean that the activity will lead to increased results. In fact, many leaders are learning that the same level of activity often translates into fewer results than it did in years past. Great leaders ensure their team is focused on activities that drive the company's goals. They measure performance by effectiveness, rather than solely efficiency. These leaders also aren't afraid to stop investing in initiatives that no longer meet the required productivity metrics. They are right-sizing both their hiring and marketing investments, moving incrementally to ensure they are effective before they continue to invest.
When a leader streamlines and optimizes their company's resources, time and labor, it drives profitability and improves competitiveness in the market. Staying lean and profitable will allow companies to have the flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities once the economic cycle turns around. A highly productive workforce also tends to be more engaged, motivated and satisfied, which reduces turnover and boosts morale.
3. Be clear on KPIs
Best-in-class CEOs know business metrics are critical to benchmarking and future planning. Measuring productivity through metrics like revenue per employee and profit per employee ensures businesses can identify areas where improvements in processes, training or resource allocation are needed.
When a company operates efficiently and generates higher revenue and profits per employee, it often has the resources to invest in employee development, job creation and career advancement opportunities. This can then boost employee satisfaction and retention, while also attracting top talent — creating a positive cycle of growth and benefiting both the company and its workforce.
4. Consistently review progress against goals
While it's energizing to create a strategic plan each year, governance is required to drive real progress that supports investment in new initiatives. Weekly and monthly check-ins on progress against goals provide a structured framework for evaluating priorities, identifying bottlenecks and setting strategic goals. When teams participate in regular reviews of what they plan to accomplish, each person knows exactly what they should be working on and how their tasks will contribute to the company's overall success. Further, it ensures that the team is celebrating the progress and successes along the way.
5. Adopt emerging technologies to improve personal and organizational productivity
Technology has long played an indispensable role in enhancing productivity by equipping employees with the tools and resources they need to streamline tasks, automate routine processes and facilitate seamless communication and collaboration. Today's new and emerging technology offers leaders a full suite of ways to ensure their business is maximizing productivity. Recent Vistage research shows that more than 65% of leaders are investing in AI in the next year. In the near term, AI will likely power the individual productivity of existing workers and offset some of the pressures of the persistent labor shortage, rather than replace or eliminate workers.
Increased productivity ultimately translates into higher revenues, lower costs and a strong bottom line, all of which are fundamental elements of sustainable growth and profitability. But a focus on productivity also empowers employees and fuels a culture of continuous improvement. In 2024 and beyond, CEOs who prioritize productivity will be best positioned to lead their organizations toward lasting success and resilience in an ever-evolving business landscape.