5 Ways To Increase Team Productivity at Your Agency

20-Oct 2022
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Chelsea Williams SENIOR COPYWRITER

We don’t have to tell you that an agency environment is unique. Still, until now, you may have overlooked how its particularity can prevent your employees from performing at their best. Your account managers, designers, web developers, creative directors and other essential team members could be disproportionately distributing their efforts due to the fast-paced nature of your industry.

It’s ironic: Even the people who appear the busiest can be the least productive, especially if they spend too much time on inefficient internal communication or putting out fires for clients. 

Luckily, there are ways to pivot and get more value from your existing team without compromising their well-being. Here are five tested techniques for ramping up productivity at your agency.

1. Experiment With No-Meetings Days 

Meetings are notoriously considered unproductive, yet they still constitute a large segment of the average worker’s day. Otter.ai reports that over 35% of employees waste two to five hours per day in meetings for which they produce no tangible outcome.

Instead of allowing this to happen to your team, consider establishing an agency policy banning meetings on certain days of the week.

According to research presented by MIT Sloan, employees at companies that established just one no-meetings day per week reported:

  • ⬆️ Autonomy
  • ⬆️ Communication
  • ⬆️ Engagement
  • ⬆️ Satisfaction

Thus, they experienced:

  • ⬇️ Micromanagement
  • ⬇️ Stress

And ultimately, increased productivity! 

How to make it happen: You may want to start by limiting meetings to certain hours, then expanding to one or more no-meetings days. Survey your employees before and after these changes, and use automated time-tracking software to measure the tangible impact on project turnover and profitability.

2. Limit Micromanagement To Support True Autonomy

Today’s workers expect employers to trust them. They want autonomy, which doesn’t just mean flexible schedules and the ability to work from anywhere.

Most employees, especially knowledge workers, want to work for companies that consciously minimize micromanagement. Although it could seem counterintuitive, more oversight doesn’t always translate to more completed work. Your team is busy enough without having to spend time justifying what they’re doing.

Not only will less micromanaging free up time, but it will encourage employee retention in the long term. The longer an employee stays with your agency, the greater the opportunity for them to become more efficient and, thus, more productive. 

How to make it happen: Make both managers and employees happy by providing them with the visibility they need to minimize unnecessary communication. Accelo users achieve this via the platform’s convenient Activity Stream.

3. Discourage Quiet Quitting With Manager Engagement

Stepping back and giving your workers reasonable freedom is just one element of high-quality management. When it’s time to connect with their teams, your leaders should be fully present and willing to have honest conversations. 

The cost of not doing so has made headlines of late. Employees are disengaging via “quiet quitting.” While definitions of the term vary across industries, one fact remains consistent: This trend damages employee morale and negatively impacts productivity.

People who like their managers are less inclined to do the bare minimum — and more inclined to share the truth if they’re not happy. Avoid productivity leaks by investing in frequent manager training and professional development.

How to make it happen: Support manager-employee relationships by establishing a calm agency culture. Overall stress reduction will make your team more productive and creative.

4. Communicate Core Values and Outcomes

Optimal productivity is an important business goal, but employees need to know it’s not the only thing you care about. It’s possible to balance profitable aims with other core values.

What’s your agency’s mission? What do you aim to achieve for clients, aside from the deliverables your team sees? There are likely intangible benefits that your hard-working staff doesn’t consider when they’re busy checking off tasks. Be sure to share client feedback with your entire organization so they understand the potential impact of their work. 

Seeing that you and your clients care about more than productivity can inspire your team to keep up, or even increase, their pace.  

How to make it happen: Instead of requiring employees to focus heavily on tracking and communicating about billable time, use smart technology like Accelo to monitor your employee utilization with as little effort as possible. When you have the data you need to project revenue and timelines, you can easily shift resources and manage workload without questioning or frustrating employees.

5. Support Employees and Clients With Smart Technology

Managerial and cultural support is key, but your employees will also need tools to successfully increase productivity and efficiency. Assessing your agency’s current processes and tech stack can lead you to new digital solutions that reduce busy work and give your talented team the time and space to generate quality work in less time.

Effective software for agencies improves all stages of the client journey. You’ll want access to a CRM, quote creation tool, project management platform, billing software, retainer management tool, client request inbox, client portal and reporting solution.

How to make it happen: Instead of vetting multiple systems that will only keep your processes disjointed and cost you more money, consider what you could achieve with one end-to-end platform. Accelo reduces overhead and saves time for agencies like yours.

Ready to increase your team’s productivity? Get started by scheduling a demo of Accelo.

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