P&M 40: Technology and People for Productivity

In this episode, Donna Hanson and I have come up with a number of topics we know for our work with clients as some of the roadblocks to individual and personal productivity. We wanted to share with you both our takes on it to provide you with some ideas and strategies to ensure they don’t block your own or your organisation’s productivity.

Donna and I start with defining productivity from our perspectives.

We answer questions and discuss topics such as:

  • What do soft skills or people skills have to do with productivity?
  • What about things like organisational negativity, where you have people saying bad stuff about the organisation. “Well it’s another day,” or, “Gee, that person, they always say that, but they’re never going to do it.” Do those things have an impact on productivity in your experience?
  • What about trust from an organisational perspective? [Including an interesting story about one of Donna’s relatives workplace!]
  • What is it about email that has an impact on productivity? [And the comparison of what email was intended to do versus what has happened with our email today.]
  • Expectation management impacts on productivity.
  • Overwhelm: newsletter subscriptions and ToDo Lists.
  • Specific skill areas that demonstrate an impact on productivity? Feedback and delegation! [Including how your mindset impacts on ‘tough’ conversations.]
  • How conflict impacts productivity and how stating intentions can be helpful for reducing the impact of conflict on you and your team.
  • Checking our assumptions as they also impact on productivity: what do you assume your team / employees know or don’t know about productivity, technology, people skills.
  • Where technology can fit into your approach to people and productivity?

We close out our conversation with sharing three tips each!

Sally’s tips:

  1. Before giving an answer, ask a question. Ask, be quiet, listen. Too often we jump in too quickly and miss the gold!
  2. Shift your mindset from a ‘difficult’ conversation, a hassle, a drama to that of a helpful conversation designed/intended to help and support the employee.
  3. Get to know your people. Build relationships. The stronger the trust and network the better the productivity.

Donna’s tips:

  1. Communicate! We need to talk to each other if we want to get more productive with our technology.
  2. Don’t assume. Don’t assume that what you know is what everybody else knows, and that’s a common thing.
  3. You’ve got to switch off to switch on.

Donna’s Background

IMG_0419_finalMost organisations follow the pack with technology, yet expect to get ahead. Donna Hanson believes you don’t need more staff or gadgets to get more done, you simply need better strategies. With 22 years of learning and development experience, a bachelor of training and development, and a certified speaking professional, Donna’s worked with organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and Japan, to increase productivity, performance, and profits with everyday technology. She’s one of only five people outside of the US accredited to deliver an email productivity programme to Microsoft’s staff, and has made regular appearances on Channel 7’s Sunrise programme, and Channel 9’s A Current Affair programme as a technology commentator.


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