What does productivity mean for you?

January 30, 2023 - Reading time: 4 minutes

I recently engaged with the operations team to discuss how we can change the way we work at Intergreatme. Part of this process of exploration is that we have redefined the way in which we roster work for the manual intervention of KYC transactions.

Everyone loved it! Everyone loves having a more structured week-on, week-off approach.

But the concern raised by the team was: "what can I do during this time to continue to create value for the business".

We recently explored some of the additional ways that they can provide value:

Read. For the past few years I've been building up a library of resources that is accessible to the staff. To me, just reading, learning, and upskilling is a massive benefit to the business.

Update the wiki. The employees of the business are the life blood of information. They work with the products and tools the tech team creates on a daily basis. They understand the in's and out's of the technology. Spending time on this is a worthwhile endeavour.

Lean-in. Get involved in other areas of the business. As much as we're one business, there are two functional areas: operations, and development. The best people to test the product are the users of the product. Lean in and be proactive with getting involved with testing.

Simplify. Think about the role you play in the business, and the processes you currently go through. Are there gaps? Are there ways to short-circuit processes?

Think. Sometimes just taking the time to think about where you are and take stock of the situation can provide value as an outcome of that time spent thinking. You'd be amazed at how powerful your subconscious mind is. One of my methods when I get bogged down with code that I am struggling with is to just stop. Go for a walk. Put your subconscious to work and clear your mind of the issue. Generally, after a few minutes thoughts start bubbling up and voila! A solution to the problem arises. You just need to give yourself the space (and time!) to remove yourself from the situation to think about it.

Ask. Questions are a great way to learn. Why do we do something in a particular way? Why does the KYC engine do this particular thing? Why does this page look like it does? But also, a great way for us to change the way we operate as a business. I've been asking a lot of questions to the employees to try and get them to change the way they work.

Experiment. Quite similar to 'ask' above, but being willing to experiment and try new things. Be willing to explore new ways of doing things. Check in to see if it is working. With every experiment, we have a feedback loop to see what went right, what went wrong, and should we go back or move forward. Experimenting takes time. It isn't something that happens every day, but happens over a period of time. Be willing to make experiments, but make sure you measure their effectiveness, and ensure there is team buy-in.

What does "productivity" mean for you?

As a side note, I asked ChatGPT the same thing, and it came up with similar responses:

  • Cross-training: learning new skills or knowledge to expand job capabilities.
  • Collaborating with colleagues on projects or initiatives.
  • Process improvement: streamlining work tasks for greater efficiency.
  • Networking: connecting with others in the industry for potential collaborations.
  • Self-development: reading, taking courses or attending workshops to stay current.
  • Mentoring or coaching junior employees.
  • Participating in company or community events and initiatives.
  • Brainstorming: generating ideas for new products, services or projects.