Once you’ve made a decision, execute! When it comes to productivity and success, execution trumps all. No matter how well you’ve planned your strategy, nothing happens if you don’t get it done. If your people are dragging their feet, shake them up a bit; it’s your responsibility to elicit results. That means, among other things:

1. Stop Accepting Excuses. If lack of training or equipment slows productivity, rectify the situation. If people still don’t produce, find out why and correct the issues in whatever way necessary.

2. Set Strict Deadlines. Make team goals clear, while setting drop-dead dates for producing what you and your superiors require. If necessary, create an action plan mapping the major deadlines along the way. Outline exactly how you’ll go about reaching each milestones, then choose the clearest path that lets you leap straight into action.

3. Don’t Overcomplicate. All you need is a basic roadmap, so choose the easiest, cheapest way to execute the mission. Embrace flexibility so you can turn on a dime if the situation warrants. Avoid making success contingent on a particular step or item, or you may end up dead in the water: always leave room for a workaround.

4. Hone Skills. When it doesn’t interfere with productivity, send your team to training, even for stuff they might not need right now but will in the future. Urge them to invest in continuing education to increase their personal ROIs. Many organizations will pay for it as long as employees maintain their quality of work.

5. Help Team Members Structure Their Time. If a team member can’t get it together, intervene a bit more than usual on the scheduling. You can have low performers submit personal schedules for your approval and require activity reports if you can’t see results. If those steps don’t work, put them on a corrective action plan.

Buckling Down

The ability to make ideas happen means the difference between success and failure, so sometimes you have to set a hard line and be the boss. If your team can’t get it together, lower the boom with these five tips and get them moving.


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