Houston we have a problem… and that problem is our company productivity.

Does that sound familiar? You aren’t alone. Productivity in the work place is such a hot topic issue that there are hundreds of thousands of guides on increasing productivity. With everything from painting the walls to reducing the working day, it seems like everybody is on a quest to achieve more at work.

But what if the key to a productive work place lay within the strategy of the company, rather than with the individuals in the organization?

If you think your company or team aren’t being productive, it’s worth having a second look at exactly what you think they aren’t achieving, and what the impact of that is overall. Are key targets and goals being missed, or is there just less ‘busy work’ happening?

When faced with a productivity problem it’s important to ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What are the main company objectives?
  2. What is the company action plan?
  3. What is the most urgent problem?

Those three questions will help you understand the scope of the productivity issue.

Venngage company productivity and action plan summary

Company Productivity Action Plan Summary created with Venngage Mind Map Maker

Once you have answers for those questions, start to break down further to assess what influential ‘moving parts’ are in play. In our example above we can see that the main objective is to improve retention, which is influenced by the ‘moving parts’ or customer service and the email newsletter.

You can then dive deeper on each answer to start to brainstorm any factors that could be contributing to the so-called lack of productivity. If retention is an issue, and customer service is an influential factor, dive deeper into what could be affecting the delivery of customer service.

Are the customers satisfied with the service? Is the delivery of the customer service error-free? Why? Why not?

Creating a mind map like this is a good way to get an overview of any productivity problem, and help inform an action plan to tackle the issue. Especially if there are many individual moving parts to be considered.

But before blaming employees individually for productivity options, it’s absolutely worth having another look at what factors affecting productivity are within your control.

Read more: How to Put Poor Workplace Productivity to Bed