What Email Can Reveal About Performance & More: This Week in Productivity – Feb 19, 2016

Welcome to This Week in Productivity, our weekly round-up where we share the best productivity insights from around the web. This week, we’ve found out how to discover performers and potential in your company through analyzing network interactions, how to set team goals, and how to hire top talent to work remotely. We’ve also learned how to make actionable tips out of articles (like this one!) and how to properly end your day after work.

What Work Email Can Reveal About Performance and Potential
https://hbr.org/2016/02/what-work-email-can-reveal-about-performance-and-potential
by Chantrelle Nielsen (@chantrellen)

Key Takeaway: Discovering your top performers and high-potential employees is critical for company growth. One way to predict performance and potential is by looking into the strength and scope of your team’s networks and social graphs.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Help less extroverted, less emotionally intelligent junior staff to connect with more of their peers to increase their influence and effectiveness.
  2. Include highly influential people in your team’s networks.
  3. Communicate the importance of networks and provide analytical tools to help your team measure their impact on performance.

Promises for the Future: 5 Ways to Set Goals as a Team
http://theproductivitypro.com/blog/2016/02/promises-for-the-future-5-ways-to-set-goals-as-a-team/
by Laura Stack (@laurastack)

Key Takeaway: Individuals and teams need someone to prepare the path for them, to be there when they need them, and to guide them along the way.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Take the time to find out your team members’ individual and professional goals first, and look for ways to integrate these with the overall goals of the team.
  2. Set reasonable goals that include time-based milestones and objectives, and communicate the plan clearly.
  3. Ensure a sharing and supportive working environment.
  4. Remove obstacles and give your team something to strive for. Motivate everyone in positive ways, explain the reward system and follow it meticulously without favoritism.
  5. Keep an eye on deliverables and KPIs to provide regular feedback to the team.
Too many tools? Too much information?
Check out ScribblePost – the world’s first Productivity Network.

Hire the Best People, and Let Them Work from Wherever They Are
https://hbr.org/2016/02/hire-the-best-people-and-let-them-work-from-wherever-they-are
by Cassandra Frangos (@c_frangos)

Key Takeaway: One way to find the talent you need is to remove the constraint of location. However, structure, culture and mindset are three important considerations when hiring remotely.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Ensure due diligence in your hiring decision. Assess a candidate for their independent streak, passion for work, and the ability to collaborate. Find out if they have had past success working remotely.
  2. Consider both the leadership ability of the candidate and that of his immediate superior. Is that leader someone who would work well with remote talent?
  3. Invest heavily in the relationship. Communicate with virtual teams constantly and tackle tough issues together.
  4. Check the virtual team logistics and technology available to you. Home offices of remote staff should be well equipped for teleconferencing, collaboration tools and data security.

How to Actually Use the Tips You’ve Read in an Article
http://www.theorderexpert.com/how-to-actually-use-the-tips-youve-read-in-an-article/
by Rashelle Isip (@theorderexpert)

Key Takeaway: High performers are constantly looking for ways to improve the way they work. When you’ve found an article, the next step is finding an efficient way to incorporate useful tips into your daily routine.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Scan the article’s title and sub-headings to give you an overview.
  2. Now read it in full, making mental notes.
  3. Summarize key points. Bullet points work well.
  4. Turn useful tips into practical tasks.
  5. Schedule those tasks into your calendar.

The 7 Step Evening Ritual That Will Make You Happy
http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2016/02/evening-ritual/
by Eric Barker (@bakadesuyo)

Key Takeaway: Ending your day well is just as important as starting it right. Sadly, many of us aren’t mindful of our evening rituals. It’s time to set things straight by finishing the day with activities that refresh, nourish and relax the mind.

Tips and Tricks:
What should you do at the end of each work day?

  1. Practice a “shutdown ritual”. This will help get you out of your work mode and relax.
  2. Turn weeknights into weekends by spending a couple of hours with family and friends.
  3. Actively engage with a hobby, rather than passively sitting on the couch.
  4.  Wind down at least an hour before going to bed. Dim the lights and turn off your screens.
  5. Never go to bed angry with your partner. Let it go.
  6. Remind yourself of good things that happened today. Research shows the more you think about happy things the happier you’ll be. Simple but true.
  7. Schedule something to look forward to for tomorrow. Anticipation is powerful.