What Are Examples of Successful Productivity Interventions With Struggling Team Members?


    What Are Examples of Successful Productivity Interventions With Struggling Team Members?

    We've gathered six seasoned professionals, from Partners to CEOs, to share their experiences with successful productivity interventions. From mandating time-off for personal balance to implementing the Pomodoro Technique for time management, discover how these leaders have effectively boosted their team members' performance.

    • Mandated Time-Off for Personal Balance
    • Create Distraction-Free Work Intervals
    • Introduce Time-Tracking for Empowerment
    • Personalized Coaching for Task Management
    • Compassionate Productivity Plan for Paralegal
    • Pomodoro Technique for Time Management

    Mandated Time-Off for Personal Balance

    One of my recruiters was struggling last year, and repeated interventions didn't help. They had been a committed member of the firm until then, so I knew something was up, and I suspected it was personal: they didn't want to share.

    Highly encouraged time-off was the answer.

    It wasn't easy to navigate, though. The last thing I wanted was for this to feel like a punishment, so I had to broach the topic carefully.

    My solution was to take the focus off him and instead institute a firm-wide policy about PTO—use it or lose it.

    Not only did the worker in question take some much-needed time for himself, but I'm also certain I headed off potential replays with other stressed workers. In an office full of type-A personalities, sometimes people need a little push to find balance.

    Travis Hann
    Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

    Create Distraction-Free Work Intervals

    Distractions are a productivity killer and can make the day feel extra draining. Encouraging team members to embrace distraction-free pockets of time improves their output and overall satisfaction. This can look like silencing notifications for 30-60 minutes a day for some heads-down focus. Or, my favorite, encourage them to limit the number of times they check their email throughout the day. Remove the obligation to jump to every 'ping' that comes from the computer!

    Kara Troester
    Kara TroesterOwner, She Boss Life

    Introduce Time-Tracking for Empowerment

    Absolutely. Had an ace designer—brilliant but drowning in workload. The trouble? Poor time management. Intervention: We introduced a time-tracking tool. Simple, but transformative.

    Kept it positive, focused on empowerment, not policing. The goal: Help them self-manage, not add stress.

    We identified high-impact activities versus time sinks together. Prioritization was key. We cleared the deck of low-value tasks that chewed up the designer's time.

    Meetings were another time thief. We implemented a 'meeting-free day' policy. Game changer. It carved out uninterrupted blocks for deep work.

    Productivity soared, stress levels plummeted. The designer went from struggling to thriving. And it rippled across the team—everyone's game stepped up.

    Crucial takeaway? Productivity interventions need not be complicated. Often, small changes yield big results.

    Casey Jones
    Casey JonesFounder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

    Personalized Coaching for Task Management

    One memorable experience involved a team member who was exceptional in their technical ability but struggled with managing their time and prioritizing tasks, leading to missed deadlines. Recognizing their potential, I initiated one-on-one coaching sessions. We started by identifying the root causes of their challenges, then implemented a personalized productivity system tailored to their work style. This system included the use of digital tools for task management, setting clear daily and weekly goals, and incorporating regular check-ins for progress review. To address their difficulty with task prioritization, we introduced the Eisenhower Matrix method, helping them differentiate between urgent and important tasks. Over time, this intervention not only enhanced their productivity but also boosted their confidence in managing their workload independently. Most importantly, this process emphasized the value of empathy and personalized support in leadership, showcasing that understanding individual team members' challenges and working collaboratively to find solutions can lead to significant improvements in team productivity and morale.

    Rick Elmore
    Rick ElmoreCEO, Simply Noted

    Compassionate Productivity Plan for Paralegal

    As both a personal injury lawyer and business owner in Northern Alabama, I've encountered situations where team members have faced productivity challenges. One successful intervention involved a struggling paralegal who was overwhelmed with workload and struggling to meet deadlines. Instead of reprimanding them, I took a compassionate approach. I met with the paralegal one-on-one to understand their workload and identify areas of support. We implemented a personalized productivity plan, which included delegating tasks more efficiently, providing additional training where needed, and setting realistic goals. Additionally, I ensured open communication and regular check-ins to monitor progress and offer ongoing support. This intervention not only improved the paralegal's productivity but also boosted their confidence and morale, ultimately strengthening our team dynamics and enhancing overall performance.

    Hunter Garnett
    Hunter GarnettPersonal Injury Lawyer, Managing Partner, Garnett Patterson Injury Lawyers

    Pomodoro Technique for Time Management

    One memorable instance was when I noticed that one of my team members was struggling to meet her deadlines and seemed overwhelmed with her workload. Instead of reprimanding her or adding more pressure, I decided to take a different approach. I scheduled a one-on-one meeting with her to discuss her challenges and understand what was causing her to fall behind.

    During our conversation, I discovered that she was having difficulty prioritizing tasks and was feeling burnt out. To address this, I suggested implementing a time-management technique called the Pomodoro Technique. I explained how it works and encouraged her to give it a try.

    Additionally, I offered to help her prioritize her tasks and delegate some of her workload to other team members. By doing so, we lightened her burden and allowed her to focus on the tasks that required her expertise.

    Over the following weeks, I checked in with her regularly to see how she was doing and provided ongoing support and encouragement. Thanks to these interventions, she was able to improve her productivity significantly, meet her deadlines, and regain her confidence.

    Gabrielle Yap
    Gabrielle YapSenior Editor, Carnivore Style