Productivity Secrets of High-Performance Employees at Google & Apple


“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.” ~Jim Loehr, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

Busting the Myth of Productivity

Good companies obsess over Productivity, while great companies focus on managing energy of their top-tier employees.

While most of the leaders use ‘efficiency’ as a substitute for ‘productivity’ research shows otherwise. In reality, productivity is one step ahead of efficiency.

Being productive is not just about managing your time, the modern leaders add one more step and consider ‘energy’ as part of productivity. One-way leaders can save a lot of time is by using free task management tools that can help managers manage time in the most efficient way.

Related: 4 Simple Tips for Improving Business Efficiency

Why Apple & Google are more productive than rest?

Every day you are blessed with 24 hours, just like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and all the employees working in Netflix, Google, Dell, or Apple. But surprisingly those employees achieve 40% more than others. How do they do that? Well, after studying them thoroughly it can be concluded that the high-level employee considers three components that set them apart from others. A combination of time, talent, and energy.

When the employees can manage all of three components, profit margins boosted to around 30-40%.

“They get more done by 10 a.m. Thursday morning than the others do in a week, but they don’t stop working,” says Michael Mankins. “This difference compounds every year; over a decade, they can produce 30 times more than the rest, with the same number of employees.”

Related: How to Increase Productivity: Tips to Be Productive

Bundling A Level Employees

While average companies follow the traditional rule to spread their A-level employees across all the roles, companies like Google, Dell, and apple follow a different approach.

They pick the roles that are business critical and fill those with A-level employees. This small change not only makes it easier for A-level employees to make quick decisions, it saves time to reconsider their decisions because of their gifted instincts.

A practical example you can consider noting the difference in operations is of Microsoft and Apple. While it took 600 Apple Engineers to build and deploy iOS in a short period of 2 years, Microsoft took 10,000 engineers and more than five years to develop, debug and implement Vista. As you can see the difference is clear to you now.

If we further analyze the mode of operation here. To Apple iOS was mission critical to their business success. So, they handpicked their A-players and tagged them together to come up with a solid product. In addition to that rewards in Apple are based on team performance, not on individual performance.

Microsoft, on the other hand, used stacked ranking which was eventually thrown out of the window because of inefficiency in overall team performance.

Related: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Managers Worldwide

To create a star team every member of the team needs to give its best performance. Otherwise, if even one employee procrastinates, it leads to decline in the overall team performance. While when all the players perform well in a team,

Avoiding the Organizational Drag

Organizational Drag is basically wasted time that prevents people from getting things done. This often happens when a company expands and fail to maintain the processes in place. Research by Harvard Business yields that organizational drag costs more than $3 trillion each year which gives a massive loss in output.

While most of the companies fail to cope up with the process. Netflix gave a simple solution. The policy ‘Act in the best interest of Netflix’ gives every employee freedom to put the best use of resources without wasting any time. Netflix believes in the snap judgment of its employees which forces the employees to be more productive in less time. One way to fix the Organizational Drag is to use online task management tools that can help assigning tasks to idle resources.

Leaders that Inspire

A satisfied employee is 44% more productive than a normal employee, but an inspired employee is 125% more productive than a satisfied employee. The companies that allow their employees to feel motivated at work tend to perform better than the rest.

“We’ve been taught that you’re either a General Patton and can inspire others or you’re not, but this is not true. Inspirational leadership can be taught. Companies that recognize that and invest in making it happen to create a meaningful impact on the productivity of their company.” ~Michael Mankins

As per Dell, the Sales team that had inspired leaders proved itself 6% more productive than those of average leaders. If you add up 6% into accounts it sums up to around $1 billion in annual revenue.

Related: 10 Qualities that are Essential for an Inspirational Leader

It is thought-provoking to analyze what poor leadership is costing to your company. Yes, individual talent matters a lot, but companies like Apple and Google enforces the culture of collective talent.

Over to you

Although there are dozens of companies out there that you can learn from, but a good approach is to try those that are already on the verge of success. Follow the tips mentioned above because these are not just tips taken from people, these are taken from the most highly successful companies.


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