Apart from minimising costs and maximising revenue, every business’s goal is to increase workplace productivity. The more productive the company is, the easier it is to boost its profits.
Note that one of the essential elements of the business is the employees. Therefore, the company’s overall success starts with the productivity of the employees. However, for the past few years, employee productivity has been dwindling, affecting the profit-making capabilities of the business.
For this reason, managers and business owners have been looking for strategies to boost productivity. Here are some tried and true strategies that will increase your business’s productivity.
Encourage Learning Opportunities
Perhaps the best strategy to improve employee productivity is to provide them with learning opportunities. There is a direct relationship between employee productivity and access to continuous learning opportunities. Training and development help improve employee knowledge and, by extension, their performance—education in the workplace range from internal cross-training to offering tuition assistance for employees to further their education.
Provide Employees with Technology
Employees who do not work with the right tools are constantly frustrated and less productive. Therefore, you must provide your employees with up-to-date tools and equipment to increase productivity as an employer.
However, most businesses, especially start-ups, have difficulties affording employees with advanced technologies and equipment. This challenge is becoming less of an issue with cloud services like AWS managed services. Such services have significantly reduced the capital costs of providing technological tools and equipment by providing ready access at a reduced price. Having the right tools and technology is a great first way to boost employee productivity at the workplace.
Promote Effective Communication
Lack of open communication between employees and managers invites productivity issues. This is to say; employers should encourage free and open communication with their employees. The manager’s door should be available to everyone in the workplace. Employees should be able to access managers and communicate their problems. On the other hand, managers will be able to frame expectations and responsibilities to the employees. Businesses using this management approach automatically have high employee productivity as the employees feel they are a part of the company’s mission and objectives.
Align Goals with Performance
Employees’ productivity will increase if they are positioned to aim for achievable goals. In addition, goals help employees be self-motivated and build confidence in their ability to succeed.
Self-motivated and confident employees will perform to a high standard, increasing workplace productivity. In addition, identifying and setting business goals give employees a clear sense of direction as they know what they are working towards. Clear goals will, in turn, drive better performance which increases productivity as they will have a clear focus.
Emphasise Company Culture
A company’s culture consists of various key elements, including vision, mission, goals, values, ethics, and work environment. As a manager, take time to remind the employees of the organisational objectives, mission, vision, and goals to make sure they have a focus. In addition, studies reveal that working environments that encourage teamwork and relationship building have increased productivity.
However, there is a derailed productivity in working environments that emphasise individual success and hierarchies. If you aim to improve workplace productivity, start by encouraging workplace relationships and teamwork.
Minimise Workplace Interruptions
In most workplaces, productivity is low because of time wastage of unnecessary things. As a manager, aim to minimise workplace interruptions to your ability. Even the slightest disruption, like an employee popping up in your office to chat, may produce a challenge in the work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity.
Social media is another central distractor in the workplace. Whereas it is impossible to have a no-phone policy, keeping the employees focused and engaged in reducing idle time is possible. Encourage your employees not to use their mobile phones during working hours but be sure to give them regular breaks and breathing space during which they can freely check their phones. This will ensure that their time on their desks and tasks is more productive.
Setting and Committing to Deadlines
According to studies, it is revealed that setting and committing to deadlines is an effective strategy for increasing workplace productivity. However, deadlines yield stress, especially when you are falling behind them.
Whereas most people look at stress negatively, a manageable level of workplace stress can be helpful and positive. This stress level gives employees focus, helping them meet their goals and targets. You will be surprised at how having a deadline and sticking to it will help employees stay focused and productive. Regularly meeting deadlines demonstrates a high degree of focus and productivity. As a manager, you can therefore identify areas of unproductivity, especially where employees are not meeting deadlines and having remedial actions for improvement.
Track Time for Tasks
Leaders and managers should track the time spent on each task. This enables them to know how employees use their time at the workplace. This approach works more effectively by first determining the amount of time spent on each task. With this, it is possible to decide on areas of unproductivity by comparing the actual time spent and the time allowed. If more time is used than the allowed time, it means unproductivity, and therefore adjustments can be made for improvement.
You can use several metrics to track the time taken to complete each task that you can use. By comparing the time allowed and time spent on a specific job, you can identify productive employees and those who need more training to improve their productivity.
Improve Workplace Conditions
If you want to make your employees more productive, start by giving them optimal working conditions. Ensure a comfortable workplace temperature and enough natural light in the office. Ensure the temperatures are not too hot or cold; that will distract their concentration. Finally, ensure that the office systems are working correctly, such as lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems.
As a manager, make the workplace as comfortable as possible for the employees to work at their level best. You will be surprised by what optimal working conditions can do to employees’ productivity.
Although delegation comes with a risk element, it is an effective strategy to improve employee morale and job satisfaction through increased responsibility. Delegate some of the duties to the qualified employees in your organisation with a proven track record of success and trust that they will perform to high standards. However, avoid micromanagement during task delegation. Most managers do not have faith in their staff and will therefore micromanage every detail with constant supervision. This renders delegation pointless and makes employees feel demoralised and lose trust in their ability to perform. Once you delegate, leave the room; only manage expectations and requirements. Allow the employees to feel more relaxed, independent, and confident in their performance skills and abilities.
Once you have realised the role of workplace productivity in your company’s overall goal of maximising profits, the next step is to strategise on how to boost this productivity. All the above strategies aim to make your staff feel an essential part of the organisation as they are the critical element in increasing productivity.
Increasing the employees’ productivity starts with the support of a strong leader. As a manager and a leader, it is essential that you positively influence the behaviour and attitude of your employees to enhance their productivity and, ultimately, their productivity.
Improving the wellbeing of every employee is also one of the key factors to improve workplace productivity. For further information you can read here: How to improve wellbeing at work (in the era of stress and burnout)
This is a guest post by Amy Sloane. She is an alum of Oregon State University where she studied marketing and business. She spends her free time writing and is a knitting enthusiast. Amy loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Molly.