Employee productivity is the heart of a thriving business, yet it is often the most difficult component to control. There are several factors that may decrease productivity, such as poor interactions with management, a poor work culture, the stress from recent layoffs, and insufficient technology. This article discusses how to address these factors and how to make your employees more productive. These top tips are listed by length of implementation so that you can focus on immediate and long-term changes.
#1. Encourage Management-Worker Interactions
A recent study indicated a strong correlation between high employee engagement and management effectiveness. Sometimes, low-output workers are the direct result of ineffective management practices. One method for evaluating the effectiveness of a manager is to survey employees. If you’ve used surveys before without success, consider its anonymity, the direct results, and the specificity of the questions.
Once you’ve determined the true opinion of your management staff, an effective action plan must be pulled together; otherwise, future surveys will become inefficient due to a lack of employee confidence and the manager may grow frustrated with unconstructive criticism.
A manager’s ineffectiveness may stem from a lack of leadership training, an overwhelming workload, lack of effective communication, or external factors. Work with your manager to develop a personalized action plan and be sure to follow up. When the next survey comes around, compare the updated results with the previous.
Remember, your management staff is the direct representative of your company’s ideals. Producing a stellar management staff is the first and most important step of how to make your employees more productive.
#2. Allow Human Interaction
Breaks, the occasional chat, the Internet and phone use, and simply recognizing your employees needs as a human being can take away some of the strain from the daily grind. Holding too tight to the reins will create a tense environment and actually lower productivity. Giving your employees structured opportunities to unwind throughout the day is an important component of how to make your employees more productive.
If you’re concerned that this ideology will reduce productivity, keep an eye on the completion of your employees’ goals. If you notice a correlation between their newfound freedom and decreased output, intervention may be required.
#3. Offer Employee Ownership
Consider the culture of your workplace when creating a plan on how to make your employees more productive. Does your business culture encourage employees to take ownership of the company? If an employee is loyal to your company, they are far less likely to leave it. Encourage ownership and teamwork through group discussions, weekly team-building activities, and volunteer opportunities.
Layoffs may ease the financial burden of the company, but it may also decrease morale and increases stress. Stress is estimated to be the cause of more than half of employee turnovers. Counteract the natural stress of layovers by convincing your employees that their job is secure and extremely valuable to the company.
To do this, ensure that employees have a personal stake in company goals and are allowed to use their own creativity to achieve them. Follow up with encouragement when they succeed.
#4. Set Realistic Goals
Setting lofty goals without direction or celebration of results can create a disheartened workforce. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful ally when considering how to make employees more productive. It can assure employees of their importance and value. Celebrate success openly and frequently.
In order to set realistic goals, analyze areas of improvement. This practice, performance measurement, should lead to accurate target-setting. Discuss these targets with your employees frequently and designate key performance indicators to give them a tangible and reachable daily goal. To successfully implement KPIs, ensure that the indicators are directly related to the overall business goal, quantifiable, and revolve around factors your employees can control.
Be sure to check in with your employees regularly. If the employee is behind, take the time to work with them in any areas they struggle with.
#5. Improve Technology
Even with a stellar staff, outdated phone systems, computers, and programs can create an impenetrable roadblock for a productive day. If you haven’t updated your company equipment in a while, make it a priority in this year’s budget.
Ensure proper training for your employees. Also, make sure they are comfortable with the new equipment. Although technology can be an asset when discovering how to make your employees more productive, it can also decrease productivity if your employees are confused or resistant to change.
#6. Provide Workspace Comfort
If it’s in the budget, consider updating your office. Ergonomics and design can play a powerful part in productivity. In fact, a recent case study determined that 96% of participants believed that the design of their office space directly affected their productivity.
Elements of a good office design include implementing appropriate color schemes based on color psychology, adequate natural lighting and plant-life, community areas, and comfortable workspaces.
When considering an office remodel as an effective plan for how to make your employees more productive, consider each department’s needs. The type of environment for productivity ranges with a job’s responsibilities.
For example, an employee that requires coordination with other employees may benefit significantly from an open workspace. However, an employee that requires extreme concentration would do best in a closed office.
Wrapping It Up
Discovering how to make your employees more productive can be a lengthy process. Most employees want to do a good job. Give them the environment they need to succeed by dealing with any managerial mishaps, environmental hindrances, and outdated technology. In addition, strive to create an environment that facilitates realistic goals, employee ownership, and teamwork.
If you’re unsure of where to start, implement surveys, honest discussions, financial audits, or the services of a third-party troubleshooter to determine which areas of your business need the most significant improvement. Learning how to make your employees more productive may take time, but it can lead to astounding results.