7 Ways To Increase Employee Productivity
How productive are your employees? It's a question worth asking as productivity is key to business success. When work gets done your clients will be happy. And when your clients are happy, your business will start to profit and grow. This is partly because clients will return to you and partly because good word of mouth will bring more people to your doors.
Of course, there are other reasons why productivity is important. Your employees will feel a greater sense of accomplishment if they have had a productive day and this can boost their morale. There will also be an increase in group morale, as there will be a reason to celebrate when company targets are met.
So, for the sake of your clients and your employees, finding ways to increase productivity is a must. Cracking the whip (not literally) is a solution that some employers consider useful, although this usually backfires on them when their employees work less productively because of tiredness and fear.
There are better ways to increase productivity and these include the following.
#1: Be appreciative of your employees
To improve employee performance, a few simple words of thanks will often suffice. When your employees feel appreciated, they will be more likely to work harder for you. This is better than throwing words of criticism at your employees, especially when those words are undeserved.
There are other ways to show your appreciation, above and beyond the occasional kind word of encouragement.
You could reward your employees for meeting their targets, perhaps with a boost to their paycheques.
You could express your gratitude on your website and social media, with posts that highlight the excellent work your employees are doing.
And you could follow these other ways of showing employee appreciation.
#2: Reduce the need for meetings
According to these meeting statistics, 67% of employees consider meetings as a hindrance to productivity. This is understandable as anything that takes them away from their workloads is going to slow down their working day.
This isn't to say meetings should be banned. Sometimes they are necessary, but if you have one too many meetings within your business, you do need to consider your employees. To ensure they don't become unproductive, you could limit your meetings to one a day. You could also set strict time-keeping rules to ensure these meetings don't drag on for longer than they should.
You could also consider other ways to relay important information without the need for an office meeting.
Consider the benefits of the project management software at Visual Planning, for example, which incorporates a range of features that maximize employee efficiency and collaboration. By using such a tool, your employees wouldn't need to break away from their schedule for a project briefing.
You could also email your employees, as this is a fast way to communicate messages to them throughout the day. And when it comes to meetings with people outside of the office, your employees could use Skype, Zoom, or some other kinds of communication tech instead of leaving their desk to travel.
#3: Do more to encourage employee wellness
The healthier your employees are, the more productive they will be. This is because they will have the energy needed to cope with their busy workloads.
To this end, you could introduce work perks, such as healthy lunch options or a membership to a local gym. If you have the space, you could also provide an exercise area for your employees, with gym and sports equipment.
You should encourage your employees to take more breaks too. While this might seem counterproductive, it can actually work in your favor. This is because your employees will be energized to work harder if they have time away from their workstations to rest their bodies and minds for a few moments each day.
Making a few changes in your workplace would also be advantageous. By painting the walls in calming colors and by adding more natural light, you would improve the mental state of your employees. Such changes can reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness, both factors that can affect productivity.
And there are lots of other things you could do to boost employee wellness, as you can see from the linked article. Do whatever you think is relevant for your workplace and ask for ideas from your employees too.
#4: Reduce your employees' workloads
There will be tasks that your employees have to do as part of their job descriptions. They will be expected to get on with these although you could make their lives easier by automating some of those processes that are time-consuming. This way, work would still get done, but your employees wouldn't need to take longer than they should on the jobs you have tasked them to do.
Above and beyond your employees' usual roles, there might also be tasks that aren't on their job descriptions. You may have handed them these to give them new challenges. Or you may have asked them to do these tasks because you have nobody else to do them. This is problematic, for many reasons, not least the fact that your employees may decide to take a stand if they think they are being treated unfairly. It's also problematic for you, as the more you give them to do, the less productive they will become.
So, don't be in a hurry to pile work onto your employees. They will have less time to get everything done and they might be prone to making mistakes if they feel pressured. In both situations, productivity will take a hit. To make their lives easier, outsource some of those jobs that your employees don't have time or aren't equipped for. Or hire new staff if your existing employees are regularly overloaded with extra work.
#5: Invest in training
It's a no-brainer, we know, but your employees won't be productive if they aren't very good at their jobs. Not only will they work at a slower pace but there is the potential for mistakes too. It's for these reasons that training is important. When your employees are fully equipped to take on the jobs you have given them to do, their productivity levels will naturally start to rise.
So, invest in employee training. Consider this for both individuals and groups of employees, depending on the type of training that is needed. You don't always need to bring in an external provider or send your employees to school once a week, as there are many online learning providers that could give your employees the training they need.
Of course, you don't have to eat into your company profits for all of your employee training requirements. You may be able to find free courses online or in your local community. You could also ask experienced staff members to train your new hires, provided this doesn't affect productivity in your workplace too much.
#6: Invest in better equipment
A worker is only as good as his (or her) tools! This is a saying you will be aware of but have you applied it to your workplace? If your employees are using substandard equipment, it's little wonder that their productivity levels might sometimes take a hit.
Your office-based workers would struggle to work effectively if the computers they used were prone to slowdown or crashes, for example. And your delivery drivers would fail to meet targets if their GPS systems weren't up to scratch.
These are just examples but relate this point to your workplace. What do your employees need to do their jobs successfully? Give it some thought and then spend money where necessary. In the long-term, the expense would be worth it, as the more productive your employees would then be, the more successful your business would become.
#7: Consider flexible work hours or remote working (or both)
Different people are more productive at different times of the day. Some people excel in the morning, for example, while others work better in an evening. For this reason, you could implement flexible working patterns in your business, working around the needs of your employees. Where possible, this could also be done via remote working if your employees don't have to come into the workplace at all.
This is also a good idea if your employees have needs outside of the workplace. With a flexible approach, they would have the opportunity to meet these needs while still finding time to work for your business.
Check out this list of companies that have implemented flexible working. It's becoming the norm for many other companies too. Is it right for your business? That's for you to decide but consider the option if you think there might be an improvement in productivity.
These are just some of the ways to increase employee productivity so consider them for your business. If you do, there will be a greater chance of deadlines and company targets being met, and your business will start to profit. So, follow any of our suggestions that you thought were useful and see the benefits for yourself. Then research other ways to improve employee productivity in your business.