Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Smith Willas. His opinions are his own.
Employees are the backbone of any successful business. They are the assets that ensure a thriving business. If employees work to their optimum capacity, that business is more likely to bloom. Productivity at the workplace is the key to optimum performance.
Boosting employee performance is the key to a prosperous business. It ensures a non-stop cyclical process that eventually leads to a booming business. Higher Output? Increase in Revenues? Greater Profits? Improvement in Brand Value? Better Third Party Relations ? Successful Business ?Greater Salaries ? Happy Employees ? Better Productivity.
Unfortunately, most businesses are suffering today due to the lack of employee productivity. As a manager, it can be extremely frustrating to be unable to meet targets simply because of an unproductive team.
Here are some novel approaches that you may use to overcome daily and ubiquitous challenges, and to get your employee performance to a new high:
Challenge 1: The Information Gap
Solution 1: Going back to management basics—POSDCORB
In most cases, even the most efficient employees fail to come up with productive work due to lack of information. They do not have a clear idea about management expectations, goals, high priority work, and business challenges. Managers and executives should always remember the basics of management school—POSDCORB: Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Delegating, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting.
A few simple steps that help bridge the information gap are:
- Begin your day with the “Morning Huddle”—a brief time to bond with your team.
- Convey important information like day-to-day expectations/ today’s goals/ high priority and important work.
- Create communication and coordination channels for removing challenges.
- Convey important information about required reports and expected budgets.
Challenge 2: Distractions everywhere
Solution 2: Importance of Positive Focus and Reducing Disturbances
The main causes of lack of focus are mobile phones, social media, and office chatter.
A draconian and oppressive approach to these distractions may not help in the long-run. You may encourage your team to impose self-restrictions instead of imposing strict bans of them. A lot of managers are now encouraging team members to use applications like StayFocusd to keep a tab on their social media time.
Many businesses have cubby-holes to encourage their employees to deposit their mobile phones. Employees are rewarded with extra perks like shopping, coffee or cinema vouchers for depositing their mobile phones.
You may also provide soundproof headphones to your team for eliminating useless noise.
Challenge 3: Lack of efficient tools
Solution 3: Technological empowerment
Employee productivity is a direct function of efficient technology. In today’s age, technology is the driving force behind optimum employee performance.
Without the use of appropriate technological tools, an efficient team may falter in coming up with fruitful outcomes. As a business, you should definitely consider investing in updated technology. Faster broadband connectivity, advanced laptops, good-quality printers, and superior hardware are vital for improving workplace productivity.
There are several mobile and computer applications that are known for boosting team performance. Employee productivity improves by empowering your team with applications like – Slack, Exxpert Apps, and Work[etc].
Challenge 4: Sluggish and lethargic approach
Solution 4: Improve workplace environment
If you are encountering a team that is often dull, sloppy, and lethargic, you may want to improve on your workplace environment. Dull and dreary work environments are the main culprits behind a sluggish and lethargic workforce.
Here are some suggestions for easily improving the work environment:
- Use better lighting and brighter colored themes
- Encourage non-work activities like yoga, meditation, dance, music, sports, games and exercise.
- Safety is paramount – use the best quality equipment and furniture for a safer workplace.
- The age-old adage says, “We are what we eat”. If your staff is under-nourished or eats junk food, they are sure to be unproductive. A little café providing healthy eating options, coffee, and tea is definitely going to result in an active and energetic workforce.
Challenge 5: Lack of motivation
Solution 5: Job security, Training, and Perks
Employee productivity is directly linked to their motivation. The higher the motivation to work, the higher their productivity.
An employee who is insecure about their job is always going to remain unproductive. Competent managers always ensure job-security to their employees. This can be done by setting up realistic goals, supporting employees in case of mistakes or failures, providing them with regular feedback and also taking their feedback.
Regular training sessions create wonders with employee productivity levels. A business should arrange training workshops, motivational talks, and seminars for their employees.
Monetary perks are a tried and tested method of improving employee motivation. But, it is important to offer non-monetary perks for motivating your employees. Awards, prizes, vacations, gift certificates, and free gifts help in keeping the workplace motivated.
Challenge 6: Shortage of time
Solution 6: Remove clutter and provide flexibility
Most managers realize that one of the main causes for a dip in their team’s productivity is due to shortage of time. Employees are struggling to keep up with goals and deadlines due to lack of time on their hands and challenging schedules.
As Thomas Sowell once said, “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” A lot of crucial and important time and efforts are wasted in conducting team meetings. Managers and businesses are moving towards “Memo instead of Meetings” system. This helps in saving both time and efforts and helps employees in better time management.
Time management applications are also very helpful to employees to keep track of pending work and to schedule their work-hours efficiently. Apps like Calendly even offer the flexibility to limit the number of meetings per day to ensure optimum work yield.
If efficient employees are facing problems related to geographical location, traffic, or even personal factors, they may be allowed to work from home for better output.
These small but significant steps will go a long way not only in improving productivity but will also give an impetus to employee bonding, better teamwork, and enhanced team communications and understanding.