Companies need more productive employees than ever to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. A productive employee can do their job efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, they consistently achieve or exceed expectations.
For employers to increase their employees’ productivity, there are several things they can do. Listed below are a few tips to get you started.
1. Streamline the employee onboarding process.
It is no longer the norm for employees to devote their entire careers to one company. Interestingly, while 70% of Gen Z workers view themselves as loyal to their employers, they are still actively or passively looking for new jobs.
On the other hand, if employees are properly onboarded, they will be more likely to become a part of the company’s culture. A strong onboarding process can even increase new hire retention by 82% and improve productivity by 70% in organizations.
To help streamline the onboarding process, here are some tips:
- Start with pre-boarding. Getting a new employee excited about joining the company and building relationships are key during this period before their first day. It is a good idea to send them welcome emails, introduce them to the company’s culture, and let them know the company’s values.
- Create a structured onboarding plan. All new employees will receive the same information and experience, regardless of their department or role. As part of the onboarding plan, new employees should have a timeline and a list of resources.
- Automate as much as possible. Many tasks are involved in onboarding. This includes paperwork, training, and provisioning IT systems. Your time and resources can be freed up to focus on more critical tasks, such as providing personalized support to new hires by automating these tasks.
- Use technology. You can streamline your onboarding process with many software solutions. Managing paperwork, tracking progress, and providing training materials with these solutions is possible.
- Get buy-in from everyone involved. Onboarding takes a team effort, so get the buy-in of managers, HR, IT, and training staff. By doing this, everyone will be on the same page and work on achieving the onboarding goals together.
- Measure and improve. The only way to improve your onboarding process is to measure its effectiveness. The best way to do this is to conduct exit interviews, conduct surveys, and track employee retention.
Using these tips, you can streamline your employee onboarding process. And, in turn, make it more positive and productive.
2. Clearly communicate your goals and instructions.
In order to do their jobs effectively, employees need to be familiar with their jobs and the responsibilities and expectations associated with them. This will result in greater productivity.
Having the following features in your workplace will help you communicate effectively and increase productivity:
- Job descriptions that clearly outline each position’s responsibilities. Performance standards and goals can also be established to give managers and employees something to aim for.
- Employees and direct managers should interact regularly. This is because, ideally, managers should:
- Describe how employees’ individual efforts contribute to the organization as a whole.
- Provide assistance in resolving roadblocks.
- Support employees in overcoming challenges.
- Get employees back on track if they get off track.
Managers who don’t clearly communicate expectations risk having employees who are confused, bored, or resentful and more focused on survival rather than success. When working remotely or hybrid, communication is especially important.
3. Make work-life balance a priority.
In any healthy work environment, work-life balance still plays a pivotal role — despite being a buzzword.
According to Lensa, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to building a happy and healthy work environment. Additionally, employee flexibility reduces overall stress and helps prevent burnout at work.
Employees exposed to chronic stress at work may suffer from digestive problems, chronic pain, and heart problems. In addition to affecting mental health, it can cause anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
However, burnout isn’t just a problem for employees and teams. Employee burnout costs U.S. businesses about $125 billion to $190 billion each year in healthcare expenditures due to the psychological and physical effects.
Is there a way to combat burnout at work and improve work-life balance? The following tips may help:
- Provide flexible working options. Workers could, for example, work remotely some days or work for four days a week.
- Rather than focusing on office time, managers should measure productivity and project progress.
- Encourage team members to take breaks and take vacations.
- Allow your team to disconnect from work. As an example, you are not contacting them when they’re off from work.
- Assess the workloads of employees regularly and ask them how they manage it.
- Employees should be given time to volunteer in their communities.
- Consider allowing employees to take more time off to unplug.
- Provide working parents with more support options.
Overall, having more time for balance in employees’ lives will make them happier and less stressed. And ultimately, this will make them more productive.
4. Promote risk-taking.
To foster a culture of innovation and growth, risk-taking is essential. When encouraged to take risks, people are more likely to think creatively and explore new possibilities.
As well as helping with innovation, it can also assist with continuous improvement. As a result, the organization can adapt to changing circumstances and remain competitive.
For many businesses, though, encouraging employees to take risks can be a difficult task. To encourage employees to take risks, businesses can do the following:
- Establish a supportive and safe environment. Employees who feel safe and supported are more likely to take risks. Rather than seeing failure as a mistake, a supportive environment encourages experimentation.
- Recognize and reward your employees. It is possible to motivate employees to take calculated risks by rewarding them and recognizing their efforts — even if those efforts don’t always pay off.
- Provide opportunities for training and development. To do their jobs effectively, employees need the right skills and knowledge. Provide them with opportunities to learn new skills and improve their existing ones through training and development.
5. Take your employees’ feedback seriously.
Often, companies make decisions that employees do not have a chance to influence after the fact. It is common for employees to feel neglected and left out when significant decisions are made without their input. In turn, this leads to a lack of motivation and general unhappiness.
Keeping employees happy and productive is all about listening to them and asking for their feedback. The reason is that in terms of how employees perceive their work, this simple act can make a huge difference. After all, a TINYpulse Employee Retention Report found that 40% of job candidates felt their supervisors performed poorly.
Rather than ignoring employee suggestions, consider considering them. Additionally, ensure your employees are involved in decision-making from the beginning, significantly if the decision will impact them.
These steps will demonstrate to your employees that you value their input and opinions. And more importantly, it will help them feel heard.
6. Put an end to micromanagement.
Most leaders have the misconception that micromanaging is the best way to lead. In their opinion, assigning tasks to employees and micromanaging employees is the key to higher productivity. And, occasionally, micromanagement is necessary.
However, it is possible to have the opposite effect when you overcontrol things unnecessarily. As such, for employees to feel empowered employers must trust them. One way to achieve this is to give them complete control over their tasks.
People’s happiness and productivity depend on having some latitude. In other words, employees want autonomy. As a result, they’re more engaged, productive, and happier.
7. Set realistic deadlines.
If you want your employees to meet or complete a project by a certain date, make sure they understand:
- How do you want the project to turn out?
- In what ways do you measure success?
- To achieve the goal, what steps must be taken?
- Can the goal be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time?
- Is the employee’s or team’s workload manageable, and what other projects are they handling?
- How will you measure progress?
To put it another way, every employee goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely).
8. Optimize your meetings.
Meetings aren’t just annoying. They’re the biggest productivity killers. In a survey of 2,800 people, 83% reported having four to twelve hours of meetings each week.
Since meetings are a necessary evil, what are your options then?
It’s easy. Get the most out of your meetings by doing the following:
- Ask yourself if the meeting is necessary. A meeting can be a real-time sucker, so it’s important to make sure it’s really necessary. Consider sending an email, Slack message, or making a phone call instead if you can accomplish the same goal.
- Set a clear purpose and agenda for the meeting. By the end of the meeting, what do you hope to accomplish? What are the topics that will be discussed? It is important to have a clear agenda and purpose for the meeting in order to keep the meeting on track.
- Send out the agenda in advance. By doing this, everyone will have the opportunity to come prepared and participate meaningfully.
- Start and end the meeting on time. Time is valuable to everyone, so please respect it.
- Meetings shouldn’t take too long. Keep the meeting at around 30 minutes.
- Encourage participation from everyone. One or two people shouldn’t dominate the conversation.
- Avoid distractions. Find a quiet place to meet, and turn off phones and laptops.
- Summarize the key points of the meeting and the next steps at the end. This will help everyone stay on the same page.
- Follow up after the meeting. Briefly summarize the key points and next steps in an email or memo.
9. Create a positive work environment.
A positive work environment can be challenging, but more than ever, creating one that motivates employees is crucial. Deloitte’s study found that 88% of employees and 94% of executives believe that a positive corporate culture is an important factor for a company to be successful.
Transparency and open dialogue remain key to ensuring that issues don’t stay bottled up and that negative feelings don’t flourish. A transparent work environment enables people to discuss anything at work – and disclose their negative issues – without fear of reprisal.
For example, you can help them understand the company’s culture by offering workplace safety training, such as online sexual harassment training. As part of the greater transparency effort, whistleblowing channels should also be implemented. This ensures that people can report any concerns without fear of retribution.
Are there any other easy ways to make the workplace a positive place to work? Smile. It’s an easy way to convey happiness and positive energy. Additionally, since happiness is contagious, you will make others happier with your smile.
10. Celebrate success.
As human beings, we’re naturally curious about whether we’re contributing meaningfully. The more people notice your good behavior, the more likely you are to continue that behavior.
Recognizing individual, team, and company milestones is an important part of rewarding your employees who contribute to your success. As powerful as bonuses and special perks can be, recognition is an equally effective motivator.
Are there any ways you could recognize your employees?
- The most popular option is monetary rewards.
- Flexibility at work or more time off.
- The act of saying “thank you” can often do a lot to boost employee morale and make them feel valued.
It is important to note that what motivates and excites us is personal to each of us. You need to understand what each member of your team finds meaningful as a manager.
11. Accutally get to know your team members.
Considering the previous point, knowing your employees can foster a more positive work environment, better communication habits, and teamwork, ultimately leading to better outcomes for the company.
You can learn a lot about your team members by following these tips:
- Regular one-on-one meetings. Discuss each team member’s goals, interests, and career objectives during regular one-on-one meetings.
- Team-building activities. Create a relaxed environment where team members can get to know each other through team lunches, happy hours, or off-site events.
- Encourage open communication. Build a culture of open communication among team members, allowing them to express their concerns, ideas, and feedback. Using Slack to receive notifications directly to your screen is possible, helping you address concerns more quickly.
Additionally, businesses can help employees become more productive by doing a few other things. Among them are:
- Give employees the right tools and resources. To perform their jobs effectively, employees need the right tools and resources. Provide them with the latest technology, software, and training resources.
- Investing in ergonomic equipment. Stress and fatigue can be reduced with ergonomic equipment, resulting in increased productivity.
- Empower employees to make decisions. Employees are more likely to be productive when they feel empowered to make decisions. Within their respective responsibilities, let employees drive their own decisions.
- Reduce distractions. Productivity can be severely affected by distractions. Ensure that employees have a distraction-free work environment.
- Providing healthy snacks and drinks. Keeping employees energized and focused can be achieved by providing healthy snacks and beverages.
- Offering wellness programs. In addition to improving employee health and well-being, wellness programs can increase productivity.
A business can encourage productivity and help employees reach their full potential by taking these steps.
For a business to succeed, productivity is essential. These tips can help businesses get more out of their employees by assisting them to become more productive.
What are the benefits of having productive employees?
Having productive employees has many benefits. Among the most important benefits are:
- Increased profits. Productive employees can produce more output, leading to increased profits for companies.
- Improved customer service. Customer satisfaction and loyalty can be enhanced when employees are productive.
- Reduced costs. By minimizing errors and waste, productive employees can reduce costs.
- Increased employee morale. Happy and motivated employees can lead to a more positive work environment when they feel productive.
- Increased innovation. Having productive employees can lead to more innovative ideas and solutions for the company.
What are some common productivity killers that managers should be aware of?
There are some common productivity killers that managers should be aware of, including:
- Goals and expectations are unclear.
- Insufficient feedback.
- Training and development opportunities are inadequate.
- Working in a hostile environment.
- Growth and advancement opportunities are limited.
- There is a lack of recognition and rewards.
How can I help my employees stay motivated and engaged?
Motivating and engaging employees can be accomplished in many ways, including:
- Clearly define your goals and expectations.
- Regularly provide feedback.
- Provide opportunities for training and development.
- Make your workplace a positive place to work.
- Providing flexible working arrangements.
- Providing opportunities for advancement and growth.
- Rewarding and recognizing employees for their achievements.
- Maintaining regular communication with employees.
- Supporting and understanding one another.
- Empowering employees by giving them a sense of ownership.
What are some common productivity myths?
There are numerous productivity myths that can actually hinder employee output. Here are a few myths to beware of:
- Focusing on one task at a time is less productive than multitasking. In reality, multitasking can actually reduce productivity and increase errors.
- The key to productivity is working long hours. It is important to work hard, but working long hours is likely to cause burnout and decrease your productivity.
- There is no point in taking breaks. When employees take breaks, they can recharge and return to their work refreshed, thereby improving productivity.
- Employees should be available 24/7. Therefore, to focus on their work, employees need uninterrupted time. Distractions and decreased productivity can result from constant availability.
- There is a one-size-fits-all approach to productivity. Employee productivity can be improved by tailoring the approach for each individual.
Image Credit: Photo by Pavel Danilyuk; Pexels; Thank you!