Productivity is an end goal for nearly every business, regardless of its industry. Typically, productivity measures workflow efficiency alongside total profit generated. Employees and coworkers alike are vital, irreplaceable factors in contributing to consistently high levels of workplace productivity. It’s therefore important to make sure employees are not only productive, but happily productive.
Increasing employee productivity doesn’t have to be a hassle or an overbearing concept. In fact, it can be as simple as knowing and meeting employee needs – large and small – in order to ensure everyone feels noticed, understood and appreciated.
- Make employees feel safe – You want your employees to feel safe at the place where work happens on a daily basis, whether that’s an at-home environment or an in-office atmosphere. This means taking steps to foster a safe, comfortable environment that encourages collaboration and a healthy team mentality. When people feel safe in their workplace, they’re more inclined to volunteer new ideas or proposals without the fear of judgement. Depending on the company, they might feel safe pushing the boundaries of technology or creativity in order to further the mission and reach new heights. It’s incredible what employees can accomplish with a little motivation and a healthy amount of at-work comfort.
- Set expectations – If employees don’t have a clear grasp of expectations on a day-to-day basis, several mistakes can surface. Some employees will risk incorrect work, rather than clarify exactly what is expected of them. Others might take longer to finish the same project, given how much insecurity can affect productivity. Suffice to say, employees need direction and encouragement – especially at the onset of new tasks – to steer project details and sustain healthy levels of productivity.
- Encourage questions – Sometimes, employees will perform a task incorrectly rather than risk feeling silly in voicing simple questions. And unaddressed questions can easily contribute to extra work, where projects must be corrected, and sometimes restarted. The same employees who feared humiliation in asking simple, clarifying questions can feel that same humiliation when their work must be heavily corrected. Look to prevent employee anxiety and replace confusion with peace of mind, in fostering an environment where questions are not only answered, but encouraged!
- Train employees, and train them again – Have you ever experienced a moment when you were assigned a task and had no clue how to accomplish it? Without training, even the smallest tasks can be incredibly intimidating. Employees who are properly trained – not just once at their initial hiring but on an ongoing basis – will have all the tools necessary to do their jobs well. In this way, boosting employee productivity is simple as reducing employee stress in training employees properly from the start.
- Incentivise and acknowledge/reward achievements – A $10 gift card won’t break any employer’s bank, and it can go a long way toward encouraging employees toward greater productivity. Offering small incentives is a great way to promote employee output without transitioning your workplace into an incentive-based space. When people know their hard work is being seen and rewarded, even in small ways, they will be more willing to put in the effort on a regular basis. Recognize and acknowledge employee accomplishments frequently, not only through incentives but also through verbal encouragement, to enhance productivity beyond normal levels.
- Let employee voices be heard – People have great ideas. Your employees, who work closely with the fine details of their department, know the ins and outs of the job. They understand what works and what does not. They know what speeds up the process and what will only slow it down. If you’re looking for opinions on greater workplace efficiency, your employees’ thoughts are a great place to start. And when they speak up, listen. If appropriate, take action to show them you care about what they have to say. If their ideas are implemented, they will feel a further sense of ownership and empowerment with the work they do.
- Delegate to promote leadership – Assigning tasks to your employees can accomplish two important directives, taking a load off of your plate and providing employees with a sense of responsibility. This trust works in motivating employees toward improved performance and productivity alike. It’s important to know your employees’ skill sets and experience levels when delegating, but you will ultimately be rewarded when they accept the challenge and professionally rise to the occasion.
- Understand that life happens – Sometimes, things come up. It could be anything from a child home sick from school, a family emergency or a flat tire. As an employer, it’s important to be considerate and understanding when this happens. Keep the track records of your employees in mind and understand their motivations. Allow individuals to get their affairs in order, with the understanding that personal lives affect workplace performance.
In pursuit of a better, more productive workplace
Every employer wants their business to run smoothly, with as few employee incidences as possible. While there’s always going to be a few bumps in the road when dealing with other people, these bumps can be minimized by taking the time to know, understand and appreciate the employees who have chosen to represent your brand. Valuing and respecting employees not only as workers, but also as individuals, will go a long way toward keeping productivity at a maximum.
And if you’re looking for a surefire way to concretely increase employee productivity, look no further than an employee assistance program. Studies indicate that impaired employees only function at 75% capacity. It’s quantifiably important to take care of the employees who keep your business running smoothly on a daily basis. Employee assistance programs like Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP help keep employees happy, healthy and motivated, encouraging employees to address issues through relationship therapy, financial asset management, substance use treatment and other modalities. Call 1-800-543-5080 to put proven EAP strategies to work, increasing productivity and helping employees thrive.