How to increase employee productivity
You've heard the expression that time is money, right? When you own a business, those are the words to live by! It doesn't really matter what industry you're in or what type of business you're running. The faster and more efficient you can be, the better off your business will be. But that means your employees need to be as productive as possible. And that's not always the case. We're not talking about an off day once in a while here, either. We're talking about systematic and organizational issues in your business which may be hindering your employees from reaching their potential. So how can you fix that? What can you do to increase employee productivity? The answers may actually surprise you.
What are some things that may be causing productivity issues?
So you've noticed that your employees aren't performing as you'd hoped. As a result, your business is not doing as well as it could be. Although this isn't ideal, it's no reason to panic! You don't have to sell your business or fire anybody just yet. Instead, you should work on improving workplace productivity.
caption: Improving productivity is good for your business.
alt tag: Three people sitting at a computer desk, working on how to increase employee productivity.
But before you decide on the best approach to increasing productivity in the workplace, you first want to identify what it is that's caused issues with productivity in the first place. This can help you focus on certain aspects you can improve and decide on a good strategy. These are some of the main reasons for decreased productivity that you may want to look into:
- poor working conditions in the office or other places of business (such as drab and uninspiring surroundings, uncomfortable seats, too much noise, too many distractions, and similar problems)
- insufficient or inappropriate tools (not enough company vehicles or slow software, for example)
- a poor atmosphere between employees (whether outright hostile or just uncomfortable)
- lack of expertise due to poor hiring practices or insufficient training
- disinterest and lack of motivation which leads to disillusionment with the work or the company
What can you do to increase employee productivity?
There are a number of ways you can positively affect workplace productivity. And even if you're not quite sure what the problem is, there's no harm in making these improvements. In the long run, they will ensure your business runs as smoothly as possible.
Improve workplace conditions
If your employees are not comfortable in the physical place where they work, they won't be able to do their best work. So you want to make the space as conducive to productivity as possible! This means providing comfortable desks and chairs, ensuring the office is properly and regularly cleaned, making the space enticing with interesting and inspiring yet appropriate interior design and minimizing distractions. Sometimes, this even requires moving to a new business premise if your current space is in a bad location, too far out of the way, too small, too noisy or otherwise unsuitable.
Caption: The right kind of workspace can inspire productivity.
alt tag: Modern open-floor office space.
Provide your employees with the right tools
You cannot expect your employees to be productive if they don't have the right tools. And it's your responsibility to make sure that they do! Investing in high-quality hardware and software will be worth it when you see how much it improves your results. But that's not the end of the story when it comes to tools. It is a common mistake to get the best tools at the time and then fail to follow through with maintenance, upgrades and updates. Don't fall prey to that trap! Conduct regular checks on all tools and talk to your employees for ideas on how to improve them. It is, after all, your employees who use these tools and know best whether they work or not.
Better recruiting and training will increase employee productivity
You can't expect people to do a job they're not qualified for. So it's very important to hire the right person for each position. If you're struggling to find someone suitable locally, don't be afraid to contact Best Movers in Florida for some help with moving the best candidate out to you. Ultimately, the effort and expense will pay off if you end up with an irreplaceable employee.
You also can't expect people to know how to do their new job right if you don't train them for it. High-quality training, regular refreshers, and cross-skilling are, therefore, good ways to increase employee productivity.
Communicate with your employees about goals and expectations
Communication is vital to every successful relationship, even a business one. So always ensure your employees are getting clear and correct information on what they should be doing, how and when. But remember that communication goes both ways! If you want to improve your business, listen to what your employees think will help them be better.
Build a pleasant work environment
Making sure your employees are comfortable in their work environment is about more than ergonomic chairs. You must also work on improving interpersonal relationships in the office, both among peers and between management and employees. Open and honest communication will go a long way here, as will clear policies against harassment and mobbing. But team-building events surely won't hurt in making your employees feel appreciated!
Engaged employees work better
One of the best ways to increase employee productivity is to increase employee engagement. Employees who believe in your business and are invested in its success are more likely to work hard to achieve results. So think of your employees as your first and most important customers! If you want them to sell your product and idea to your customers, you must first sell it to them. What is it that makes your business so special? Make your employees see it too!
caption: Inspire your employees with your ideas.
alt tag: Man talking animatedly.
Opportunities for growth and advancement will increase employee productivity
Many employers forget that finding good candidates and training them is only half the job. You must also keep them. Good employees won't stay with your business for long without incentive. If another business offers better conditions, they will take a job there. So do your best to match or outbid other potential employers! Offer better hourly pay, more vacation days, better insurance coverage, more opportunities for advancement and other attractive incentives to your best and most productive employees. Not only will people work harder because they have something to look forward to but you will also keep your top performers instead of needing to replace them with total beginners.
Give it time and don't give up!
Some of these strategies will yield immediate results. When you upgrade your software, for example, the improvement in the performance is usually quick to follow even if there is an adjustment period to the new version of the tool. But more often than not, it takes some time and effort to increase employee productivity. This is perfectly normal and should not discourage you! Think of it as an investment in the future. There may be some growing pains right now. But ultimately, your business will thrive on newfound productivity. And that's worth it!