Employees are a vital resource of a business. Their performance greatly affect the outcomes of a business endeavor. That’s why it’s only logical to do everything to make sure that they achieve a high level of productivity. To help your employees become productive, consider the following are ways to ensure employee productivity.
1. Clearly define functions and set expectations.
Before anything else, it is essential to make employees know and understand what they should be doing. Everything should be clearly conveyed. It does not make sense assuming that employees are already aware of what is expected of them, even if they already had prior relevant experience working in a similar company and even if they are in managerial positions. Also, it’s important to set deadlines for tasks. Everyone should be aware not just of the what’s and how’s but also of the when’s, where’s, and sometimes the why’s.
2. Balance work concentration, recreation, and necessary distraction.
Treat people like people. Don’t expect them to act like machines that should only be doing what they are told to do. While it makes sense trying to get rid of possible sources of distraction, it’s not a sound idea being too strict with your employees. Instead of banning phone calls or social media during work hours, it would be better to just regulate these occasional distractions.
Especially in work settings wherein employees spend long hours working on something, it helps having occasional very short breaks (at the discretion of the employee) in addition the official break times of the company. The idea is to avoid instances of work-induced fatigue. Happier employees are usually more productive employees.
3. Leaders should be role models and should be realistic.
Managers and supervisors should always act like the benchmark of how it is to be a good employee. It doesn’t make sense delegating tasks and expecting employees to complete them when they keep seeing their managers or supervisors doing nothing much to help achieve the goals set. Worse, employees will only get moralized and become significantly unproductive if the see their bosses doing objectionable acts like taking credit for the work done by subordinates or trying to blame other departments over failures.
Additionally, the leaders in a business organization should ascertain that the goals they are trying to achieve are indeed achievable, without necessarily resorting to low balling. It does not help employees become more productive if they are told to finish something that is not really realistically doable. They will only end up getting burned out. There may be cases when employees are “requested” to do more than their 100% in order to secure a new client or to make up for some unexpected problem. If these happen, asking employees to exert more effort makes sense but they have to be made aware of why things have to be done as such and, as much as possible, they have to be rewarded for the extra effort.
4. Make employees undergo adequate trainings or orientation and help them do productivity strategies they can do on their own.
It’s important to invest in adequate employee training. This does not necessarily mean formal structured trainings for several employees. It could be some informal training provided by an experienced fellow employee. What’s important is to help a new employee acclimatize in a company’s work environment, and get the necessary exposure to the company’s unique work culture and the dynamics among employees. There should be some period when an employee is allowed to ask a multitude of questions and heavily rely on others as they do their jobs. It’s unproductive to expect everyone to have the initiative and analytical mind to quickly figure out how things are to be done. It’s not okay to be annoyed at a new employee who appears clueless. It would be better to assume that every new hire is clueless and needs guidance.
But of course, new employees should eventually be able to properly discharge their functions and play their part in a company’s structure. As to how long this would take depends on a company’s nature of operations. This is to be determined by the manager or supervisor.
Also, employees are often unaware of how to be productive. It should be helpful holding brief seminars or an orientation session to teach productivity strategies such as the 90/90/01 rule, the two-minute rule, and other best practices that employees can do on their own to improve their mindset at work and help boost their performance.
5. Invest in technology.
Nowadays, not employing technology in the workplace is a big drawback especially when it comes to productivity and efficiency. As much as possible and when applicable, employees should be given good enough computers to do their jobs. A company should have reliable internet access if internet access is essential in the company’s operations. It also helps investing in software solutions such as job management software and collaboration platforms. It’s also worth considering remote work or telecommuting setups.
6. Treat everyone like family.
This may sound cheesy but it actually works, especially for small and medium-size companies. Treating everyone as a real part of the success (and failures) of the company is a good form of motivation. When people feel like they are a part of the success or the failure of a company, they tend to give their best not only for the sake of having a job but also for the personal satisfaction of being considered a part of what happens to the company.
Employee productivity is a fundamental aspect a business manager or company owner has to pay attention to. The good thing is it’s not something difficult to boost and maintain. You just need to be creative, resourceful, and aware of the many strategies applicable.