By Abigail Owens
The need to increase employee productivity in the workplace is a reality that businesses cannot ignore. Research indicates that employees in the United States spend an average of 8.8 hours at the workplace every day. Since workers spend so much time in their respective companies, it is essential to come up with strategies that will create a favorable working environment, increase productivity, and benefit the business in the long term.
As a business owner, you are bound to encounter factors that kill or weaken employees’ motivation and dampen their productivity. Failure to prevent or suppress these factors can eventually affect the performance of the entire enterprise. Here are effective techniques that you can employ to boost your employees’ morale and increase their productivity.
Identify Motivation Killers
It would be challenging for an entrepreneur or a business manager to increase employee productivity without identifying the motivation killers. Carefully observe the work environment and internal factors, and look for problematic areas that could be causing adverse effects on employee motivation. Here are some of the factors that can prevent your workers from thriving:
- Toxic characters that spread negativity suppressing positivity
- Communication issues among workers and between workers and management
- Poor leadership, whether in teams, departments, or project groupings
- Lack of a clear vision
- Lack of appreciation
Look around your organization and identify these and other factors that could be affecting your employees. Take actionable steps to deal with these issues if you want to motivate employees and increase their productivity. For instance, have a habit of appreciating employees for their efforts, be it through a word of mouth or offering rewards. Warn or get rid of workers who spread negativity in your business as they could most likely be ruining its reputation in the marketplace.
Train and Develop Employees
Many businesses consider that reducing or eliminating employee training is a great way of saving resources and leveraging time. However, this often hurts the performance of workers and the internal operations of businesses. An employee who is forced to learn their job on the fly is most likely to be inefficient, waste time, and make numerous errors. Such a worker will lack the motivation to perform their tasks due to the lack of essential know-how and skills.
Encourage continued employee development even after their initial training in the company. You can do this by availing regular training, workshops, courses, seminars, and mentorship programs. If an employee is tasked with a new project that they do not know well, you can provide individual coaching for them. Through these initiatives, your workers can develop additional skills that improve their efficiency and productivity.
Encourage Creation of Priority Lists
Even though the business is a corporate enterprise, every employee has a particular role that contributes to the overall objective of the firm to play. If employees lack a focused mindset of what is expected of them every day, week, or month, they may not deliver satisfactory results. Encouraging employees to set and focus on their goals in the company can go a long way in boosting their morale.
Help the workers to come up with priority lists of their everyday tasks. These can be in the form of printable to-do lists with the most and least important duties. At the end of each day, workers should ensure that they have attended to every item on the list. This not only ensures that employees focus on the high-priority aspects of the business but also gives them the morale to see that the entire list is ticked at the end of each day.
Utilize Technology Efficiently
Failure to leverage technology is considered a grave mistake for any enterprise that seeks long-term growth and increased productivity. Contrary to popular belief, technology does not only apply to the areas of marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and data analytics. Utilizing technology for internal operations can be essential in boosting the performance of your employees. Some of the practical steps you can take improve the performance of your workers through tech include the following:
- Provide computers, laptops, and Internet connectivity to reduce the handling of manual paperwork and increase mobility and agility.
- Create employee portals and team sites through cloud connections for easier communication and efficiency.
- Hold video conferencing meeting to avoid wasting time on physical meetings that have few agendas.
- Utilize software solutions that allow employees to perform, organize, and access their projects easily and from any location.
Whenever you introduce software or hardware solutions in the business, make sure that the employees are trained on how to use them for increased efficiency. This is also essential to protect the businesses from cyber theft, transaction theft, and other vulnerabilities that arise from the use of technological solutions.
Create a Reward System
Employees need more than hard work and the occasional “thank you” to stay on top of the game – they need great rewards. Businesses that incentivize their employees once in a while realize improved productivity and efficiency in their operations. Rewards can be in various forms as long as they make the workers feel appreciated and valued for their input in the business. Here are some ideas that you can use to reward your workers and ultimately increase their productivity.
- Provide additional paid time off without using up the vacation or sick time.
- Occasionally surprise employees with gift cards. A 20 or 50 dollar gift card can make workers feel valued and appreciated.
- Organize for camps and team building sessions where employees and management relax, build bonds, and know each other better.
- Take employees out for lunch, dinner, or drinks once in a while.
- Send personalized emails or handwritten notes appreciating employees for their work and providing constructive feedback on their progress.
In a time when competition for talent among businesses is intense, there is a need for firms to employ these strategies if they want to increase employee productivity. These strategies can also facilitate employee retention and reduce turnover, which can ultimately save a company from the need of training new workers regularly.
Abigail Owens is a career coach and e-commerce consultant. She has worked as a social media specialist for various e-commerce brands and over the course of 5 years she has perfected her business skills, graphic design skills and UX/UI skills.