What business can’t benefit from boosting employee productivity? Employees are the lifeblood of a business or industry, and when they’re happy and engaged, everyone wins! Anyone in management should want to create a great environment for their employees, but that doesn’t always happen. Here are five tips that will help improve long-term productivity – for everyone.
1. Create a Positive Work Environment
The single most important factor to a productive workforce is a positive work environment. When employees are having fun and feeling great about the job they’re doing, then good work naturally follows. The key is to consciously create that favorable environment. How?
Offer perks and incentives, such as opportunities for promotion and growth. Employees will work harder and be more productive when they know there’s room for them to move up in the company or organization. Be supportive by listening to suggestions from your employees and team members. Make real connections and let them know they’re truly valued.
Encourage employees to innovate and take charge of their jobs. Let them know that if they have an idea, you want to hear it, no matter how crazy it might sound. Really listen, then act accordingly. Not every idea will be one you can implement, but your employees will know you’re receptive to their ideas and they might come up with a real winner! Plus, when everyone can feel like they are able to take total ownership of their roles and even the future of the company, increased productivity follows.
Set a good example for your employees (and maybe even your own boss). As a leader, demonstrate the right attitude and mindset toward work; this also means keeping your finger on the pulse of current trends in your industry and beyond. Keep employees engaged and excited by giving them an inside “peek” at what’s going on in the industry they work in – we all want to feel like we’re part of things and making a real difference, and our employees are no different.
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2. Care for Your Employees’ Well-Being
Caring for your employees’ well-being is a vital part of ensuring productivity. Offer employees time off, within reason, if they ask for it. They need their rest, too; give them the break they need to recharge their batteries and get in some precious exercise or a dose of the great outdoors. Mental health matters. If they need some time to get away, be receptive to that.
Consider the kinds of things that would make an employee feel less stressed and more productive. This could include being able to work from home or offering a gym membership or childcare. One study found that allowing employees to work from home boosted productivity by 13%. Encourage employees to take walking and stretching breaks throughout the day – staying healthier and happier will boost productivity. Thanks to the pandemic especially, companies are discovering more and more the vast benefits that wellness programs can offer.
3. Don’t Overwhelm Employees with Requests or Demands
Be clear and concise with your employees about what you expect but don’t overburden them with excessive demands and requests that aren’t in their job description. When employees have a clear idea of what they’re supposed to do, they’re better able to focus and maximize their productivity.
Some small and medium-sized companies spend little time on employee training and development. Some attempt to make up for the lack of training and development opportunities by making unrealistic demands on their employees. If your company is one of them, it’s time to reevaluate your policies. Placing excessive demands will reduce employee productivity and create frustration. People are most productive when they know what they need to do and can do it with minimal interruption.
4. Create a Fun and Engaging Workplace
We’re all more productive when we’re having a good time. We’re also happier when we’re doing work that is both fun and meaningful. And, having a good time doesn’t have to mean goofing off – it simply means building a workplace environment where everyone feels at ease, has the freedom to make their own rules, and doesn’t feel micromanaged.
Make sure you aren’t creating a stressful place to work with yelling, excessive meetings, or an impersonal working environment. Be as inviting as possible by creating informal spaces for everyone to meet, relax, and have fun. Maybe encourage employees to bring in playlists for the office or post “joke” photos of themselves to lighten up the workplace – however you decide to bring a little more (appropriate) fun into the office, everyone will be the better for it.
Many companies are offering better work/life balance opportunities and it’s working. Employees who have more flexibility in their schedule and have control over their work hours are happier. The ability to decide when and how they spend their time at work is a major factor in personal productivity.
Also, encourage collaboration. Employees who work well together will be happier in their jobs for the long-term and be more productive overall.
5. Assign Tasks Based on an Employee’s Strengths
When assigning employees their tasks, consider each one’s strengths. What are they the best at? Ask your employees to perform tasks that play to these strengths. Also, consider the tasks they enjoy most. It’s a win-win for everyone! And it’s also a winning formula for the organization, too. Employees are more productive when they’re able to excel at their work. When you assign tasks to employees that play to their strengths, they’ll be happier with their work and more likely to be highly productive.
The Bottom Line
Employee productivity is important to any business because it improves the quality of their output and outcomes. This results in increased revenue and decreased expenses, which benefits both the employer and the employee. And, in the end, by creating the type of environment conducive to high productivity, you’re also cultivating a healthy, positive workplace culture that will see employee turnover plummet, engagement increase, and success skyrocket.