It doesn’t matter how many collective hours your employees are working each day. What counts is how effectively they’re working while they’re on the clock. It would be better for someone to produce four hours of work in a four-hour period, rather than three hours of work over an eight-hour period.
The productivity issue, of course, is nothing new. It’s been a problem for companies of all sizes for decades. There has been an upside to the widespread nature of productivity problems, however — we’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out what needs to happen for productivity to improve. If you’re having issues, or you just want to step things up in the year ahead, then take the following Workplace productivity tips onboard.
Here are some effective workplace productivity tips:
1. Hire the right people
It’s easy to get dazzled by a candidate’s resume. However, even someone who went to the best school and has experience working in a similar role may not be the right fit for your business. It’s wise to consider both the candidate’s experience and personality before bringing them on board. In doing so, you can hire someone who has similar values and ideals as the business.
Motivation — and thus productivity — can dip significantly when a worker discovers they don’t believe in the overall philosophy of the business they work for. So look for signs that they’ll resonate with what you’re trying to achieve, and also clearly explain to candidates your company culture, so there are no surprises down the line.
2. Rethink employee onboarding
It’s easy to think that once a new employee is on board, they’ll stay there. But that’s not automatically the case. Workers could well leave within a few months if they don’t feel that they understand their role or feel included in the business, and that can cause repeated hiring processes that lead to productivity dips. It’s difficult to build momentum when the team is constantly chopping and changing.
While many elements go into avoiding this scenario, and it’s certainly not a one-time thing, the foundation of employee longevity will be your employee onboarding process. Good processes have been shown to dramatically improve a company’s employee retention rate while also making it easier for new employees to begin producing quality work straight away.
3. Initiate flexible working
Some employees will thrive within a structured, in-office working schedule. But it’s unlikely that all your employees will. Everyone has different needs, wants, and wishes, and while your business can’t accommodate all employee working demands, if there’s a way to be flexible, then do it. For instance, could you allow employees to work from home if they wish, or at least work from home on some days? The hybrid working model has grown particularly popular in recent years since it gives employees the luxury of working from home while also helping to retain in-office contact. These Workplace productivity tips help flexible working for employees.
4. Add greater freedom
If you have a good hiring process, then you can trust that you’ll have good workers. But all too often, managers can end up stifling the productivity of their workers all thanks to a problem that’s well-known in the corporate world: micromanaging. While it can be tempting to look over a worker’s shoulders and make comments, it often results in reduced output. And inferior results. Plus, a worker’s motivation for their job will likely decrease once they realize that they have little or no autonomy in the workplace. As such, it’s recommended to actively work on eliminating micromanagement — it’s easy enough to do with a few simple workplace productivity tips.
5. Share business goals
You’ll want your employees to work as a collective team in pursuit of your business’s objectives. However, they can’t do that if they don’t know what those objectives are. Studies repeatedly show that a significant percentage of workers have little understanding of the direction of the business and wish they knew more. That’s something that has to come from leadership. When you’re focused on so many things, it can be easy to overlook the need to share strategic goals with your team, but there’s value in doing so. After all, how can employees work towards something if they don’t know what that something is?
6. Employee engagement
There’s a strong overlap between employee engagement and employee productivity. An engaged workforce is significantly more likely to work productively than an unengaged workforce. Engagement might happen on its own, but it’ll be much more assured if leadership actively works on improving it. So how do you do it? One effective way is to learn what drives your employees.
Some people will want flexible working, some will want office perks; others will want bonus incentives, and others may want professional development. You can understand the underlying motivation of employees by holding regular meetings where they have an opportunity to talk openly. As with most things, the best approach is simply to ask your workers.
7. Use advanced scheduling and task tools
Your team can’t work well if they’re under or overstaffed, or if team members don’t know what tasks they should be working on. In the olden days, working schedules could be ill-defined or simply contrasting from one department to the next, resulting in wasted work hours and productivity losses. But today there’s a solution. By using workforce schedule software, you can ensure that everyone on your team knows when they’re on the clock and the key tasks they need to focus on. The best scheduling tools even include artificial intelligence that can help select the best employee for a particular task.
8. Regular training
You can expect your workers to work well if they don’t know how to work effectively. In some industries, tools and working processes can progress quickly, making outdated methods obsolete. To work effectively, the employee must be trained to meet modern standards. As such, it’s recommended to put together personal development plans for each employee which include, among other things, Workplace productivity tips like training that will sharpen and improve their skills.
9. Streamline information
Information overload can be a big productivity-buster that’s all too easy to fall into. When an employee is given all the information a business throws out, then it can be difficult to keep track of the things that are truly relevant to their needs. Plus, information clutter can cause workplace stress, which also hinders working capabilities. In other words: it’s bad news. Look at keeping work-related information as personalized as possible.
10. Show appreciation
Some people are happy to work without receiving any validation. But for the vast majority of workers, it’s a key component. After all, it’s clear to see why an employee would want to receive acknowledgment of a job well done; it shows that they’re valued. While it’s the right thing to do anyway, there will also be productivity enhancements as a result.
When you reward someone for doing something well, you’re consciously encouraging them to repeat that behavior in the future. Plus, workers are more likely to work well when they feel appreciated by the organization. If they don’t feel valued, then they may just begin to see their work as a means to get a paycheck, in which case, there’ll be little reason for them to give 100% if the outcome is always the same.
Workforce productivity has a significant impact on the overall success of a business. Companies with an engaged, productive workforce have a clear advantage over other businesses, and in this hypercompetitive market, that additional advantage can make all the difference. While productivity can be difficult to quantify and improve, the workplace productivity tips we’ve outlined above should help over time, so make the changes today, and look forward to a productive 2024.