How to increase productivity in your workplace
To be productive, employees need direction.
CEOs, managers, and team leaders have been asking themselves this question since the dawn of civilization. However, it can be a difficult riddle to solve as the working landscape is constantly evolving, and what motivated employees 10 years ago might not work today.
Modern workplaces require skill, finesse, and top-notch communication skills from leaders to foster the most productive environments, but if you’re still unsure how to get the best from your staff, following these critical steps will get you on the right path.
Regularly Communicate With your Employees
To be productive, employees need direction. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to constantly be checking up on them, or monitoring every minute of their day. It means striking a balance between making your staff not feel neglected or micromanaged.
These pit stops don’t have to be long either, even just five to 10 minutes per week with each of your direct reports can make all the difference between the success or failure of a project. It’s an opportunity to motivate, identify strengths and weaknesses, and catch any issues before they become serious.
In addition, regular catch-ups with your employees help to cultivate an atmosphere of open communication that flows up and down the hierarchy. When people feel they can speak their minds they become more motivated, increasing productivity in turn.
Make Sure Your Staff Have the Right Tools for the Job
You’d be surprised at just how much productive time is lost each year at companies across the globe because the staff doesn’t have the right tools for the job. From outdated sales management platforms and difficult-to-navigate administration systems to slow printers and an inefficient procurement process, the list of productivity killers is nearly endless.
There really is no excuse for this in the modern workplace either, because there are hundreds of sleek, modern software programs and tools that are all designed to make your employees’ lives easier.
For example, installing the best online notes tool will allow staff to amend and edit documents without ever leaving the inbox.
Talk to your staff and find out what frustrates them. Which tasks can be automated? What tools can you provide for smoother communication? For every problem, you’ll find a platform with a solution.
Silo working is the death of productivity. For years workplaces have been plagued with a ‘That’s not my responsibility’ attitude as teams remain blissfully ignorant of the goings-on across other departments. If you can get your staff to collaborate effectively, you’ll see your productivity skyrocket. The staff that regularly talk to one another will be able to identify duplicate tasks, obsolete processes and share a pool of expertise to solve a problem.
With the rise in remote working, this point is more relevant than ever before as companies struggle to connect staff working from multiple locations. You’ll need a platform that allows your teams to connect from wherever they might be, share ideas, manage projects, and highlight issues.
Set Clear and Measurable Goals
People work best when they have a clear goal to work for and know exactly what they need to do to reach it. Make sure you track these goals via one-on-one meetings and try to provide mid-point incentives along the way.
By regularly communicating with your staff, you’ll have a good idea of their skill sets and what will be achievable for them. Ask your staff what new skills they’d like to learn, and what areas they’d like to be pushed in. You can then gradually set new, more complex tasks that not only help keep employees motivated but come with an added boost to productivity, also.
Look After the Well Being of Your Staff
There’s no denying the last 12 months of on-off lockdowns have been stressful for us all. Whether your staff are primarily still working from home, or are taking tentative steps back into the office, it’s important the working environment is one people feel comfortable in.
Although it’s the last point on our list, staff well-being might just be the most important factor when improving productivity. Stressed workers have been consistently found to be less productive, so it’s important you allow for regular breaks, balanced workloads, and a relaxed and pleasant work environment. You might also want to consider a flexible hours program to allow your teams to better adjust from home to office working and vice versa.