It can be hard to rally the troops and increase the productivity inside your office. Some have described it as “herding cats.” Looking at employee productivity levels and regularly reflecting on what you can do to improve the energy is valueable. Ultimately, this will help give your clients the quality service they deserve.
In the past, reflections on employee productivity simply asked: “how hard are employees working?” Decisions were made based on whether or not someone worked “hard enough.” This could have equated to office visibility and hours put in or actual productivity levels.
These days, as we become more task oriented in our work, it’s more important for managers to ask not only how productive or hard working someone is, but how smart they’re able to work and if they’re being given all the support they need to be successful.
Employee productivity is a top priority for the modern business
The idea of a productive employee being totally glued to their screen, phones off, not talking to each other is no longer the situation a modern manager should strive for within their team.
Our workplaces have become more empathetic to worker’s needs and now we are seeing the benefits of having better rested and more dedicated employees.
Productivity hacks that give managers the best outcomes
Understanding the root causes of a decrease in productivity is key to maintaining a happy and healthy workplace.
You want to take care of your employees and foster an environment that motivates them. This will encourage better work within the office and the ability to relax once they’re out.
Here are 17 tips to supercharge your employee productivity:
1. Delegate tasks clearly
One fundamental of project management that a manager must master is being able to assign tasks to the right people. This means thinking smart and thoroughly planning your projects.
If you want to improve employee productivity, make sure you’re assigning tasks out properly.
Ask yourself: who is the best person for the job? When should they become involved to make this project go smoothly?
Once you know the answers, you’ll be able to delegate the task to the right person, while making sure that it has the best chance of success.
For some reason, incentivizing outside of a sales team has become less and less of a regular occurrence.
Some companies have found ways to incentivize their employees in every department.
Companies like Medium will pay their writers extra based on the number of clicks they generate. Therefore, if a writer wants extra money, there is motivation to create an engaging post.
We challenge all managers to think about how they could incentivize their employees to improve productivity. Anything from a casual dress Friday to a free dinner once a month could improve efficiency.
3. Create a process
One of the biggest causes of stress and low productivity in the office is the lack of process.
If you notice that “rules” are changing more than once every 6+ months, it’s time to take a step back. Reflect on whether or not these changes are helping or hurting your employees.
Solid processes that account for risk, delays, and innovation can give your employees the steps they need to efficiently produce high-quality work.
4. Set employees up for success
Before you assign a task to a specific employee, try to match skills to the need within your project.
Take the time to figure out what skills are needed to best complete a task. Then match those needs to you employee skillsets and you’ll both enjoy a better workflow.
It’s likely that there are a lot of people eager to try new skill or aspect of a project. However, that doesn’t mean you should always delegate to the most excited person.
Depending on the importance, it is better to assign the task to the employee who is more suited for success.
5. Training (and continual education)
Majority of employees receive training when they first start their new position. After a 1-2 week period, training drops off and they take over the responsibilities of their role.
And, after that… well, they just keep doing what they’re doing – in the exact same way.
Without continual training, employees can allow their skills to become stale as they get stuck in the same routines.
Training your employees on new methods, technology, and solutions is not only helpful in improving their efficiency, but it’s also a proven method to increase the overall success of your team.
6. Prioritize healthy communication
Have you ever been in a work situation where you dread talking to your boss? Or a situation where it feels like everyone on the team is against you?
Obviously, feelings of anxiousness do not create a comfortable work environment that prioritizes employee productivity.
If you want to boost efficiency, make sure you open your doors to any and all concerns your employees have. This can mean tackling a disagreement, listening to an employee’s concerns about their work/life balance, or being open to going with another option.
Healthy communication is key. Without it, you can say goodbye to increased productivity. This is because your employees will be too preoccupied with defending themselves or trying to avoid interacting with their coworkers.
Promote open conversation and listen when someone brings up a problem – it may just help their productivity.
7. Open workspaces
For decades, workers were stuck in a cubicle or tied to their desks.
Now, things have changed and it’s time to think about whether your office could benefit from more open workspaces.
This means that cubicles are replaced with couches, meeting doors with comfortable lounges, and desks turned into collaborative workspaces.
In effect, it’s adopting the model that has worked so well for companies like Google and Facebook.
By allowing your coworkers to roam and work from where they’re most comfortable, you’re giving workers the freedom to do what makes them the most efficient.
8. Remote work opportunities
Another novel idea to increase employee productivity and job satisfaction is remote work opportunities.
Allowing employees to work from home (or from their “workcation” in another country) actually increases their efficiency.
Give your employees the trust and freedom they deserve and allow them to regularly work remotely. By cutting down on commutes, employees can dedicate more energy to their work while lounging on their couch for a change.
9. Team building exercises
Whether you’re hosting a holiday staff dinner or playing a game of office table tennis, spicing up your team’s work routine can improve the outcomes of your team’s effort.
Any opportunity to socialize your team and get them talking about their own interests is a great way to improve the bonds of your employees. This will subsequently encourage collaboration back in the office.
10. Give them the equipment they need
Have you ever tried to take a shortcut and make do with tools that are less than ideal? The outcomes were also less than perfect, right?
When employees aren’t given the right tools for the job, you’re putting them in a position where their productivity decreases.
You don’t have to purchase new computers every single year, but you should be keeping your company software like Photoshop updated.
11. Celebrate success
It’s easy to get caught up in the back and forth of your daily routine. However, part of boosting employee efficiency means celebrating the successes of your team.
If someone has finished creating a great campaign, completed a project early, or scored a new contract, say something!
Make sure that employee and their team know about each win and its importance.
When employees can see that their managers are impressed, that’s a motivating factor in itself.
Countless studies have come to the same conclusion as well, finding that recognizing good behavior leads to success.
12. Treat everyone equally
Equality is an important aspect of the workplace. We recommend that all managers reflect on how the hierarchy of their company is functioning and if it’s healthy.
Are there standards in place that can help maintain employee equality? Getting to the bottom of this question can help increase employee productivity by decreasing tension.
When there’s an imbalance in the system, tensions could begin to rise within your teams.
Cut down on this to allow your employees to focus on why they’re great at their job instead.
13. Relax! (let them take a break)
Here’s one of our favorite productivity hacks: let your employees take a break!
This may mean that your employees will browse Instagram occasionally. But if they’re hitting their goals and doing it in enough time to give them the opportunity to take a break, why prevent that balance?
After all, studies have shown that there are benefits when employees are take breaks throughout the day.
Make sure your employees feel comfortable enough to take quick breaks when needed. It’s great for staving off boredom, reducing mistakes, and keeping everyone’s energy levels up throughout the day.
14. Invest in comfortable environments/modern workplace
As we mentioned earlier in this article, the modern workplace has less of an emphasis on strict structure and is more focused on comfort.
This may mean bringing in couches and opening the office. For others, it can be as simple as upgrading chairs to something with better support for their back.
By keeping everyone comfortable, you can help out their health and productivity levels by preventing the aches and pains that come with working on a computer.
15. Minimize meetings
To some, daily meetings are a must to keep communication lines open. But you should be asking yourself if meetings are becoming a distraction rather than a benefit.
Make sure that each meeting has an intent. Saving time is a priority and it is important that meetings do not stop progress.
Cutting down on some of your team meetings may just improve employee productivity as they can focus on their projects uninterrupted.
16. Promote a work-life balance
If you have employees that always seem to arrive before you and always leave after you, it may be time to face the facts. Overworking can decrease employee efficiency over time and this should be addressed.
Employee burnout is a real thing, and those who are in a working cycle may not be able to see what’s going on. That’s why it’s the responsibility of managers to monitor employee efficiency and offer support.
Sometimes that support may mean taking some tasks off of their plate or giving them a wider range of tools to make their lives easier.
Whatever you need to do to promote a better work/life balance will ultimately benefit you, as employees who are well rested tend to be more productive at work.
17. Ask employees for their opinions
Saving the best for last, our top productivity hack is to simply ask your employees what they’d like to see change!
Sometimes, going back to the basics can really give employees the boost in comfort and confidence they need to succeed and do so efficiently.