You don’t even want to think about how much time your employees spend goofing around at work- because you’ve seen it happen too many times.
After putting in place several strategies to get them to work harder without going too far on them and risking losing the joy and enthusiasm that your workplace is characterized with, you’re on the brink of giving up.
Well, you shouldn’t give up, because an unproductive workplace is a slow killer of your thriving business.
What steps can you take to bring back productivity into your workplace without subduing the passion of your workers? How can you turn workers who drag their feet around, with one excuse or another (despite their high productivity potential) into highly effective, well-engaged individuals with a passion to see that business thrive?
1. Recruit Smartly
To increase chances of productivity, you can start out by employing only individuals who sync with your company’s shared family values.
Look, you don’t want to have spent money and time on an employee with the hope that they’ll fit in, and then have them not fit in eventually!
And I know it might not seem like such an ‘off-the-top-of-your-head’ selection criteria for potential employees, but it’s more important than it seems, as you also increase the productivity across board when you bring in someone who vibes well with existing team players.
2. Give Employees the Right Tools to Work With
Only the most passionate of workers put their best foot forward when they are not equipped with the right work tools- and even then, putting one’s best into the game would still yield mediocre results.
You can change this outlook by providing your employees with technology driven tools that enhance their skills at work. Some examples of these tools are communication apps, collaboration tools, and time tracking apps, applicant tracking systems, etc.
Everyone needs to learn proper time management. Your employees might not even be aware of how much time they spend at work, not actually working, and gifting them with time tracking apps helps everyone in the long run.
You could implement this by installing such an app on your employees’ monitor standing desk computers in their work stations. These apps are famed for increasing productivity because they track the time used to carry out specific tasks assigned to each individual or team, and some take screenshots of time spent at work! Looking for a way to prove an employee spends more time on social media than actually working? You got it!
Collaboration tools like Basecamp, which is a project management app; and Google Drive which helps store files and encourages easy sharing of such files; are important collaboration tools for your company.
The usage of instant messaging apps like Slack, with rooms specifically created for official chats, is a no-brainer if you want to encourage communication and ultimately, productivity at your workplace.
3. Train, train, and then train some more!
If your employees are not well trained to handle your company’s tasks, they will flop. This has nothing to do with their potential- someone who doesn’t know how to break down what’s required of them in a new environment will fail, even when they have the necessary skill sets within them, but haven’t been given a run-down of what to do.
So don’t assume; train them properly. This will help those who are perhaps too shy to ask for help and keep stumbling at the same tasks, thereby reducing your productivity index.
4. Don’t Be a Micromanager
It may be hard to walk away from micromanaging, but it helps build stronger employees in the long run. Micromanaged employees are often unable to make autonomous decisions but hey; this is a proven strategy: the less you manage, the better the results you’re likely to get.
5. Communicate Downwards and Sideways
Don’t leave employees in the dark about future plans for the company, make them feel included as this helps strengthen their bond of loyalty to your company.
It’s easy to get trapped in the mindset of complaining about past mistakes while forgetting to communicate future plans. Don’t let that be a thing in your company. As people work from their monitor standing desk points, let them be confident that they’re in a company with positive communication vibes. This increases productivity immensely! There should also be room for feedback- without it impacting negatively on employees in the future.
6. Show Your Employees That You Care About Their Health
While it might seem like this is out of your zone, and it doesn’t matter, realize that healthy employees are productive employees. it makes no sense to have to hire and fire several times in a year because of a failure to recognize that employees sometimes need time off. Also, healthy work habits need to be reinforced.
You can build a healthy team of interconnected employees by encouraging everyone to care for their physical, mental and emotional health. In such a healthy work culture, employees and managers: talk in clear terms about how success is defined across board, listen to each other; and give/ receive constructive feedback.
7. Encourage Virtual Offices
When all things are considered: hassling through traffic, time spent in bantering with other colleagues, and several other factors, it has been discovered that remote workers are more productive and engaged in their work!
The key may be to allow employees to work from virtual workspaces at home. Companies are catching up on the benefits of having remote work done, and you should, too.
8. Enrich employee lives by adding perks
Big brands such as Google, have come to understand the importance of job satisfaction to their employees.
Such perks include massage rooms, crèches, walk-in libraries, movie tickets, complimentary haircuts and so on. In fact, many employees typically cite that they’d prefer steady, well-thought perks to a pay rise. And yes, the perks don’t have to cost a fortune!
9. Engage in Productivity Measurement.
Measuring each employee’s productivity in light of today’s world is a bit confusing.
However, it isn’t impossible. You could do this by properly evaluating the quality of work carried out, as opposed to the quantity of work done.
10. Encourage High Performing Employees
Everyone likes to be encouraged for good work done. An employee that feels as though they are not being well appreciated is likely to start putting in less work than before.
But when you show top-performing employees that they are seen and their contributions are valid, it helps shape them into loyalists, ultimately increasing your organization’s productivity.
Creating a highly productive culture in your company might not be easy, and might take a while to achieve, but the key is to start.
Are You Ready to Build a Productivity Culture?
Some of the strategies that help increase workplace productivity, as mentioned above, might seem overboard, but they have been proven to work, time and again.
Be open to criticism, avoid being a micromanager (frankly, it’s annoying), shower deserving employees with praise, and show how much you care.
You would certainly be more productive if you put yourself in your employees’ place often, finding out better ways of boosting their productivity through your workplace strategies.
And even if you fail, the key is to tweak those strategies and try again. Soon enough, your workplace will be bubbling with highly effective and productive workers!
This is a Guest Blog by Duncan Kingori.
About the Author
Duncan Kingori has been in the writing profession for a decade now. He has great experience writing informative articles and his work has been appreciated and published in many popular publications. His education background in communication and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches.