Managers should always be looking for ways to improve productivity in the workplace. This is because the more productive a workplace is, the more profitable it is likely to be. In other words, productive organisations get more out of their employees than unproductive ones. However, you cannot simply ask employees to work harder. Instead, they need to be given the tools and the motivation to perform. To put it another way, firms that invest in their workforce will often see an upturn in productivity whereas those that let things slide will tend to see productivity rates drop over time.
So, what can you do to improve productivity among the people you manage or employ? Read on to find out.
Improve Learning Opportunities
Productivity can only go so far – even when you have a motivated team behind you – if people do not have the skills to work smarter. Therefore, all productive workplaces will have a significant investment in improving their employees’ training. Interestingly, all skill acquisitions are useful in modern workplaces where a variety of different attributes are desirable. So, whether you allow workers to learn something academic, to acquire physical skills or to keep training closely related to your core business aims, productivity will rise. Besides, people like working in places where they learn and this raises morale, something else that can boost productivity in its own right.
Strengthen Internal Communications
Although you might think that your messages to your organisation are always understood and taken on board by employees, the fact is that all managers can improve the way they communicate. Indeed, in any corporate structure, communicating should be seen as a two-way street. Workers who don’t have a chance to express themselves and to feel they’re listened to will necessarily stop trying to communicate. This is a great loss because all of their ideas about how to improve processes and deal with workplace blockages will be lost. More open exchanges between managers and workers, on the other hand, lead to more meaningful changes and improved productivity.
Boost Employee Engagement
Understanding how engaged – or otherwise – your workforce might be is incredibly important from the perspective of improving productivity. According to an online employee experience platform provider, WorkBuzz, simply asking workers how engaged they are with their job isn’t enough. You need to let them respond to such questions anonymously or they will just give what they think the ‘right answer’ should be. By surveying your workforce privately, they will start to reveal things you wouldn’t otherwise know without fearing potential repercussions. This means being able to get valuable data that you can analyse to make decisions about productivity that will work rather than guessing whether a measure you want to introduce will work.
Recognise Achievements in the Workplace
Rewards and recognition programmes have a big effect on workplace productivity. Simply put, people feel resentful when their achievements go unrecognised or overlooked. By singling out individuals who have done a good job, you do more than just motivate them, however. It sends a signal to their co-workers that effort in the workplace leads to rewards and they will find it motivational, too. Remember that people like to be rewarded in different ways so such programmes need to be closely aligned to what employees really want.
Align Business Goals With Performance
Stop setting targets and business goals that are unachievable. Look at an individual’s performance and set a target that is really attainable. You can do the same with teams, too, of course. This way, they won’t feel demoralised because they think they’ll never hit the target. As performance improves through achievable target setting, so you can gradually start to increase the difficulty of each business goal you set.
Refrain from Micromanaging
One of the biggest brakes on productivity from a managerial perspective is interfering too much. Of course, managers need to manage but this should not mean checking up on absolutely everything a worker does. Once they know what to do, let them get on with their job. Each worker will find a way to do the job that suits them best. So long as they adhere to certain boundaries and are professional, what does it matter if one team member does something slightly different from another? If the outcome is the same and it means the job gets done without resentment or ill feelings towards an overbearing manager, then so much the better. Workers who feel they’re being micromanaged tend to leave which is poor for productivity because it means they’ll need to be replaced and for their replacement to be trained up.