Employee productivity measures the amount of output of an individual employee. Also referred to as workplace productivity, it can be determined by how many sales were closed in a given period, the number of goals met, or output quality.
Maintaining a high level of employee productivity will enable companies to gain a competitive edge, maximize their profit margins, and meet customer demands.
8 Methods to Increase Employee Productivity
Productive employees are the foundation of a thriving business because it ensures that work is completed and output is increased. Some proven ways to boost productivity and overall workplace morale include-
1. Enhance the Physical Environment of the Workplace
Creating a comfortable workplace can help motivate employees and minimize absenteeism, which is when staff is frequently not present at work. The 3 ways to improve workplace conditions are-
- Increase Natural Light - Exposure to natural light is not only beneficial for producing Vitamin D and improving sleep patterns, but it can also help people focus. By having natural light in the office, employees will be able to get more work done.
- Decorate with Plants - Studies show that office plants can reduce stress and restore attention capacity. Plants will also clean the air in the office and help reduce sickness among staff.
- Add Color to the Office - Different types of colors can boost employee moods and concentration while lowering stress levels. For example, bright colors, like green, can heighten energy and motivate staff to work.
2. Spend Less Time on Emails
Composing and responding to emails can take up time that staff could be using to work on other tasks or projects. Organizations can optimize emailing by-
- Keep Emails Short - Employees should be straightforward and concise when writing an email. This will make it easier for the respondent to read and reply quicker.
- Create a Time Block for Emails - By setting aside an hour or two each day for email communication, employees will be able to monitor their time and work productively without having to stop to check their inboxes.
- Only Email During Work Hours - Sending emails late at night can increase anxiety levels and cause stress among employees. This can then impact performance and productivity the next day.
3. Minimize Meetings
Meetings can take up valuable time and can be unproductive if the discussions do not have value. To minimize time spent on holding meetings, businesses can-
- Use Email Communication Methods - Instead of holding many meetings with different teams, a group email can be quickly sent to all staff.
- Limit the Number of Meetings Each Day or Week - Only essential or urgent meetings should be scheduled to avoid unproductive gatherings.
- Reduce the Number of Attendees - Meetings should only include necessary staff members. For example, those from the accounting department may not be vital to a marketing department meeting. This will boost productivity as more employees can continue doing their usual line of work.
4. Allow Flexible Schedules
People will generally be productive at different times of the day. Therefore, having employees work 8 continuous hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. may lead to unproductivity. Instead, the workday can be split into smaller time blocks.
For example, staff can clock in from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., have a two-hour break, and then continue work from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This will help staff feel more energized and motivated to finish work after their break.
Allowing employees to work remotely, or outside of the office, can also boost employee output because staff can work where they feel comfortable. If businesses choose to do this, they should first consider which positions are eligible, how many hours can be done remotely, and standards for clocking in.
5. Improve Employee Training
Employees will be more efficient if they are properly trained after being hired. Some tips on how to develop and improve employee knowledge and performance are-
- Implement Training Software - There are various learning management tools that will provide specialized training courses for developing skills that are beneficial for an employee's position. These solutions also allow management to assess their staff's progress in the courses.
- Have Hands-On Training - Hands-on training will enable employees to learn, apply, and practice new skills under the guidance of a supervisor. For example, a retailer can provide hands-on training when teaching and watching new hires operate a point-of-sale (POS) system.
- Be Patient - Training should not be rushed, as it will make it harder for employees to retain their new knowledge and test out what they have learned. Allowing staff to learn at their own pace will ensure that they are properly processing all of the training course material.
6. Avoid Micromanaging
Micromanagement is when managers control every part of a project or task. This can lead to demoralization of employees, as constant supervision will make them doubt their skills.
To avoid micromanaging, executives should delegate tasks to employees and allow them to work independently. Standards and expectations should also be communicated to staff so that they can understand and work towards the final goal.
7. Communicate and Build Teamwork
Improving communication between management and staff will allow for collaboration and productivity. To enhance communication, businesses should identify which tools employees tend to use. For instance, if employees reply to emails the quickest, then managers can prioritize sending out emails as the first form of communication.
Fostering teamwork is also important, as it will boost morale and motivation. Management can build teamwork by hosting company outings or events so that staff can de-stress and participate in activities together.
8. Encourage Self-Care
For employees to be productive and to work effectively, they must take care of their physical and mental health. Some ways to promote self-care are-
- Provide Health Insurance Benefits - This will allow employees to be able to get vaccinations, consult with doctors, and have physical exams to ensure they are healthy and getting the care they need.
- Hold Self-Care Courses - There is a variety of self-care courses, such as how to eat healthily and reduce stress. By offering these courses to employees, they can learn techniques on how to better their well-being.
- Show Appreciation - Managers should consistently let their employees know that their hard work is appreciated. Accomplishments should also be acknowledged and highlighted to boost employee confidence.
In order for employee productivity to increase, managers need to create a comfortable, understanding, and welcoming work environment. By doing so, the company will be more effective in achieving its business goals.