Noticed a dip in productivity in your workplace? Sensing some negative vibes? Here is a few advice on how to increase productivity in the workplace.
Productivity is something needed for a healthy and successful business; it involves employees placing their best foot forward and doing the best job possible for their employer. When productivity dwindles, it has a huge domino effect on the entire organisation. This in turn affects employee wellbeing, business profitability and retention rates. For an SME, the effects of productivity dips can be detrimental.
Dips in productivity can happen for a number of reasons:
- General loss of interest by employee in chosen field
- Negative or lack of company culture
- Lack of responsibility and accountability among employees
- No team spirit
- Absence of career development opportunities
- Poor management
- Poor communication systems
- Lack of appreciation
The above is not an exhaustive list – there are many reasons why employees become unproductive. However, you can do something about it. Here are some tips to help you:
Identify the productivity killers
Before you take steps to improve productivity, you must identify the productivity killers. The first step is often talking to your employees and discussing their opinions on the workplace. Having one-to-one meetings can work or you could also try anonymous surveys where people are more forthcoming and honest.
Once you collect the results and are aware of all productivity killers, you are in a much better position to create a strategy. These open discussions also help create a transparent workplace where everyone knows their opinion is valued.
Set goals with employees
Whatever your strategy is, it is imperative that each employee knows their specific goals for each week/month. When people know what is expected of them, they are more likely to achieve. So to do this, have regular meetings with employees to discuss short and long-term goals.
You should also use these meetings as opportunities to discuss whether employees reached or exceeded last month’s goals and to provide constructive criticism where needed. This way, employees know they are fully accountable for their work and they are always working towards something.
Operate a flexible company culture
Having a flexible company culture is hugely important to increase productivity in the workplace. This involves allowing employees to work part-time from home or work at other remote locations, for example. Chances are, some of your employees are more productive working remotely certain days and happier to reduce their time-consuming and expensive commute.
Respect for work-life balance is a well-proven method of increasing productivity. However, it is still important for these employees to respect the professional boundaries of your workplace. To keep employee productivity high, ensure you are using and providing the best technology for remote teams.
Provide career development opportunities
Having career development opportunities available is another important way of maintaining optimum productivity. The fact is if people are doing the same work day-in-day-out, 40 hours a week – they will get bored. For some staff, their current roles and responsibilities are not enough to keep them productive.
By making employees realise that there are more responsibility and scope available, they can be more productive and happy. So can you offer them a management program? Another good option is training courses that you can provide either internally or externally. If budget constraints are an issue, consider asking senior staff to train junior staff.
Organise a team bonding activity
Sometimes all it takes is a team bonding activity to boost productivity in the workplace. If you work in a quiet office environment, this kind of activity can work wonders. It gives employees the chance to get away from their desks and also interact with each other in more meaningful ways.
You could organise something at an activity centre or even go kayaking or surfing. Making these activities a regular occurrence is also a good idea as it gives employees something to look forward to, other than their pay packet. The activities also ensure that employees are mentally and physically fit for the workplace.