Are you a business owner? It’s likely you’re always on the lookout for new tactics to boost employee productivity in the workplace and the impact it has on your bottom line. Let’s face it, the business world is highly competitive, so it’s not surprising that you’re continually looking for new ways to make your team that little bit more productive.
Workplace productivity can be affected by many factors – both people and environment related. Once you understand how your employees work, the impact the office layout has on their day-to-day activities, and what the pain points are, you will find it much easier to identify sources of trouble that may have been hampering workplace productivity. Like any company asset, your workforce needs to be taken care of in the best possible way. Without a talented and motivated team, your company will struggle to gain any traction and lose its ability to stand out in a competitive industry. So, with that in mind, here are some things you can do to improve productivity in your office.
1) Remove negativity
Negativity is contagious and can quickly kill the morale of any team. It’s likely you have several people in your workplace who are sometimes guilty of this. You need to identify who they are, advise they cut back on their negative attitude, and encourage them to be more open to new ideas and working better with others. While you can’t change a person’s views overnight, you can gently nudge them towards a more opened minded approach to how they communicate with others.
You also must acknowledge that your organization can also play a part in the role of a motivation killer. An autocratic management style can slowly take it’s toll on even the most positive employees if they feel underappreciated.
2) Recognize team accomplishments
It may sound simple, but one of the best ways to improve both morale and productivity in the workplace is by recognizing the achievements of the people that work there. As a manager, it’s your job to identify employees who have demonstrated both hard work and commitment.
Don’t make the mistake of limiting this to the working lives of staff though, as let’s face it; people have a lot more going on in their lives than what happens in the office. If someone competed in a sports event, helped to raise money for a charity or speaking at an event, don’t hesitate to recognize their achievements in front of your entire team. It may be a small gesture, but things like this can have a profound effect on the motivation and productivity of staff.
3) Improve the lighting
Surprisingly, one of the most important factors that have an influence on the productivity of employees is the lighting in the office. In the winter months, most people experience very low levels of daylight which means our bodies aren’t able to produce enough vitamin D. Because of this, our immune systems are weaker and our general mood can be poorer than usual. Sitting indoors for a large proportion of the working day means we’re not exposed to as much natural light as we need to function to the best of our abilities.
It’s important to ensure your office has plenty of natural light sources such as large windows to limit the use of artificial lights. If you’re stuck with a particularly dark office, you can use SAD lamps to compensate for the reduced exposure, but be careful by properly researching what artificial lights are the correct fit for your office environment. Strong lighting can cause serious eye strain and trigger headaches, whole fluorescent lighting is the worst offender when it comes to impacting people on a physical level and their ability to focus their eyes.
4) Gamification and Rewards
Another approach to consider is the implementation of performance-based incentives to really push employees to take their output up a notch or two. For example, if your digital marketing team hit a revenue target for the next quarter, you may want to give them a day off or reward them with some form of a financial bonus. You shouldn’t think of these incentives as a form of cost to the business though as they’re an investment in helping you to achieve higher ROI from your employees.
5) Communicate better
What would you rate the communication process between management and employees within your company? Do you think some areas need improvement? It’s likely that you’re not communicating enough with your staff so naturally, you will fail to achieve your target goals. Without a clear sense of direction, even the most talented employees will underperform to the expectations you have for them. Research has shown that employees feel empowered if they are able to have upward communication with management. This type of communication is when information flows upward in an organization and usually consists of feedback. When managers are able to listen to employees and respond, job satisfaction amongst employees tends to increase.
A study by Waston Wyatt in 2013 found that businesses with an effective communication process were likely to have lower levels of labour turnover than those without.
Here are some steps you can take today to improve how you communicate with employees in your organization:
Define expectations and goals: As a manager, you need to deliver clear and achievable goals for both individuals and teams.
Clearly communicate your message: Keep your message short, clear and accessible to your intended audience. You don’t want to confuse or offend people.
Be selective about your medium: Decide whether to do it face-to-face, in print or by email. Speaking to someone in person is the best way to build trust with employees but it may not always be the best option.
Update everyone: Ensure you’re not ignoring employees who are working remotely or those who are a little more disconnected from other members of the team.
Listen: Communication is a two-way process. You should always encourage dialogue with your employees as it helps to show respect and raises any outstanding issues that need to be addressed.