Lagging at work? – 5 Top Strategies For Increasing Business Productivity
This is a guest post from Jori Hamilton (see bio at the end of the article).
Workplace productivity is a key factor in overall business success, and if your employees are falling behind, then the lack of output and motivation can hurt them and your company’s bottom line. The good news is that there are many different strategies that management can try to boost business productivity, both for in-house and remote employees. From changing the layout of the office to keeping everyone accountable, one of these tactics is sure to do the trick.
Let’s talk about five top strategies to consider today.
The first step to a more productive workforce is to modify the office so that your employees arrive happy and ready to take on the day. Provide a proper chair and desk setup that helps the employee to retain a proper posture so they are less inclined to lean back and fall away from their keyboard. Their computer screen should be set up so that their eyes are even with the top of the monitor to avoid neck strain.
If possible, place the desks near the window so the staff can take advantage of the benefits offered by natural light. In addition to allowing the employees to see their work, it has been proven that natural light can help us to focus, feel happier, and sleep better at night, so we can return to work feeling refreshed. Also, try to place some plants around the office. Like natural light, plants create a more relaxing atmosphere while adding great beauty to the office. In the end, the right office layout can do wonders for productivity.
Now that they are happy to come to work every day, you need to show them how they fit into the company and what could lay ahead with hard work and focus. An easy way to lay this out is to create an organizational chart of all the employees. To create this chart, list every employee’s name, photo, and job title. Next, place each employee under their manager and department and go on from there. Then, when the employee needs to escalate an issue, they can see who to report to without taking a long time to investigate.
Even better than that, the org chart allows each employee to see the grand scale of the company where they work. If you really want to make an impact, go a step farther and create an Organizational Accountability Chart – similar to an org chart, this tool focuses on the top responsibilities within the team and who owns each responsibility. This helps clarify and communicate who’s responsible for what and, as an added bonus, if an employee wants to eventually move to a higher position, they know what skills they will need to acquire to get there. The possibility of promotion is a great motivator.
Another key to productivity is good management. Supervisors need to set achievable goals for their employees and then provide the tools and encouragement to help them get where they want to be. A goal could be to sell a certain amount of product or just to complete a predetermined number of tasks every day. Managers can start small and go from there. The problem is that if you don’t set any measurable goals at all, then your employees may not try to improve to the next level.
You can help everyone on your team accomplish their goals and keep them accountable by implementing a piece of project management software into the mix. A program like Hive or Asana allows every employee to see the current project in action, and they can mark off their progress in real-time until they complete their assigned tasks. The other members of the team can then see where they stand, and it can create great motivation to accomplish the project on a timely basis.
While creating a positive environment at the office is important, it is also essential for management to remember that their employees are real people who have lives outside of work. So, it is essential to create a work/life balance. That means encouraging hard work during the day, but after they work their eight hours, they should be encouraged to set work aside and be with their families. Employees should also be allowed and encouraged to take their breaks and lunch every day, and if they ever need to call out sick or request a vacation, then they should be able to do so without guilt.
When your employees have a good work/life balance, they know that their company truly cares, and they will work harder to return the favor.
Finally, a surefire way to keep employees motivated is to reward them for a job well done. That might mean kudos for finishing a complex project or just a solid eight hours of hard work. Rewards can be the standard fare, such as gift cards, an extra day off, or more time at lunch.
However, motivation can also come in the form of praise. If an employee does something impressive, then send out an email blast to the entire team that congratulates that individual. Sometimes, an email, call, or pat on the back can mean the world to an employee, and they will work hard to get that feeling of accomplishment again.
As you can see, there are many ways that a manager can increase business productivity around the office. Consider these tips, be personable, and you’ll have a staff you can be proud of. If you’d like even more ideas, then you might want to check out this post from the team at Fingerprint for Success: 46 of the Best Productivity Tools for Work and Life
Have other ideas on how you’ve motivated a team or increased productivity? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, marketing strategies, and HR solutions. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach