For many small and medium-sized employers, the importance of employee productivity is a common concern. If you can’t get your employees to work harder and earn more for your business, you’ll never be able to grow it into something bigger.
This question has stumped many managers in small businesses who don’t even know where to start. If you’re struggling to find new ways to improve employee engagement and boost productivity, try looking into these ten proven strategies.
Create a detailed job description. Create a detailed job description for every position in your workspace so that your new hires can always be clear about what they should be doing at any given time and understand the company’s values.
Develop them. Offer opportunities for your people to grow. There are many ways you can tap employee development: coaching, skills workshops, courses, and webinars, shadowing, mentoring, increasing responsibility. Encourage them to step up. Then ensure they have the resources they need (time, people, budget, training) to do their work effectively.
Be their biggest cheerleader. Believe in them and show your belief by letting them know what a great job they’re doing. Then prove it to them by giving them the resources they need to succeed, including all-important “downtime” to help people recharge when needed.
Give them feedback. Provide continuous feedback on employee performance. Let them know the specific ways in which they are successful and offer guidance on how they can improve.
Check-in regularly. Hold one-on-one meetings with your employees at least once a week so that you can stay connected to what’s happening on their team, what they’re working on, and whether they have any issues. They should come prepared with specific updates of work, what’s in the works, and plans for how to do more in the future.
Trust them. Trust your employees by giving them room to grow and develop their own short-term goals within the established framework of the company. Trusting your employees includes allowing them to make decisions at work without having to clear every move with you first. Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them rather than micromanaging their every move.
Offer flexibility. Offer flexible working arrangements, such as flexible schedules during the workday or remote work options, which has been shown to increase productivity and job satisfaction.
Encourage self-care. Self-care is a huge factor in a productive workforce. Employees who don’t take care of themselves can’t be expected to do a good job for your business. The answer to how to improve your team’s productivity isn’t micromanaging people’s lives; it’s having a realistic understanding of the amount of work and number of tasks they are required to perform. By giving them a reasonable work-life balance, they have more energy for doing their job effectively. As a result, employee morale goes up, along with the quality of work.
Provide access to the right tools. It’s essential that employees have access to and know how to use the tools to do their job effectively. You don’t want the productivity levels of your workforce to be wasted during work hours to find the tools they need to get their work done.
Give constructive feedback. Keep the lines of communication open with all of your employees, and make sure they know you notice and appreciate their efforts. Give feedback regularly so that your employees have a clear sense of what they need to do to keep doing a good job for the company.
Encourage team members. Never underestimate how much showing a little appreciation can mean to someone. When people take pride in their work, encourage them by giving them opportunities for promotion, building employees’ skills through training, and making connections within the company.
Create a comfortable work environment. You probably spend far more time at the workplace than in any other setting. Given that our surroundings have a major effect on mood, it’s essential you create an upbeat, comfortable office or break area for you and your employees. Use energizing colors, like yellow rather than stark white. Pay attention to reducing distractions, like the temperature — not too hot, not too cold — and lighting. Studies find that natural daylight is far more energizing than fluorescents. Put some thought into designing ergonomically correct workspaces, too; the savings on the medical end when your employees avoid back, wrist, shoulder, and arm pain will be worth it.
Recognize performance. When you celebrate their accomplishments and dedication to quality of work, supervisors should demonstrate they care. Acknowledge and offer feedback once a week at minimum and every six months regarding overall progress. Encourage them to do what they do best every day. Remind them that they, not just their jobs, are vital to success. Incentives and small gifts can also be a great reward to increase employee productivity.
Create a game plan. Set goals together with your employees, and create action plans that outline specific milestones they’ll need to reach throughout the year. Check-in on their progress regularly so that you can be sure they’re on track to achieve big things by the end of the year.