How can you get the most from your employees? Oliver Hurcum from Inspiring Interns lays out some tried-and-tested methods for boosting staff productivity.
Productive employees are essential for a company to thrive - low productivity means a slower service, reduced profits, and missed targets. Evidence also shows that a fall in productivity can’t be compensated with an increase in working hours – in fact, too many working hours may well be a cause of the problem.
But how to ensure your employees are working at their best? While there are steps your employees can take themselves to improve their efficiency at work, there’s plenty you can do as an employer or manager.
Try these five ways to boost employee productivity:
- 1. Avoid Micromanaging
If employees feel that they have control over their own time, they will be motivated to use that time effectively. This conclusion is reiterated by professors Maryléne Gagné and Devasheesh Bhave in Human Autonomy in Cross-Cultural Context: Perspectives on the Psychology of Agency, Freedom, and Well-Being. As Gagné notes, “Autonomy is important in every culture… [and] is especially likely to lead to better productivity when the work is complex or requires more creativity.”
The urge to micromanage is a natural one, but the evidence suggests you’re better off taking a step back and just letting your staff get on with it.
- 2. Encourage Remote Working
It is not totally surprising that more gets done when free from the distractions of an office environment, spared the busy morning commute, and left happy in the comfort of one’s own home or local café.
Indeed, analysts are predicting that flexible work arrangements are the future. In the US, for example, the number of remote-workers among the non- self-employed population grew by 115% between 2005 and 2015. Insisting on seeing your employees every day in the office risks leaving you behind with the times.
- 3. Recognise Performance
On the other hand, if your employees are not performing as well as you’d expect, take the time to ask them why. There are lots of reasons for a drop in productivity or quality of work. If they feel like you have been patient with them and listened to their concerns, they are much more likely to do their best for you when they get back on their feet.
- 4. Create a Career Pathway
Training only improves productivity for your company if employees stay in your company, and they are much more likely to stay if they feel there is a position within the company for them to aim for.
- 5. Introduce Greenery
While mental health problems such as depression unfortunately aren’t solved by taking a walk in the park, spending time in a green space outdoors has been shown to significantly lift people’s mood .
Happy workers are productive workers, and so make sure your employees have the opportunity to leave the building now and then.
For more advice on how to improve employees productivity, specifically your new employees’ productivity, take a look at this article from Inc.