Improve Your Employees’ Productivity in Ten Easy Ways

frefe2fweHaving a team of productive employees is one of the keys to having a successful business. But productivity can be one of those vague areas that’s hard to measure or even define. What’s the line between being productive and being unproductive? Even if you do implement a measuring tool, you then have to consider the question of improving productivity for those employees who aren’t meeting your requirements. How do you do that? If you’re in need of improving your employee productivity, these ten methods are sure to help.

1. Clearly Define Each Job and its Expectations

Employees can’t tell if they’re meeting your goals and expectations if they don’t know what those goals are. Every employee should have a detailed job description that clearly lays out their responsibilities, goals, and expectations. Never assume that someone will know their job, even if they were in a similar position at another company. During the hiring process, the employee’s immediate supervisor should walk them through their job, including any deadlines and other responsibilities.

2. Don’t Micro-Manage Breaks and Distractions

Yes, the employee who spends all day on Facebook probably isn’t that productive, but the employee who takes a five-minute break to like a few photos before getting back to work may actually be much more productive than the employee who isn’t allowed to use social media. If you micro-manage your employees’ breaks and downtime, they’re likely to become much more focused on following your rules instead of on getting work done. Letting employees decide when they need to take short breaks lets them better manage their own fatigue.

Likewise, allowing distractions can help relax the mind. Sometimes employees hit upon a solution to a problem when they’re looking at something completely unrelated.

3. Remember Leaders Are Also Employees

Anyone in a leadership position needs to act not just as a leader but also as a model employee. Even though they may have a different set of responsibilities, they still need to follow the rules, including managing their time wisely and being productive. Supervisors and other managers who act as if they’re above the rules and don’t actively help their teams work towards their goals aren’t going to inspire their employees. In fact, this is going to demoralize employees because they will feel as if their boss expects unrealistic goals.

4. Use the Right Technology

If you’re not using technology to your fullest, your employees aren’t going to be as productive as they possibly could. However, you have to do more than just provide them with computers. You have to provide your employees with computers that are new enough that they can run the most useful programs out there. You also need to provide reliable, fast internet, software that is easy to use, and other equipment that your employees can use to make their jobs easier. If the technology you have isn’t modern enough or isn’t the right items, your employees may actually find themselves less productive because it takes too much time to get anything to work.

5. Provide Training and Development Opportunities

Nothing in a business stays the same, and that should include your employees’ skills and knowledge. Providing training and development opportunities show that you value your employees and want to invest in their education. Sometimes, this means offering training courses on new computer systems or other equipment. Other times, it may mean providing opportunities for employees to attend workshops and conferences. Conference speakers can help in increasing productivity, too, and employees often return from these events feeling energized and ready to hit the ground running.

6. Treat Your Employees Like Your Family

Sure, it’s a cheesy statement, but if you treat your employees as family, you’ll see results. This means that everyone should be a part of the company and celebrate its successes. When people feel as if they have ownership or a stake in something, they’re much more likely to put more work into it. They want to see the company grow because they feel like a part of it.

7. Give Employees Responsibilities

In order to let employees feel as if they have ownership of various tasks and projects, be sure you actually delegate that responsibility to them. You can’t do everything, especially as your business grows. You must delegate some of the work to others. That’s why you hired intelligent, skilled employees. Give them projects to handle and let them get to work. Don’t micro-manage, either—that will only make your employees feel untrusted.

8. Assign the Right Person to the Job

If someone doesn’t understand the task they’re working on, they’re going to be fairly unproductive until they figure it out. While cross-training like that certainly has its place, it’s better left to the classroom and other training sessions. Always make sure you’re delegating tasks to the right person, someone who understands what you’re looking for and has the skills to get that task done. By assigning a task to the right person, you’ll not only see them be productive, but you also know the task will be completed correctly.

9. Provide Incentives

Some people see this as bribing employees, but it’s really not. After all, why does anyone do anything? Because there’s an incentive involved. You go to work to get a paycheck, after all, not because you want to. If you want your employees to be productive, you need to give them a reason to do more than the bare minimum. Provide bonuses, gift cards, flex time, and any other incentive you can think of to help motivate your employees.

10. Get Rid of Busy Work

When employees are focused on major projects, they don’t have time for busy work or little tasks that simply don’t seem necessary. This includes extra paperwork, reports, and even meetings. If there’s no need to spend 30 minutes meeting every morning, why do it? Let your employees get to work rather than sitting around a conference table. Take a good look at all of the paperwork and determine if it’s really required or not. Even if it is, perhaps the form can be simplified or even done via email. Anything that cuts down on time will help.

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