Employee productivity is at the top of every business owner’s priority list for obvious reasons. Getting more from employees and business processes while keeping costs under control is the primary means by which a struggling company becomes a thriving company.
The problem many leaders run into is productivity is a fairly personal skill, and it is different for every employee. Some respond to one strategy, others respond differently. So how can an entrepreneur create incentives for an entire company while still maintaining a sense of identity among his employees? It’s challenging, but not impossible. Here are five ways to improve the productivity of your employees.
Good employees have ideas. Some of those ideas are likely to either make a company more money or save it an equal or greater amount. Successful employers have recently begun to offer their employees a certain percentage of their paid hours as “personal project time” when they get a chance to work on whatever they want.
The results have been encouraging enough that they are starting to find their way back into education, where students get self-directed study time to work on the subject of their choice. In the workplace, this maintains individual initiative while harnessing the creativity of the entire team.
Any author or office worker will tell you moving around does wonders for individual productivity. A physically fit person can handle higher workloads and longer working hours much better than someone who is out of shape. Employers should always consider giving their employees opportunities to do something physical during the day. It’s an inexpensive way to improve output without interrupting the entire office.
With well-publicized disputes over the office thermostat making news, it stands to reason issues like air conditioning maintenance would be at the top of most employers’ lists. The truth is there is much more to a comfortable office than the temperature. For example, an excessively dry office can have as significant an impact on people as air that is too cold or too warm.
By and large, human beings don’t work well in extremes. If your office is unusually humid, has a lot of static electricity, or is freezing, it will affect everyone, not just the few who are sensitive to temperature.
As archaic as it may sound, offering employees more money for better work is the fastest way to incentivize a workforce and improve employee productivity. Most businesses recoil from the idea of paying more, but most companies also don’t get the productivity they want or need. Raises might be the quickest route to get your employees working more efficiently or working more hours—which will give you the hours you need for customer fulfillment. If you aren’t ready to hike up everyone’s salaries, find other ways to incentivize your staff to get them excited about developing new ideas.
Burnout is a huge problem in the modern workplace. Without putting too fine a point on it, people are overworked and don’t have enough time to decompress. When in doubt, give your employees more time off. Shorter work days and occasional unannounced three-day weekends are sure to be successful.
The Short and Sweet
Getting 70 hours of value out of 40 hours work is better than just making employees work 60 hours. The key to employee productivity is to get everyone working smarter instead of harder. Lead by example and demonstrate that improved work/life balance comes to those who are the most productive.