Employee Productivity

Do you ever wish that you could just press a button and—poof—you’ve increased employee productivity and efficiency? We all know the phrase “time is money.” But if your employees aren’t working as hard as they should be, they’re wasting your time, money, and resources. After all, you’re not paying employees to update their Facebook status, tweet their followers, or play games all day.

However, there’s a fine line between encouraging employees to produce high quality work and overworking them. Your attempts to increase their output could ultimately backfire and cause employees to become frustrated, lose motivation, or burn out.  Here are five ways to increase productivity and workflow throughout your business.

Communicate Effectively

Communication is the key to success. Positive, clear, and open communication is the basis for creating productive employees. When managers clearly state expectations and responsibilities, they will get an engaged and productive team. Allowing staff to voice their opinions, concerns or problems can help to avoid conflicts. Effective communication can also improve employee productivity, motivation, and morale.

Avoid Micromanaging

Believe it or not, if you want employee productivity to increase you need to back off a little. Wait—what? By encouraging employees to take ownership of how they manage their time, you’re allowing them to be independent. Studies show that employees are motivated by having a sense of independence.

You can still check in on employees to make sure they’re actually working, just avoid hovering.  Hovering over an employee decreases their productivity because employees tend to get nervous, stressed, and start to perform poorly. If you manage employees less, you get better work results. Seems a little counter-intuitive, but it makes sense, right?

Allow “Brain Breaks” and Chitchat

To increase employee productivity and efficiency, you need to allow for short breaks throughout the day. In fact, short breaks have been proven to increase work production and performance. Everyone needs a few minutes to scroll through social media, play on their phones, or just stare out the window. You can also encourage employees to participate in some old-fashioned “water cooler chats”.

Employees need to be able to step away from their desks, chat, and unwind during the day. Not only do these breaks allow employees to recharge and refocus on their tasks, but it also fosters employee relationships. Relationship building produces a healthy staff, improves employee engagement, and builds a positive company culture.

Just make sure that employees return to their desks and don’t take advantage of these little breaks.

Acknowledge Specific Contributions

No matter how big or small, always acknowledge employee contributions or accomplishments. Instead of giving an employee a generic praise, focus on mentioning a specific effort. Rather than saying “Good job!” say something like “Good job on finding a solution to that problem!”

When an employee receives praise for a specific action, they realize that their work matters. Employees want to feel useful and like they’re making a difference. Praising employees will also work towards your goal of communicating effectively.

Establish SMART Goals

Make sure all your goals are “SMART.” SMART, or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, goals help employees stay focused and efficient.

Employees need to have goals clearly laid out. After all, how do you expect them to be efficient if they don’t know what they’re trying to achieve? If goals aren’t clear or realistic, employees will be less productive. Be sure to let employees know what you expect from them.

As a manager or owner, you know that employee productivity and efficiency are crucial to complete day-to-day operations. By applying these tips to your business, you can increase productivity, efficiency, and morale while reducing employee burnout and turnover.

Overtime, you will notice that your company’s atmosphere has changed. Employees will be more engaged, have a strong sense of teamwork, and look forward to coming into work. At the end of the day, the more efficient your staff is, the more successful your business will be!