This article is part of a larger series on Hiring.
Productivity is a measure of how much work is done in a given amount of time. In the workplace, productivity is essential for businesses to be successful. Yet, many factors hinder employees from performing at their best—from ineffective workplace environments to disengagement. By implementing strategies to cultivate a culture of productivity and engagement, businesses can unlock the full potential of their workforce.
This article discusses five tips for how to improve employee productivity, along with ways to re-engage employees who have become disengaged.
1. Set Specific Goals & Maintain Clear Communications
Developing strong people management skills involves two essential aspects: setting clear goals and effectively communicating them to employees. Leaders should provide employees with a clear understanding of their individual goals, as well as the broader objectives of the organization. Regularly communicate progress, offer feedback, and recognize achievements to keep employees motivated and focused.
When employees are unsure of what is expected of them, it can be difficult for them to stay focused and motivated. This is because they don’t know what they’re working toward or how their work is contributing to the overall goals of the organization.
Related: 10 Smart Goals Examples
2. Empower Employees Through Autonomy
In employee management, it is important to foster a sense of ownership and autonomy among employees. By encouraging individuals to take ownership of their work and providing them with the freedom to make decisions within their areas of responsibility, leaders can create a culture that promotes productivity, innovation, and creativity. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to be motivated and take initiative, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.
3. Provide Adequate Resources
Ensure that employees have access to the tools, technology, and resources they need to perform their tasks efficiently. Invest in training and development programs to enhance their skills and knowledge. When employees don’t have the resources they need to do their jobs, it can be difficult for them to be productive. By providing cutting-edge tools and technology, employees can streamline their workflows and improve overall productivity. Here are some specific examples:
- Equipping them with state-of-the-art hardware, like high-performance computers and mobile devices, allows them to work seamlessly from anywhere, facilitating remote work and boosting their output.
- Implementing time-tracking and productivity monitoring software enables better management of work hours and identifies areas for improvement.
- Integrating customer relationship management (CRM) systems and data analytics tools empowers employees with valuable insights, leading to informed decision-making and enhanced customer service.
- Embracing emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, enables employees to delegate repetitive tasks to machines, freeing up time for more creative and strategic pursuits.
- Providing regular software and technology training sessions ensures that employees stay up-to-date with the latest advancements, maximizing their potential and efficiency in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
4. Promote Work-life Balance
Encourage a healthy work-life balance by promoting flexible work arrangements, emphasizing the importance of breaks, and discouraging excessive overtime. According to FlexJobs, 63% of employees prefer work-life balance over higher pay. When employees feel supported in managing their personal lives, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
Employees who are overworked and stressed can become physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. This results in burnout, and burned-out employees are more likely to be unproductive and make mistakes.
5. Foster Collaboration & Teamwork
Encourage collaboration among employees through cross-functional projects, team-building activities, and open communication channels. Cultivate a sense of camaraderie by providing opportunities for employees to interact in a more casual and social setting. One way of doing this is by organizing regular team-building activities or events. This also creates opportunities for employees to learn from and support one another.
You can calculate employee productivity by dividing their output by their labor input:
worker productivity = output / labor input
To get more in-depth information, check out our article on How to Measure Employee Productivity.
6 Ways to Engage Your Disengaged Employees
Disengaged employees pose a significant challenge to productivity. They become what experts call the “quiet quitters.” They “quit” by putting in the bare minimum effort, going through the motions, and checking out mentally. This lack of engagement can have a number of negative consequences for productivity, including poor customer service and absenteeism.
Organizations can address this disengagement. Here’s how:
1. Understand the Root Causes
Take the time to identify the underlying reasons behind an employee’s disengagement. If you don’t get to the heart of the matter, the strategies you have on how to increase employee productivity might go to waste. It could be due to a lack of recognition, limited growth opportunities, or feelings of undervaluation. Conduct one-on-one meetings and actively listen to their concerns to address them effectively.
2. Recognize & Reward Performance
Regularly acknowledge and reward exceptional performance to boost employee morale and motivation. This can be done through verbal praise, public recognition, or even incentive programs such as bonuses or additional time off.
3. Promote Career Growth Opportunities
Provide clear pathways for professional development and growth within the organization. Offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, and chances for employees to take on new responsibilities or projects that align with their interests and aspirations.
4. Encourage Feedback & Participation
Create a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas. Implement regular feedback sessions, surveys, or suggestion boxes to gather insights and involve employees in decision-making processes. This creates a sense of ownership and encourages active engagement.
5. Support Work-life Integration
Recognize that employees have commitments outside of work and offer flexibility to accommodate their personal needs. By allowing employees to achieve healthy work-life integration, they will feel more motivated and committed to their roles.
6. Provide Emotional Support
Show genuine care and empathy toward employees’ well-being. Offer support during challenging times, promote a positive work environment, and implement employee assistance programs that provide resources for mental health and stress management.
Improving employee productivity requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the factors that hinder it and creates a culture that encourages engagement and growth. By focusing on creating a supportive work environment and providing clarity, autonomy, and opportunities for growth, organizations can cultivate a high-performing workforce.