This is a big question on companies’ minds these days. How can I get the best performance from my staff without asking too much of them?
To me, this is all about businesses learning to invest in their teams. Recognize their strengths. Provide them with the resources they need. And above all, trust them.
Defining Workplace Productivity
First of all, what is productivity in the workplace? That is a bit of a nebulous question.
Technically, employee productivity refers to the revenue-driving tasks employees complete within a certain amount of time.
However, nothing is that simple. I think workplace productivity comes down to three factors:
#1: The numbers
- How much money does a business make in a certain period of time?
- How much product does a business sell in a certain period of time?
- How many people does the business need to do the work?
Numbers can be useful, but they don’t tell the whole story. That’s why I also like to keep the following factors in mind:
#2: The consistency
Your company may have had its best January ever a few years ago. But what have your Januarys looked like since?
Hitting those KPIs alone is not as important as hitting them consistently. A useful sign of workplace productivity is that employees are delivering consistent products and consistent numbers. Over years.
Consistency indicates that the business is running like a well-oiled machine. Things are steady and dependable. Worker retention is probably high.
It is fair to be wary of workplaces with deliverables of highly erratic quality.
#3: The boundaries
Mental health continues to take a more central place in the collective conversation. Therefore, the question of how to approach productivity grows more complex.
Employees’ boundaries must be respected to achieve true workplace productivity. Don’t believe me? The labor statistics don’t lie: companies with high worker satisfaction outperform low satisfaction companies by 202%.
Think about it:
Do you do your best work when you feel tired? Sluggish? Frustrated?
Or, do you do your best work when you feel refreshed? Inspired? Happy?
It’s not rocket science! Maximum productivity is nearly impossible to achieve when employees don’t feel respected.
Ignoring employee satisfaction is a productivity killer.
So try bringing in a corporate emcee or hosting an event to spice things up a bit. This can help to increase productivity in the long run by giving everyone a well deserved break.
The Benefits of Increased Workplace Productivity
A productive workplace boasts many benefits, and they go beyond money in the bank.
Here are a few reasons to invest in creating a productive workforce:
#1: Engaged employees make for a pleasant work environment
Employees are the heart of every company. If you treat the heart well, it will treat you well! Pay attention to – and meet – your employees’ needs.
What does it look like to meet your staff’s needs?
- Are you offering comprehensive benefits that actually help them?
- Are you paying them a livable salary? Perhaps even more than that?
- Are you understanding when people need time off?
Employees whose needs are being met will come to work with a positive attitude. If they feel taken care of by their employer, they will want to do their best work.
Let’s talk about work-life balance
Everyone needs time to rejuvenate after work. And let’s be honest. If you have weekends, they are not usually the relaxing time we hope they’ll be.
Adults simply have too much to do! Need an example?
- Laundry, cooking, cleaning, taking care of family, shopping for necessities, attending doctors appointments.
- But don’t forget, you are also supposed to practice self care! Do yoga, eat healthy, go on hikes, sleep for eight hours, make smoothies.
Most people can’t accomplish all of this in a 48-hour period. Still, they are expected to return to work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
So you, the employer, must respect employees’ boundaries.
By prioritizing employee productivity, you ensure that employees’ time spent on the job is worthwhile.
Daily tasks get done at a reasonable hour and employees can go enjoy their personal time.
#2: There is more time for… well, everything!
Start integrating employee productivity tools and watch everyone’s calendars open up.
Your staff will not waste time with the right workforce productivity techniques and tools.
Therefore, they will spend fewer hours on their tasks. This allows them to save time for getting ahead on other projects. Or they can go home and enjoy precious time with their loved ones!
These efficiency gains will leave your team with more energy and brainpower.
#3: Customer satisfaction will skyrocket
This goes hand in hand with employee engagement. Happier employees increase productivity. High productivity means customers get what they need faster, and with better quality.
When employee productivity is high, that probably means employees are doing well. They are showing up, creating a welcoming environment, and collaborating well with each other.
All of this doesn’t just increase workplace productivity – it makes for an ideal customer experience.
How to Improve Workplace Productivity
So, what can you do to enhance workforce productivity? Here are my workplace productivity tips to help you get started:
#1: Define your goals
Goal setting is an excellent practice to adopt when trying to improve efficiency. It allows you to zoom in on specific aspects of your business and make strides toward bettering them.
If you are a quantitative thinker, it may help you to set goals that help you measure productivity.
- Send out an employee satisfaction survey. Then, after two months of dedicated time improving productivity, send out the survey again. What changes do you see? What are your goals for the next time you send it out?
- How frequently do you see teams enjoying lunch together? If it’s not often, why not? What can you do to increase those numbers?
- What is the average tenure of an employee at your organization? Has that increased or decreased over time?
#2: Start from the top
If you want to improve workforce productivity, everyone needs to be on board.
Organizational productivity depends on those at the top of the company having a deep understanding of other employees’ needs.
Set aside regularly scheduled time for executive leadership to talk with teams. Focus on topics such as:
- How can we communicate with you more effectively?
- How does your experience here compare to your experiences with other companies?
- What tools can we provide workers to increase efficiency?
#3: Offer a variety of tools
Certain resources can vastly improve labor productivity. It all depends on what the workers need from the company.
This is why communication should be your #1 priority! Not only is top-down communication vital, you must support interdepartmental communication.
Ask yourself (and your colleagues):
- Would teams benefit from applications like Trello that track to do lists?
- How about group messaging software like Slack?
- Do everyone’s phones and computers work properly?
- What needs to be replaced or updated?
A business with proper communication will see improved productivity, guaranteed.
This is an area that impacts companies’ workers and customers alike.
When a worker goes through their to do list, what slows them down? Could it be an outdated software program? A CRM that doesn’t allow them to pull the lists they need?
Are restaurant goers frustrated because hosts are still writing reservations in a notebook and losing information?
When businesses invest in better technology, they will see increased productivity and happier customers.
Help with avoiding distractions
Greater productivity is also dependent on a team’s ability to focus.
What can you do to assist your team in focusing?
Here are some ideas to jog your brainstorming:
- Some people are more productive when doing remote work. Allow each employee the flexibility to do this, if at all possible.
- Some people have the ability to focus while working in a room with others. Some do not. Try to accommodate those who need privacy and those who like to work in groups.
- Some need a quiet environment to be productive. If you can’t offer them their own space, offer noise-canceling headphones.
The flexibility and care you demonstrate here will increase productivity. Fulfilling staff’s physical and emotional needs allows them to do their best work.
So bite the bullet. Hire that emcee for a company wide event. And put these other tips to the test!
Remember to Be Patient
It takes time to improve productivity. Before you dive into these ideas, I want you to remember that.
Like any other strategic plan, it will take effort and time to see results. Try to push through the discouragement of a slow start and stay committed to your goal.
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.