No matter the company or business, it’s always in its best interest to know how to increase employee productivity. The secret to keeping your employees productive and adaptable is to make the environment dynamic and purposeful. There are many that you can use to meet your key performance indicators (KPIs) – are one of these ways. You want your employees to embody the company’s values; to do that, you need to offer supportive resources. In this article, we go over the best ways to increase employee productivity.
There are many factors that determine how productive and engaged individual employees and groups can be. What’s more, there’s often an interplay between factors that can make it difficult to isolate cause and effect. Companies are responsible for implementing operation standards that encourage a reciprocal relationship between performance outcomes and employee satisfaction. Knowing is a significant part of a productive formula.
#1 Optimize Workplace Organization/Conditions
A huge percentage of what determines employee productivity is the work environment. This can be a challenge for remote companies, but there are still ways to develop an organizational structure that works just as well as it would for a company with a physical location(s). For example, you can use an online social media platform as a virtual landing for employees to communicate in a casual manner by sharing photos or life updates.
There are three important aspects of a functional organizational structure:
To optimize these three conditions, you need to have a compelling mission. The company’s mission should be visible and memorable, and it should also mean something to each employee. It won’t have any profound effects on productivity if your employees don’t see eye to eye with your mission. For that reason, it should be short and concise – it should define your main objective and how you plan to reach it. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what they think of the mission and change it as you grow and develop new goals.
Second, your organizational structure needs to have clearly defined roles, rules, and fair work distribution. The goal of your structure should be to develop accessible guidelines for how everyone can proceed. This will make it easier for employees to know their expectations and more importantly, meet them.
Most of your rules should be clear and explicit, but others are implicit, which means that employees will have to learn them through assimilation with the company culture. Your HR will oversee compliance with these rules and enforce them as necessary. Standardization will also make it easier to measure employee productivity and reward people for going above and beyond. Your clearly defined roles will also have clearly stated responsibilities that scale with the level of authority each person has. Each role should take experience, knowledge, and skillset into account. When instructions and project boundaries are clear, employees will flourish.
#2 Have a Strong Feedback System
Every good team has a strong support and feedback system. Employees should be able to come forward with questions or concerns about projects, resources, or other related inquiries. Most of the feedback employees will get comes from their department manager. An open dialogue encourages regular communication to help clarify goals and deadlines. If instructions are vague or there aren’t clear ways for someone to get assistance, then there’s a chance that performance will fluctuate. Feedback needs to be clear and actionable; it should set expectations and reinforce objectives and how to reach them. Here are a few examples of systems that work for most companies:
Feedback should be a combination of formal and informal. Formal feedback is planned and expected; informal feedback is spontaneous. For instance, a manager might intervene if they notice an employee veering off in the wrong direction when executing a task. Having a support system that provides consistent and constructive criticism is a great way to motivate employees to do their best work.
#3 More Flexible Schedules
A good life/work balance is a major factor for job seekers, which is why promoting a flexible work schedule is important. But what does having a flexible work schedule mean? Perhaps the most flexible scheduling option is to have a hybrid or fully remote workstation. Companies that embrace remote positions where pay is commensurate with an employee’s ability to meet deadlines and perform up to standards will see better results from their employees. There are several flexible scheduling options:
There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re introducing or maintaining one of these scheduling protocols:
1. Establish a method of communicating about individual schedules
If you give employees the opportunity to make their own schedules, you need to have a way of knowing when they work to keep communications optimal. You should also establish an agreeable routine for department or one-on-one meetings to discuss feedback and progress. Remote companies may use screen recording software to help troubleshoot technological or task-related issues.
2. Be clear about deadlines
Because employees are customizing their work schedules, you need to emphasize deadlines. If you aren’t paying by the hour, then make sure you explain that as long as employees complete their work, they can prioritize tasks as they see fit. Flexibility should not reward negligence or poor performance; set expectations for the week in team meetings and have your employees check in with you throughout the week.
3. Be available
It’s important to be available for your employees in case they have questions or need clarification. Because flexible schedules often reduce the frequency of face-to-face interaction, you should be clear about when you’re available to answer questions or provide instruction. Ideally, at the start or end of each week, the team will gather to assess progress and establish goals for the next week.
#4 Offer Compelling Benefits/Incentives
Another sure way to motivate employees to increase their output is to incentivize productivity with benefits. Most basic benefits include dental, health care, and wellness insurance, but you can also offer a variety of unique employee benefits such as academic consulting and discounts on products or services. These benefits add value to basic employee benefits, and will, in turn, motivate employees to work harder to earn and maintain them.
In today’s job market, there are many students and graduates who are entering the workforce. You will need to have benefits prepared to attract these individuals and stimulate productivity.
Admissions consulting is a service that helps applicants organize and develop strong application materials to increase their chances of getting accepted into their program of choice. Some of your employees will potentially pursue higher education, like an MBA, and will need a consultant to help them navigate and decide which programs they strategically have the best chance of getting into. Showing support for your employees through like these will incentivize a stronger work ethic and, in turn, increase the likelihood of sustaining those elusive above-and-beyond outcomes.
Here is a list of benefits that companies can use to increase employee productivity:
#5 Provide Better Training
When onboarding new employees, it’s important to transition them into their new roles effectively. It will take time for someone new to learn your system and integrate into your established culture, but there are ways to streamline this process. should encourage employees to become more independent within their roles. Establishing expectations early and providing resources will allow a smoother transition and more productive outcomes.
It's also worth considering the potential costs incurred from inadequate training methods. It takes time and money to bring employees up to speed, and the cost of replacing them can be substantial. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re training new employees:
1. Have clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each position
SOPs are step-by-step guides for a work routine or task. If an SOP is clear and detailed, it should prevent mistakes, confusion, and miscommunication reliably across departments and roles. SOPs also ensure tasks are completed with the quality standards in mind, meaning you’ll have fewer inconsistencies in work output and generally have more productive outcomes than if employees were left to their own devices. SOPs will need to include the following elements:
2. Make training ongoing
Training shouldn’t end once new employees reach independence. You should give them the opportunity to continue to grow and take on higher-level tasks if they’re showing steep progress. A great way to start training is to divide it into short- and long-term benchmarks. Have employees complete tasks, referring to the SOPs as they move along. When quality and output become consistent and you can trust them to perform their assigned duties with little or no help, you can start working on those long-term goals, such as increasing their workload. Check in with the employee’s progress each week; ideally, you should have a metric system designed to show the employee where their progress should be, versus where they are currently.
3. Make training adaptable and dynamic
Adaptable training is individualized. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon some level of standardization, but you should also have learning methods that can fit individual needs. Generally, you have three options: hands-on training, reading, and shadowing. Adapted combinations of these three methods typically work well. If someone learns better by seeing, then you can modify training techniques to optimize for that person’s learning style.
Increasing employee productivity is essential for the growth of your company. There are many winning strategies to help you motivate and promote a more productive work environment. Some of these include optimizing your training, offering incentives like , having flexible scheduling options, adapting your organizational structure, and implementing a consistent feedback system. These methods are sustainable, which means if you use them properly, you won’t have to worry about stagnation. Lastly, your workplace culture will define the boundaries of your employees’ productivity. A positive work environment will maximize a sense of purpose and minimize inertia.
1. Why is increasing employee productivity important?
Increasing the productivity of your employees will lead to better revenue generation, more satisfied employees, and better compensation and rewards.
2. How can I get my employees to become more engaged?
To increase your employees’ engagement level, you should focus on improving your organizational structure; give your employees feedback and recognize them when they perform.
3. What are some benefits I can offer my employees?
Some basic benefits include health, vision, dental, and wellness insurance; more unique forms of benefits include academic consulting, gym memberships, and financial planning services.
4. Why is academic consulting a good benefit?
With so many younger entry-level employees entering the workforce who are either in school or who intend to continue their education, academic consulting can help them achieve their educational and career goals.
5. How can I measure productivity?
Most employers can use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure productivity. These are quantifiable measurements used to evaluate a company’s performance. You can, however, use KPIs to measure individual performance using benchmarks for growth.
6. How do I keep training ongoing?
Your training plan should scale; this means that employees should gradually progress toward more independent roles and duties. Remember, more autonomy should come with trust and consistently strong performance evaluations.
7. How can I keep things organized with a flexible work schedule?
To stay organized, you need to have an open line of communication. Have your employees send in daily updates on their work progress and have a set date/time for meetings that works for everyone.
8. How can I give regular and productive feedback?
Your feedback should be informal and formal. The formal feedback should be regular and predictable and will typically take the form of performance evaluations. Informal feedback is casual; encourage your employees by offering praise and communicating about potential aberrations.