Politics and Business
7 Ways to Improve Productivity in Your Company
Your employees are your company’s greatest asset. The success of your business very much depends on the work of your team. Therefore, if your team is not as productive as they need to be, this creates a ripple effect throughout your business operation.
When your team is working productively, your business can achieve great things. As businesses compete in increasingly challenging market conditions, it becomes even more critical for companies to operate efficiently. High levels of productivity are vital to keeping your business running efficiently, and one step ahead of your competitors.
If you feel that your business isn’t achieving the productivity levels that it should, then it is essential to take action. The first step to taking control of productivity levels is to assess your current business performance. Evaluating your current position will help you to identify areas where productivity levels are lower and the action that you need to take to improve them. It is always a good idea to get feedback from your employees to gain an insight into the barriers they face when trying to perform their roles. If you notice that recurrent themes are arising, then you know that these are areas that need to be addressed.
Choose the Best Software for Your Business
Productivity is often considered a ‘people’ issue, and managers often look to their staff as the source of any problems regarding productivity. Although this may be true some of the time, it is crucial also to consider that your systems could be a part of the problem.
Your business processes and the systems that you use can have a strong influence on overall productivity within your workforce. If your technology is no longer fit for purpose or your processes are complicated, it is likely that productivity will be impacted as a result.
Before immediately looking to employees as the source of productivity issues, it is wise to consider the impact of the systems they are working with. Your employees can only work with the tools you have provided, so productivity will suffer if these are not up to the job.
Using scheduling software is a solution that will help you to overcome many productivity issues. If you currently use various spreadsheets to monitor your workflow, you will find that scheduling software provides a superior alternative. The software enables your resources to be utilized in the most efficient way, ensuring that you are entirely in control of your workload and able to allocate the appropriate resources to each task.
Monitoring the individual performance of team members is an excellent way to maintain high levels of productivity. Performance reviews allow both you and your employees to discuss any issues relating to productivity and performance and enable you to find solutions to fix them together.
Employees will feel motivated to work harder if they know that their efforts are recognized. If employees rarely receive feedback, they may think that it makes no difference whether they work hard or not, as their efforts go unnoticed either way.
To improve productivity levels within your workforce, you need to recognize the individual efforts of your team members. When employees feel that they are valued and that their hard work is noticed, they are far more likely to work even harder.
Create a Productive Workplace Environment
The work environment can have a significant impact on your team’s performance. When employees work in a space that provides everything that they need to do their job, they are more likely to be productive. If your office isn’t fit for purpose, then this can have a knock-on effect on your employees. The office environment needs to make it easier for your employees to do their job, rather than hinder it.
The physical features of your office are essential to make it a productive environment for your staff. Keeping your office at the right temperature, with a comfortable level of lighting, and enough space enough to work in can make all the difference to your employees. Your workforce spends the majority of their waking hours at work, so it makes sense to provide them with the best possible environment to spend that time in.
Working in a pleasant office space will help your employees feel less stressed, and can have a positive effect on their wellbeing. Improved employee wellbeing can lead to fewer sick days, which in turn means an increase in productivity.
Take a Break
Do your employees take regular breaks? If not, this could be harming their productivity levels. While many people believe that working longer hours and skipping lunch is crucial when your workload is high, this isn’t necessarily the case. Working straight through lunch without a break is actually counter-productive. While it may mean that you are spending more time sitting at your desk, this time isn’t necessarily being used to get more done.
Taking regular breaks is crucial if you want to work at your best. Stepping away from your desk and getting a change of scenery is vital. Spending hours chained to the desk from early in the morning through to home time is a recipe for burn out. Taking a break is like hitting the refresh button in your mind, and you will return to your desk with a clearer mind and a fresh perspective.
Taking breaks is a habit that you should demonstrate to your staff with your own behavior. Often, employees worry that they will look lazy, or be accused of not pulling their weight if they leave their desk to take a break. This attitude is often ingrained in company culture, and people feel that they need to be at their desks almost 24/7 to be noticed by the boss and to get a better shot at promotion. By taking a break yourself and encouraging your employees to do the same, you are demonstrating that they won’t be penalized for taking a break and that you believe it will enhance their productivity rather than damage it.
Offer Employees Pathways to Progression
Offering your staff opportunities for training and ongoing professional development is vital if you want to build a productive workforce. Providing your staff with further opportunities for progression and developing their knowledge and skills will help you to retain your most hard-working, talented employees. It is often the most productive, skilled members of a team that will leave if there are no opportunities available for them to advance their careers. It is these employees that you want to keep hold of, so it makes sense to offer them the opportunity to develop their skills further and progress within your company, rather than lose them to a competitor.
Providing your staff with opportunities for further training is also an excellent way for them to bring fresh ideas and new ways of doing things back to the business. Ultimately, fresh ideas are crucial to driving productivity, and for the continued success of the company.
Lighten the Workload
Are your team spending too much of their workday dealing with time-consuming tasks, such as data entry or updating the company website? If so, why not lighten their workload and let them use their time productively. Outsourcing repetitive or time-consuming tasks is an excellent way to free up your employees’ time and to let them use their skills. With time-consuming tasks removed from their workload, your staff can focus on the most critical aspects of their role without being bogged down with work that could easily be outsourced.
Nurture Your Company Culture
In its most basic form, productivity is all about ‘getting things done.’ This may seem simple enough, but in reality, improving productivity is about so much more than merely telling your employees to work harder. There are many factors that contribute to how productive (or not) your employees are. As you have seen above, some of these factors stem from individual employees, but, in many ways, productivity is a broader issue. Increasing productivity involves equipping staff with the correct systems and tools to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. It is also crucial to create a workplace that offers a comfortable, suitable place for employees to perform their roles. An employee’s individual productivity is also heavily influenced by their colleagues’ behavior and whether they feel valued by managers. Each of these factors feeds into the overall company culture. A positive company culture makes employees feel engaged with the business and motivated to work hard to help it succeed.
The workplace culture of an organization largely stems from the relationship between employees and management; and, most importantly, how each perceives the other. If you treat your employees with little regard and have no interest in providing them with the systems and support they need to work at their best, then productivity is likely to be a significant issue in your company. Equipping your employees with the right tools for the job, and showing that their hard work is appreciated is key to increasing productivity, and should not be overlooked.