Four ideas that can boost employee productivity

Andrea Bell's picture
Productivity

When it comes to boosting employee productivity, it is not uncommon for companies to implement once-every-season tactic of distributing bonuses and other perks. However, as time goes on, employee priorities tend to shift from monetary gain to flexible working hours and more. Employee productivity, therefore, should be a company’s priority all year round. After all, a company is only as good as its employees.

Be it customer satisfaction, driving key company metrics, handling large investments, all activities are crucial to a company’s success. Camaraderie between employees and their heads increases recognition, makes communication easier and forms a strong company culture under which employees can work with genuine interest.

Here are the 4 basic ideas that will increase work productivity no matter what the case or reason.

Effective Project Management

Projects are full of endless possibilities. Once your project is approved and work begins, things tend to go wrong along the way, quite naturally. Deadlines may be missed and broken communication causes more harm than good. This happens due to poor project management decisions.

The easiest way to avoid lack of productivity in your employees is to implement effective project management strategies. Some of the most common ones are listed below:

  1. Setting Realistic Goals

Don’t go overboard with setting your goals. Keep them small, attainable and realistic. The objectives must fit within the broad project aims and should pave the pathway for your team to proceed. For example, a project goal will not be realistic if it is not aligned with the company’s goals.

  1. Employee Autonomy

A wise project manager will always give more power to their workers by trusting their abilities. Micro-managing every task – keeping a check on employees every 30 minutes and making them ask for approval for everything they do – will make employees doubt their potential and usefulness for the organization. Employee turnout might also take a toll since nobody likes to be treated like a child.

  1. Bridging the Communication Gap

Communication is important. Whether it’s an open meeting, presentation or one-on-one conversation, remaining in contact with your team is key. It forms the basis for effective leadership.

When you communicate effectively with your team members, it helps remove misunderstandings and increases camaraderie. Tasks are completed smoothly, with workers working efficiently, diligently and professionally.

Measure Your Productivity: Time Tracking

A time tracking system is an amazing tool for companies to keep an eye on employee productivity; who’s doing what, and in how much time. On the other hand, tracking time also helps employees stay organized, meet deadlines and avoid last minute deadline anxiety.

As an employee, tracking time will keep you from being reprimanded by your boss. There are several time tracking methods you can choose from.

  • The Spreadsheet: An old school method, but Excel works flexibly as a time tracking spread sheet. All you have to do is create five columns in total with the following labels: Date, Activity, Start Time, End Time, and Hours Worked. Every time the employees work on something different, they can open their saved spreadsheet and fill in the columns. You can do the same with your tasks.

  • The Paper Method: This method is simple since all you need is a pen, paper and your cell phone timer. Time yourself using your phone and note down the results in your notebook.

  • Time Tracking Software: Move up a notch in sophistication with time tracking applications. Integrate your online time tracking tool with your project management tool like basecamp and track accurate time on each task they spent.

Perks of Time Tracking:

  1. Transparency in businesses

Time tracking is essential for business, since it provides transparency between corporate transactions. The clients know what they’re paying for, while the owner can keep a check on each employees productivity levels. For example, a marketing agency client can evaluate potential budget, by evaluating the time spent on campaign planning and copy writing.

  1. Evaluating Strengths and Weaknesses

Sometimes even the most productive employees spend time on irrelevant activities, without even realizing it. Time tracking methodology provides genuine insight as to where the employees are lacking, what tasks can be avoided and what can be optimized. This results in an overall increase in teamwork; boosting employee well-being.

Yoga, Meditation and Corporate Wellness

Back in the old days, corporate moguls and business owners had no idea about the importance of self-rejuvenation and physical durability for organizational benefit. But, things have changed quite a lot in the last few years. Organizations understand that stress threatens work productivity of their employees, which directly impacts the company.

Fortunately, many companies now recognize the value of yoga and are offering yoga retreats and professional sessions as part of their corporate wellness programme. There are many benefits of yoga and meditations, such as:

  1. Relieves Physical Pain

Like every human, employees are most likely to experience physical problems like aches and pains. This is a liability to your productivity as a corporate employee. It’s a given that employees will feel distracted from work if they are dealing with various physical ailments. This is where yoga comes in. Yoga exercises can help relieve the most severe of physical problems.

  1. Stress-free Mind and Soul

The corporatist ideology might pay no heed, but mental and emotional stress is real. It can have severe consequences on individual life and work. Stress usually accounts for billions of business dollars lost, due to reduced productivity. Meditation can free your employees from all intrusive irritants.

  1. Revitalises Creative Juices

Working on the same mundane tasks at the office every day can drain your employees. Yoga and meditation help your employees gain focus so that their minds open, allowing the creative juices to flow smoothly once again.

Continuous Learning: Continued Investment

Professional development never stops; even after the team is ready to carry out all vital functions to make a project successful. You might think that workers have ‘enough experience’ at hand to productively work on future projects as well. This is not true in every case.

Continuous learning means continuous training. The more trained your employees, the better it will be for your company. Investment in every individual worker will prove beneficial for them on a personal level as well.

Following are some points to consider under continued worker training:

  1. Reduces Employee Turnover

Training and professional growth will always aim towards reducing worker absenteeism and increasing team loyalty. With continuous personal and professional growth, workers realise that the organization values their importance and wants them to keep contributing for the betterment of the company. All employees want to feel appreciated and wanted, at the end of the day.

  1. Quick Adaptation to New Technology

With the continuous advancement in technology, it is essential for you to keep your team up to date within their respective fields (and save yourself from embarrassment). Sometimes, even the most qualified hires fall behind on using the latest gadgets only due to lack of training.

In order to secure your place as an industry leader, provide in-house training, arrange seminars and webinars for professional and personal development and other education programmes that will keep you and your work team up and running.

  1. Improves Leadership Skills

Some individuals are born to be leaders, while others need to work on their commandeering ability. In either case, leadership training will polish the skills of natural leaders, while teaching basic leadership qualities and skills to persons with potential.

The main idea behind increasing work productivity is doing tasks together as a team while making sure that your employees do not fall back in taking care of themselves; to let go of mental stressors and other stimulants that lead to psychological/physical problems.

About the Contributor

Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

Find her on Twitter: @IM_AndreaBell

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