Two key factors that lead to a business’s success are productivity and employees. Employees are what keep the business moving at full speed. If employees are productive, the business’s success and profits are likely to increase (in most cases at least). If a company’s staff productivity isn’t up to par, it can negatively damage the company to the point of losing customers, damaging its reputation, and decreasing profits. No business owner wants this. To prevent this from happening to you and your business, you need to understand what affects your staff and how to improve employee productivity.
What Is Employee Productivity?
To start, what is employee productivity? In technical terms, it’s the work output employees complete during work hours. Depending on the business, this could be physical output like products created or packages shipped, or the number of tasks completed. Employee engagement and employee performance are considered when determining an employee’s productivity. To help with determining productivity, most employees use a form of time tracking to keep tabs on how many hours they are working daily/weekly.
Factors That Impact Staff Productivity
In order for an employee to optimally perform their job and tasks, they must have the proper training, education, and experience. Now, not all of this is on the employer as they likely hired an employee based on their past experience. However, all workplaces, including small businesses, should train and develop their employees somewhat so they understand the business, their job and tasks, and the overall workflow.
Specific Employee Jobs and Tasks
Employee productivity levels may differ depending on the employee’s job, tasks, and current projects. This is a factor that isn’t straightforward and must be considered on a day-to-day, weekly, or monthly basis.
Availability of Job Resources
To do one’s job, an employee needs certain resources to complete and accomplish their tasks. These resources could be technological devices, online services, computer programs, additional team members, and more. How can you expect an employee to be productive and complete tasks within a reasonable amount of time with limited resources?
Technology can both benefit and hinder productivity. Computers, cell phones, and other tablets are commonly used by employees to complete tasks in today’s age. These devices have enabled employees to work on their tasks at a faster pace and more efficiently than in the past. Not to mention having access to the vast amount of information the internet has to offer.
However, with technology also comes many distractions that cause employees to waste time. Online shopping, social media, email, messaging, apps, and games are all activities that can deter employees from doing their week. According to Workfront, workers were interrupted by digital distractions nearly 14 times per day.
What’s going on in one’s personal life can definitely have an impact on their work productivity. Life aspects that could have an impact include romantic relationships, personal, family, or friend hardships, parenting, and living situations.
The place of business and the company culture can have an impact on employee performance. Do your employees do remote work, work from home, or work in an office? Do your employees have a comfortable environment to work (clean desk, refreshments)? Do you promote your employees to communicate with one another or stay isolated to get their individual work done? All of these questions and more can help define your business’s work environment.
Are you providing your employees with enough motivation to push them to succeed? Motivational factors differ per employee but could include health insurance, salary, incentives, bonuses, trust, communication, and a passion for the business.
Tips For Improving Your Employees’ Productivity
Remember Every Employee Is Different
First and foremost, remember that not all employees are the same. Just because they have similar work and tasks doesn’t mean they will have the same productivity level. For example, an employee might work fast but isn’t as correct with their tasks while another employee may be slower at completing work but does so to be more thorough.
Use Software To Monitor Your Employees Device Use
As stated previously, most work done by employees is done on devices like computers, cell phones, and tablets. To get an idea of the amount of work and activities your employees do in a day or week, use employee monitoring software. View their texts, emails, documents, web history, and more at your convenience. Using this type of software will prove valuable when creating productivity reports for your employees.
Evaluate Each Employee Thoroughly
When evaluating your employees’ productivity, make sure to evaluate each of them thoroughly. Besides the tangible values like time worked and tasks completed, take into account all of the factors we listed above. Something going on in their personal life or in the work environment could be causing them to have decreased productivity.
Look For Areas That Your Employee(s) Could Improve Upon
When you are evaluating an employee’s productivity, it doesn’t help just to negatively tell them that their productivity is poor. Instead, provide recommendations regarding areas that they could improve upon that will increase their employee productivity. How is an employee able to improve if you don’t explain to them what areas they are lacking in?
Improve Your Work Environment
Improve upon your current work environment to make sure it inspires your employees to work to the best of their ability. Provide a water cooler, have snacks available in the kitchen, or have some plants around the office. Think of office improvement that will keep your employees relaxed, calm, and active.
If your employees work from home, make sure they have a designated work space they are comfortable in that is distraction-free.
Create An Open Line Of Communication With Employees
First, employees feel more comfortable when they believe that their employers care about their thoughts and opinions. Create an open line of communication with your employees where they can come to you with suggestions, questions, and concerns. Maybe they have an idea that could promote productivity among all employees.
Provide New Incentives For Your Employees
Providing incentives is a short-term way to increase productivity in the workplace. Examples of incentives include:
- Extra days off
- Casual Fridays
- Holiday bonuses
- Birthday gifts
- Salary increases
Have A Monthly Casual Office Gathering
When employees are neck deep in their work, they can often isolate themselves and lose touch with their coworkers. To help promote workplace unity, communication, and trust, have a monthly casual office gathering for your employees. This could be having an in-office happy hour, game night, or potluck.
By following these tips and considering the productivity factors, you will be armed with the tools you need to effectively increase productivity among your employees. Having happier and skilled employees will lead your business down the road of success and growth.