As a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that your employees are as productive as possible at all times. After all, without their input, your business can’t run to its maximum capacity, meaning you could lose out on potential profits. If you’ve noticed things are coming up short lately, or you’re just looking for ways to make your employees more productive, you’re in the right place! Let’s take a look at some things you can do to make it happen.
Understand your employee’s needs
While your employees should come to work and do their job, it’s also important to understand that they are only human, and they need to be treated well to get the output you want. You need to take the time to understand their individual needs, whether that’s a bit of leeway because of school runs or understanding that a particular employee is anxious and needs time to recover. If you provide them with the tools and resources they need to do their job properly, as well as a deep level of understanding, they will naturally feel more valued. In turn, they will put more effort in to show that they appreciate the accommodations you’re making.
You can also show employees how much you value them by providing further training opportunities. You appreciate what they already do for your business, and you want to support them in taking their career further with you. Not only does upskilling your employees help your business in the long run, but it helps keep them motivated to get the job done.
As you already know, the business world moves quickly, and it’s essential to stay on top of industry trends for your business. However, when this happens, there’s a good chance that the workload you’re expecting your employees to get through gets much bigger, and that’s where technology comes in. Give them access to tools and technology that can help them either manage their time better, or completely automate some of their workload. You can do this by using time-tracking tools and implementing software to help make mundane tasks like email sorting a completely automated process.
By giving your employees these kinds of tools and technologies, not only will they be able to free up more time in their work day, but you’re also showing them that you value their expertise in the new areas you’ve introduced.
You could also consider allowing your team to work remotely from time to time. Being in a more comfortable space for them can help improve productivity. And, remote working also reduces commute time and gives them the chance to manage their workload without being micromanaged by you. You might find that if you take a step back and give them autonomy they’re actually more productive.
Communication is so important in every kind of work space, so it’s important for you to encourage clear and open conversations every day. Even if you’re a remote team, you can provide them with a platform like Slack to stay in touch throughout the day. Not only that, you can arrange regular meetings where you can all align what’s on your plate for the day. Doing this means you’re all working towards the same goal and projects are completed at a much faster rate.
You should also embrace the mantra that “no idea is a bad idea”. This helps you to promote inclusivity in the workplace. If your team feels like they’re being heard and valued, they’re more likely to feel more motivated when it comes to getting things done.
Set clear goals and expectations
When you’re working towards something as a team, it’s important to make sure that your employees understand what’s expected of them in a certain time frame. This is where putting in OKRs (objectives and key results) can help you.
For example, if you’re working by a time frame of a month, you’ll need to lay out the objectives of the month. Make sure they are measurable and most importantly, achievable. This is usually two or three objectives to hit. Then, next to each objective, you write the key results and how you’re going to get there. Working with each employee to set personal OKRs means that you can take a step back and let them work towards these goals.
At the end of the month, you can hold a meeting to see how close everyone was to reaching their goals. This allows you to constantly realign your goals as a business, which can help keep motivation levels high.
It’s also important to take the time to evaluate employee performance. Try and catch up with your employees one-to-one at least once a month. Talk through what they think went well, what could have gone better, and what they’re going to work towards ready for the next meeting. Being open and honest is key here to help keep your employees aligned with your business goals and also to identify any areas that could be improved.
Build teams that work well together
Not everyone gets along, and while your team should be able to put personal differences aside in the workplace, it’s a good idea to build teams that work well together. Where possible, create groups of people with different skill sets and assign group projects. You’ll find that employee morale is much higher when they work with people that are like-minded, which in turn leads to increased productivity.
Get help from external sources
If you’ve tried many different things to make your employees more productive, then you might benefit from getting help from an external source. A great example of this is BuildOps, which is a platform that has demonstrated success in streamlining operations to help increase the productivity of their employees. If you take advice from other sources that are clearly doing it right, you can implement those tips into your business to help increase motivation.
You could also do this by attending networking events in your industry. You can speak to other business owners and exchange ideas not only about increasing employee productivity, but other tips and tricks in the field. Not only that, attending trade events allows you to make connections that could be useful for your business in the future.
Prioritise employee well-being
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand the needs of your employees. If your employees are struggling with anything, whether it’s finding their workload too much to handle or even personal issues outside of the workplace, it’s up to you to try and help them. You should encourage health and wellness programs that help teach your employees how to find a healthy work life balance and look after their mental and physical health.
You’ll also need to encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day. Even if you don’t make them work through breaks, some employees may feel like they shouldn’t take it so they can concentrate on their workload. However, this can quickly lead to burn out. Encourage them to take their breaks away from their workstations to recharge. You should also encourage them to take time off when they need some downtime.
Reward and recognise
Finally, an employee that doesn’t feel like the efforts they put in are noticed won’t try as hard in the future. It’s important for you to take the time to celebrate individual and team achievements. Don’t underestimate the power that a little praise or a pat on the back can do for motivation levels.