Nowadays, employees are spending an increasing amount of time working in the office, exceeding the typical workweek of up to 40 hours. However, an increase in the amount of hours employees spend in the office, doesn’t necessarily result in an increase in productivity and efficiency.
With that in mind, there are several things which an employer can do to ensure that an employee’s level of productivity and efficiency is high, such as seating them on the appropriate office seating or offering them incentives.
Here are six top tips to take into account to improve the productivity and efficiency of employees.
1. Efficiently Train Employees
One of the main ways to improve the productivity and efficiency of an employee, is of course to train and develop them appropriately to ensure that they gain the appropriate knowledge to work properly within the industry.
If you feel that reducing training is a good way of saving the business money and time, then you are wrong as this could completely backfire. Instead, it is good to ensure that all employees are taught the necessary skills to perform their role in the job. This way, employees can be confident within their role, and this can lead to an increase in their levels of productivity and efficiency within their job role.
In fact, according to a 2015 survey, seven out of ten respondents said that the efficient development opportunities and job related training had a direct influence in their decision to stay working for a company. The lesson here is that you should invest in training all present employees, because after all, the cost or keeping current employees will cost a lot less than the cost of replacing them for new employees.
2. Make Clear Goals
It isn’t fair to assume that an employee is going to be productive if they don’t have a clear and focused goal to aim for. If you do not clearly define a goal, and above that, if the goal isn’t actually achievable, then the employee won’t be efficient. With that being said, always make sure that employees’ tasks and goals are as narrow and clear as possible.
To ensure that goals are clear for employees, make sure that goals are SMART. SMART stands for – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely; all requirements which a goal must be before assigning to a member of staff.
3. Know Your Employees Skills
Being remotely aware of your employees best skills, as well as their style of behaviour, is essential to maximise productivity. For example, for someone who is creative and can think out of the box, it would be silly not to give them the position of pitching great ideas to clients. However, those who aren’t as creative and extroverted might find it more difficult to pitch ideas, and this could cause them to be less productive.
4. Provide Appropriate Office Furniture And Comfort
When employees are working in an office, they are bound to spend most of their time being seated in a chair staring at a computer screen.
However, being seated all day can cause an employee to experience pains in their back, shoulder or neck, which could result in their productivity levels largely falling. In fact, ergonomics-related injuries tend to be long-term which creates an ongoing drain on workers medical costs and compensation. Musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains and muscle strains accounted for 32% of all illness and injury cases in 2014 that required people to take days off of work.
With that being said, it is best to consider purchasing office seating which will help with the health of employees. An ergonomic office chair is a great example of an office chair which has been specifically designed to provide complete rest to the main structures of an individual’s body. Not only can an ergonomic chair provide your employees with comfort and the correct posture, but they can also help your employees be more productive as they will have less distractions to worry about, e.g. back pain.
5. Communication Is Key
Everyone knows that communication is the key to creating a productive team of workers. Voice-to-voice communication is of course the form of communication which will get you better results as it is easy to explain and understand when speaking to someone face-to-face.
However, if face-to-face communication isn’t possible for a certain reason, e.g. you are working from home, then it is great to keep up good communication levels by investing in a social channel, in other words digital workplace communication. An example of a great social channel is Slack, which allows members of the team to communicate and come together to get things done.
In 2016, a digital workplace communications survey, asked 250 communications professionals about their utilisation of employee communications tools. The survey found that 48% of those asked need to rethink their digital workplace communications.
There are several communication tools that can be of use, including email, mobile apps, social media and of course through social collaboration tools similar to the one I previously mentioned called slack. It is worth utilising one of these communication tools to keep in complete contact with employees to ensure that they are getting on with tasks, and are sure that they are confident with what they are supposed to be doing.
6. Offer Incentives
One of the best ways to encourage an employee to be productive and get the tasks complete is to give them a reason to actually do so. By praising employees for the good job they have done on a task, will ultimately make them feel proud and appreciated. As a result to this, the employee will be encouraged to keep up with their good levels of efficiency.
However, it is a good idea to take into account each employee’s individual preferences when it comes to praising them or offering them an incentive. For example some employees might prefer to be taken out for a celebratory meal, whereas others might prefer a voucher for their favourite shop.
In fact a study in 2015 by Genesis Associates, a UK based recruiting firm, found that 85% of workers that had been surveyed felt more motivated to achieve when an incentive was offered to them. Furthermore, 73% of those surveyed felt that the atmosphere in the office was “very good” during the period of incentive offers.
Incentives for employees don’t even need to involve money. Employees will feel a sense of achievement even if their boss were to give them public recognition within the business, by saying a simple ‘Well Done!’.