How to Practically Increase Employee Productivity
Keeping up your company productivity requires more than just incentivizing employees. External motivation only takes people so far. Internal motivation is what drives workplace productivity.
In what ways can you encourage your employees to be internally motivated? There are simple strategies you can implement today. Although they are simple, it takes initiation and consistency on your part.
You have a lot on your plate. Setting your own pace to accomplish your tasks and goals is one thing, having benefits technology to guide you is another. Make a difference in your company by increasing your employees’ internal motivation. You will see big changes in productivity.
1. Effectively Evaluate and Give Helpful Reviews
This may seem like a no brainer, but it can make or break your company’s productivity. Evaluating your employees well can be achieved in a variety of ways. Firstly, You will need to look beyond simple quarterly reviews.
There are many software programs and apps that can help you monitor your company’s productivity. What they measure is production in relation to efficiency. This can be challenging to accomplish because the amount of work, as well as quality, needs to be evaluated. But, new developments in today’s productivity software is making that feat easier.
Many evaluation services offer to calculate company and employee productivity. They simplify the measurement to output (production) divided by input (working hours) to equal productivity ($). Starting from this simple monetary calculation, you can better understand which steps to take next in evaluating your employees.
Once you have a solid evaluation in your hands, make that information available and usable for your employees. The best reviews come from all angles. Employees should be encouraged to do peer reviews as well as self-reviews.
When you have individual reviews, set it up to be a dialogue, not a trial. Provide the employees with a written agenda so they are equally prepared for the meeting. That way the review can focus on the work performance instead of directly at the person.
At the end of each review, there should be a few action items. Keep these next steps practical and encourage the employee in the good work they have done. Don’t let yourself slip into a top-down mentality where you are ordering or judging the employee. Let the employee review themselves and join you in each step of the process.
2. Start the Day Strong
One of the best things you can do for better productivity is to begin the workday with the most important work. Encourage your employees to take action first thing when they come into work. This could look like planning specific tasks or working on a challenging project.
Have them do the tasks that require the most focus first. That way they won’t get sidetracked or overloaded with other less important work. More enjoyable work and more menial tasks can be done towards the end of the day.
3. Cross-Train Employees
Certain employees have specific skills that are absolutely necessary for your company’s productivity. What happens when these employees are on sick or vacation leave? Do you have competent replacements for these positions?
Cross-training employees is the best tactic to handle these sometimes unforeseen absences. Make sure you build a team of similar skillset employees. Have them become familiar with what they each do.
By cross-training, you not only prepare your team to cover for the MIA coworker, but it also can prepare them to take on more responsibility in the future. You can grow a stronger workforce by having employees trained in a variety of essential skills.
4. Use Team and Individual Goals
Incentivizing individual employees can be helpful in the short term. Using goals and targets, however, has often proved to be more long-lasting in productivity. You can supply goals to both teams and individual employees.
Make your goals clear and attainable. Use SMART goals to propel your team forward. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely. Concise reasonable targets will motivate your employees and give them a sense of accomplishment.
Specific goals tell the employees exactly what you’re shooting for. Instead of “we want … training”, you can say, “we will do this training so that new employees will…” Set your team up for success by letting them know your expectations for reaching the target.
Measurable goals involve proper reporting and evaluation. Utilize feedback, reports and other means of communication to monitor your team’s work. Everyone should be able to track where they are in regards to meeting the goal.
Achievable goals are reachable goals. Don’t choose goals that may take a long time to reach. People may lose motivation if a goal is too far out from their reach.
Relevant goals should be made with the team in mind. What are your employees’ skills and strengths? What are the needs of your company? Combine the answer to both these questions to create relevant goals.
Timely goals look at the reality of reaching a goal before a specific deadline. This may take some calculating on your part. The best way to figure out the timing is to look at each task needed to reach this goal. Separate them out by how long each task may take. That will give you a better idea of how long it will take to reach the larger goal.
5. Encourage Simplicity and Focus
Lastly, dial down distractions. Our culture today is one that prides itself on busyness and multitasking. If you’ve heard anything about multitasking in the workplace, you know that it is the main enemy to employee productivity.
People work better when they focus intensely on fewer responsibilities. That means looking at the skills of your employees and assigning them the appropriate amount of tasks. If you’re able to cut out a lot of the grunt work, you will see employees get more focused on the more challenging projects.
Take out extra rules, useless procedures, long-winded meetings. Some companies even swear by a shorter workweek or more paid leave. By keeping it simple and actually working less (but having more focused work), your employees will accomplish more.
Look to Intrinsic Motivation as Your Ticket to Greater Productivity
Employees who feel valued and heard in the workplace are more likely to feel empowered to accomplish the tasks before them. Let your company be known for holistic approaches in its practice. Your team will flourish when you encourage each individual to find the drive within themselves.