How Can Companies Drive Employee Productivity?

Employee productivity is a complex but crucial topic for organisations of all sizes. Work employees too hard and effective productivity will slump, while unmotivated employees will inevitably be inefficient too.

Getting productivity right counts, and not just because it impacts the bottom line: employee productivity affects customer satisfaction too. Read on to see what your company can do to drive employee productivity.

Communicate effectively

A lack of employee motivation often stems from a lack of communication. It is difficult for employees to meet your expectations when they’re unsure what those are. Communicating with employees can also help highlight their concerns so that you can address factors that impact motivation:

Set clear expectations. A mismatch between expectations can quickly lead employees to become downbeat: despite their best efforts, they’re told that their employers are not satisfied. Instead, ensure that employees understand what’s expected of them and don’t shift the goalposts along the way.

Give fair feedback. Providing feedback that is free of bias can be difficult and may require involving multiple staff members, but employees do not take kindly to feedback that does not represent the facts and which distorts their real efforts. Nonetheless, never sugar coat as employees do need to know when they miss expectations.

Involve employees in decision making. On top of letting employees feel as if they’re part of the team, directly involving employees in decision making helps businesses make better decisions too. Employees are often closer to customers and clients, involve employees in decision making and they’ll be more motivated to execute those solutions.

Be Thoughtful About Employee Incentives

At first glance, employee benefits and incentives should lead to a happier, even thankful workforce. The relationship between spend on employee benefits and incentives and the resulting productivity increase is not necessarily that linear, however:

Check with your employees. Though break rooms and pinball tables are highly fashionable, surveys show that these benefits are not necessarily valued as highly as employers think they are. Instead, when spending on employee perks, consult with the beneficiaries: ask your employees what they value most, it may save you money in the long run.

Consider paid time off. Traditionally, exceeding expectations would get rewarded with monetary bonuses. But extra paid time off could be a better way to reward employees as it costs your business less while also reducing your employee’s tax burden. Besides, extra rest and relaxation is the top way to promote future employee productivity.

Utilise Your Employee’s Skills

Few things can frustrate an employee as much as knowing that they are not contributing as much to your organisation as they could. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for employees to be in positions that do not fully reflect their skills:

Match employees and skills. Start at the recruitment stage by employing the right people, careful recruitment can have a huge impact on productivity. As further skills and qualities emerge, consider moving employees to different roles or indeed promoting employees.

Don’t be afraid to delegate. As much as critical tasks require oversight, managers must learn how to delegate responsibility to employees. Doing so may at first be challenging, but your employees are perfectly capable of picking up the slack. Plus, employees may well reciprocate by rewarding greater responsibility with greater performance.

Productivity is About the Employee

Organisations can directly control many factors that impact their performance. Employee productivity, however, is a moving target. In essence, managers should see employee productivity not only from the angle of the bottom line, but also from the viewpoint taken by staff.

Only by truly understanding what motivates an employee can an organisation put together a working environment that draws the best out of those employees. Achieve this elusive goal and the benefits will be broad – and reach the bottom line too.

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