As a small business owner, one of your primary goals is to implement strategies that build a more efficient and productive team. Whether your team works from home or the office, you need a strategy that drives motivation and inspires them to put 100 percent effort into everything they do.
Currently, many organizations are still adjusting to remote work, and it’s proving tough to maintain employee morale and motivation. So, what is the best way to increase employee productivity? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Employee Productivity
Employee productivity is the engine that drives a company’s success. It’s an assessment of how efficient individual employees are. Productive workers focus on the right things at the right times, with very little wasted effort. Their efforts generate the results you want.
Knowing your workforce productivity is essential since it enables you to predict and plan how to run your business more effectively.
10 Tips to Improve Employee Productivity in 2023
A clear blueprint that engages your employees and creates an environment that’s motivating enables you to keep your teams focused and ultimately productive. Here are the 10 best tips to help you maximize your workforce productivity.
1. Improve Employee Onboarding Process
First impressions matter, and as a business owner, you want to kickstart a successful employee experience right away. The way you onboard new hires speaks a lot about your company culture and contributes largely to how long the employee will stay at your company.
Research by SHRM shows that 16-17 percent of employers lose new hires within the first 90 days due to an ineffective onboarding process. On the other hand, new hires are 58 percent more likely to still be working at a company three years later if it had a structured onboarding process.
Therefore, implement effective employee onboarding practices. It’s not just about signing the contract. Offer them support and training, explain your company culture, and check in on them regularly.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Employees need to know your precise demands, boundaries, and goals. So, make sure you have clear expectations and outcomes.
Provide your teams with SMART goals with specific KPIs to guide them into where they should focus their attention. Most importantly, ensure the expectations are simple enough to interpret so they won’t have to seek elaboration.
3. Manage Internal Knowledge
To run your small business successfully, you need to store information centrally to make it easier for all team members to access. If you haven’t already set it up, consider creating an internal wiki to reduce the time wasted by employees to find information.
Quicker access to organizational information improves workflow and productivity.
4. Do Not Micromanage at Any Level
As a leader, it’s natural to have a more hands-on approach to how tasks and duties are accomplished. However, micromanaging workers does not encourage increased performance. If anything, it kills motivation and morale.
Instead, empower your employees to control their schedules, projects, and day-to-day activities. Trusting your team members to get the job done is the key to enhancing their productivity. While you may need to help struggling employees, offer them adequate support but establish boundaries.
5. Limit Time Wasting Activities
As a small business owner, you may feel it’s necessary to hold daily meetings to discuss updates and other business agendas. But meetings can be time wasters, especially, if they are held daily and with a high number of attendees. Experts recommend limiting meeting time to 15 minutes, limiting the number of attendees, and having clear, focused agendas.
Another time-wasting activity you should eliminate to facilitate a boost in employee productivity is handling emails. While they may be effective in some cases, there are faster ways to share information, such as Slack, a tool that supports real-time communication and collaboration.
6. Provide the Right Productivity Tools
Lack of the right tools is one of the top reasons employees don’t complete tasks on time. But thanks to technology, you can empower your employees (remote or in-office) by giving them access to great tools.
These tools enable teams to get more work done and improve work efficiencies. Find and invest in tools that will bring value to your specific business needs, and you’ll see a rise in productivity levels.
7. Train Employees About Time Management
Since you’re discouraged from micromanaging your employees, it’s imperative to teach them the optimum use of time. Time management is a big challenge for big and small businesses alike.
Whether they work from home or at the office, help them learn effective time management skills. This way, they can become more accountable and reduce time wasting.
One excellent strategy to achieve this is by introducing time tracking. This will ensure accuracy and minimize errors. Once workers start tracking their time, they’ll certainly be accountable for how they are using their time working.
8. Encourage Work-Life Balance
Employee burnout leads to increased employee absenteeism, lack of motivation, risk of injuries, and procrastination. And these factors can hurt your productivity. While your goal is to run a successful business, don’t prioritize profit-making over your employees’ well-being.
After all, if they all call in sick, you won’t be able to run any business at all.
So, if you want to maintain high levels of engagement, performance, and productivity, be sure to cater to the welfare of your employees by creating a culture that supports work-life balance.
You can do so by:
- Allowing flexible work hours
- Allowing hybrid or remote work
- Encouraging regular breaks throughout the day
- Enforcing a mandatory paid time off
- Providing health cash plans
- Offering wellness programs
- Restricting employee hours
When employees have enough time to rest and tend to their personal needs, they will return more motivated, more productive, and with new levels of commitment.
9. Appreciate Employees’ Efforts
Employee recognition is one of the key motivators for employees. Not only does it provide them with a sense of purpose and accomplishment, but it also makes them feel valued for their hard work.
Devise creative ways to celebrate victories, big or small. You want to send a message that every positive contribution is acknowledged.
When you give your employees praise and reward them for their efforts, it makes them feel confident in themselves. What’s more, it reinforces positive behavior and pushes them to work even harder. In return, you can expect improved workplace productivity.
10. Value Employee Opinions and Feedback
Being open to suggestions and opinions from employees can increase engagement. Therefore, create a platform where you and your staff can speak freely and share ideas. Just be sure to listen genuinely to their opinions and incorporate them into your decision-making.
On top of that, promote two-way feedback in your organization. Ask about the effectiveness of overall organizational processes and what needs to be reviewed. Consider using surveys to gather feedback that can help you improve crucial aspects, such as onboarding, collaboration, and communication.
Your team members will work better when they know their voice is being heard and that their opinions matter.
All small businesses experience highs and lows when it comes to employee productivity. These tips can help foster consistency in productivity. And remember to measure workforce productivity. That way, you’ll truly understand the impact of their efforts and if they are hitting set objectives.