Organizations have long struggled to maintain the productivity of their workforce.
Managing what employees accomplish in any given day, impacts their productivity, which is critical to meeting corporate objectives.
A survey by Robert Half concluded that socializing with co-workers, surfing the Internet/social media and personal phone calls/email were the most common time-wasters at work. The financial impact of workers wasting time is estimated to cost US employers $134 billion dollars a year.
8 Tips to Increase Employee Productivity
1. Hire the Right People
Personal interviews can one way to identify the right candidate and hiring decisions should be based on identifying the right person for the job.
This can be done by asking job candidates questions about their work accomplishments during the interview process.
You should also ask to see copies of performance appraisals from former employers so you can see what their prior bosses have documented about their work history.
2. Set Employee Goals
Set goals for employees that are tied to organizational goals.
It is important to always try to include the employee in the goal planning process so they have an understanding of why the goals are written as well as the expectation for achieving the goals.
This should include establishing a timeline for when goals are expected to be completed.
3. Manage Distractions
Distractions at work rob your business of productive hours every day.
Whether it is the chatty cube-mate, Internet news stories, or text messaging – employee distraction is a real issue.
Managing distractions can be sensitive, but if done well can help the employee feel like they have choices, while holding them accountable for tasks.
The best way to manage employees and non-productive tasks is to allow time in the day for them to socialize, text friends, check Facebook, or cruise the news headlines.
This can be done by allowing technology-free time for employees to catch up on personal emails, text messaging, Internet news, or Facebook.
The reality is, most employees will do it anyway, so managing when they do it, communicates to the employee that you recognize the importance of these activities so they don’t feel the need to hide it.
4. Performance Management
Employees need to be held accountable for job responsibilities and it is the department manager’s responsibility to manage employee performance and make sure employees are meeting job requirements.
This is done by setting and communicating clear expectations so employees understand what it is they will be held accountable for.
There are many time management softwares available that can help with this.
One I am familiar with is called the Time Doctor.
This product allows you to monitor how much time your employee is working on certain tasks.
It’s got some pretty cool features and reporting tools that help you see on a screen how much time your employee is working on each task.
This is a particularly great tool if you have employees who work from home or offsite.
5. Challenge Employees
Most employees can learn job requirements and increase their speed of completing tasks.
The manager should focus on developing and challenging them to take on more duties as their capacity increases.
Tip: Make sure you keep goals and job descriptions current so they reflect changing responsibilities.
6. Foster Engagement
Engaged employees are more likely to be productive than employees who are just watching the clock.
Creating systems and processes to support a strong culture of engagement can help maximize employee efforts.
7. Reward Good Performance
It is important to have a good reward system for meeting objectives and going above and beyond the call-of-duty. Rewarding good performance is a great motivator to increase employee productivity.
8. Make the Tough Call
Unfortunately, there are some employees who will only do the bare minimum and rarely go above and beyond. This is a mindset that can be difficult to change.
Consequently, there may be times when you just need to make the tough call and terminate an employee.
It is important to do this quickly because unproductive employees tend to impact the morale of other employees who are pushing their productivity limits.
Finally, it is important to remember that most employees come to work with the intent of doing a good job.
How the organization establishes systems and processes for productivity can affect their ability to do just that. Managing the process takes time but can offer great benefits for the effort.
How productive are your employees?