Workplace productivity is just one part of the equation, though. Productivity tools, processes, workplace culture, and investing in your staff can all have an impact - wherever they may be located. You might want to focus on just one area or all of them to deliver a big impact to employee productivity.
At The Hub Events, we’ve worked with a range of businesses and talked to them about improving productivity in the workplace to find out what they do, the kind of effects their attempts have, and what seems to be the best at achieving results.
What Is Employee Productivity?
Employee productivity is the measure of how much a member of staff gets done in a certain amount of time. It looks at the time spent on a task and what the outcome of that task is, and this can then be looked at in a wider context, over a day, week, month, or year. It’s a key part of measuring and improving efficiency to make sure that everyone is able to work to their full potential.
Employee productivity can be measured against products created or sold, services provided, tasks completed, or a number of other business metrics. Depending on what the company does will determine how best to measure how productive employees are.
Why Does Employee Productivity Matter?
When a business is looking to set goals and targets, employee productivity plays a part in those projections. When you know the output of each employee, you can look at ways to improve the situation and set realistic but ambitious goals to guarantee success or growth, whatever you are targeting.
It’s also a sign of how employees feel about their work and job. If a member of staff feels valued and happy with what they’re doing, improving productivity in the workplace will be much easier. If, on the other hand, you don’t look at how your employees are performing, ensuring they have the right productivity tools or work processes in place becomes harder to do.
How To Increase Employee Productivity
The big question, then, is how to increase employee productivity? There are a lot of different options that can make a difference to how productive an employee will be, and you need to understand that one solution might not work for everyone.
With various ways of working, backgrounds, views, and preferences, you need to look at your staff as individuals and find out what productivity tools will bring the best results. In some cases, you may need to make a compromise as some requirements will be incompatible. Changing something for one person or group at the expense of the others will see some improve productivity but others drop, having no noticeable effect in a wider view.
We’ve got 6 ideas that can help employee productivity, and how you can use them to benefit everyone as much as possible.
1. Improve Communication
Of all the ways you improve productivity in the workplace, better communication is at the top of the list. How you go about this can vary from business to business, and person to person. There are tools you can use to help organise some of these discussions, but because you’re likely to encounter different ways of working, messages can get lost.
Effective communication will ensure everyone is clear about what they need to do, and when they need to do it. Suggesting something is urgent without providing a deadline, for example, is a good idea. Urgency means different things to different people. To get around this, summarise key actions and tasks so everyone has clarity, and use productivity tools, like a project management app, to track everything properly.
2. Foster A Strong Workplace Culture
A strong workplace culture goes a long way to improving workplace productivity. This is how staff should act in the workplace, to each other, and how they represent the company. Workplace culture should evolve over time to reflect changing attitudes, but being inclusive will mean more people buy into it and represent the brand as you wish.
Every business will have rules of conduct for people to follow, but going beyond this can improve the relationships in a team and between departments. Doing so will help people feel they belong, which makes them feel wanted and valued. This feeling serves to motivate and inspire staff to do better.
Whether it’s through social events, friendly competition, collaboration, or something else, a good workplace culture can do wonders for employee productivity.
3. Offer Learning and Development Opportunities
To help your staff perform better in their jobs, you need to invest in them and their skills. This is best done through professional training courses that will give them the tools and knowledge they need to meet the targets that are set.
This can be a specific skill-related course to help them, or a course such as The Motivation Toolkit, The Assertive Professional, or Confident Communication. These provide a wider range of skills and resources that can help everyone improve their effectiveness at work depending on their individual needs.
Training courses also help with staff development, which makes them more valuable to the business and improves their own prospects, motivating them to work harder and aim higher.
4. Provide The Right Productivity Tools
The right tools and resources make it easy for anyone to do their job - and that encourages them to do it better. We’re not talking about micromanaging your staff, as that rarely makes employees feel better, but giving them structure over how they work.
Some people like firm deadlines, and constructing a plan of when tasks need to be completed. The right productivity tools do this, and allow for collaboration on tasks where multiple people are involved. Deadlines, reminders, subtasks, and more, can all be set here, so there is full transparency over where tasks are at.
You should also make sure the communication platform your team uses is effective for more than just talking. It helps to have one, even if you all are present in the workplace. Conversations and tasks are written down for easier reference, and some tools can connect to calendars to help people stay organised. This all helps improve workplace productivity.
5. Create The Best Working Environment
The working environment has a direct effect on improving productivity .
Some staff prefer an office that’s full of life and vitality. Conversations add atmosphere and a sense of action. People collaborate in person, they sit around tables for meetings, to plan and complete tasks. There’s music from a radio or playlist. This all combines to make a social element of going to work every day, and some people thrive on it.
Other employees prefer quiet. They want to be able to focus on the task at hand without distraction. The music might not be to their taste, or the conversations might drift across the room. Open plan offices are hard to contain noise, but their popularity means a lot of workplaces embrace this style of workplace.
It’s hard to balance the needs of both groups, but there are ways to do it and boost employee productivity, which we discuss in this blog.
6. Respect All Employees
It might seem obvious, but respect goes a long way. Treat staff as people, not cogs in a machine or as a number, and they will show you that same respect. Staff will respect you as the manager or business owner, and they will want to help you achieve the goals that have been set.
Respect takes many forms. It’s not talking down to people. It’s listening to what everyone has to say. It’s understanding that different views don’t have to mean arguments on a daily basis. It’s accepting everyone for who they are.
Lead by example. Show that respect and you’ll receive that back, but you’ll also see that attitude reflected through the workplace. People will work better together, and you’ll see a boost in employee productivity.
The Benefits Of Improving Productivity In The Workplace
With these ways to boost employee productivity, you might want to know what to expect once you implement them. Some will be reflected in sales reports, others in the attitude of your staff, or even the workplace culture. While they are all separate factors, they are linked as well, and a change in one will have an impact on another.
Workplace productivity is a factor that all managers and business owners can control, which is why it’s one of the best areas to focus on when you want to improve results in a team, department, or the company as a whole.
1. Greater Revenue Generation
One of the most important reasons to improve employee productivity is to see greater revenue generated by the business as a result of their efforts. Whether through selling products or services, creating more items, or just completing more of the tasks associated with their roles, this can often be linked back to more money coming into the business.
Workplace productivity can also be measured by the output of a team or department, which contributes to the revenue coming in. It might be a team whose work allows another department or staff member to make a sale or finalise a deal, for example. Improving employee productivity at this level will filter down to others, and allow them to also be more efficient.
Improving productivity in the workplace is not just about one area or aspect. Get this right, and changes to even a single member of staff can have a positive impact on the revenue you earn.
2. Improved Working Environment
Improving productivity in the workplace makes your working environment a much better place to be. No employee will drag their heels on the morning commute or walk into the office with a dark cloud over their head - at least, not for reasons to do with work.
You can’t control what happens outside of the business, but you can make sure that there is a positive, welcoming, and supportive workplace culture to welcome every employee who walks through the door. Workplace productivity will benefit as a result of this, as it shows you care about each member of staff.
Whether it’s having the right support tools in place, or just have the help of other employees when things get hard, having a common goal can help everyone rally together. Even remote workers can benefit from this uplifted mood as it comes across in every interaction. This generates the best kind of team spirit.
3. Fulfilled Employees
When you invest in your staff, when they are valued, they feel more fulfilled and happy. When staff feel this way, they work harder, more efficiently, and deliver the results you’re looking for. It becomes a cycle; to increase workplace productivity you value your employees, which makes them feel better and work better, increasing employee productivity. It benefits everyone.
While this might not be at the top of the list of reasons for improving productivity in the workplace, there are huge benefits to gain from. Increased staff retention lowers the costs involved with replacing employees who leave, as well as the disruption of training new workers. A high staff turnover indicates people aren’t happy, and they won’t be as productive if they feel this way.
You won’t keep every employee forever, but a fulfilled worker for a shorter period of time will do better than a disengaged employee over a longer stretch.
The Importance Of Employee Productivity For Your Business
Once you’ve identified where employee productivity can be improved, and taken the steps to do so, it’s important to keep on top of that performance. Whether through training courses or productivity tools, improving productivity in the workplace will help your business succeed and grow. You’ll also benefit from more engaged staff who are likely to remain with the business, cutting recruitment and training costs.
With happier, more engaged staff, you’ll see more work being done, and a shift in the workplace culture, creating a happier workplace for everyone. Fewer bad moods or disinterested employees will keep everyone focused on their goals.
To find out more about the different ways you can boost workplace productivity, get in touch with us now.