When you own and run a business, you are responsible for the employees that work for you which means you are responsible for the work that they achieve.
Being a leader means that a lot is expected of you and you may find the business in trouble if your employees aren’t being as productive as they could be. It is often difficult to motivate a whole team of people who have different roles and working styles and are working under pressure.
Research estimates that disengaged and unmotivated employees cost their employers around $500 billion every single year due to a loss in productivity. Therefore, if a company is going to be successful, then it is crucial that employees remain productive. So, here is a helpful guide that tells you the best eight ways to make your employees more productive and ensure they remain focused and dedicated all year round.
Provide additional training
One of the main reasons why employees feel unmotivated, and therefore lacking in productivity, is because they do not feel confident in the task they have been asked to do. Therefore, you should consider providing additional training for your staff members so that they can adapt new skills and develop their pre-existing knowledge. While it is important that you hire staff that are best equipped for the job, don’t assume that training ends once they have settled in. There are many different benefits from providing your staff with additional training and one of the main benefits is an increase in productivity!
It is also worth you considering some additional training for yourself if you are lacking in the skills needed to effectively motivate and lead your employees. For example, by undertaking coaching training, you can learn how to empower others so that they are working as efficiently as they can.
Create a transparent work environment
For your employees to be more productive, you should be sure to create a transparent work environment in which all staff feel able to approach and communicate with their colleagues. While most workplaces have a hierarchy of staff, you should ensure that all members of staff can contribute to the workplace. Even though you run your own business, on occasion you may make the wrong decision. But if you want to create a culture of transparency, then you should always admit to your mistakes and be honest with your workforce about them.
While you may feel pressured to demonstrate authority and control when you are in a leadership position, by showing your weaknesses and humility to those who work for you, then you are creating a culture of learning. If you show that you are proactive in your own development, then your employees are more likely to follow your lead.
Get to know the people who work for you
It is important that as an employer or manager, you get to know the people who work for you. You may be surprised how far knowing someone’s name will get you. Many employers make the mistake of creating a rigid boundary between them and their employees, but if you want to instill a cohesive work ethic, then it is essential that you act like you are part of the team. Even though you are the head and leader of that team, you still need those around you in order to be successful. So, try to get to know the people who work for you and be able to recall small details about them. For example, which of your employees have children? This may not sound important to your day at work, but it is for your staff, and knowing about their lives is a great way to create and maintain stronger connections in the workplace.
It is important that you give feedback on a regular basis and that those who work for you have a clear idea of how you feel about their work and contribution. Many employers make the mistake of only giving feedback when it is negative or critical, which can leave employees feeling underappreciated and disillusioned with the job. If you notice that a member of your staff has done a good job, then make sure that you give positive feedback and make them aware that you are impressed by their work. A good way to ensure that your staff are getting regular feedback is by having annual reviews of their position in your business.
This is one of the best ways to establish a relationship with your employees and learn what they hope to get out of their role in the future. It is easy to overlook members of staff for promotions because you weren’t aware of their interest of progression in the company. So, by establishing annual reviews, you can give feedback to your employees and they are given the opportunity to give you feedback on how you could improve their place of work.
As discussed earlier, it is essential that members of staff communicate both with each other as well as those in leadership roles. Communication is the key to success and with ineffective two-way communication, your business will struggle to succeed. Therefore, as a manager, it is essential that you communicate clearly with your staff what it is that you expect of them and how you want them to complete the tasks given to them.
By encouraging more efficient communication between colleagues in the workplace, you can increase productivity as it will speed up how quickly tasks are being completed and save time in the future as your team won’t have to spend time correcting tasks that haven’t been done correctly originally.
Provide the best equipment
If you want your workforce to work as productively as possible, then it is essential that you provide them with the best equipment for the job. If your employees work on computers every day and complete most of their tasks electronically, then you should ensure that the technical equipment they have is up to date and fast. While this may require some financial investment, it could be worth it in the long term if your staff are able to get more work done and not waste time waiting for their computers to load.
If you want your employees to be more productive, then you should offer them an incentive or reward to aim for. This is a great way to keep them focused and working towards something. There are different ways that you can provide incentives for your employees from monetary bonuses to ‘employee of the month’ competitions which contribute towards promotion shortlists.
Measure employee satisfaction
One of the main reasons why employees aren’t productive is because they are not satisfied in their job role. Therefore, you should consider measuring the happiness and satisfaction of your employees so that you are aware of any issues before they manifest into unproductivity.
It can sometimes feel daunting to try and motivate your employees to be more productive, but by creating and promoting a cohesive workplace culture, you can ensure that all employees are appreciated and working as hard as they can.