Paying your employees more isn’t always the answer to a productive workforce. Job satisfaction is an important factor in employee productivity.
There are many ways in which to support your employees and create a productive workplace environment to get the best out of coming to work and in return you get the best out of them.
Here, RTC Business Park gives their views on some of the key elements to creating a productive workplace environment.
You can almost guarantee that on almost every staff survey, there will be issues around communication highlighted. Employees want to feel heard, they want to be able to share ideas and issues, which they can only do if they are clear about the organisation’s goals. Good communication also helps individuals to feel connected, like they are part of a bigger picture. Employers can improve communication in a number of ways; staff newsletter, regular blog from the CEO, Q&A with senior leaders, and team building days to name a few. Of course, asking employees how they think communication should be improved would be even better. Clear, open and honest communication channels helps employees feel valued; a sentiment which can boost productivity.
Nothing creates more division in a workplace than colleagues who don’t get on. Productivity will suffer if team members feel that not everyone is contributing equally to work tasks and management are not taking appropriate action. Leaving poor performance unchecked in a team can lead to whole team becoming demoralised, an increase in employee absences, an increase in customer complaints and ultimately an increase in employees leaving, which not only disrupts work flow but can have significant financial consequences. Employees should be offered regular supervision and performance appraisals and be given then chance to tell you how they feel. Dealing effectively with poor performance demonstrates that the employer recognises hard work and will foster a positive culture – positivity breeds success.
Health and wellbeing
Workplace stress is a significant challenge in today’s society. Last year, 15.4 million days were lost due to work related ill health in the UK alone! It is important for employers to recognise stress in the workplace and have measures in place to support staff who may be affected. Consider holding HR surgeries where employees can discuss issues that they may not want to share with immediate colleagues, model behaviour that encourages wellbeing – take breaks and lunches away from the desk, have breakout areas where employees can go to relax and take a breather, ensure there are places to get refreshments during the work day and most importantly be clear on expectations and deadlines. Regular discussions with employees can reveal if they are struggling with workloads or whether they are unclear on what is required of them. One of the biggest causes of workplace stress is poor work life balance. Give employees the freedom to manage their own time during the day/week, in most cases this will help them to work smarter and more efficiently.
Meetings and more meetings
Studies reveal that one of the main factors that limits employee productivity is too many meetings! Meetings can be useful in progressing key projects and tasks, but for them to be effective they need to be run efficiently – with a clear agenda, an agreed timescale, a terms of reference, a space without other interruptions and some ground rules about use of computers and phones (how often have you answered emails and messages whilst in a meeting?!). If a meeting is necessary, boost productivity by having everyone stand for all or part of the meeting, this keeps people focused and is good for the body as well.
One of the simplest ways to create a productive workplace environment is to recognise good performance. In doing so there is a higher chance of the same level of responsibility and commitment being repeated. The reward doesn’t have to be financial, a thank you note will usually suffice or you could arrange for the employee to leave work early one day or if it is a team success why not arrange a free lunch? Going the extra mile for your employees is more likely to mean they will do the same for you.