The driving force keeping the cogs turning in every company is its people.
Like the inner mechanisms of a machine, a strong workforce can keep things running smoothly and efficiently. But if something causes a delay in operations – or, heaven forbid, even grinds it to a halt – it can quickly become a real issue for the business.
Fortunately, as an employer or manager, productivity among your team is not completely out of your control.
Here are seven things that you can do to increase staff productivity this year.
1) Cut Down On Email Spam
New research on workplace productivity has revealed that approximately 8.5 days’ worth of worktime is lost a year (per employee) just from opening emails. While this could largely be caused by lagging technology, reducing the number of unnecessary emails sent within the business could help save time that could be better spent elsewhere. This could include emails that are sent to entire mailing lists, rather than just the individual(s) it is addressing.
2) Update Your Technology
On a similar note, if slow tech is holding your employees up, it could be time for an upgrade. Not only do the delays themselves cost time, but the frustration caused by the hold ups can result in a drop in morale and productivity. By providing staff with up-to-date tech, they’ll be better equipped and – hopefully – less stressed.
Tech expert and ‘anti-futurist’, Theo Priestley says, “employers should regularly assess both the capabilities in the organization to deliver and use new technologies, and the lifecycle of the existing technologies they already have. Should you invest in retraining on existing tech, before implementing new tech?”
3) Make Sure Employees Are Happy
When employees enjoy their job and the environment they’re working in, they’ll feel much more engaged and willing to give it their all. You can make sure your staff are as happy as can be by creating a positive, supportive company culture. Showing appreciation can also go a long way – awards and bonuses are great, but sometimes a simple thank you can make an employee feel valued!
4) Consider Remote Working
Thanks to developing tech, it’s now easier than ever to stay connected beyond the office. Priestley explains that, “current advances in technology will lead us to work more collaboratively and remotely, but what employees must demand of their organizations is that they invest in and use these technologies to work more flexibly.”
By allowing your employees to work from home, and equipping them with the tech to do so, you could help take the heat off some of their other personal stresses, like childcare and mental health. And hopefully, with improved mood and lower stress levels, you’d see a positive impact on their productivity – and maybe even fewer sick days.
5) Offer Training Opportunities
Frankly, doing the same job day in day out can become monotonous over time. By presenting employees with the chance to continue learning and developing in their career, they’re sure to feel more excited by their job and future opportunities. Proper training can also make sure that staff are on top of new trends and are best equipped for their jobs in ever-changing industries.
6) Encourage Breaks
It’s a misconception that long working hours and skipping breaks equals higher productivity. In fact, taking the occasional break can help you stay more focused on the task at hand as it reduces your stress levels and gives your brain a chance to reset. Encourage employees to take their full lunch break, so they’ll return feeling refreshed and motivated.
7) Set Realistic Goals
Sometimes giving employees something to strive towards is exactly what they need to feel motivated and stay on track. Sit down with them each individually and set realistic goals for the months ahead, based on their career development.
This article was written by Brenda Ferg and originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.