Advertising
Advertising

11 Things You Can Do To Increase Employee Productivity

11 Things You Can Do To Increase Employee Productivity

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend 8.8 hours a day in the workplace.[1] That is even more than the 7.7 hours we spend on sleeping.

The fact is we now spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our family. Because we spend so much time with co-workers, they have the opportunity to affect our mood on a daily basis.

A motivated employee creates a positive environment in the workplace while an unmotivated employee is destructive and demoralizing.

What is a leader suppose to do when you encounter an unproductive employee? Change their attitude immediately!

Here are some effective ways to help you motivate an employee and boost employee productivity:

1. Create a family like atmosphere

We are not talking about treating an employee the same way you would treat your mother or your brother. Think more along the lines of a cousin or a nephew.

We all have extended family members that we cannot stand but that does not mean we don’t have their best interest in mind always.

We can talk bad about family members but we will never stand for other people talking negatively about them. The same should apply to your employees.

Advertising

Make sure your employees know that regardless of how you feel about them that you always have their backs and are willing to go to war for them.

If you want an invincible team, make them feel safe first.

2. Know your employees’ background

Our motivation for work is a huge factor on how we will perform in the work place. A college student working in the daytime and going to school at night has a different motivation for working than that of a single mother having to feed two kids.

Understanding your employees’ motivation will allow you to structure a support system that is both beneficial and motivating for each employee.

3. Train, train and retrain

There is nothing worse than not knowing what to do. You feel lost, confuse, and frustrated all at the same time.

Everyone hates not knowing what to do. An employee is more likely to be productive when they understand what exactly is expected from them and they are given the training to perform such a task.

Training gives confidence and confidence leads to employees that are productive.

4. Small incentives will go a long way

You will be surprised at how powerful a $10 gift card can be in the work place. It has nothing to do with the money or the monetary value but more on that fact that their is a goal that all employees are trying to reach.

Advertising

5. Make your word the final say

Opinions and suggestions are great but ultimately the final say should always come from their superiors.

Valuing the opinions and listening to the suggestions of employees before making a decision will show them that they are part of a team and will give them a sense of contribution to the company.

The more they feel that their voice is being heard, the more they will contribute to the cause of a company.

6. Treat employees as people

Employees have lives outside of the workplace and our lives outside of the workplace should always take precedence over work.

That single mother you employ may not always have a babysitter lined up. The college student may have a final that he must complete to graduate.

Be respectful and understanding when life happens to your employees and you will have an appreciative and productive worker.

7. Give them the right equipment

Make sure that the everyday equipment in the office works! There is nothing worse than having an employee say that they couldn’t complete their daily tasks because “the computer was down.”

Do not give them any excuses to slack off.

Advertising

8. Answer questions

Just like a man would rather be lost than ask for advice, an employee may feel it is better to do something wrong than to ask for how to do something right!

For various reasons such as being scared or not wanting to show a lack of specific knowledge to what is expected from them (see number 3), an employee will not move.

You are the person in charge for a reason. Hammer the point home that asking questions is a good thing.

Answering questions clearly and in a timely manner will keep the productivity going.

9. Celebrate victories no matter how small

When an employee sees that every positive contribution to the team is acknowledged, he or she knows that their actions count and that what they do is really making a difference.

If you want to learn more about how to celebrate small wins, this guide can help you:

How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

10. Be a role model

When people see the boss working, they will also work.

Advertising

When they see the boss slack off, they will do the same.

A workforce will always mirror their immediate supervisors.

11. Not one employee is more valuable than others

There is nothing worse in the work force than seeing employees not being treated as equals.

We all have experienced having a peer who was viewed as the “favorite.” We also remember how discouraging and resentful that made us.

If you are a boss and you have favorites, you run the wrist of having a split workforce.

In a time when competition for work is at its highest, we must all remember that we are being watched. That includes bosses, managers and supervisors.

You were placed in charge for a reason. Use employees properly and your workload will be that much easier.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” -Anne M. Mulcahy, Former CEO of Xerox Corporation

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics: American Time Use Survey

More by this author

11 Things You Can Do To Increase Employee Productivity 20 Words That Are Now Defined Differently Because You Are Older

Trending in Work

1 How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules 2 How to Answer the Interview Question “What Motivates You?” 3 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 4 Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change) 5 8 Things to Consider When Making a Career Change

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

Advertising

Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

Advertising

“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

Advertising

And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

Advertising

9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next