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Last Updated on July 9, 2018

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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