Employees are spending more and more time at the office. The question is, how productive are all those extra hours? Unfortunately, increasing the number of hours worked doesn’t necessarily translate to increased efficiency. You might not notice the lack of efficiency when business is running smoothly, but if you hit a bump in the road, work can grind to a halt. Employee productivity and workplace productivity go hand in hand. When one lags, they both fall behind. And when one soars, they both reap the benefits. So the question is, how do you turn an average employee into a great productive employee? For a manager, one of your greatest responsibilities is to lead your team and inspire them to be their best. Being a leader can be a challenge for new managers as well as seasoned managers. Thankfully leading employees is a skill that managers can learn. Follow these keys for turning average employees into great employees.
Is your communication with employees mainly one-way, or are you engaging in two-way employee conversations? Communication is the key to a productive workforce. Without effective, two-way communication, businesses fail. How can managers communicate more positively? Start by focusing on the future.
Too many businesses spend their communication efforts focused on the past, rehashing problems, and assigning blame. It’s time to flip the script. Instead of discussing the past, focus on the future, discuss solutions to problems, and company goals. Of course, you can’t always ignore past failures; you’re just approaching them productively. Instead of assigning blame for a situation, you are seeking a solution for when that situation arises again. Looking for positive solutions demonstrates to your employees your commitment to moving forward. Managers will see that modeling positive communication sets the tone for team members.
Give Your Team the Right Tools
Are your team members wasting time on monotonous tasks? Employees need the right skills for the job, but they also need the right tools. You can empower your employees with the right technology. Not sure where productivity is breaking down? Try a time tracking app. With the right app, you can assign specific projects and tasks to various team members, allowing them to know precisely what needs to be done and helping you track time more accurately. From there you can pinpoint where you can improve workplace efficiency.
Employees often spend time completing tasks that could be automated or at least sped up with the right technology. Instead of scheduling meetings manually, you might invest in a technology that handles calendaring automation. Collaboration apps can promote and simplify teamwork. Online collaboration tools can include project management apps or file storage and access apps.
There are technology solutions for a wide range of problems. Communication apps are a priority for most businesses. While emails can get the job done, it’s all too easy to lose track of individual messages within threads. Instant messaging apps keep conversations organized and messages easy to find. Most communication apps also offer file sharing and access, offering two solutions in one. Giving your team the right tools for the job will not only make them more productive but also happier.
Do your employees know when they’re doing a good job? Keep motivation levels high by appreciating good work. When you recognize your workers for a job well done, not only do you make them feel appreciated, but you also encourage them to continue increasing their productivity. Be attentive to the effort, growth, and output of your employees, noting their individual progress.
While a simple ‘good job’ goes a long way, employee perks also lead to increased loyalty and morale. While you might not be a tech giant who can offer massage rooms, nap pods, or complimentary haircuts, you can think about perks that will enrich the lives of your employees. Also, consider what kind of business you are leading and what perks make sense for your company. A bookstore might offer a stipend for employees to buy books. A health food company might subsidize gym memberships. Other perks might be taking the team out to lunch, a coupon to come into work late on a Monday morning, or even additional paid time off.
It seems counter-intuitive, but one of the most effective ways to increase productivity might be for managers to encourage autonomy. Managers can’t be afraid to delegate. Checking over every single detail of an employee’s work wastes everyone’s time. Managers need to learn how to give responsibilities to qualified employees, and then trust that they will perform the tasks well. Employees get the opportunity to gain skills and leadership experiences, and your company benefits with higher productivity.
Businesses need employees who are self-starters, employees who can operate independently. The only way to foster that behavior is to provide the right work environment, where they can take ownership of their time and resources. In short, get better results by managing less.
It sounds simpler than it is for most managers. Micromanaging has become second nature at many companies. Managers need to learn how to shift their focus from being purely operational to being more strategic. They have to trust their people to manage the day-to-day operations, coaching them rather than doing the task for them. Trust your employees to be independent.
You can turn an average employee into a great employee with the right leadership techniques. At Safeguard, we know that happy, engaged employees are more efficient at work. That’s why we offer not just office supplies, but office solutions. Your personal Safeguard consultant can help you be better organized, find files more easily, and process paperwork faster. Boost your productivity and contact us today.