According to a study by Hubspot, office workers tend to spend upwards of 28% of their workday on various distractions like social media or daydreaming of being elsewhere. With over a quarter of the day wasted, your business is losing out on work and potential sales.
As you start to assess your business’s return on investment, one of the crucial elements you will want to take a look at is the investment in your employees. These are the people who run your day-to-day operations. They are the ones who have a direct connection to how your company generates sales.
If you find that your investment is only costing you more money, you may want to make some adjustments. When you address your employees’ productivity, you will start to see a dramatic shift in work culture which will, in turn, help your business thrive.
Let’s dive into a few tips that will help your employees become more productive.
1. Improve Communication Tactics
When a business lacks communication, they are missing a huge opportunity to improve morale and productivity. Managers and other higher-ups should have easy access to their employees throughout the day. This doesn’t just mean being able to reach them; it also means how the overall expectations and responsibilities are communicated to your teams.
One incredibly effective way businesses are building morale is through the use of SMS text messaging for internal communications. Not only will you be able to communicate with your employees from your mobile device, but can also send out surveys for your employees to take to learn more about the overall habits of their workday, the culture of the work environment, and how the business can help to ensure more productive days.
Employees want to feel like they are valued and heard. Utilizing tools that open up the line of communication for others to share feedback will also bridge the gap in learning about what’s working for your business. You certainly can’t fix what isn’t working if you don’t know about it.
2. Provide Learning Opportunities
If you want to see more productive employees, encourage them to improve their skills through company-provided learning opportunities. This could be as simple as having them sign up for free online courses or providing them the financial ability to participate in large conferences.
Investing in your company also means occasionally monetarily investing in your employees’ ability to learn. If they spend forty or more hours in the office, they will not have the time, nor bandwidth, to be able to undertake going back to school or participating in events in their personal time.
The more you are giving back to your employees to benefit them as a whole, the more you are going to find they are excited to implement what they have learned.
3. Analyze Strength and Weaknesses
Each member of your team has a unique set of skills. They also have a unique set of desires and career goals. If your employees are given the opportunity to work in the job and department where they will ultimately thrive, you will be able to discover a side of them that will benefit your business.
Say you have an employee who is an extrovert and loves talking with people. They aren’t excited about sitting behind a desk all day; however, their job entails them doing data entry. This employee would serve your company much better if they had the opportunity to connect with your clients or even new potential clients. Switching them over to sales may even be more in line with their overall career goals as well.
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each of your employees. Have honest and open conversations with them about their career goals and what they hope to do at the company.
What they may have envisioned for themselves when they first started might not be the same a few years down the line. Having regular check-ins can alleviate this problem and help build overall productivity for your employees when they are doing the job that fits them best.
4. Provide The Tools and Resources They Need
A lack in employee productivity sometimes has less to do with the people and more to do with what tools they have to do their job. From slow computers to not having proper management software can all become too frustrating for your employees to handle. This will only make them less excited to get their work done and make them significantly less productive.
Thankfully, there are several platforms and software available that can be used at an affordable price, if not for free. Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) can increase the flow of your sales process and give more time for your employees to close on new leads.
Project management software can help streamline every project throughout your company, many of which can even be free to use, depending on the size of your business and how many users you have. Or maybe it is as simple as providing quality headphones to cancel out excess noise in the office so people can have the necessary space to be able to focus.
If you are unsure what tools your company needs, go back to step one about communication. Ask your employees what tools they wish they could have to effectively do their job better. They are the ones doing it, so why not provide them a platform to be able to share how it could improve?
It’s not a fault on anyone, and vulnerability has shown to be one of the most effective leadership skills in today’s business environment.
5. Reward and Acknowledge Your Employees
You don’t have to throw a huge company banquet to be able to show appreciation for your employees, although once a year would not be such a bad idea. Rewarding and acknowledging your staff could be as easy as sending out an email to the company congratulating someone on reaching their sales goals for the month.
It could be throwing a virtual happy hour with your remote team and sharing with the team about someone’s amazing news of becoming a new parent.
Remember, your team is more than numbers that generate revenue for your business. They are human beings with lives outside of the office.
6. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
The final thought in terms of being able to create more productive employees is to set realistic goals and expectations. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to reach an impossible ceiling. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t dream big for your business. But it is another thing altogether if you are setting your team up for failure.
The idea of failure only leads to a negative thought pattern. If they can not achieve what their boss is asking of them, they will be afraid of being fired or have a negative mindset towards management. This will create an employee-manager dynamic that inevitably leads to bitter employees who no longer want to put in effort on their daily duties.
It’s critical to set clear, actionable, and realistic goals. They need to be achievable and measurable so you and your staff can see the progress. The more progress they are able to make, the more self-confidence they will have.
Think of it as the concept of inertia. A body in motion stays in motion. A body at rest stays at rest. If your staff has momentum, they will inevitably want to keep working hard towards achieving their goals.
Employee productivity can be a result of both company and personal barriers that are set in their way. But there are a substantial number of ways to help build the company culture and morale which can help, along with technical assistance in order to get employees back on track.