Many business leaders believe incorrectly that the only way they can sometimes motivate employees and improve productivity is by using negative, stressful tactics, such as enforcing required overtime, threatening job loss and using harsh criticism. These types of negative actions can actually demotivate employees and cause a significant drop in productivity. Increasing day-to-day and deadline-related productivity involves more than a business owner or manager making demands. You must create a better work environment. Consider the following little known highly-effective ways to improve productivity:
Teach Time Management Strategies
Production often suffers because of workers who have difficulty managing their time as individuals or while on teams. Effective time management strategies decrease wasted time, end procrastination, prevent last-minute deadline rushes and reduce stress. Speak with a time management expert about methods to use for your specific business and industry. In general, show employees how to plan ahead by recognizing and setting realistic goals. Create and distribute a time log so that they can track how they use their time and adjust to manage it better. Teach them how to deal with distractions in their immediate workspaces. For example, show them methods for ignoring any distractions that they can’t remove like equipment noises and coworker conversations. In addition, approve the use of music and headphones or earplugs to help office and repetitive small task workers who don’t answer phones.
Create An Organization System
Workplaces that are cluttered and messy are highly destructive to employees. Additionally, they can cause issues when employees look for certain items or are seeking to store confidential documents. The solution to this is to have some sort of system in place to organize the office. A lot of workplaces just label and put things in folders without any mind, and while this is better than nothing, there are systems that can be taken advantage of out there. If you’re a manufacturing business in particular, you definitely want to develop something to help your employees be as productive as possible. You could look into systems like S5 or Kaizen, in that case.
Hire a Virtual Receptionist
Sometimes productivity suffers when workers must handle secretarial and other extra administrative responsibilities on top of their required tasks. One or more virtual receptionists free up time and streamline administrative work. For example, they can handle inbound calls, schedule callbacks, manage shared schedules for all office workers and update schedules with important meeting and other details. For large companies, a remote call center can take customer service and sales calls and then direct those calling to specific agents via extensions and voicemail. Some virtual assistants even provide HR services. They review resumes, contact potential candidates and schedule interviews. With advertising and marketing, a virtual receptionist can send surveys to target groups and follow-up with survey takers about their answers via phone, email or chat.
Create an Employee Reward System
An effective reward system is a time-tested motivational tool for not only improving productivity, but also employee satisfaction and loyalty. Even if you already offer cash or branded products to employees who meet or exceed sales or other goals, consider offering alternative incentives that workers typically value like extra time off or a flexible schedule. If you prefer a points-style rewards system, several third-party companies offer businesses different points-based incentive programs that allow workers to use the points they earn to purchase consumer products and even vacation packages. No matter the type of award system that you choose to implement, always provide your employees with clear participation details at a program orientation meeting and via offline and online documentation so that they don’t waste time best spent in production asking you or a manager for help.
You don’t have to threaten punishments or struggle with trying to identify ways to make your employees more productive. Any one of these four methods can create immediate results. Together, these methods represent a strong strategy for improving the workplace and your company.