The measure for productivity has evolved from working long hours to reaching goals in the most efficient way. And this productivity is often the accomplishment of a happy, empowered, and focused team. When a business nurtures its people—by giving them support, improving their work environment, and investing in their growth, among other things—productivity follows.
Here are some simple checks and changes that businesses can do to improve productivity:
Set Realistic Goals and Workable Deadlines
Make goals and expectations clear to your employees to help them work with a purpose toward a target. These goals should be realistic and achievable, based on the skills and experience of each team member. Otherwise, you risk them becoming discouraged.
It’s also important to set workable deadlines. Having these as guides hones people’s reliability, and allows them to adjust their workflows and schedules to follow a set timeline.
Create a Work-Conducive Environment
It’s hard for employees to be productive if they’re uncomfortable or distracted. So foster an environment that allows them to focus on their tasks without feeling too constricted. Create a quiet, well-tempered workspace and encourage your employees to customize their nooks to make them feel more comfortable.
Additionally, try to reduce distractions by taking out eye-catching paraphernalia or by limiting Internet access. You won’t want to catch them wasting time doodling on spare paper or watching cat videos on YouTube!
Invest in Technology
Slow computers, laggy Internet, broken machines—outdated technology can hamper productivity. Businesses should invest in the necessary tools to aid employees to finish their tasks efficiently.
Aside from hardware, you should also spend on productivity, communication, and storage programs like Trello, Slack, and Dropbox. A great way to approach work-related technology needs is to assess what areas of your workflow can be automated; then see what you can install to do that. Learn more about how long it takes to create an app.
Managers have to properly delegate tasks to employees, considering each one’s workload and capacity. Not only does this balance the to-do’s between everyone on the team, but it also fosters a trust that everyone is pulling their weight. It reinforces the idea that everyone is a valuable part of a whole and is working to achieve the same goal.
It can be draining when a task that can be done in 10 minutes takes days to accomplish because of unnecessary steps in the workflow. Take a look at the processes you’ve set up to see if there are frequent bottlenecks; then create solutions to make progress more seamless.
Provide Feedback and Training
Employees who are given opportunities to grow feel more fulfilled at their jobs. Help team members improve by providing them feedback on their work and giving them training. This investment can even turn out to be an asset in the long run!
Together with feedback, it’s also essential to celebrate achievements, giving employees positive reinforcement when they do a good job.
A too-busy staff can easily burn out. Encourage employees to take short breaks within the day. They can take a walk, get a snack, or even play a quick game if you have a game room in the office! Breaks can help refresh their minds to get back to the task at hand.
Too-long meetings rob your company of time that could’ve been spent being productive. Assess your meeting agendas and see if sending notices or discussing topics online will save time.
For meetings that require physical attendance, aim to keep them between 30 minutes to an hour maximum—and make sure that there are no lulls.
Make Schedules Flexible
Giving employees the chance to customize their schedules, e.g. working from home, adjusting work hours, or working four-day weeks, allows for more productivity. This is because they become accountable for their own time, working more efficiently to fit their schedule.
Trust Your Employees
Avoid micromanaging your team and trust that everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability. This puts value in their work and encourages them to be self-reliant. That said, managers should still be ready to offer support when needed.
Creating an environment where employees can perform at their peak, grow in their professional careers, and feel like a valuable part of a whole is the best way to nurture a productive team.
A happy team is an efficient one—and that’s exactly what a company needs to achieve its business goals more easily.