Every supervisor wants to get more out of their employees. With a cohesive team in place, you’ll be more likely to hit your goals, you’ll spend less time on annoying tasks, and you’ll probably boost morale—after all, morale and productivity are positively correlated.
So what can you do to effectively improve the productivity of your employees, without significantly disrupting your current processes or investing too much time or money? Here’s how to improve employee productivity at your company.
1. Analyze and optimize time usage.
You can start by analyzing how much time your employees are spending on various tasks using employee monitoring software. The most straightforward way to do this is through a time tracker like Toggl, which will help you identify tasks and areas of work that cost your employees a disproportionate amount of time.
You can go a step further with a tool like EmailAnalytics, an email analytics tool that helps you understand how much time your employees are spending—or wasting—writing, reading, and managing emails.
2. Focus on morale.
The relationship between morale and productivity is a two-way street. If your employees are satisfied with their positions, they’ll get more done. If they accomplish more, they’ll feel more satisfied with their work.
But there are other things you can do to boost employee morale, including hosting more teambuilding events, creating an atmosphere of mutual support and positivity, and actively listening to employee comments and concerns.
3. Improve employee health.
Employee sick days and lost productivity due to illness cost organizations more than $576 billion every year. Obviously, some ailments are unpreventable. But the vast majority of illnesses and injuries can be prevented or reduced through employee awareness and workplace health programs.
These could be large-scale efforts, such as employer-sponsored gym memberships and onsite fitness equipment, or small-scale efforts such as healthy foods in the breakroom, and incentives for reaching certain health and fitness parameters.
4. Perfect communication.
Inefficient communication is responsible for multiple dimensions of time loss; you may spend too much time drafting emails, hold meetings that are wholly unnecessary, or miscommunicate key details that result in hours of lost work.
This is a broad category, but it’s responsible for so much time loss, it’s dangerous to neglect. Work with your employees to establish clear protocols for communication mediums, timing, formatting, and purpose.
5. Opt for flexible hours.
Offices and the 9-to-5 workday were created to improve communication and keep employees close to one another. However, there’s evidence to suggest that instituting flexible hours can improve both morale and productivity.
Different people are most productive during different parts of the day (e.g., morning people and night people), and employing flexible hours also allows employees to handle their personal responsibilities more comfortably, meaning they’ll contend with fewer distractions.
6. Foster teamwork.
One of the best ways to improve the productivity of your entire group is to bring your group together as a whole. Positive workplace environments are self-sustaining; when people feel like they work in a positive environment, they’ll bring a more positive attitude. That positive attitude will reinforce the vibes of the group.
Similarly, when your employees feel close and connected to one another, they’ll find it easier to collaborate with each other on important projects. You can improve the group mentality, and teamwork between your employees by lowering the physical walls within your office (such as cubicle walls), sponsoring more group activities (like team lunches), and setting group goals that all employees work on together.
7. Educate and train.
In general, any money or time you spend on employee training and education will be returned to you in increased productivity. Educated employees will be able to use more skills, get more done, and accomplish a wider range of tasks.
If you sponsor their education and training, they’ll also feel a higher sense of dedication and loyalty to the brand, helping you simultaneously improve your employee retention rate.
Employee productivity is a major contributing factor to your organization’s profitability, and it’s more malleable than most people believe. Hiring the right people for the team is a good start, but ultimately, any employee can be a productive contributor. All it takes is a good manager with the right mindset (and the right strategies) to bring out the best in them. Be sure to check out these productivity tools for more ideas on how to maximize productivity in your workplace.