Four ways to maximise the productivity of your employees
There’s no doubt that the pivot from office-based work to ‘anywhere’ work has, in many instances, had a positive impact on employee productivity levels. With daily commutes and lengthy in-person meetings eliminated, many individuals find remote work’s flexibility beneficial to both their output levels and work-life balance. In fact, according to research from Cardiff University, 85% of employees who have continued to work at home are just as productive, if not more, than they were before the pandemic.
However, productivity is a lot more complex than the number of hours put in each day. It’s reliant on an employee’s commitment and dedication to the company and their drive to see it succeed, which comes from various factors. This includes their overall well-being if they feel adequately challenged and supported in reaching goals and the culture and values of the business. Many of these factors are actually more difficult to measure and meet with the physically distanced nature of remote work. It’s therefore important that businesses know why employee productivity levels might not be where they should be to implement strategies to ensure their teams remain happy, supported and productive wherever they work.
Here are four ways to maximise the productivity of your employees:
1. Encourage them to take time off to unplug
No one can be productive all the time. In fact, research shows us that taking time off to unplug fully is vital for boosting creativity and productivity. Although it might seem like the individual taking less holiday and putting in more hours is more productive than their colleague who takes their full annual leave quota, this isn’t always the case. Without recovery periods, your employees’ ability to continue performing at high levels will diminish significantly. They’ll be showing up, but the quality of their work likely won’t reflect that of somebody who is engaged.
Encouraging employees to take annual leave can be tricky, especially in large, busy organisations. That’s why it’s so important that you encourage line managers and senior team members to lead the way and set an example. If your employees see them taking little or no breaks and frequently working significantly more hours than they’re contracted, they’ll likely follow in their footsteps. Make sure you reiterate the importance of taking breaks throughout your internal comms, and you’ll likely see a boost in creativity and productivity.
2. Ensure they feel connected to your business’ mission, culture and community
A business’ culture and community can have a hugely influential impact on the productivity of its employees. When an individual feels connected to their colleagues, aligned to business goals, cared for by their employer and appreciated for their work, they’ll feel more valued, motivated and willing to go above and beyond for the greater good of the business. Plus, individuals who understand how their actions contribute to the bigger picture will feel a sense of shared ownership over their business and be more fulfilled as individuals. As a business leader, it’s about helping your team members create an emotional connection and personal investment in the business. This will be reflected in their loyalty to the company and their effort in their day-to-day work.
Relationships between colleagues and managers play an important role in building a strong and purposeful culture and community. Ideally, you want to create harmony and team cohesion by encouraging teamwork and promoting peer-to-peer recognition. This will help your employees form stronger connections with one another and with their shared mission which, in turn, will boost their productivity levels and loyalty to the business.
3. Reward hard work
By now, it’s common knowledge that a strategic reward and recognition programme is a key component of a business’s overall engagement plan. Engagement motivates teams to produce work to the best of their capability, so it’s no surprise that rewarding team members for hard work will positively impact their long-term productivity. In fact, according to Globoforce, 78 percent of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. When an individual is rewarded or recognised by a peer or senior manager, they’ll be more likely to work towards other goals and repeat that desirable behaviour or action to gain further recognition down the line. This will ultimately boost their motivation levels and commitment to their role.
Establishing what you should be rewarding, and how, can be tricky, so here are a few tips:
- Reward actions that align with business goals and values
- Celebrate big and little wins
- Congratulate employees both publicly and privately
- Recognise hard work in a timely manner
- Find creative ways to send thank you messages
- Add a touch of personalisation to each reward
4. Offer learning and development opportunities
As we’ve explored recently, there are a number of moments throughout an individual’s career where they might start to feel stagnated and disconnected. This lack of fulfilment often happens naturally but it can have a real effect on productivity. In order to combat this, businesses should ensure they establish a strong two-way narrative between employees and their managers. This will help ensure that individuals feel adequately challenged and satisfied with their day-to-day tasks and feel that they are actively working towards personal and wider business goals.
In terms of actually helping employees to reach goals, make sure managers work closely with their team members to find out exactly what they want to achieve and accomplish. By offering learning opportunities and the chance to develop their skills in various areas, you’ll demonstrate that you value them as individuals. When an individual feels supported by their employer, they’ll be more likely to want to produce the best level of work possible. Plus, you’ll be helping them grow their knowledge and skillset, which will also benefit the business.
To summarise, employee productivity is a lot more complex than how many hours a day an employee works. There are a lot of factors that determine how committed and driven an individual is and how likely they are to work to the best of their ability, grow with the business and help reach business goals. The good news is that you hold power to give business-wide productivity a boost. With our spaces employee engagement platform, you can set up a strategic engagement plan in one easy-to-access place. You can deliver rewards, offer learning and development opportunities, share business-wide communications and connect employees from across the business. To find out more about our fantastic range of solutions, head to peoplevalue.net/employee-engagement-hub.