How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

April 2, 2018
Clock Icon 5 min read

If you run a business or are responsible for a team, you want to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. This will increase productivity levels, and in turn benefit both your business and your customers.

The necessity for high levels of productivity is something no business can ignore. It’s inevitable that certain factors will dampen productivity levels and motivation. However, if you know how to reduce the risk of these factors and take successful measures when they do occur, you can easily increase productivity.

This article will act as a guide about how to increase productivity in the workplace. It will outline the importance of productivity, and some easy ways you can boost it.


Importance of Employee Productivity

The importance of productivity in the workplace is a simple concept to understand. The more productive your staff members are, the more work they’re getting done, and the more benefits you’ll see.

Some clear benefits of employee productivity are:

  • Benefits for other team members. If multiple people are working on a project and the tasks are split clearly and effectively, then the overall process will run more effectively. Furthermore, when everyone pulls their weight, work is shared equally and one team member isn’t left to do significantly more than the rest. This will improve team morale and make team members happier in their work.
  • Benefits for customers. If employees are productive, the quality of their work, and the time they take to complete it, will dramatically improve. This will then lead to greater customer service. For example, if you work in a shop and employees are being productive, stock will be replenished quickly and become readily available for your customers.
  • Reduced costs for your business. We all know the famous saying ‘time is money’, but what does it really mean? Well, if your employees complete their work in good time, this means they have more time to spend on other tasks. This increases output and therefore saves you money.
  • Achieving goals. If your workforce is productive and dedicated to their work, both the quality and quantity of their work will improve. This means a greater output and you will achieve your goals as a result.

happy colleagues


Strategies to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Now that you know the benefits of productivity in the workplace, it’s important that you know how to achieve it. These strategies don’t have to be costly and lavish; a simple ‘thank you for your hard work’ can go a long way.

Here, we offer a range of strategies to help you achieve maximum productivity.


Make the Right Hire

Ensuring your employees are productive begins at the recruitment stage. When you’re hiring, it’s incredibly important that you test applicants for culture fit. You can do this in many ways, but it involves testing whether the potential employee in front of you fits with the values and attitudes that your company thrives on.

If you hire people that you think will work well within the business as a whole, they will be much more likely to work efficiently. Furthermore, having somebody who fits in with your company culture is likely to energise and motivate other employees.

Need more information on recruitment methods? Check out our guide on hiring for attitude.

interview


Regularly Meet with Your Employees

You should regularly meet with your employees, although you must ensure you find the balance between frequent and infrequent. If you meet too frequently, people may feel they’re being micro-managed. Conversely, if you don’t meet often enough, they may feel that you’re neglecting them and you’re unappreciative of their work efforts.

You should aim to meet with your employees on a monthly basis. This doesn’t have to be a long meeting, but you should discuss if there’s anything they’re finding difficult or if there’s anything you can help with. If an employee is struggling with a piece of work, it’s likely that this will lessen their motivation towards it and will therefore lower their productivity levels. If you meet frequently, you can iron out these problems.


Offer Feedback

You should endeavour to frequently provide your employees with constructive feedback. Let them know when they’ve done something well as this will motivate them to continue. Don’t be afraid to also give negative feedback – this is something that helps us grow and improve. Make sure to frame it in a way that gives them something to work on, otherwise they may feel like it’s pointless criticism.


Consider Employees’ Needs

You should always aim to accommodate your employees’ needs. Nobody is likely to be motivated and productive if they feel that you don’t care about them and their needs.

Consider allowing your employees flexible working hours. For example, exercise is known to decrease stress levels and promote endorphins, so you could allow employees to start later twice a week to accommodate exercise. Similarly, if somebody has children that they need to pick up from school, consider letting them start and finish earlier.

exercising on a treadmill


Invest in Your Employees

You can’t expect people to come into work and be productive when they feel like they’re getting nothing in return. You should invest in your employees – they’re what make your business successful.

Consider having regular meetings with employees to discuss professional development plans and possible career progression. You should also aim to ensure you provide frequent training to your employees so they know how to perform their role to the best of their abilities.


Communication, Communication, Communication

You should ensure all employees are aware of your company expectations and how they should act. By actively and successfully communicating clear expectations and responsibilities, you will be met with an engaged and productive workforce.

However, communication needs to be a two-way channel for it to be effective. You should ask your employees for feedback on how your business runs, and what they would like to see change. Not only will this make them feel valued, but it may highlight a trick that boosts productivity that you’ve been missing.

productivity in the workplace


Promote Employee Wellbeing

The Health and Safety Executive report that, in 2016/17, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression, and anxiety. That’s a lot of days. Furthermore, even if suffering employees do come into work, they will likely not be motivated to work their best.

You should aim to prevent occupational health problems before they arise. Encourage employees to look after their mental and physical health, and establish a culture that’s open to discussions about mental health.

Our guide on health and wellbeing programmes offers advice on the benefits these programmes can bring to organisations and their employees, aswell as how to go about implementing a scheme in your workplace. Many organisations find these an effective way to boost the mental and physical health of their workforce.


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