The foundation of every good business is employee productivity. Without it, tasks don’t get done in a timely manner, and everything becomes more difficult for your team.
As important as good productivity is for the success of business in general, many managers still rely on chance and blind luck to keep their numbers up. That’s not an efficient way of doing things.
In this article, we discuss some of the best ideas for boosting employee productivity and keeping it that way over the long term.
How To Improve Employee Productivity
1) Simplify Time Tracking
A major speed bump on the road to employee productivity is time tracking.
Whether you have your employees clock in and out at the end of the day, track their time-on-task as they go, or both, if you don’t have the right system in place, the entire process is going to distract your team from what’s really important — the work they need to do.
Keep the time tracking procedure as simple as possible — the entire start or stop operation should only take a few seconds — so that your employees don’t get aggravated and lose the inspiration, efficiency, and productivity they started with.
2) Account For Work Distribution
In a business environment, work distribution is the theory and practice of dividing tasks among your team in order to maximize the skills, experience, and abilities of each employee.
When you give some thought to who does what — rather than just assigning things willy-nilly — you’ll find it easier to match tasks to the team member best suited to complete them at a high level.
The result of accounting for work distribution is that employees will find it easier to complete their tasks, deliver quality work, and maintain productivity over more than just a few days.
3) Implement Task Management Procedures
The overall concept of task management — and the procedures and software that come with it — focuses on directing, organizing, and conducting distinct jobs through to their conclusion within the framework of a larger project or entire workday.
This often involves:
- Planning due dates
- Enforcing deadlines
- Integrating task dependencies
- Creating priorities
- Managing time on task
With a robust task management procedure in place, and the right tools to make it work, your employees will know exactly what they need to focus on and when.
Such a clear plan for the workday means that they won’t have to wait for instructions or guidance. They can move right from one job to the next. That, in itself, can improve productivity by leaps and bounds.
4) Assign Tasks Based On Personality
Another effective way to improve employee productivity is to assign tasks based on personality. This is similar to accounting for work distribution but puts priority on more subjective characteristics, like emotions, preferences, values, and feelings.
The theory goes that when you know the personality type of an individual employee, you can match them with tasks in which they’ll thrive and excel — regardless of the concrete skills and experience they have.
For example, identifying employee A as an extrovert who thrives on person-to-person contact may lead you to put them in a more customer-facing position so they can exercise their soft skills more often.
That’s not to say that you use the personality type to pigeonhole your team members, but it can be a useful tool for improving employee productivity in your business.
5) Make Breaks Mandatory
When your team is deep in the thick of things and operating at their best, it’s very easy for them to work their way into exhaustion. This can result in a sharp drop in productivity that can be hard to recover from.
To maintain the high energy levels they started with, it may be necessary to make breaks mandatory throughout the day.
A regular schedule of downtime — even 10 or 15 minutes at a time — allows your employees to unwind, de-stress, and replenish the mental and physical energy they started with.
6) Encourage Your Team To Avoid Multitasking
Studies show that multitasking can have a hugely negative effect on employee productivity.
Even trying to juggle two simple tasks can lower the quality of both tasks when compared to the quality that could have been achieved had the employee focused on only one job at a time.
Instead of trying to do two or three things at once, encourage your team to avoid multitasking and focus all their attention on the task at hand.
7) Give Your Team Goals To Hit
While providing a list of tasks for your team to complete is a good way to improve productivity, sometimes, they’ll need a bit more inspiration to keep moving forward.
As a supplement to other ideas on this list — e.g., accounting for work distribution, implementing task management procedures, and assigning tasks based on personality type — give your team goals to hit throughout the workday, workweek, and work month.
For example, encourage them to try and complete tasks one through four by the end of the day. This will help them avoid spending too much time on one job and keep their productivity numbers where you want them — going up.
8) Consider Getting An Office Pet
A recent study by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reported that pets in the workplace improve employee productivity, help maintain work/life balance, and reduce overall stress — all good things when you’re looking for ways to help your team work at their best.
Keep in mind that getting an office pet is a pretty big commitment — you can’t just abandon the idea and start over — so be sure you’ve done your research and are ready to do what it takes to make the animal feel welcome
You’ll have to plan for food, exercise, periodic walks, and where the animal is going to go when your business is closed, but the effort can result in a higher level of happiness and productivity than ever before.
9) Take It Slow
Once you’re set on the path toward improving employee productivity, it’s easy to let your enthusiasm carry you away. When that happens, you’re likely to implement every solution you can think of at the same time.
That’s not a good recipe for success.
The best way to apply the ideas on this list is to pick one or two that appeal to you and your team and work on them until they become a regular part of your workflow. After that, pick one or two more ideas and work on making those habits as well.
One of the keys to all of this, though, is knowing when to back off and try another route. If you find that an idea doesn’t work or isn’t encouraging progress, get rid of it and try something else.
The whole point of the endeavor isn’t about working through a checklist — e.g., first, simplify time tracking, then account for work distribution, then implement task management procedures. The point is to find what works for your team and discard the rest.
10) Remember Consistency Is Key
When it comes to improving productivity at work, consistency is key.
This isn’t something you do one Wednesday in October and then forget about for the next year. To be successful, you have to be on the lookout for ways to make your team more efficient all the time.
And, when you’ve found solutions that work, don’t get complacent and sit back on your laurels — keep tweaking the workflow to see if it helps.
Making it a point to focus on employee productivity on a regular basis will benefit both your team and your business as a whole.
Improve Employee Productivity With Inch
As we discussed in the previous sections, the best way to improve employee productivity is to start small and consistently find time to tweak your solutions.
Inch can help.
With our powerful suite of tools, remote and on-site team members alike will benefit from a wide variety of productivity-enhancing features (accessible from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop), including:
- Powerful task management
- Intuitive scheduling
- Comprehensive time-tracking (with geofencing)
- Dynamic reporting
- Time-saving payroll processing
- Customizable communication (e.g., location-specific or team-wide)
- Effective budgeting
- Productive labor cost optimization
- Helpful overtime control
Get started improving employee productivity today by creating your very own shared workspace for free and trying all the features for yourself.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, save time and energy, and keep your team on task, visit TryInch.com today.