How to get the most out of employees is a common struggle that companies of all sizes and in all industries face. Creating the kind of workplace where employees reach their full productivity at all times can seem like a lofty goal, but it is doable with the right approach and systems in place. A highly productive workplace translates to better cost-efficiency, fewer errors, less downtime, happier customers and a more profitable business as a whole. All of this sounds great, so how do you get there?
Here are some of the steps business owners can take to start to boost productivity in the workplace and get more out of employees.
Do Employees Have the Equipment They Need?
The first question to ask is whether employees have the proper tools and equipment to do their job seamlessly. If you have provided them with outdated software and equipment that isn’t up to the task and constantly breaks down, and yet you still expect peak productivity, then there’s a real problem.
Sometimes employers can think they’ve provided staff with the proper tools but that isn’t the case. Try checking in with employees, get their feedback and ask how they could be more productive and efficient, and what upgrades could help them. They know better than anyone since they are the ones doing the work.
Employees Need Adequate and Continuous Training
For an employee to be productive they need to understand their job, have the proper tools and equipment, know how to use them and be aware of the proper steps and practices. This is a concept that gets overlooked far too often, and employers just assume that employees have everything they need. Did you know that it’s just as important to train new hires as it is to offer continuous training to existing staff?
The fact is that systems change, best practices change, software and equipment change, and all of this affects the employee’s ability to do their job. You cannot just expect them to pick things up immediately without missing a beat. Offering continuous training to employees also gives them a chance to develop new skills that can benefit the company, such as supervisory, management and leadership skills. Constant training also helps to build confidence in employees, which allows them to be more effective.
Business owners may want to look into providing staff training and development courses that cover a wide array of topics and skills. It can include training in time management, leadership, management, HR, mentoring, personal development and much more.
Stop Micro-Managing Your Staff
Micro-managing can be a big problem, and while you may think you’re being helpful, you can be hindering progress. Employees need enough space to work, be creative and do their job. When you micro-manage, you add stress and usually extra steps to the process. Learn to step back, delegate and put more trust in your employees. If employees need that much micro-managing, they may not be the right person for the job.
Encourage Staff to Communicate and Collaborate
Creating the kind of workspace where everyone communicates and collaborates can also be great for productivity. You don’t want departments that are working in a vacuum, unaware of everything else going on in the company. The problem with a lack of communication is that issues and problems can get overlooked, be forgotten and mistakes are made. Employees need to feel comfortable and welcome to chat with other departments and supervisors to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Create a Positive Work Environment
The work environment also needs to be a positive one so that employees want to come to work and put in the effort. This begins with creating an inclusive environment where everyone is treated fairly and equally. There is also a physical side of the work environment; for example, the office space should be pleasing to the eye, comfortable, free of distractions and professional. This may mean a little sprucing up is in order.
Try giving the office a fresh coat of paint and choose a soft neutral shade. Also, allow ample natural light in the office, ensure employees have comfortable and ergonomic desks and chairs and put effort into creating a welcoming breakroom filled with amenities.
Taking all of these steps may seem like a lot, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Results can show up rather quickly as employees start to feel more confident and better equipped to do their job.