Improve Employee Productivity

“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager”

—Bob Nelson, motivational speaker and author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.

Management is all about direction. Employees generally appreciate clear direction, but they also appreciate freedom to go about their jobs according to their own style. A great manager works with employees to bring out their best qualities, which in turn will increase productivity.

It can be hard to narrow declining productivity down to one single person. Often it is a team effort. Have employees complete a psychometrics assessment, which evaluates strengths and weaknesses in both individuals and teams, and use the results to find solutions to your problem. This is much more efficient than spending valuable time stressing over presume inadequacies. The tools offer non-biased results based on employees’ answers to a variety of work behaviour and satisfaction questions.

Employee productivity has a direct effect on the bottom line of any business. Many workforces experience a decrease in employee productivity due to multiple factors, including inefficient technology, negative work environments, and poor internal communications. Investing time to discover the root of these problems is imperative in finding solutions.

Electronic Distractions

There’s no question that the increase in use of mobile technology like cellular telephones, as well as Internet access to social networking sites, create a huge distraction for employees. While some studies have shown online access can reduce stress at work, it also decreases productivity. Employees concerned more with Facebook, Twitter, and texting are spending more time partaking in these activities on the job. This can result in poor work efforts, procrastination, and uncompleted tasks.

How can you improve employee productivity with all these distractions present? Micromanaging is not the answer. It’s important to evaluate problems, and to empower employees to be prideful in the work that they do, to follow-up on errors and to emphasize the importance of quality work.

Empowerment and Team Work

Building strong teams is a challenge for every manager. Improving productivity through team and individual empowerment and comprehensive training programs is essential for a successful business seeking to retain loyal employees.

According to an annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, employees ranked opportunities to use skills and abilities in the top five reasons for job satisfaction. While the current economic situation causes employees to rate job security and compensation at the very top of their lists, it is important to note that empowerment is an important factor in job satisfaction. Using clear direction and guidelines, employees can be empowered by their managers to make their own decisions and use creative critical thinking to solve problems on the job. Psychometrics assessments can also help in discovering talented employees and new applicants.

Good training programs are another way to increase employee productivity. Many employees feel they do not receive enough training and seek to work for businesses that offer career advancement and promotion from within. The SHRM survey also finds that employees 35-years-old and under consider career advancement a priority, especially in medium and large organizations. Younger employees are switching jobs much faster than they have historically. Empowerment plays a large role in satisfying ambition, and a highly educated workforce. On-the-job training also builds a company’s internal knowledge base to help businesses understand their workforce.

Motivation and Rewards

Another way to improve employee productivity is to recognize employees for achievements and success. Many people choose to work for businesses for reasons beyond a pay check.

Employees are looking for positive, empowering work environments where they can increase their skill level, experience, and value. People want to take pride in the work they do and smart organizations not only motivate and reward employees, but also offer encouragement and loyalty for such behaviour.

A 2008 Gallup Poll on U.S. worker’s job satisfaction found that only 45 per cent of employees are satisfied with the recognition they receive at work. Rewarding success at work is important in increasing the sense of pride in employees and thus, a company’s bottom line. Set sales goals and reward employees when these goals are met or exceeded. Personal recognition and rewards from managers make employees feel valued; take the time to understand your employees and you will learn not only how to motivate them but also how to reward them. 

It is important to understand that employees are groups of individuals with unique skill and experience combinations. Measuring these things through psychometrics is important in the modern workforce, in order to build cohesive, productive teams with compatible traits.

When organizations take the time to care for their employees by making them feel that the organization values them professionally and personally, they will pull in the reigns themselves and avoid those entities that cause major productivity distractions.