7 Strategies to Increase Employee Productivity in the Workplace

Are your employees scrambling to meet deadlines, overwhelmed by their growing inboxes, and feeling stressed out?

With only so many hours in the day, it’s crucial to the success of your business (and the sanity of your employees) to boost workplace productivity.

The costs of ignoring lagging output are steep. Disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses $483 to $605 billion each year due to higher rates of absenteeism and staff turnover.

So if you’re wondering how you can make your employees more productive, you’re in the right place.

In today’s post, we’re breaking down seven proven strategies that will:

  • Lower staff turnover
  • Boost employee morale
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce workplace stress
  • Make your employees enjoy their time at the office

Let’s dive in!

7 Strategies to Increase Employee Productivity

1. Give your team the right tools

Want to improve your team’s performance? Give them the right tools.

Invest in software and hardware that’s going to streamline workflows and help people work smarter, not harder.

tools for better productivity

  • Use time tracking software: By tracking your team’s activity rates, you can measure the hours they spend on specific tasks and see what needs to change to improve workplace efficiency.
  • Switch to a collaborative project management tool: Project management apps like Asana and Trello give the whole team a holistic view of who is doing what and what needs to be done.
  • Encourage team communication: Whether you work in a traditional office or as a remote team, you need to encourage team communication. Apps like Slack keep conversations organized, streamline workflow, and foster team bonding.

So if your team is struggling to perform, ask yourself if there is a tool that would solve the problem and increase output at the same time.

2. Only hire people who are a cultural fit

The cost of staff turnover is high. It’s estimated that when an employee hands in their resignation, it can cost a company 1.5-2 times the employee’s salary

One of the best ways to avoid a high churn rate and increase productivity at the same time is by adopting a strong focus on cultural fit.

When screening future employees, answer the question:

“How well does this person fit in with our core values?”

But before you can hire for culture, you first need to define it. Ask yourself:

  • What are our company’s values? 
  • What are the behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets that make our teamwork the best?

When you find someone who ticks all your culture boxes (and is actually engaged at work), it’s going to energize your other employees and increase motivation and productivity.

important-employee-engagement-engaged-employee-stats

Image via OKtopost.com

Plus, hiring for culture fit can also lead to recognition. Hueman is a company well known for its incredible company culture. The result? Fortune Magazine has recognized the company as a Best Workplace, and Gallup as one of the Top 39 Great Workplaces.

3. Invest in training your employees

When your employees are learning and developing their skills, it leads to greater efficiency and productivity.

For example, if you hire an employee and their typing or spreadsheet skills are lacking, it can slow down their output. As a result, their slow progress might add strain onto your team as other people would need to pick up the slack.

Training your employees improves productivity by:

  • Helping employees gain new skills: This gives employees a new sense of purpose and shows them the company is willing to provide them with opportunities to grow.
  • Gives individuals a confidence boost: Learning new skills helps employees feel more competent, which increases job satisfaction and reduces turnover.
  • Reducing errors: When employees are confident in the steps that need to be followed, it helps to minimize human error. The less time employees spend fixing mistakes, the more productive they are.

4. Improve employee productivity by encouraging ownership

According to Robby Slaughter, a productivity expert, the most effective tool for increasing workplace productivity is to encourage individuals to take ownership.

Harvard Business Review backs up this statement: “If your company’s employees don’t have a sense of ownership and engagement, all the other steps won’t make much difference. By the same token, if you can increase the average level of engagement in your organization, you will likely see the productivity of your entire workforce increase.”

To build a productive team, you need to encourage your employees to be independent. When you hover and constantly monitor, employees get nervous and team performance tanks.

But when employees take ownership of their work and managers stop micromanaging, incredible things start to happen:

  • Employees think through decisions more carefully.
  • Employees are more motivated, engaged, creative, and innovative.
  • Employees start treating the company, and its money as if it were their own.

5. Less stress; higher productivity

When your employees are stressed, everybody loses. According to research, 60% of workers suffer from work-related stress. 

causes of workplace stress

Image via KoganPage

The impact?

  • It cost U.S. businesses over a million dollars each year in lost workdays.
  • High absenteeism and turnover.
  • Poor performance and productivity.
  • Poor motivation and low morale.
  • Increased ill-health, accidents, and incidents reports.

How can you fix this?

By creating a company culture that encourages employees to care for their mental, physical and emotional health.

Some of the things you can implement to reduce workplace stress include:

  • Encourage employees to go on a walk during lunch breaks.
  • Subsidized gym memberships.
  • Add a ping pong or foosball table to the break room.
  • Introduce flexible working hours.
  • Implement “No Meetings Mondays”.
  • Offer weekly massages.
  • Offer healthy snacks in the office.

6. Take advantage of remote work

Think to work from home tanks productivity?

You’re wrong.

In 2020, businesses around the world were forced to adopt a remote work policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In research carried out by Valoir, the report found that working from home during the worldwide pandemic has only had a 1% reduction in workplace productivity.

Remote Work increased productivity

Image via 15five.com

By eliminating the daily commute and giving employees time freedom, it increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles. It’s no surprise a remote work study by Nextiva found that most people would take a pay cut if it gave them the ability to work remotely. 

With remote workers valuing the flexibility over their schedules, it means they are willing to put in that extra bit of effort.

This is supported by a survey carried out by CoSo Cloud. The report found that 23% of remote workers are willing to work longer hours to get things done. Furthermore, 77% reported accomplishing more work from home than in the office.

In another study by Cisco, it asked 100 managers from 50 businesses to report on their experience with remote employees. The majority reported on telecommuters delivering better work and taking less time off.

Bottom line: Adopting a remote work policy is going to save your business money, boost productivity, and create a happier workforce.

7. Boost morale by adding perks to the job

Perks are a major motivating factor for employees. In a Glassdoor survey, 57% said job benefits are among their top considerations when reviewing a job offer.
Perks vs a pay raise for productivity

Image via Business2Community

Here’s how some of the world’s top companies are using perks to motivate their employees:

  • Facebook gives new parents 4-month paid leave and a $4,000 “baby cash” bonus.
  • Twilio makes sure their employees are always learning by giving each new hire a Kindle and $30 a month to spend on books.
  • Airbnb rewards employees with an annual $2,000 stipend to spend on travel.

Does that sound a little bit out of your price range? The good news is that you don’t need to be a Silicon Valley powerhouse to use perks as a way to boost morale, productivity, and loyalty.

Here are some low-cost perk ideas:

  • Incentive Mondays: Create a weekly task and offer a bonus to the employee that does the best job.
  • Upskilling: Invest in a Udemy membership for your team or create an on-sight library where employees can read business and personal development books during their breaks.
  • Free food: Everyone loves it and introducing it as a perk is an excellent opportunity for team building and increasing morale.
  • Telecommuting: Offer employees the option to work from home a few days each week or give them the flexibility to manage their working hours.

How are you going to boost employee productivity in your business?

The biggest takeaway: Happy, engaged employees are more productive. 

If you take the time to create an environment that:

  • Nurtures skill development
  • Hires for cultural fit
  • Empowers employees with the right tools
  • Encourages employee ownership
  • Cares about employee wellness
  • Take advantage of telecommuting
  • Boosts morale with job perks

You’re going to see a steady increase in workplace productivity.

The best part? You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars turning your office into the next Google HQ. All you need to do is make changes to your work culture, so it promotes and rewards efficiency.

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