Human Resources
 min read

How to boost productivity in the workplace

Believe it or not, compensation isn't the only way to productively motivate your employees. Learn tips on how to boost productivity in the workplace.

Believe it or not, compensation isn’t the only way to productively motivate your employees. Productivity is very much overlooked when it comes to the overall effectiveness of a business. You’d think that hiring someone qualified would be enough when it comes to strong job performance. The reality, however, is much more complex.

Take a look at a page from my book. A few months ago, several of my employees were working their tails off, or so I thought. Out of a seven-hour day, however, only three of these hours were considered productive to the standards of my company. How is this possible?

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Lost productivity is possible for many reasons, regardless of how qualified the employee is on paper. Realistically, great resumes don’t always translate to great workers.

Now, as employers of the modern job market, we have to ask ourselves one important question. How can we prevent lost productivity, or how can we boost employee productivity? The answer is simpler than you think! Take a glance at the tips below that will help you to easily sidestep the prospect of hours of productivity wasted!

Here are six steps to improve the productiveness of your employees.

Forget Intense Browser Monitoring

You’d think that limiting the use of websites such as social media sites may prevent employees from slacking off, hence keeping productivity at a high. The truth, however, is much different. Step 1 of this article examines it in depth, but let’s look at it from the outside.

Scrutinizing and restricting internet browsing actually may decrease productive hours, especially in companies that rely heavily on marketing. This happens when certain websites are restricted that may positively impact your company if used correctly by your employees. Facebook, as distracting of a reputation as it may have, can actually be a great marketing tool. Why limit the potential of a somewhat distracting site, if it’s capable of positively impacting your company?

Ideally, you’re going to want to take a hands-off approach when it comes to monitoring and controlling employee internet browsing. For instance, you can caution your employees that you’ll be taking note of their browsing habits so you can account for productive hours. In this way, you’re passively enforcing healthy browsing habits and encouraging your employees to devote their time to work. You’re also subtly hinting at the potential consequences they may incur if they’re caught unproductively browsing the internet.

Long story short – take a hands-off approach when it comes to monitoring and restricting the internet access of your employees. It may have unprecedented and productive benefits!

Praise Your Employees as the Ideal Form of Motivation

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the correlation of motivation to productivity. From this correlation, we can assume that, in order for productivity to increase, motivation must increase as well. So, what’s a great way to increase employee motivation? The answer lies in praise and individual recognition.

Whether you’re praising the dedication of an individual or the efforts of a team within the workplace, praise has profound psychological effects on the motivation of an employee. To find out more about the psychological impact of praise in the workplace, check out this article.

Not all praise is considered good, however. The form of recognition you give to your employees can crucially impact their work ethic, for better or for worse. For instance, praise that’s used too redundantly or praise that doesn’t accompany significant accomplishment can sometimes be detrimental to an employee’s motivation. On the other hand, praise that’s based on meaningful accomplishments can drastically increase motivation, and subsequently, productivity.

While it’s important to consider the frequency in which you praise your employees, it’s also important to consider the environment and the situation that you praise the employee or group of employees in. An incredibly effective form of praise is the praise of an employee around other employees. They’ll want to hear how well they’ve done, and it will be much more meaningful to them if they hear it in front of their coworkers.

Automate Tasks That Bar Productivity

Whether it’s through the outsourcing of human resource functions or through using a program to handle employee payroll, delegating automated tasks can hugely impact the productivity of your company.

Sometimes, especially if you’re a smaller company, certain employees may be doing work that’s not traditionally associated with their productive roles. These tasks need to be eliminated in order to ensure maximum productivity. Consider handling human resource functions outside of the work environment. This is known as outsourcing.

On top of saving your company’s productive hours, outsourcing can also save your company money. Think of the extra time your employee or employees will put into accomplishing their daily tasks if they have a load of other work to do beforehand. When this extra work has little to do with what they’re employed to do in the first place, productivity decreases. It’s a lose-lose situation for you, as the manager, and your company.

Long story short: outsource to save your company time, money, and most importantly, productivity.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Long-Term and Short-term Breaks

Whether it’s through the means of days off or through periodic breaks for your employees throughout the day, breaks need to be utilized. Mental and physical breaks can bolster the productivity of your employees, and do much more than you’d think.

It’s easy to get caught up in long, drawn-out spells of work. However, these spells can spell disaster for your company. Working for endless hours can drain the productivity of your employees. That’s not to mention the stress, fatigue, and emotional negativity that comes with working for hours on end, without a break.

Think of it like this. A car can only run on the amount of fuel it has in its engine. Once the fuel has disappeared, the engine ceases to function. The human brain is similar in this sense.

Your brain has a net pool of productivity, which will inevitably drain. While the draining of your brain’s resources is inevitable, it is possible, however, to prolong the draining of these resources by implementing breaks.

While it may be easy for startups or similar companies to get caught up in endless loads of work, don’t forget to space the work out and make room for breaks. In the long run, you’ll get a lot less productivity out of your employees if they’re made to work for incredibly long periods of time, without proper rest and mental replenishment.

Happy Employees are Productive Employees

How can your employees be productive if they hate every aspect of their job? It’s no secret that getting your employees to like what they do can be tough. It’s an achievable goal, however, and one that will drastically improve the overall productivity of your team.

Take a look at these ideas to keep the happiness flowing in the workplace! Happiness can be established in many ways. From simple incentives to team building, happiness can grow through your employees. Happiness is contagious. Productivity, however? Not so much. Thankfully, productivity increases happiness.

Productivity increases if you’re happy. Don’t let unhappiness flow through your workplace; a lack of productivity will generally follow!

Incentives: The Oldest Form of Motivation

Since the days of conditioning experiments by aged psychologists, it’s no secret that incentives drive motivation and productivity. Incentivizing tasks can be the perfect ingredient to add to a non-productive workplace recipe.

Start off small. Offer small gifts, such as gift cards, monthly gym memberships, or a late day into work. Once these prove to be effective motivators, up the ante. Incentives can be large or small; don’t start off a system of rewards with a day off from the job!

You can add complexities to the reward process as well. You might consider creating a system of rewards, or a ladder. One reward will lead to a greater reward if the same productive behavior re-occurs.

Incentivizing tasks within the working environment is simple and effective. It’s something that all employees can relate to, especially young employees who have come from scholastic environments where their work was constantly being praised or critiqued.

In summary, incentivizing on-the-job tasks leads to increased motivation. Increased motivation leads to increased productivity. While you may incur subtle costs to your company or your personal finances, this cost is vastly outweighed by the potential costs of your employees wasting productive hours.

The Breakdown

Productivity is paramount to a company’s success. It’s not always the primary concern of your employees, however. You win and you lose when it comes to your employees. Productivity can, however, turn all of your employees into winners.

While the task of increasing the productivity of your employees may be slow, it’s not a difficult task to undertake. Increases in productivity can be seen, over time, with the introduction of certain practices within the workplace.

While there are many different ways to combat a lack of productivity in your company, one approach usually won’t do the trick. You may have to use a variety of different methods.

Whether it’s through an incentive system or through the addition of more breaks throughout the workday, your company and its employees will drastically benefit from increased bouts of productivity. Implementing productivity-boosting strategies is a subtle investment with a massive payoff!

Jose Leon
Verified writer

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