Road to Productivity: 7 Ways to Improve Employee Efficiency

Improving employee efficiency depends directly on your ability to engage team members. And this can do wonders for your bottom line as a business owner. In fact, teams that report being highly engaged at work result in 21 percent greater profitability on average. 

How do you make sure your employees are doing all they can? In the following article, we’ll be looking at the answers to this question in-depth. But first, let’s examine the productivity pitfalls they’re likely facing. 

What Hurts Productivity? 

Before you can motivate your employees to be more efficient at work, you need to figure out the factors that are causing them to stall out or fall short. Here are some of the likely culprits. 

Failing to Empower Your Employees

Employees who feel empowered to make decisions tend to actually make decisions. That means they’re spending less time waiting for you to tell them what to do and more time taking ownership of their role in the business. This leads to higher productivity. 

Discouraging Communication

Want to burn out an employee in a hurry? Make them feel cut off from the upper-level people in your company. Closing the doors of communication makes your employees feel under-valued and under-appreciated. 

Improperly Gauging Their Responsibilities

Some employees get overwhelmed and give up when they’re facing too many responsibilities at work. This could lead to a lack of productivity or shoddy work.

Others are great at one or two tasks but poor when entrusted with more than they’re capable of handling. It’s your job to make sure your employees don’t have too much (or too little) to do at work.

Cutting Off Employee Growth

Do employees feel like they have a future with your company? Or have you created an organizational chart where there is nowhere else for them to go? Great workers want to rise through the ranks, and when there’s nowhere else for them to go, they have a tendency to shut down. 

Refusing to Compete for Your Employees

But they’re your employees! You shouldn’t have to compete for them, right? Wrong! 

Creating an environment that shows you want them to be there and that they are valued makes them think twice about leaving. And you’d better believe they will think twice because your competition will be happy to convince them.

Ignoring Quality of Life

Employees value their time as much or more so than they do the salary you pay them. They have families and hobbies and activities they’d like to get home to. Make them feel like that matters.

Once you’ve identified which of these factors is to blame for the loss in productivity, it becomes easier to address it. Here are seven things you can do to take control! 

1. Value Family

Wondering how to improve employee productivity? Start by showing them they’re more than just people there to serve your organization. 

Treat them like family. Create an environment where they’re treasured and celebrated as individuals and as integral members of a work family. While you’re at it, maintain some degree of flexibility for their schedules when they have personal or family issues they have to address outside of work. 

2. Offer Ample Training Opportunities

Another surefire way for how to increase productivity in the workplace is to make your employees more valuable. Invest in their growth and development, even at the risk of losing them to another organization.

When you nurture the training of your employees, you help them to feel like they’re more integral to the organization. You also help them to generate ideas for how they or your company-as-a-whole can become more productive.

3. Provide Incentives

One of the oldest drivers of business productivity is giving employees something they can work towards. Often that means providing incentives. Effective techniques include an extra day of paid vacation or a bonus at the end of the fiscal term. 

4. Make Resources a Priority

Productivity hacks are difficult to pull off when you’re not giving your employees the proper tools, resources, or technologies to do their jobs. Computer systems and software should not be a nice-to-have at your organization. It should be a need-to-have.

By providing them with the latest resources, you show your employees that you value productivity enough to invest in it. You also contribute to their marketable skills while making them more valuable to your organization.

5. Lead by Example

An efficient employee is easy to come by if you’re willing to lead by example. Employees often get burned out when they receive edicts to work harder but no one above them is willing to take on the work themselves. 

If you want your employees to put customers first, for example, they should see you engaging directly with customers as you would expect them to do. This fosters respect and emphasizes the importance of the directive you’re giving them.

6. Foster Communication

The easiest thing you can learn to be a better boss is to simply communicate. Don’t keep your employees in the dark.

Make sure they know the important details before anyone outside of the organization, especially the media. The last thing you want is for them to be hearing about possible upcoming layoffs from a news report on the television.

7. Track Their Progress

Removing as many of the administrative barriers to doing their jobs is another good way of improving productivity. For example, if you’re still having them track their hours and paid time off by paper requests, consider adding a PTO tracking software to the mix.

Less paperwork. Fewer actions involved. It keeps your employees focused on their jobs instead of all the sidebar stuff that can take them away from their to-do lists.

There Are Many Roads to Employee Efficiency

How you choose to improve employee efficiency may depend on which specific productivity roadblock you’re facing. But if you keep the information presented above in mind, it’ll be that much easier to address these problems as they arise and get your company back on the right path.

Before you go, make sure you check out some of our other great tips and advice on improving your overall business operations.

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