December 7, 2015
Productivity is a big deal in the workplace. With industries that need to meet quotas, having productive employees is an absolute must. After all, you can’t fulfill the expectations of your customers if your own employees can’t keep up with the demand.
As a result, we’re constantly looking for ways to make our workers more effective. Some companies employ draconian policies to facilitate that while others take a bit more of a liberal, employee-oriented approach. Check out these 7 things to do to increase productivity in the office.
1. Incorporate Gaming Into the Office
There’s a few ways of going about this but the general idea is to provide employees an opportunity to unwind. Video games are nearly guaranteed to be relevant; most people these days play video games to some extent even if it’s on their cellphone. By utilizing arcade websites such as Friv 2, you can encourage employees to take a step back and relax a little before tackling the next work problem.
2. Make Employees Feel as Though They can Communicate With You
One of the biggest gripe in companies, big and small, is that employees don’t feel like their thoughts matter. If they submit something for consideration, it can often take weeks before they hear back. And, assuming they do get a response, the response is often canned or generic. It doesn’t incentivize employees in the “caring” department.
So fix it. You don’t have to have a permanently open door and become every employee’s best friend. All you have to do is ensure that employees can contribute to the company in a more meaningful way than simply clocking in and clocking out. Corresponding with different departments, submitting suggestions and complaints, and simply inquiring about necessary information should all be easy, promptly completed tasks. Employees work better if they feel they matter.
3. Provide Specific Direction to Your Team
Have you ever received an assignment from your boss and spent at least an hour scratching your head, wondering what you’re actually supposed to do? You’d ask him but you can’t seem to find him anywhere. Instead, you get to work and cross your fingers that you’re doing it right.
If this is an isolated incident, it’s no big deal. Some managers, however, make this a habit. Vague direction is counterproductive and discourages employee enthusiasm. Specific direction and the option of asking questions in a timely manner both contribute heavily to an employee getting their projects completed promptly and correctly.
4. Let’s Take that Further, Add Some Gamification
Don’t stop with allowing employees to unwind with video games. Why not add incentives? Several companies are starting to incorporate leaderboards, scoring systems, rewards, and challenges with games or workplace activities. This applies to more than simply arcade games. You can even incorporate these ideas with basic work responsibilities such as order filing or report submitting. Who can do it better? What will they win? The mystery, competition, light-heartedness, and fun will all culminate into a situation where your employees are happier.
5. Retrain or Dismiss Toxic Employees
According to a report pieced together by Cornerstone, workers are 54% more likely to be unproductive or to outright quit if they feel their colleagues are toxic to the workplace environment. This poses a huge efficiency problem as well as a financial burden on the company due to rehiring costs. Keep an eye on your team… and remove those who are making coworkers uncomfortable or reluctant to interact with.
6. Set up Seminars, Courses and Workshops for Your Workers
What most people don’t realize is that, if they live in a city, there are many different class environments being hosted around the urban center that teach essential skills. Educating your employees is hugely important but something sorely lacking in most businesses. Those that do support it pay for post-secondary education.
There is a middle ground. Community centers and other related facilities often run seminars and workshops that teach workplace-related skills at an inexpensive rate. For example, an Excel course or a seminar about closing sales can be as low as $15 per person. That’s cheap and has the potential of arming your employees with far better skills than they’d ordinarily acquire if they stayed in the workplace.
7. Stray Away from the Iron Fist Approach
It can be argued that employees will be unproductive and noncompliant with company policy if they believe their manager to be “weak”. In attempts to counter this, managers can often act with an iron fist and will bear down on any activity that doesn’t follow policy or corporate decree to the letter. This, understandably, breeds distrust and distaste in your employees. Rather than holding the leash tightly, develop a reputation as being a superior they can trust and rely upon. Someone they don’t need to fear retribution from. It is surprisingly effective for productivity.
This isn’t all that you can do to help out your employees but it’s certainly a good start. Keep in mind that these aren’t set in stone; feel free to experiment! Maybe there’s a different way of doing one of the ideas listed here that help you out a little better. Don’t fret, that’s completely alright.
One idea that many companies fail to recognize is that workplace productivity is dependent on the employees. Instead, many seem to believe that it’s what employees do that determines efficiency. This isn’t true and it is important to consider that happier employees are better employees.
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