Yesterday, we discussed the reality that employees are your biggest asset and how, without motivated, engaged employees, you can never create customer satisfaction. Happy employees mean happy customers. Today, I want to extend that analogy to discuss ways to increase productivity from employees to lower costs while contributing to employee satisfaction.
Increase productivity at work
Many of you probably saw the old I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and her pal work the production line at a candy manufacturer. To increase productivity, the company speeds up the line to the point where Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up. They start shoving candy into their mouths as fast as they can, trying to keep up, while only wrapping a few pieces and letting many pieces of candy flow past them. If you never saw the episode, check this snippet below out.
Sure, that’s one way businesses try to increase productivity, but imagine the frustration, not to mention the waste from candy eaten or sent careening to the floor when Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up with the conveyor belt. There must be a better way to increase productivity that creates better results in terms of both employee satisfaction and lower costs.
In this guide, you discuss the best ways to increase productivity in the workplace. Whether you seek motivation for yourself or encouraging staff, here are the best five tips.
1. Upgrade your workspace
Face it. Working in a clean, attractive, and well-organized environment makes employees happier and more productive. Lighting also makes it easier for employees to work, while hunting for a space big enough to spread out or searching to find needed tools reduces productivity.
You don’t have to break the band with your remodel to compete with the sumptuousness of many tech offices, like Google. Sure offering chair massage and pods to recharge your batteries is a nice perk but a refresh and update of the current workspace can influence staff to work optimally. By this, we mean that we all know how nice it feels to be surrounded by new things. A fresher workspace and a change of interior design can boost inspiration and motivation to increase staff productivity.
Whether it be new office desks, custom vinyl wraps on work surfaces, or a splash of paint, an upgraded workspace inspires your staff to make them more productive. If you are on a budget and wonder how to get the biggest bang for your buck, you may plan to opt for custom vinyl wraps for the surfaces or paint the office yourself. They cost less than a custom paint job, which is ideal if money is tight.
Financial strategies are always effective for encouraging staff members to keep going, especially when tied to gains in productivity or revenue, such as a revenue share. Small quarterly bonuses show employees that the boss respects them and appreciates their efforts to improve productivity when tied to meeting or exceeding goals. Even if it is a small financial token, the staff appreciates your efforts.
If your budget is tight because the current economic climate makes it challenging to simply survive, you can reward specific staff members for their extra input and hard work. Transparency is a must to show the bonus was tied to performance so everyone feels they had an equal shot at receiving a bonus.
3. Encourage breaks
This is somewhat of an oxymoron but taking a break occasionally actually improves performance. It is easy for you and your colleagues to let work tasks get the best of you. Rather than spending long hours hunched over a computer screen, take a few minutes every hour to get up and walk around. Grab a cup of coffee or just stroll around the office. You’ll feel better and your health improves with these small breaks. You also return refreshed, which improves your performance and enhances your thought processes.
Even longer breaks, such as a long weekend or an occasional long lunch helps improve productivity. As Americans, we have a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on working hard to detriment of our health and even work performance. In fact, in 2018, Americans accumulated 768 million vacation days that were wasted.
The same goes for small breaks in between working hours. If you or a colleague needs ten minutes of fresh air to calm down and regenerate, so be it. A break will increase productivity and maximize the work and effort put in after the staff member took the time they need to recharge.
4. Give staff your time
Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time. It is rare that personal socializing is encouraged in the workplace. Although it shouldn’t be a priority, you should give the staff your time and advice when needed. Always ask staff members how they really feel and if they need help; let them know you’re always available to talk or give advice.
Not only does your time show respect, but it also helps you understand how your staff is doing and opens up lines of communication. Similarly, in larger work units, assigning a mentor really helps workers increase productivity.
5. Team building exercises
If productivity and morale are a little low, encourage the staff to partake in a team-building exercise. To maximize its fun and make it feel rewarding, you can do things outside the workplace such as sponsoring a sports team or organize a scavenger hunt. Google, which prides itself on teambuilding, does movie nights where employees bring the entire family to sit on beanbag chairs, eat popcorn, and watch a movie together. Team building exercises build closer bonds between the staff and make them feel more motivated at work. Thus, it increases productivity and the efforts put into work tasks.
Other examples of teambuilding exercises might include a game of some type, quizzes, or celebrating someone’s birthday. A classic teambuilding exercise is using a ropes course to focus on problem-solving. These activities offer a chance to get the staff laughing, take their minds off of work, and act as a small reward for the hard work they have offered the business. Doing a teambuilding afternoon once a month also gives the staff something to look forward to and work towards, motivating them to get tasks done.
If your workplace lacks motivation and inspiration, use these five easy tips to encourage staff to recharge in order to increase their productivity. I’d love to hear your ideas to increase productivity. Please share them in the comments below.
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