Tweak Your Biz » Growth » 12 Ways To Improve Productivity At The Workplace

12 Ways To Improve Productivity At The Workplace



Is it enough to simply have a job, an office or organization to work in, and get a get a cheque and the end of the week? Not anymore. A workplace however large or small has to be driven by efficiency and achievement that manifests itself in the form of tangible results for the organization, and is rewarding for the employee. Less productive inputs and lower efficiency levels are bound to affect the business and jeopardize its sustainability and survival.

Employee productivity is a major concern for employers and lower productivity cannot be blamed on the employee entirely.

  • A lot of it has to do with the environment at the work place, and the work conditions along with a series of factors that define the work culture.
  • Employers have to implement wide spread changes in their setup to improve the productivity of their work force.
  • Employee talent is a valuable asset for a company or organization, and it needs to be tapped to its fullest by keeping the employees motivated to perform and deliver the results they are qualified for and capable of.
  • Employers may often believe that once they have recruited the best talent in the field, the results will inevitably follow. Not necessarily, if you look beneath the surface to see the environment this talent works in.

A few factors that can help to improve the employee productivity at the workplace are:

# 1. Accountability

Every employee needs to be well aware that he is accountable for his actions and decisions, and he can neither pass the buck or pass the blame to someone else.

  • This will help him work more meticulously ,
  • Take cautious rather than reckless decisions, and not take advantage of his place, position or relationship with his superiors.

Related: 5 Ways To Develop Productive Work Environments

# 2. Follow up

Employers often set targets and feel their job is done.

  • No, every target or milestone set needs to be followed up as well, to see if the progress is sufficient and if not, whether any interim measures can be taken before it is too late to salvage a situation.
  • It also keeps the employee on track,  ensuring there is consistent effort throughout the lifetime of the project

Related: Six Great Employee Hiring Ideas For The New Economy

# 3. Manage the work force but avoid micromanagement

It is well known that a large pool of employees does need to be managed, provided direction and given assistance. But with this they must also be trusted, given freedom to operate in their style and adopt measures which they think are the best to deliver results.

  • This freedom to act as they deem fit helps to keep them encouraged, motivated and happy in the belief that they are trusted.
  • Micro management is a human tendency but one that is detrimental to achievement, since it makes mere puppets out of employees, who are expected to toe the boss’ line and not think for themselves.
  • Employees need to think for themselves, analyze the consequences of every decision or action to be able to give their best to their jobs. And the employers must make it possible for their workers to do so.

Related: Managing To Get The Very Best From Your People

#4. Encourage, motivate, reward and recognize

The employer must ensure that on his part he always has words of encouragement for his staff. Encouraging them helps them move forward and do even better, and makes the worker feel happy. Innovative ways of motivating them spurs them even more. For example, holidays or conferences paid for by the company have been found to motivate employees immensely.

  • Rewarding the hard work put in by employees makes them continue to work in the same fashion, and if the employee feels that his work is not appreciated in words or in material terms, he may gradually stop doing so, since he may feel that others working less are given the same too, so he need not work more.
  • Rewards, and other ways of keeping employees happy makes them feel that their effort is being recognized and that they are needed by the company.
  • Without these, they may soon start looking for greener pastures and new jobs.

Related: 6 Ways Companies Can Motivate Smarter

# 5. Reach out to employees by seeking them out

Every employee loves to feel he has the ears of the management who will recognize him and listen to what he says. Display of inter personal skills in which the boss appears humane and one of them, rather than a larger than life, distant figure, helps to have employees warm up to him and feel happy working for him.

  • A bit of effort to reach out helps them all do better.
  • If this extends beyond the work place it may prove to be even more encouraging to increase employee productivity.

# 6. Demand realistic targets

Employers need to set realistic goals that are within the limits of achievement. While an aggressive employer may want his people to outstretch themselves to achieve farfetched goals, it may also burn them out.

Related: Rewarding poor performers – are you guilty?

# 7. Team work

Team work always helps in increasing workplace productivity since there is more input in the form of more ideas and minds at work. Working alone is not always the happiest situation either, especially in the field. Successful team building and working together is bound to bring out the best out of the employees who may also then compete with each other ensuring the business is the winner.

# 8. Ensure that people enjoy their work

The best performing employee is the happy employee, and the employer has to find ways of making his people happy. Besides working conditions and the work culture implemented, he has to devise ways of making the work seem challenging and interesting rather than mundane and boring.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Party

# 9. Break the monotony and rotate

While employers assign tasks according to an employee’s core competence, even the task they are best at, can make an employee bored and his work seem monotonous.

  • This monotony can be broken with rotation and giving people new tasks and exposure to other divisions.
  • This adds their learning and helps them get a holistic view of the business.

# 10. Courses and improvement options

Employees are delighted when they can enhance their skills and get additional learning opportunities sponsored by the employer. This helps them learn, feel indebted for the money being spent on them, which also adds to their resume, and are obliged to perform better by applying all the knowledge gained in these courses.

Related: Encouraging Continuous Self Development Among Employees

# 11. Spend less time on meetings and more on action

The current trend to have more meetings and discussion rather than spending more time working to achieve results, leads to precious productive time loss.

  • Meetings for reviews and sharing of ideas can be limited and kept short.
  • Employees should have more time to show results.

Related: Meetings – A Total Waste Of Time

# 12. Tools and equipment to raise productivity

Finally, the workplace must have the best machinery, devices and equipment that yield error free results in the minimum possible time. Efficient electronic equipment with no connectivity issues and breakdowns will help to save precious time. They should take the place of paper work, and yield fast results. Some of these include:

  • Smart phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablet computers
  • Latest applications and software that offers quick connectivity and access
  • Digital recorders-these help to record thoughts and new ideas when they strike, when no paper is available and the fear is of forgetting the idea
  • Bluetooth to stay connected
  • Personal digital assistants or PDA’s
  • GPS to stay on track on the road

Related post: iPad For Productivity

Thus the idea is to have devices that enhance efficiency and subsequently productivity at the work place. The devices help to reduce the response time, improve customer service and cutting costs, all imperative for workplace productivity.

What are your thoughts?

Image: “mug with memo notes/Shutterstock

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The Author:

Neil is currently plying his trade as head of marketing for eMobileScan, a technology company specializing in offering their customers a tool set that will help to increase the productivity of their workforce. http://www.emobilescan.co.uk

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Neil, Welcome to Bloggertone! These are some great tips. Having spend most of my working life working with sales people I particularly like your points around demanding realistic targets & spending less time on meetings and more on action, both of which I’ve often seen abused by employers/senior managers.

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com Mike Holmes

    Hey Neil…good post.

    I do have to question #12. I mean I love technology but some of the thing that have cause my inefficiency are technologically based.

    That’s just me though

  • Anonymous

    Great post, and I can see where some, but not all of these are used in my workplace. However one thing that I’ve observed from speaking to people from many different backgrounds, is that you’ve always got to address people’s base motivations first.

    Therefore if you don’t take care of your staff from a financial perspective, it doesn’t matter how much other great practices you put in place, people are simply not going to be motivated. In other words you should always pay a person enough to take money off the table as a motivational issue.

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Hi Neil,

    You make some valid insights and I would love to see companies invest in, devleope and motivate staff as you have proposed. Sadly, it isn’t always the case, and thats a real shame. Companies that do take on the points you have made are only gaining from theor commitment to staff programmes. We are the job, as they say, and we work best when content.

    Tina

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Hmm – great insights here – I would agree about point 12 – sometimes we can overload our employees with gadgets, they often find “other” uses for them, often distracting or costly! Having said that, I cringe when I go on-site and see old computers, or printers held together with monkey tape, or outdated software!

    But a great list here – it ALWAYS pays to empower and show respect for employees. Often, money is not the deciding factor for employee job satisfaction, unfortunately it has become topic No 1 due to the crisis we find ourselves in, and people cannot afford to take home less pay, and support the lifestyle from better times.

    Everybody has had to make cutbacks, but we can still reward our staff in other ways. Respect and autonomy being a good start!!

    Thanks for sharing, Neil and welcome to Bloggertone!

  • neiljones

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the comments,
    I think we’re all full of surprises, if an employer can show some faith in his staff and encourage them instead of trying to force them the results can be astounding. the company I work for runs a sales team and they reward their sales staff with incentives, I know that it may not be the most ethical thing to do but it works and all the sales team have something to work for at the end of the month.
    It’s also important that an employer recognises even small achievements by any member of his staff but to also make sure the rest of his team are also aware. Sending a quick thank you email will only take seconds, but that employee will leave work that even feeling good about themselves. You don’t need to lavish praise on your staff but you need to be aware of their achievements and what they bring to the team.

  • http://profiles.google.com/alberto.bohera Alberto Bohera

    Time management is the most important feature for me. At the end of the day, you don’t really know how well you have spent your time in different tasks, and how much time you spent in non productive tasks.nto help me with this I installed Workmeter, which measures productivity based on a productivity map.nnNow I know how I use my time and can improve the way I work every day, as I can check my productive profile.

  • Ammosuper

    Good stuff! Thanks

  • Waleed ALRajhi

    useful info thank you for sharingu00a0nnALRajhi Waleed

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Richie, great steer as always! One question, do the same or different rules apply whenu00a0outsourcing projects? I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts :)u00a0

  • Atuzzo

    nnWhatnabout hosted (cloud based) solutions like Unified Communications that alsonfeatures VoIP integrated with Microsoft Communication Services? You can literallynconduct business from any location and never miss a call or message with itsnmessaging and collaboration feature, real-time presence status with OCS,ndesktop sharing, having voicemails show up as an emails, having your officenphone transferred to your cell phone, etc. u2013 all of which drastically improvenproductivity. In a recent Microsoft survey, 60-70% of SMBs consistentlynreported that Microsoft Communication Services helps them communicate better,nwith 50-60% reporting that the solution also makes them more productive. There are only a fewncompanies out there that do all of these – one is Alteva, a Microsoft Partner. http://www.altevatel.com.u00a0 nnn

  • http://twitter.com/rbconsulting Richie Bowden

    Niall,u00a0nnThanks for your comments and question.nnApologies for being slow in responding. Once the business needs are defined in the IS strategy, then outsourcing could be one answer in the IT strategy to meet that business need.u00a0nnSuccessfully outsourcing a function can be a challenge as we know from the stats on Outsourcing project problems/failures.nnOne important aspect in relation to Outsourcing that I have found from experience that can cause difficulties is that companies wish to outsource ‘problem’ processes or functions – so before outsourcing anything – needs to be defined and the requirements agreed.u00a0nnSo the IS strategy defines the requirements and the IT strategy defines how the Outsourced process will operate to meet these requirements.nnA topic for further discussion, but I hope this helps to answer your question.u00a0nnThanksnnRichie

  • Shanulrana

    info given was up to the mark

  • Nanduchinna826

    right nw im a student studying b tech mechanical engineering final year after completing when ever i will get the job in any company i will follow these measures to increase productivity  and my name is rajesh ph num:8008586851 and my email id is nanduchinna826@gmail.com

  • Bernice Karanja

    well researched, very informative!

  • Amelie4kiss

    Hi can you please give me more information regarding the workmeter?

  • Jayne

    Thanks for your comments

  • anne

    Good day Mr. Neil i’m a student of college of st. Benilde from manila philippines. I want to send a private email with regards to your article. This is my email address annetan000@yahoo.com. can i have your email? hope to hear from you soon. thank you.

  • http://www.awardcertificateframes.com/ Tyler

    Great information here.  Very thorough, and many good points.  Ensuring that people enjoy their work is one of the best ways to make sure that they do a good job, and stay with the company.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mysecret.staff MySecret Staff

    Great tips! I like “The best performing employee is the happy employee” the most. Who wants to work with a wrinkle on his forehead? Exactly my point :))

  • http://dealassessor.com.au/ Johnyaeger85

    Goal Setting and Time management are important skills to increase productivity. Time management without having a clear defined set of goals can lead to waste. 

  • shaz ghouri

    please let me know anyone…if you were given £1000 to improve your work place, how and what would you buy for the plant, employees or even the surroundings they work in to make it a better place and an enjoyable one… thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/duane.norland Duane Norland

    There is actually a really good website that describes numerous strategies that you can use to boost your productivity. Find it here: http://increaseyourproductivity.net

  • Joe

    All good points. For number #4, I’d put an emphasis on “recognize”. Blanket rewards or praise to the workforce definitely help morale, but when you recognize individuals for specific achievements (and reward them accordingly), it’s much more beneficial, for those individuals and the organization as a whole. For the individual, it confirms to them that his or her work is both valuable and appreciated. For the organization, recognition and praise of individual effort can spur teams to aim higher in their work, encouraging others to strive for similar accolades. While software can help track workforce productivity and efficiency (our own solutions help align project and resource portfolios: http://www.trackersuite.net/enterprise_workforce_efficiency.html ), it ultimately requires personal involvement by management and leadership to achieve the best efficiencies.

  • Dasha Golubeva

    I’d add one more hack to this list – taking short breaks during the workday. In a survey that we ran a couple of months ago, about 32% said that it’s one of the most powerful efficiency triggers for them. I’d join this group of respondents, if I’d vote, too :) And I was researching this topic, I read that some companies, including global industry leaders, even support that in the organizational policy. In case you’re interested in some more science of productive breaks, we put together an infographic with some remarkable facts and figures: http://www.wrike.com/blog/05/30/2013/How-Stay-Motivated-Work-The-Science-Productive-Breaks-NEW-INFOGRAPHIC

  • Manish kumar verma

    Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.

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  • piyush

    nyc post

  • http://www.securitycamera-ny.com camera-ny

    Collaboration is key nice point

  • Lucas Pendant

    Good post! Improving staff efficiency can be done by many means, our company uses business process service from Panviva – http://www.panviva.com. Employees productivity has been quite good ever since.