The basic concept of productivity in the workplace is simple: maximize output while minimizing input. Building a productive workforce has always been the goal of most organizations to remain efficient, competitive, and profitable in today’s market.
However, the modern workforce has changed drastically, and the traditional approaches to increasing productivity are not as effective as they once were. Even when they work, it’s almost always short-lived.
Why is employee productivity important?
At its core, employees form the backbone of an organization’s success, and productivity is one of the best metrics of their performance.
The very nature of business operations involves a continuous cycle of planning, producing, and delivering goods or services to customers promptly and effectively. Any disruption in this cycle can decrease profitability, customer satisfaction, and overall performance.
But the potential for productivity gains in the modern workplace goes far beyond just the bottom line. A highly productive workforce is more creative and innovative, has higher morale, and is better equipped to handle change and uncertainty.
How do we measure employee productivity?
Most managers have traditionally focused on measuring the amount of output, such as the number of tasks completed, hours worked, or even profitability. But this is just one slice of the productivity pie.
Since various jobs require different tasks and skills, they also require different approaches to measuring productivity. This means looking at factors that aren’t necessarily directly related to the amount of output, such as how efficiently tasks are completed, the accuracy of output, and the level of customer satisfaction.
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Strategies to increase employee productivity
Remote or not, here are the top strategies for boosting employee productivity:
Give them a sense of purpose
Almost everyone needs a sense of purpose to feel happy, motivated, and productive in the workplace. From the start, have your employees know what their job is, why it matters, and how it contributes to the bigger picture.
Great managers communicate what the company is trying to accomplish and how each team member fits in. Not only does this allow employees to understand their roles better, but it also helps them focus on how they can make a difference.
Remove roadblocks at work
A lot of friction in the workplace comes from a lack of resources, poor communication, or slow processes, all of which can slow down productivity.
The simplest way to significantly increase employee productivity is to eliminate these roadblocks so that employees are enabled to do their best work. The smallest improvements, like better tools or a different office layout, can greatly impact employee morale and productivity.
Provide opportunities for career development
In a modern workplace with limited physical interactions and far fewer opportunities for advancement, professional development can sometimes take a back seat.
From providing the right training and skills development opportunities to offering mentorship programs, organizations should prioritize giving employees clear paths to advancement.
Trust them with their work
If you're constantly breathing down your employees' necks and second-guessing their work, it can create an atmosphere of distrust and low morale. Employees trusted to do their jobs without constant supervision have greater autonomy and are more likely to be more engaged and productive.
Trust also means giving employees the benefit of the doubt when things don’t go as planned. Showing you trust their judgment is one of the most powerful ways to get employees to perform better.
We live in the age of burnout where a poor work-life balance has become the norm. Even if you’re not working a traditional 9-5 workday, it can be easy to get lost in the hustle and grind of the day-to-day.
As much as possible, employees should feel comfortable enough to take time away from work without feeling guilty or anxious about how it will affect their job performance.
The modern workplace is all about collaboration, and it only works if everyone is motivated enough to work towards a common goal. As challenging as it may sound, managers need to make sure their team feels appreciated and rewarded for their hard work.
This doesn’t mean you have to hand out awards and lavish gifts every time. A simple gesture such as hosting an online team celebration or sending out thank-you cards can keep the morale high and motivate employees to continue doing their best.
A holistic approach to increasing employee productivity is essential for organizations to stay competitive in today’s modern workplace. Implementing a couple of strategies might work, but ultimately, it’s all about creating a work culture where employees feel empowered to be their most productive selves.
From providing the right tools and resources to building an environment that values work-life balance, enabling employees to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively makes it easier for them to be productive in the long run.
Cultivate a culture of success
Happy employees are more productive to leave. Find out how embracing success at work helps your entire organization.