The popular phrase “time is money” says it all: Time management is key when running a business. As an employer, you don’t want your employees to waste their time, because that in effect means they’re wasting your time and resources. To ensure that your team’s time is being managed well and that your business is successful, there are several strategies you can utilize which are aimed at improving productivity in the workplace.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Their Role
When your employees are clear on how to fulfill their own roles, it’s easier for them to make the most out of their work hours. Rather than spending time wondering what exactly they should be doing or how exactly they should be completing a certain task, employees should be able to hit the ground running once they know their role and are given the necessary tools, techniques, guidelines, and goals to work towards.
This role definition begins at the hiring stage. Individual job duties and requirements should be clearly laid out in your job postings so that your company can hire the most well-suited employees. From the beginning, an employee should know what is expected of them. This way, you’ll have a better chance of hiring someone who can be most productive for you. Of course, it’s important to have a reliable HR department that honors their role of hiring the right people, too.
Once an employee starts working for you, take the time to properly train them right from the beginning. This is so you can avoid wasting time on redoing tasks completed improperly, or doing damage control after mistakes have been made. Depending on the industry, good training can also help prevent injuries from occurring, which amid other headaches, could lead to costly downtime in production.
Have a Strong Communication System
An easy way to figure out how to help an employee be more productive is to go directly to the source. To encourage this, create a work environment where your employees feel comfortable discussing work with you, so that you can help find ways to improve the system, and in turn, labor productivity. You can also do things like:
- Hold one-on-one check-ins
- Take employee surveys
- Use a communication apps like Slack
- Have employee appreciation days
- Keep the door to your office open so that it’s an inviting space for employees to come chat
With a strong communication system in place, your employees will be able to tell you directly how their work hours are being spent, and more specifically, what is taking more time than it should. For example, maybe a computer program an employees is using operates too slowly or doesn’t have the functionality they need to significantly cut down on the time it takes to complete a certain task.
It’s important that they can tell you when concerns come up, but equally important that you as the boss address these concerns. Your employees are the ones on the front lines, so gaining their input can be extremely valuable.
Keep Things Organized
Being productive is a whole lot easier when things are organized. According to Forbes, “Perhaps one of the largest factors of well-being is the physical workspace. Employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of will be more engaged, productive, happy, and healthy.”
To accomplish this, have physical and digital systems in place so that your employees can find what they need to work quickly and efficiently. This could mean a number of things, from cleaning out and organizing important filing cabinets to creating a standard naming convention for digital files.
Review Performance on a Regular Basis
Your employees are your greatest asset, which is why it’s so crucial to monitor their performance regularly. By keeping an eye on whether they are making enough sales or producing enough work based on the money, time, and resources they put in, you can adequately determine their value to your company. And, if necessary, you can monitor employees who may be falling short.
Schedule quarterly or biannual performance reviews (or whatever time frame makes sense for your workplace) where you can check an employee’s output, goal completion, and attendance. When an employee knows they have a performance review coming up, it may also motivate them to work harder and be more productive in order to avoid the consequences of a bad evaluation.
Assess Performance and Productivity
Another way to review employee performance is to use a simple productivity equation where you analyze input/output, meaning the number of hours a worker has put in, compared to the amount of sales, products, or services they’ve contributed to.
GIGA Calculator’s productivity calculator lets you easily see how much an employee is making you based on the number of hours worked and the revenue gained from the number of goods or services provided by that employee during that amount of time.
Acknowledge Your Employees’ Hard Work
A little praise and recognition can go a long way. When you acknowledge all of the hard work an employee has done, you’re fostering a supportive environment and helping them stay motivated for future productivity and success. On the flip side, disregarding an employee’s hard work can make them less motivated to keep that standard, decreasing their potential productivity.
In addition to bonuses, you may want to consider instating an incentive program that gives employees that extra push to work a little harder. Some examples of incentives include special lunch outings, gift cards, a comped professional development program, extra time off, and work-from-home days.
The Importance of Being Productive
When you increase labor productivity, you’re increasing your profitability. Implement proven strategies to help your employees be productive in the workplace, and remember to check in on their performance by using a productivity calculator to ensure your resources aren’t being wasted.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Thrillist, The Points Guy, Forbes, and more.