Originally published by NogenTech. Reposted with permission.
Employers and managers often struggle with maintaining the tough balance of being a “good boss” while also getting things done. If you’re too lenient, people start to take advantage of you, and if you are a taskmaster, employees tend to get burnt out and put in the least effort possible.
Finding ways to motivate and make your employees passionate about their roles can be very difficult for many managers. Today, we will look at three key ways to improve productivity in the workplace in a simple yet effective manner.
1. Limit Distractions in the Workplace
If you take the time to visit any online community where employees talk about their work life, you will notice that job-related distractions are one of the most hated aspects of their work. This most often takes the place of unnecessary activities that rarely ruin the workflow.
Meetings are a prime example of this. Corporate culture has convinced people that everyone needs to gather together to discuss items and waste precious hours, even for topics of low and medium importance.
As an employer, consider the following:
- Cut down on the duration and frequency of meetings
- If it can be communicated via email, do that instead
- If a meeting is absolutely necessary, keep it brief, and if a person has nothing more to contribute, they can leave.
The amount of time and energy that these simple steps can save is amazing. Cutting back on unnecessary meetings will win the gratitude of your employees who already have a lot on their plate.
1.1 Take Advantage of Technology
This is particularly important if you run a business or store where walk-in customers and visitors are frequent. You want to ensure that they don’t cause a disturbance to your employees. You probably already have a dedicated receptionist to handle things, but these days, you are better served with electronic visitor management systems.
What is that, you ask? Well, it’s a system that can perform the role of a receptionist, such as capture data on visitors like their names, purpose of visit, companies, etc., and also perform advanced features like providing data interpretations and statistics about all inbound visitors.
The end result is fewer distractions and interruptions to the workflow that you have put in a lot of effort to cultivate.
2. Incentives and Bonuses
Sometimes, even if you eliminate distractions and cut down on meetings, your workers may still not show enough motivation or passion. In such situations, providing an incentive such as a percentage of extra pay if all the assigned tasks have been completed ahead of schedule.
Bonuses are also something that motivates employees to achieve new milestones and contribute to the company’s success. This is usually done annually or quarterly, based on the employee’s current income. Both incentives and bonuses can be very effective in increasing productivity.
3. Walk the Talk on Work-life Balance
A lot of managers and business owners talk about how they encourage a work culture that is positive and ensures that their employees have a good work-life balance.
Sadly, many employees never get to experience any respect for their personal lives or the promises of “work-life balance” that are often espoused.
As an employer, try to can offer flexible work arrangements where part-time or flexible hours are possible. If a task can be done remotely, allow your workers to stay home and complete the task. As long as productivity is at a satisfactory level, it shouldn’t matter where your employees work.
Of course, this depends heavily on the type of work.
If you are offering services like mental health counseling for your employees through an in-house therapist, don’t be surprised if no one approaches them. Human Resources and therapists in work environments have gained a bad reputation for sharing information that employers later on use against the employee.
For this reason, make efforts to build an atmosphere of trust and respect so that your employees feel comfortable opening up. At the same time, respect those who choose to be private about their lives.
3.1 Respect Boundaries
This is one of the most important yet frequently broken rules in the workspace. If you, as an employer, take advantage of the power dynamic you hold over your employees, don’t be surprised to see the quality of their work drop. They have little reason to put in extra effort when they feel their boundaries are being violated.
Sure, you might get them to come in on their day off, but are those one-off occasions worth the long-term dip in productivity? On the other hand, respecting aspects like leaves, vacation times, etc., can be a great trust builder.
Increasing productivity in your employees can feel like a herculean task, and it might seem like no matter what you do, they refuse to cooperate. Yes, this can be very frustrating, but it helps to pause every now and then to look at things from their perspective.
Ultimately, you are the boss and can fire anyone you want.
However, going in hard and expecting positivity and motivation may not always work out. Instead, try to lead by example. If you want your employees to be flexible, show them that you are also flexible. If you want them to work hard, let them see you working hard as well. The effectiveness of this approach might truly surprise you.