How to Improve Your Employees’ Productivity

As a leader in the workplace, there’s a lot that you’re expected to do. From managing schedules to helping employees make wise career decisions, there likely isn’t a role you haven’t served in as a leader.

In a time where employees are spending a growing number of hours at the office, efficiency has taken front and center. Are your employees doing the most with their time at work? How can you help to make employees more productive so that business goals can be more quickly reached?

There are many things that you can do as a leader to improve employee productivity without wasting time. Here are some proven steps to take to increase employee efficiency.

Communicate Effectively

A lack of communication can cause all sorts of bottlenecks and confusion. Communication is the key to a productive and successful workforce. If your business is like most, you send a majority of your communication via email. But study after study has found that email consumes way too much time.

When employees are stuck reading and replying to email messages throughout the day, where do they find the time to complete tasks on their to-do list?

Instead of using just email, consider other methods of communication. Sometimes picking up the phone is best. In other situations, you can get away with an instant message or even a quick meeting.

To help keep employees productive, ensure that you’re sharing information in the most efficient way possible.

Invest in Time Management Tools

Before you can make suggestions to help employees be more productive, you’ll want to have access to some solid data. One of the best ways to examine how your employees are spending their time is to use time tracking apps. These apps track how much time an employee spends completing certain tasks, attending meetings, replying to emails, and other actions.

Being able to track your time can help to pinpoint areas of improvement. Maybe your employees are spending too much time replying to emails, which would identify a need to improve company communication. Or maybe employees are stuck in meetings and unable to focus on their list of to-do actions.

With the right time management tools, you can determine exactly how your employees are spending their time. 

Set SMART Goals

Employees can’t be efficient if they don’t know what they’re working on or working towards. Make sure that all goals are clear, focused, and properly communicated to employees. Assignments should be as narrow as possible, this way everyone knows exactly what is expected. 

When setting goals, explain the impact so that employees see just how their work makes a difference. So how do you ensure you’re setting quality goals? Make them SMART: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

With the right goals backed by the right details, you can ensure that your workforce is focused and productive.

Delegate Tasks

We’re all guilty of wanting to do things our own way on our own time. The problem is that eventually, we find ourselves overloaded with tasks that we just don’t have time to complete. This is where delegating and prioritizing comes into play.

As a leader, you know which employees are capable of completing which tasks. Delegate work to your team so that they can grow, gain skills, and even improve their own leadership experience.

By delegating tasks to your workforce, you’re automatically able to increase efficiency and ensure that everyone is working towards business goals without feeling overwhelmed.

Offer Incentives

What better way to get employees to be more efficient than to give them a reason to do just that? Incentivizing productivity can make your employees feel appreciated. Recognize workers that always meet deadlines or those who consistently complete all of their goals.

Incentives encourage employees to continue to focus on being productive and efficient.

There are all sorts of ways that you can reward and recognize employees. Consider options such as paid time off, a paid meal outside of the office, or even a written note.

Offer Feedback

Just as you want to recognize employees who are going above and beyond, it’s just as important to offer feedback. How will an employee know that they need to improve their productivity if you don’t tell them?

Be sure to conduct quarterly performance reviews. These reviews should be used to identify areas in which employees are excelling as well as which areas need a little bit of work.

Offer guidance on certain tasks and ask for their input as well. Ask employees what will help them to stay more focused while at work. You may be surprised at some of the suggestions!


As a leader, there are all sorts of ways that you can improve your employees’ productivity. From using time management tools to recognizing star employees, any step you take is sure to help your workforce become more productive.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.