How to Increase Productivity Among Your Staff
Your workplace productivity can completely alter the underlying efficiency of your business. How fast as your scaling? How quickly are handling new orders and how often is your sales team gaining new leads? According to the Reed Group, an analytical company that provides leave management software to businesses worldwide, “No matter how great your software solutions are, they’re only as reliable as the team you manage. Better productivity in the workplace ensures that everything—from the systems you have in place to the people that work for you—come together to create a cohesive unit.
Create Great Company Culture
As a business owner, you might have heard the term “company culture” thrown around loosely. But what is company culture, exactly? It’s the behaviours, values, and personality that comprises your brand. It’s what people think about the behind-the-scenes image that your brand portrays. For a while, everything conjured up images of a harsh, sexist company culture over at Uber, while people thought of nap rooms and free lunch when asked about Google company culture.
The American Psychological Association found that $500 billion is lost annually in the U.S. economy due to workplace-related stress. Your employees shouldn’t feel stressed when thinking about working for you. Fortunately, you don’t have to have a Google budget to create good company culture. And as you may very well know, even the biggest budgets have failed at cultivating a great company culture.
Talk to your staff about the type of programs, benefits, or events that they’d like to see implemented in your workplace. What’s most important to them? Free breakfast on Friday? Group office activities? Company trips? Remote work? Lounges and meeting rooms? Listen to what they have to say, and prioritize around that. Research great examples of company culture, and use it as a guiding point for understanding what works.
Create a Remote Work Program
A remote work program can prove instrumental in boosting employee morale. For starters, it’s one way to naturally help eliminate some of the micromanaging that occurs in offices. And remote work has actually been proven to be effective in terms the workplace. According to a State of Workplace Productivity Report, 65% of full-time employees who participated in the survey believed remote work would allow them to be more productive. Another study conducted by Stanford University found that, after a 9-month project that followed a team of scholars, the program resulted in a “13 percent increase in the remote workers’ productivity with more time per shift or fewer sick leaves and breaks.” Several other studies have shown similar results.
Develop a system and set expectations for how you want your employees to behave during work-from-home days. Make it clear that the remote work program is a privilege; as long as all employees stick to the guidelines, hand in work as needed, are present online during working hours, and attend all virtual meetings, there shouldn’t be an issue. You can trial your remote program by allowing just a handful of work from home days here and there, and analyzing your results.
Part of the reason working from home is so effective in terms of productivity is because it encourages autonomy. Employees don’t feel the pressure to work mindlessly on tasks that don’t matter just to fill a 9-5 timeline. Instead, they work smarter, and feel more free to dive into projects that interest them.
“The best way to encourage productivity is to encourage individuals to take ownership over how they manage their own time and resources,” productivity expert Robby Slaughter said during an interview with HubSpot. “This is a wonderfully self-correcting process: we want people who are self-starters and are able to operate independently. Granting workers freedom over when, how, and where they work creates proof of their work ethic in a way that trying to control them cannot.”
There’s a huge difference between managing your team and micromanaging them. The most difficult part of eliminating micromanagement is knowing when it’s present. As a business owner, you might not recognize that you exhibit certain management styles, especially if you’re passionate about the business and want to get things done right. The fact is, micromanagement can create a very toxic work culture.
When you micromanage, you make your staff feel as though they cannot make even the most basic decisions on their own. And if you analyze companies that have higher turnover rates on Glassdoor, you’ll notice micromanagement is a commonality. Managers like to think that if they closely monitor their employees and manage their every move, the results will be better, when studies have shown the opposite to be true.
To veer away from a potentially micro management style, try investing in the aforementioned tips: boosting workplace culture and creating a remote work program. Additionally, allow your staff to work on project more independently, and cut back on “progress” meetings that aren’t absolutely necessary—in the end, they just stall progress, anyhow.