In the world of business, productivity is essential to maintain growth and profits. While daily tasks, project management, and leadership development may take the majority of your focus, it’s important to not lose sight of productivity. This keeps both you and your employees on track.
Creating a productive atmosphere requires little to no money, but can have a large impact on ROI. There’s no doubt that meeting deadlines efficiently and effectively avoids losing money to the alternative.
While a productive environment can look different for every company, here are five universally applicable ways to promote productivity in your workplace.
1. Communicate Transparently With Your Employees
Communication is a crucial aspect to any business operation. It allows you to inform employees about recent changes or updates in the company, and gives them an opportunity to ask questions. This level of transparency creates trust within your organization and trust motivates an employee to become more productive.
According to HubSpot, 50 percent of employees interviewed say they’ve been well-motivated and their productivity enhanced because their bosses share needed information with them. Without meaningful and transparent communication it becomes easy for a company to lose sight of its goals, culture, or motivators. There are tools to make communicating efficient, such as Yammer and Slack.
Yammer follows a layout that is similar to Facebook, giving your company a community where they can post updates, ask questions, and collaborate. Slack is a simple messaging app that allows people to talk one-on-one or in groups.
By incorporating one of these tools into your company, employees will feel more comfortable reaching out to team leaders and more confident with project timelines. Also consider incorporating weekly status meetings that provide consistent check-ins and an open dialogue, keeping the whole time on track.
2. Give Your Employees Honest Feedback
When people hear the word “feedback” they immediately think “criticism." It’s important that you change your mindset and your employee’s perception of the word feedback into a positive, constructive term. When providing honest feedback, it is important to make the other person feel comfortable and at-ease.
People are only likely to apply feedback 30 percent of the time, and this is generally because they felt attacked or uncomfortable with the person giving it to them. It is also key for the feedback to be positive, as is leaving the recipient's mind open to taking a new direction. Give feedback that is specific, immediate, and thorough to see the best results from your team.
Also allow your team to give you feedback. Productivity can be tied to their experiences with upper-level management. Micromanagement, communication issues, or approval delays may be holding back their productivity.
3. Provide Them With the Proper Technology
Advances in technology create a new world of business productivity. Tech tools help improve productivity because they allow employees to complete multiple tasks simultaneously, communicate and collaborate efficiently, and streamline project management. By implementing software tools such as Asana or Podio, you and your employees can create tasks under certain project categories and track their progress.
Technology does not mean providing everyone with the latest Macbook, rather it’s providing them with the means to successfully complete their tasks, stay organized, and streamline processes. Create a workable environment that fosters creativity with access to technology. If you’re looking to monitor workplace productivity, consider these six tools outlined by Huffington Post.
4. Create a Positive Culture
Culture is defined as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. Meaning, you have to create a culture that every person in your company can relate to. Productivity is formed by proper motivation, and motivation is formed by a good climate, which ultimately determines the culture of a company. They are all intertwined with one another making culture an important piece of the productivity puzzle.
With companies like Google, Chevron, and Southwest Airlines cultivating a remarkable company culture, you can’t help but correlate it with their business success. Invest in your employees and they’ll take notice, producing productive and innovative work. Check out our recent blog on building a better culture to understand why it is so important to a company.
5. Provide Training to Each Employee
Employee development is extremely important to productivity — it empowers an employee, stimulates their growth within the company, and inspires motivation. When looking to attract and retain millennial talent, learning and development programs have never been more important. Starting with an effective training method is important to set an employee up for success, but it shouldn’t stop there.
Millennials want opportunities to expand their industry knowledge and skill sets through employee development learning platforms outside of their day-to-day functions. This can be certificate programs, training grants, state-sponsored skills development programs, attending trade or industry conferences, or simply internal mentorship programs.
By learning outside of the company, employees can grow to be better informed, better educated, and better equipped to broaden their knowledge and skill sets for their position and the company as a whole. According to the Federal Department of Education, a 10 percent increase in education among a company’s workforce resulted in a 8.6 percent increase in productivity.
Productivity in Action
By implementing these ideas in your business you will begin to see an steady increase in productivity. As your company promotes productivity, it will also have a positive impact on your customers, suppliers, the government, and the economy.