How To Improve Staff Productivity

How To Improve Staff Productivity

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If there is one thing that is vital for a successful business, it is that the staff are motivated to work hard. After all, it is the effort put in by all these employees which will have an impact on the service that the customers at the end of it all will receive.

In fact, research carried out showed that 39% of workers said that they would work harder, if they felt that they were happy in their current role or the company that they work for. The trouble is, staff happiness and of course staff productivity isn’t always the easiest thing to improve. What makes staff members happy is going to vary from person to person and a manager or company owner is often going to be left wondering how to motivate staff.

Thankfully, there are things that you can do to help your staff to feel more motivated and to improve productivity within your workplace and some a lot easier than you may realise.

Try to match tasks to skills

Now, we know that this is easier said than done for many companies, but one sure-fire way to keep employees happy and motivated is to ensure that some of the work they do on a regular basis is matched to their skills. Of course, this isn’t always possible to do, but if you do find that you can allocate a certain task to an employee that fits nicely within their skill set, then you are going to 100% feel the benefit.

The thing to remember is that some of these skills might not be obvious and you are going to need to delve deeper into the employee in order to learn more about what they can do that you may not even realise.

Offer training that works within their schedule

Training is a key part of the development in any company. Not only does training allow to you improve on skills that you already have, but it also helps to discover new skills and talents that you might not realise that you could have. The trouble with training, is that as soon as you mention it in the workplace, many employees are simply going to say that they don’t have time for it.

Some may be busy in their roles, some may have outside of work commitments, such as children, which means that they don’t work a full day in the office. You can’t force these people to take the training on offer, but you still want them to have access to it. So, what can you do?

One thing that you can look at is business management courses, for example, these courses are designed to be undertaken when and where is right for you. This means that employees could sit virtual and remote training in the evening or early morning whichever works for them. The idea is that it is outside of their usual working hours and pattern and is therefore a much more tempting option for them to take up.

Ensure that goals are clear and focused

It can be really hard to be focused on your role if you don’t know what the end goal of all that hard work is. This means that it is vitally important to try your best to ensure that any goals that you have within your business are clear and focused. That way there could be no confusion as to what they need to do and what their hard work is actually going to mean in the long term for the business.

Never be afraid to delegate

We hear it often enough, but it seems that we still don’t grasp the huge importance of delegation in the workplace. You might worry that by delegating work to those within your team or within your business you are “palming off your work onto them” but the truth is that it can actually be a boost to their morale.

Sure, if you give them all the menial and dull tasks that you simply don’t want to do, then they are likely to feel slightly frustrated about this. But if you give them responsibility in the work that they do, such as making small decisions or tackling work outside of their normal remit, then they are going to feel that you have trust in them and what they can do. Trust is a true driving force in performance of an employee and if they can feel that they are going to be showing you how good they are, then they are going to try much harder.

Always, always communicate

We hear so much in the world of business that communication is key when it comes to effectively running a happy business. However, we still seem to underestimate it. Communication is equally as easy to get right as it is to get wrong and the impact that it can have is much more than you may realise.

Technology is a great tool for business and it has meant that we can now speak to one another at the touch of a button. Whilst this has made things easier, it has also means that we have become lazy when it comes to communicating and interacting with one another.

Emails may be a quick way to speak to someone in the office, but, you can find that emails can be misunderstood and they can also be more time-consuming than actually having a conversation with someone face to face or, if need be, on the phone. In fact, answering emails can take up to as much as 28% of employees time. Which seems like a huge figure when you think about how much of an impact it will have on their overall productivity.

If there is any way that you can encourage your staff to pick up the phone or take a walk to speak to someone, rather than sending an email, then this could have a huge positive impact on their productivity.

Offer incentives to employees for good performance

We are simple people and in order to get us to do the things that we need to, especially in work, we need to feel an incentive to make the effort. Of course, everyone goes to work to get paid and you may think that this is incentive enough, but the truth is that you need to recognise those staff members who really are making an effort and doing the best that they can.

Recognising good performance and then in turn rewarding it is not only going to make sure that your employees feel appreciated, but it also is going to encourage them to keep up the good work in the future. Not only this, but it will also give encouragement to other employees for them to improve their own performance and in turn reap the reward.

There are a number of incentives that you can try, you will find that it can vary between staff members as well as the industry that you work within too. Some great ideas are awards for great performance, lazy Monday vouchers (allowing staff to come in late on a Monday) or perhaps simply sending round an email to say thank you for the hard work that the employee has put into their role.

Understand the importance of working from home

Working from home has become much more commonplace in modern businesses than it used to be and with good reason. You may think that working from home is going to cause a dip in productivity, but the opposite is actually true.

In fact, studies have shown that people who work from home are 13% are more productive than those who are working in the office. But how does this work? Think of it this way, a staff member working from home does not need to worry about the commute and can get straight on with their work. Similarly, if they are too sick to travel to work (or worry that they might infect others) but feel happy enough to work at home, then they are still being productive, rather than spending the day absent.

Offering a work from home option is one sure-fire way to improve the productivity within your workplace as well as ensure that you have plenty of happy employees too.

Ensuring that your staff members are happy, feel valued and are rewarded for hard work are all great ways to improve productivity in your workplace. So, make sure that you try and put these tips into place and see if you can feel the benefit in tasks that are completed efficiently, effectively and accurately too. We can promise you that your business will definitely succeed with an amazing team behind it.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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