For your business to thrive, you need the people working for you to be at their most productive. If your employees are at their most efficient, you can make incredible progress and grow as a business. While you can rely on resources or programs that improve your chances of success, it’s the people who are committing their time and energy to your business that drive it.
Unfortunately, if these employees are not working at their highest level of work productivity, what do you do? This could have an immense negative impact on your business’ chance at growth. For that reason, it’s best to evaluate what is impeding their productivity, and what proven solutions are best for repairing it.
Top Problems with Work Productivity
1. Your employees are halting progress with a relaxed pace
Your team may not understand the urgency of every task they’re assigned. To them, a report to complete may seem like a task that can be done within any timeframe, and the boss will get it when they get it.
Applying this attitude to every item on their plate is taking a large, negative toll on your business. According to studies, poor productivity could cost a business up to $1.8 billion annually. This costs you more labor hours without enough incoming profits to compensate. This is because the delay of every duty leads to a longer process for project completion for clients. Therefore, you can only take on a certain amount of projects at a time, limiting the profits you are making because of your employees’ slowed pace.
2. Your employees are not motivated to improve work productivity
What is keeping your team motivated to be productive? Do they have room for growth in the company? Are they receiving a manageable, realistic workload that is not impairing their mental wellbeing? What benefits do they gain when they invest their best productivity levels for you?
If you find yourself unsure of the answers to these questions, you may need to consider the “why” that keeps your employees motivated. If they don’t have any answers to their questions of why they should work efficiently or put so much effort into their tasks, they may find there’s no good reason to work at their most productive. Without valid benefits or understanding of the value of their productivity, employees are more likely to take their duties less seriously or to opt to not treat their tasks with urgency.
3. Too many distractions
A major influencer of your employees’ work productivity is their attention span. If they are in an office setting surrounded by chatty, high-energy co-workers, it’s easy to look away from their work and engage in the activity around them.
Another common distraction is the smartphone. Your employees have social media, messaging, phone calls and other online activity at their fingertips. Smartphones have become an addictive everyday item in peoples’ lives. What you need to do to break this costly habit is to give your employees the incentive to put the phone down and get their work done.
Best Solutions to Improve Work Productivity
1. Get them out of the office
According to a Stanford study, the home is the best place for improved work productivity. By measuring the levels among CTrip employees, it was discovered that they were working entire workdays or possibly more, which is less likely to happen when working at the office.
Without the stress of getting to work on time or spending much time and money on transportation, workers can start their daily workload as soon as they are ready and not enter the day already frustrated. Working from home allows employees to focus on themselves and their own workload, rather than face the many office space distractions or common social conflict.
2. Recognize your team
If your employees don’t feel recognized by their employers, they may not find much worth in investing too much time and energy in their work. Why should they stress themselves if there’s no gain on their end? If employees feel taken advantage of without any acknowledgment from management, what is the point?
It was discovered through a Harvard study that by simply showing gratitude and complimenting your employees’ work, they will be positively motivated to work efficiently and creatively. Recognizing their hard work with complimentary input will motivate them to commit more effort to your business.
3. Reward employees for strong work productivity
Offering rewards that improve your workers’ condition will help with your mission to keep them working efficiently for your business’ overall growth. It has been recorded that immediate rewards make the greatest difference. Consider offering bonuses not once a year, but at a more steady pace so that employees are constantly seeing the benefits of their hard work. You could also choose something smaller and simpler, like treating your team to lunch every Friday. This leads to intrinsic motivation where people are internally invested in the tasks they complete. Why? There’s tangible evidence that task completion will lead to a positive outcome.
4. Offer opportunities for growth
If your employees feel there is room for them to climb the ladder of success with your business, they will feel more motivated to be productive and invested in their work. They can envision a long-term outlook where their work productivity will benefit them in the future when they seek advancement in the company. If you are a smaller business, you could swap promotions with training programs to benefit employees in the future.
Respect Will Improve Work Productivity
These scientifically proven strategies demonstrate the same general message: treat your workers with respect. If they feel recognized as dignified people by their employer, they will be more willing to work at their most productive, efficient levels.
To be proactive when facing possible productivity issues, you can implement time tracking methods. Using time tracking software, like actiTIME, helps to monitor how your employees spend their work hours and whether they are properly committed to their tasks at hand. You can track their pace and determine whether enough is being done over their workdays. With actiTIME, you can also compare work productivity levels to determine if it’s an individual problem or if it’s team-wide. From this helpful data, you can take the above actions so your business can keep moving forward.