Whether you’ve only recently launched your business or it’s been around since Apple was still just a fruit, even the slightest productivity decrease can have a massive impact on your bottom line. If you think of low productivity as Steve Jobs getting fired in September 1985 and exceptionally high productivity as Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in January 2007, you can visualize how much of a difference your productivity can have on the success of your entire company.
If you’d like your business to become even half as successful as the “i” of Steve’s Apple, here’s a few tips for improving employee efficiency and increasing workplace productivity.
Build a flexible culture
As traditional schedules of working from 9am till 5pm isn’t suitable for everyone, another method of increasing productivity in your company is by building a flexible culture. To ensure your employee productivity is as high as possible, allow your employees to allocate work hours when it suits them. That’s when they’re most likely to be their most productive rather than attempting to push themselves during regular working hours.
Respecting the work-life balance of employees by offering flexible schedules has been proven to boost output because it makes them happier overall and much more focused. Just remember to ensure employees don’t try to take advantage of their newfound freedom. It’s still important to promote professionalism so they still respect the set boundaries of the workplace.
Clarify goals and expectations
You can’t genuinely expect employees to be very effective without clearly defined goals and expectations. And the only way your team will know what’s important is by telling them clearly what’s generally expected of them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with anger, resentment, and incredulity from both employees and management. While you’re certainly not getting what you need from your team, they will most likely see you as being unfair, demanding, and expecting far too much.
As long as you always have realistic expectations, you can always challenge employees by asking for more. But it’s important to find that perfect balance between targets your team can reach and attainable goals to aim for. Just remember that setting unachievable targets will ultimately kill their performance. When it seems like they have little to no chance of hitting that mark, many teams won’t feel incentivised to increase productivity. Instead, they may not even try at all.
Provide access to training – and keep compliant
Like everything else, working environments continue evolving over time, which is why offering your team access to ongoing training is a good idea. By showing them they’re important to the future of your company, training helps build trust, confidence, and engagement. And improving employee knowledge and skills is also a good strategy for improving team effectiveness and productivity. If you offer voluntary employee participation rather than mandatory training sessions, it’s always a good idea to ensure teams are correctly incentivised.
While there are obvious benefits to job-specific training, soft skills are also essential for maximum productivity increases. Online courses are available for many important skills that most employees never get real training in, like time management, effective meetings, and organisation. To help your company become better, all existing and new employees should both have easy access to several upskilling opportunities.
In a similar way, as an employer, it’s important to ensure that you comply with legal obligations and regulations. Under OSH law, all employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace, so it’s absolutely vital that you establish safe operating procedures and/or ensure employees understand and follow safety and health requirements. After all, if one of your employees files a job-related injury, even if it’s something seemingly minor like repetitive strain injury, you could end up with a hefty workers’ compensation claim against you.
Ask any employee and they’ll tell you there’s nothing worse than being micromanaged. While it’s often caused by a desire to help teams get results, micromanagement actually destroys productivity by damaging morale. Not only do employees feel over-controlled, but it seems like they aren’t given enough trust to complete jobs themselves.
If you want to motivate employees to work productively, give them control of their own workloads. Allocate tasks by providing only the necessary instructions, tell them your expectations, and then just make yourself available if they want anything clarified. Simply by allowing employees to learn how to do things, they’ll make better decisions, teamwork will improve, and productivity skyrockets.
Just like there’s more than one way to sell an Apple, there are many proven strategies to increase business productivity. Find which of these work best so you can ensure your company is always operating at peak productivity and efficiency.