On average, employees spend approximately five hours every day at their desk. This is time companies are paying for, but often the results of employee’s work verses time spent in the office don’t match up. Even those employees who appear to be the most productive can use a little help in getting more out of each day.
If you’re concerned about employee productivity and are looking for ways to improve efficiency, productivity, and engagement at the office, here are some tips to help. Following these tips can lead to a happier workplace, which results in an increased ROI.
In order for employees to grow, they need to know the expectations. When establishing a measurement system to determine if employees are productive, managers need to set clear rules and expectations. Managers need to have regular check-ins about goals and progress. For example, goals may include a 10 percent increase in sales and five percent less time spent on entertainment websites. There should be a plan in place for employees who may be falling being or not meeting deadlines due to unproductivity. An employee may be spending too much time on non-work related websites or there may be too many distractions. By identifying where the employee is struggling, employers can help individuals work to reach their full potential and grow professionally.
Be sure to offer regular, helpful feedback to employees as well. Feedback should encourage, not discourage. It doesn’t always need to be positive, but feedback does need to be thoughtful.
Loosen Up on Internet Restrictions
It might sound counterproductive, but relaxing on Internet restrictions may help employees be more productive. Many employers overly restrict Internet use at the office. This may be out of fear that company-owned computers and time will be misused. However, there are so many resources available online that can make tasks easier for employees.
Social media is a good example of this. Marketing on social media is becoming increasingly more important to help businesses grow. It’s also a great place to keep up-to-date with competitors. When used correctly, employees can be super productive with social media and Internet use.
Use the Cloud
The benefits of the cloud have been proven to save time and money, while increasing employee productivity. Cloud technologies are faster to deploy, cost less than on premise technologies, and require minimum technical know-how to manage. These benefits let employees focus on growing the business, instead of learning new technologies.
The ability to access files anywhere also increases productivity. The cloud lets people work faster and smarter. Instead of leaving a meeting or rushing back to the office to finish a project, employees can access files and databases on their mobile device.
The cloud also cuts back on endless emails, missed phone calls, and the inevitable frustration that comes from both. Collaborating on the cloud cuts out the need to email pieces of a project back and forth. Employees can collaborate in real time. Employees can also give constant updates to their supervisors and receive immediate feedback, opening up the lines of communication.
Measuring productivity to increase ROI is similar to using sales and marketing data to increase sales. For example, if you want to increase sales, you have to understand the source of current sales. You have to measure, experiment, and improve in order to increase ROI.
The same is true about employee performance measurement. You have to see the entire picture. Asking “How has productivity improved from last month” is much more effective than just asking if productivity has improved. The reporting numbers, and the data used to report the numbers, must be clear in order to know where improvements need to be made.
Account for Brain Breaks
Understanding and monitoring employee productivity is important, but it’s also important to remember that everyone is human. It’s not feasible to expect employees to be 100 percent productive 24/7. Acknowledge that everyone is human and we all need a break from time to time. Daily breaks, as well as vacations, have been proven to help the brain function better.
If you’re looking to boost productivity, remember that employee engagement matters. Most employees want to be a part of a team, to feel committed to something. Developing and maintaining a consistent management approach that helps employees feel needed and useful is a key link to the productivity process.