While an organization is made up of many components, it is the employees that form its backbone. History is a testimony to the fact that the biggest and most successful businesses have had not only the best leaders but also the best workers. It is easy to see a direct correlation between employee productivity and company growth. However, employee productivity is a fragile thing and can be disrupted by a variety of factors. In common situations like these, you need to figure out ways to enhance productivity.
The ways to do it are varied and employ different tactics. Some work at the psychological level while others demand changes in the entire infrastructure. Some others work through the introduction of better tools. Let’s take a look at some of the most efficient ways to enhance productivity at the workplace:
1. Balance between autonomy and guidance
It is a very slippery slope we are talking about. Proper guidance is obviously required from the top management to the lower-level employees. Even if the crew does all the hard work, a captain is still required to steer the ship. Lack of guidance often leads to negligence and a sense of carelessness.
If there is no overseeing authority, employees could form a tendency to delegate work or operate at a sub-par level. Yet, too much interference from the management could have negative consequences too. Employees might feel that the management does not have sufficient trust in their capabilities, and lead to disengagement.
The solution is to strike the right balance between the two. A manager has to guide, and this he/she must do. They must always be available for sorting out the problem as and when it is presented before them. But a certain degree of autonomy must also be provided to the employees. They must know that their superiors trust their capabilities. The right balance is bound to enhance productivity in your office.
2. Automate what you can
A study in 2014 revealed that 78% of employees dislike doing work that is repetitive. This includes both the actual tasks given to them and other things employees have to do, like filling in attendance. In simpler words, mundane work leads to disengagement and loss of productivity.
The solution? Skip the boring work. In particular, automate the tasks whenever possible. In fact, you can find reliable vendors that can provide you with tools like HRMS that can automate your entire HR department. It can take an entire day to describe the effect automation has on productivity.
As mentioned earlier, the lack of repetitive work will make employees more interested in their work. Automation will also save a lot of manual work hours that could be dedicated to other tasks.
While we are talking about HRMS tool, we should also talk about the other positive impacts it has on the productivity. Features like remote access give the employees access to HR functions without being physically present, while Employee Self-Service allows them to raise and resolve their queries by themselves. One single tool, if effective, alone can boost your productivity to a great extent. Don't expect results overnight though!
3. Better training
Knowledge and skills are not meant just for students. In the world that we live in today, skills need to be cultivated and polished if anyone wants to stay relevant in the changing times. Until recently, businesses simply chose to hire new recruits whenever a demand for a new skill came while letting go of old employees. However, only now have they realized that it would be both cheaper and more productive to retain old employees and train them on new skills.
Training programs are therefore vital for developing and upgrading the knowledge and skills of employees. As a business owner, the mantle of choosing the right training program falls on you.
You can use tools like HRMS for this purpose. The tool allows you to track the progress of employees, schedule new training modules and maintain the existing ones. In other words, it ensures that an efficient training is provided to the employees. Good training leads to better skills and thus better productivity.
4. Better communication
If you are in any business, you already know the importance of proper communication. Poor communication can lead to errors and mistakes, which then cost productivity. Solutions are delayed if you are unable to communicate between concerned departments, which further reduce productivity.
It is worth noting that an overwhelming 95% of all communication is regarding problems and errors, while any other kind of communication (including future planning) is rare.
To solve this, we need to stop seeing communication as a means-to-an-end and start seeing it as a culture. While employee autonomy (that we discussed earlier) is important, it must also be made clear that there must be no hesitation in communicating any doubts or concerns with the superiors.
Likewise, the superiors should be able to communicate their expectations in a clear manner. If both the situations are achieved, you can easily enhance productivity in the workplace.
5. Cultivate trust and loyalty
Trust and loyalty are the bedrock upon which employer-employee relationships are built. If the employees do not care about the company or think that the company doesn’t care about them, they certainly won’t give their best at the workplace. To enhance productivity, the employers need to place their trust in the employees and earn back the same.
Trust would lead to loyalty, as the employees would start feeling a sense of belonging to the organization. This would obviously lead to more dedication and efforts at work, thus improving their productivity significantly.
Given that most companies struggle with poor employee productivity, it is easy to assume that it is not easy to enhance productivity at workplace. However, the truth is far from this. All you need is the right methods, tools and a positive approach, and you will realize that achieving higher productivity isn't so difficult after all, since the results will be before all to see!