Sunday, January 27, 2013

12 Ways To Improve Productivity At The Workplace


Is it enough to simply have a job, an office or organization to work in, and get a get a cheque and the end of the week? Not anymore. A workplace however large or small has to be driven by efficiency and achievement that manifests itself in the form of tangible results for the organization, and is rewarding for the employee. Less productive inputs and lower efficiency levels are bound to affect the business and jeopardize its sustainability and survival.
Employee productivity is a major concern for employers and lower productivity cannot be blamed on the employee entirely.
  • A lot of it has to do with the environment at the work place, and the work conditions along with a series of factors that define the work culture.
  • Employers have to implement wide spread changes in their setup to improve the productivity of their work force.
  • Employee talent is a valuable asset for a company or organization, and it needs to be tapped to its fullest by keeping the employees motivated to perform and deliver the results they are qualified for and capable of.
  • Employers may often believe that once they have recruited the best talent in the field, the results will inevitably follow. Not necessarily, if you look beneath the surface to see the environment this talent works in.

A few factors that can help to improve the employee productivity at the workplace are:

# 1. Accountability

Every employee needs to be well aware that he is accountable for his actions and decisions, and he can neither pass the buck or pass the blame to someone else.
  • This will help him work more meticulously ,
  • Take cautious rather than reckless decisions, and not take advantage of his place, position or relationship with his superiors.

# 2. Follow up

Employers often set targets and feel their job is done.
  • No, every target or milestone set needs to be followed up as well, to see if the progress is sufficient and if not, whether any interim measures can be taken before it is too late to salvage a situation.
  • It also keeps the employee on track,  ensuring there is consistent effort throughout the lifetime of the project

# 3. Manage the work force but avoid micromanagement

It is well known that a large pool of employees does need to be managed, provided direction and given assistance. But with this they must also be trusted, given freedom to operate in their style and adopt measures which they think are the best to deliver results.
  • This freedom to act as they deem fit helps to keep them encouraged, motivated and happy in the belief that they are trusted.
  • Micro management is a human tendency but one that is detrimental to achievement, since it makes mere puppets out of employees, who are expected to toe the boss’ line and not think for themselves.
  • Employees need to think for themselves, analyze the consequences of every decision or action to be able to give their best to their jobs. And the employers must make it possible for their workers to do so.

#4. Encourage, motivate, reward and recognize

The employer must ensure that on his part he always has words of encouragement for his staff. Encouraging them helps them move forward and do even better, and makes the worker feel happy. Innovative ways of motivating them spurs them even more. For example, holidays or conferences paid for by the company have been found to motivate employees immensely.
  • Rewarding the hard work put in by employees makes them continue to work in the same fashion, and if the employee feels that his work is not appreciated in words or in material terms, he may gradually stop doing so, since he may feel that others working less are given the same too, so he need not work more.
  • Rewards, and other ways of keeping employees happy makes them feel that their effort is being recognized and that they are needed by the company.
  • Without these, they may soon start looking for greener pastures and new jobs.

# 5. Reach out to employees by seeking them out

Every employee loves to feel he has the ears of the management who will recognize him and listen to what he says. Display of inter personal skills in which the boss appears humane and one of them, rather than a larger than life, distant figure, helps to have employees warm up to him and feel happy working for him.
  • A bit of effort to reach out helps them all do better.
  • If this extends beyond the work place it may prove to be even more encouraging to increase employee productivity.

# 6. Demand realistic targets

Employers need to set realistic goals that are within the limits of achievement. While an aggressive employer may want his people to outstretch themselves to achieve farfetched goals, it may also burn them out.

# 7. Team work

Team work always helps in increasing workplace productivity since there is more input in the form of more ideas and minds at work. Working alone is not always the happiest situation either, especially in the field. Successful team building and working together is bound to bring out the best out of the employees who may also then compete with each other ensuring the business is the winner.

# 8. Ensure that people enjoy their work

The best performing employee is the happy employee, and the employer has to find ways of making his people happy. Besides working conditions and the work culture implemented, he has to devise ways of making the work seem challenging and interesting rather than mundane and boring.

# 9. Break the monotony and rotate

While employers assign tasks according to an employee’s core competence, even the task they are best at, can make an employee bored and his work seem monotonous.
  • This monotony can be broken with rotation and giving people new tasks and exposure to other divisions.
  • This adds their learning and helps them get a holistic view of the business.

# 10. Courses and improvement options

Employees are delighted when they can enhance their skills and get additional learning opportunities sponsored by the employer. This helps them learn, feel indebted for the money being spent on them, which also adds to their resume, and are obliged to perform better by applying all the knowledge gained in these courses.

# 11. Spend less time on meetings and more on action

The current trend to have more meetings and discussion rather than spending more time working to achieve results, leads to precious productive time loss.
  • Meetings for reviews and sharing of ideas can be limited and kept short.
  • Employees should have more time to show results.

# 12. Tools and equipment to raise productivity

Finally, the workplace must have the best machinery, devices and equipment that yield error free results in the minimum possible time. Efficient electronic equipment with no connectivity issues and breakdowns will help to save precious time. They should take the place of paper work, and yield fast results. Some of these include:
  • Smart phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablet computers
  • Latest applications and software that offers quick connectivity and access
  • Digital recorders-these help to record thoughts and new ideas when they strike, when no paper is available and the fear is of forgetting the idea
  • Bluetooth to stay connected
  • Personal digital assistants or PDA’s
  • GPS to stay on track on the road
Related post: iPad For Productivity
Thus the idea is to have devices that enhance efficiency and subsequently productivity at the work place. The devices help to reduce the response time, improve customer service and cutting costs, all imperative for workplace productivity.
What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

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