Employee productivity is something that, as a manger, you are always striving for (well, you should if you know what’s good for you and your company). It is the goal of every manager to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff pool. As far as business is concerned, productivity is the Holy Grail.
But, there are limits to how we can push for productivity (lest we become the stereotypical slave drivers, portrayed in workplaces via sitcoms, cartoons and other media). Employee productivity is a tough nut to crack. If we approach this challenge from a scientific rather than a greedy CEO’s point of view, than we have a shot.
Break it Down
Ask yourself; what is needed in order to boost a certain activity? Then brainstorm what can be done to obtain it. This tactic is cut and dry, a standard practice for figuring out the needs of your company (and employee), and then figuring out the way to get there.
So, In general, what are the elements that boost productivity in employees? And what are the factors hindering it?
For one, we need more engagement in the workplace; when work becomes a tedious, boring chore (one that must be endured for many years …until retirement and death) life at work can become bleak, rather quickly. You must find ways to boost interaction and increase engagement. Take notice and offer a compliment to an employee for a task well done. Your workers will feel a sense of accomplishment, which leads to employee satisfaction.
Gamification is a good way to establish some of this engagement and satisfaction. So, how can gamification be implemented? Technology is the answer; it’s the best way to handle this. Luckily, productivity tracking is available in almost all business tools, so many employers are making a shift to support gamification .
Advanced technology, in and of itself, can bolster productivity. Better software and hardware make it possible for staff to handle more work, more quickly and more efficiently. Electronic performance support software can provide immediate employee assistance immediately, and within the flow of work, so there is no need for the employee to leave his/her desk or to wait for helpdesk assistance. In addition, learning management systems (LMS) software have made it easier for training officers to administer and manage continuous online learning to employees, bolstering performance levels. Furthermore, hardware advances, in particular the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablet computers, allow for information to be accessed from any location and on any device.
Building on this thought… technology, gamification and engagement are not enough. Self-reliance and confidence –within the employees themselves- is a necessary element in boosting productivity.
When an employee is confronted with an issue they can’t solve or don’t understand, they face a dilemma. Do they have the confidence to handle it on their own or do they ask those above them for clarification? This process is not time efficient and creates self-doubt.
The situation can be easily avoided by creating a constant learning environment; Employers need to provide their staff members with updates, an overview of what’s going on and information tools. This environment of constant learning and training (even implementing a rewards system), is a way to reduce and combat insecurities, while boosting employee motivation.
Within no time, you will notice increased self-confidence, improvement in work ethic, and a higher skill level… (all leading to increased employee satisfaction). This boosted morale and a sense of value will also bolster productivity. Happy employees who feel valued and feel useful are going to work more eagerly, more happily and more efficiently.
The Big Picture
It is pretty evident, from the eyes of an outside observer, that what we need in order to increase overall workplace satisfaction is to improve work life on a daily basis. This can be done via engagement, modern technology, gamification, boosting employee confidence and creating a learning-filled work environment. Try implementing some of these tips and see what a difference it will make!