5 powerful tips to increase employee productivity

Productivity in Australia has fallen behind in recent years. In fact, it’s the first time employee productivity has slipped backwards since the mining boom. With the impact of COVID, on top of disruptive technologies and inefficient systems, it’s become even harder to keep staff engaged.

As businesses try to manage the disruption, the focus on maintaining and improving workplace productivity has intensified. Now, industry leaders are prioritising employee performance and productivity.

It shouldn’t mean your session-based school or staff success is measured only by productivity though. Other valuable elements, like company culture, people and purpose are also needed to build a profitable business. The secret in how to measure employee productivity lies in knowing what factors to consider.

Use these tips to increase employee efficiency.

1. Encourage a healthy work-life balance

Australians have always been hard workers. But the best way to optimise productivity is by working smarter, not harder.

To achieve this, it’s important to encourage balance. When staff are burnt out or stressed, they’re unable to perform at their peak and as a result, productivity drops. The problem is when the line between work and personal becomes blurred, employees are expected to be more available. With technology next to everyone and remote working booming, ‘work hours’ are unclearer.

These days, a healthy work-life balance means prioritisation between personal and professional activities.

While every person and school are different, you can encourage balance by measuring output over work hours, setting clear expectations, scheduling regular progress reviews, fostering trust, incorporating job perks and building a culture of flexibility, support and recognition. Place the needs of your staff first with incentives like longer holiday policies and flexible work schedules.

2. Understand the basics of human motivation

It’s impossible to increase employee productivity without knowing what drives people.

Humans have five basic needs. How they’re fulfilled differs between people, but meeting them allows employees to achieve their highest potential.

  • Physiological: Paying staff a fair salary and providing them with a regular schedule and maintained work facilities
  • Esteem: Rewarding employee performance, recognising team efforts and providing constructive feedback to staff
  • Safety: Ensuring a safe work environment with health benefits
  • Belongingness and support: Promoting team collaboration, celebrating diversity and offering equal access to employee perks
  • Self-actualisation: Creating personalised training plans, offering customised management tools and providing consistent mentorship

3. Communication is key

Listen to your employees and customers to build an efficient workplace. Keep communication channels strong from all directions - not just from management down.

Start by setting clear goals for communicating expectations and introducing accountability. Casual chats make employees feel heard, putting them at ease and encouraging them to share constructive feedback too.

4. Allow input from staff

Your communication strategies must allow input from staff - the people who help keep your school growing.

Give them a place they feel comfortable about speaking up. Meet with them often and establish a rapport; without trust and feedback employees can lose interest which deflates motivation.

Consider your staff’s needs and find ways to implement them into your school’s processes. Whether it’s enforcing streamlined tools so they can do their jobs better, structuring lesson plans or investing in new software. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions to gain the feedback you need to improve and assist staff.

5. Commit to your people

Training and development are two effective tools to increase employee engagement.

Upskilling supports staff in feeling valued while making your business more productive. It’s a win-win for all. Make time for regular training and discuss options with your team to determine the best schedule. Create a fixed training plan and make it fun and practical with snacks.

Skimping over regular training can impact customer experience and the teaching performance of your staff. Progress and growth lead to purpose and enthusiasm on the job.

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