5 proven strategies for improving your staff productivity

Unmotivated staff have the power to disrupt any business. Productivity levels decrease, customer service drops and absenteeism increases. When that translates into dollars, you’re looking at a loss of $17,000 on average per year, based on a $50,000 salary.

That’s a huge chunk of money you shouldn’t have to miss. Thankfully, it’s preventable with the right strategies.

Employee engagement is one of the most valuable assets for business performance. When staff productivity is high, the team is happy, invested in their roles, and achieves a greater work quality.

Yet it’s still a challenge for businesses to retain and motivate their people. Lack of support and training, outdated systems, workplace stress, unhealthy environments and company culture are some of the reasons why staff are unproductive.

Try these tips to energise your employees.

1. Understand what drives them

The first step to improving staff productivity is knowing what employees want. If you don’t understand the problem, how can you provide a solution?

What drives motivation differs between businesses, generations and roles. Factors like leadership, learning and development, and a sense of meaning at work are a few constants proven to lift engagement across a range of industries and demographics.

Flexible work conditions and support are also important. People are more overwhelmed than ever before and need more than workplace incentives to feel sustained and understood.

Tips to action:

  • Involve your team when determining driving factors
  • Have frequent conversations to check in with staff, address concerns and manage performance
  • Encourage staff to speak up by collecting and addressing feedback

2. Simplify your workday

Make small adjustments to working habits and stop duties from piling up.

Workflows and processes are some of the easiest tasks to control productivity. Fix workflow issues by automating time-consuming activities and optimising your systems. With the right tools, you can automate:

  • Invoicing
  • Appointment and project scheduling
  • Lead generation
  • Social media marketing
  • Website backup
  • Payroll

Tip: Find a platform with automation features built-in so you don’t have to start from scratch. Some will also provide training to get your team familiar with the setup before implementing. This is valuable for software support and to prevent time-wasting within your organisation.

3. Use the right technology

Give your team the right tools and software solutions to make their jobs easier. Thanks to technology, you can automate 45% of employee activities.

You must choose tech solutions suitable for your business. Just because a platform works great for another company, doesn’t mean it will make your team more productive.

Focus on technology that simplifies communication, customer management, documenting processes and storing and managing files.

Tips to action:

  • Choose tech solutions with time-saving benefits
  • Get rid of manual tracking processes that are killing your staff’s productivity
  • Invest in new, scalable tools to facilitate growth
  • Ask core team members what their biggest tech pain points are and address them
  • Review outdated systems costing time and money
  • Check what support is offered for each tool or tech upgrade
  • Use time tracking software

4. Motivate through regular training

Hiring new staff isn’t the only way to grow. Invest in your team, so they can help the business achieve more.

Offer ongoing training outside of job-specific skills. Soft skills, like time management, organisation and people skills are just as essential as technical abilities. Management teams, for example, should be capable of working with others and coordinating people.

Tips to action:

  • Conduct regular training to enrich your employees’ skillset
  • Train managers to know how to handle subordinates
  • Analyse team member skills gaps using performance reviews, assessments and staff surveys
  • Make voluntary training easy to take part in
  • Recognise employees’ achievements through rewards and success metrics

5. Measure output vs input

Monitoring hours worked is behind the times. Steer away from old habits by focusing on outcomes over input, emphasising the end result.

As long as work is delivered on time and up to standard, it shouldn’t matter how many hours staff are in the office. It’s a good way to shift the responsibility to employees while allowing them to work in a way that fits their lifestyle and needs, ultimately driving productivity.

This approach also helps promote a healthy work-life balance.

Tips to action:

  • Set measurable learning goals
  • Encourage staff to work when they’re most productive
  • Measure the quality of work over the hours
  • Create flexible work conditions so your team doesn’t feel too restricted
  • Support staff in balancing work and personal commitments
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