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Helping Your Staff to Be as Productive as Possible

 

By Business Desk

 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017.

 

When you take on members of staff, you may believe that the bulk of your efforts should go into the interview process. By being extremely picky in your interviews, you can ensure that not only do you find someone who’s sufficiently qualified for the role you’re offering but also that they are enthusiastic about your company and the career path that they are choosing with you. Now, the interview process can give you a relatively good idea of any potential employee. It gives you more of a grasp of their character, personality, and drive than you’d be able to take away from a written application alone. However, it is absolutely essential that you don’t convince yourself that this is the end of the journey. Sure, half of the benefit of having reliable employees is that you can leave them to get on with their tasks while you focus your attention on other areas of your business, such as raising brand awareness, settling on marketing campaigns, or pushing product development forward. But at the same time, even the best workers are only human and left to their own devices, they are often likely to slack or take advantage of excessive freedom in their roles. So, how do you go about ensuring that your staff are as productive as possible at all times? Well, there are a few different ways to go about this, but for now, let’s focus on those that are the easiest to implement and have the most positive results.

 

Measure Productivity and Achievement

Employees are much more likely to work consistently and at a high quality if they are aware that they are being observed. Now, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to watch and survey their every move. In fact, this is likely to throw them off task and, well… creep them out a bit in general. You also don’t want to measure productivity and achievement to punish or embarrass those who don’t seem to be keeping up. Instead, you should use this method of surveillance more for your own records. Having a complete picture of how your company is coming along in different areas will help you to track your progress. You need to see the big picture in order to see how you’ve progressed and set goals about where you want your business to be in the future. It can also help you to see the average input, which will allow you to reward those who go above and beyond expectations (something that we will focus on more closely in a little while). So, how do you accurately measure productivity and achievement in the workplace? One of the most popular methods is measuring productivity quantitatively. This method of measurement is perhaps best for employees dealing with the production of tangible goods or sales of equal value that can be counted. Say you have workers who operate a factory line. You can easily measure their productivity by calculating the total number of products reeled off the production line over a particular time period (such as an hour, day, week, month, or year). Alternatively, you might have call centre workers who contact people encouraging them to purchase a given item, sign up to a particular plan, or subscribe to paying a given amount. You can then count how many sales each person has put through. Just remember to account for factors that may slow the process that are beyond their control. For example, there might be a delay in raw materials being delivered, or the internet and phone lines may have gone down.

 

Acknowledge Hard Work

Anyone knows that you are more likely to put an effort in if your achievements are acknowledged. There’s nothing worse than pouring your time and effort into something, only for the positive results that it produces to be shrugged off by someone in a more authoritative position. Recognition and appreciation are basic human needs. We work on a reward basis, and when we are commended or congratulated for something that we’ve done, we experience a release of positive chemicals and want to do it again. So, work with basic human psychology and give out a little praise every now and then. Not only is this entirely free, but it will this keep your employees happy, but it encourages them to go above and beyond your expectations of them. They will continue to produce impressive results time and time again. This means that your company will constantly progress and you will reap in the rewards in the form of profit. What more could you possibly want?

 

Set Goals and Offer Rewards or Incentives

As you can see from the last section, you don’t necessarily need to fork out a single penny to show your staff members that you appreciate their hard work. However, if you really want to see productivity go through the roof, it’s time to start offering rewards or putting up incentives.There are several ways to go about this. First, if someone has gone beyond the call of duty without being asked, you may want to reward them. This will come as a surprise to them, making them feel even more valued due to the element of surprise. Alternatively, you can actively set goals and offer incentives for your employees to achieve them. These incentives can take various forms. Monetary rewards can include bonuses, paid time off, employee stock options, or profit-sharing plans. Non-monetary rewards can include perks and opportunities. These could include flexible work hours, training opportunities and the chance to work independently - perhaps working from their own office or home. You should make sure that whatever goals you set aren’t easy to hit, but are also achievable. If the target is set too high, your staff will quickly tire of trying to reach impossible expectations and will feel as though you are merely dangling a carrot in front of them.

 


Actively Managing Shifts


You may think that it makes little difference when your staff work, as long as they put in the hours. But you couldn’t be more wrong! So many managers and business owners go wrong by putting staff on shift in random orders according to whatever fits together most easily. People are naturally drawn towards specific shifts. We generally want to work at reasonable hours during the day, while night shifts or shifts that start particularly early or run particularly late are often seen as undesirable. Why? Well, people still have lives to live around their work. They want to be able to fit into a standard social routine and still be able to nip to the shops and get other personal tasks done. So, if you always put one team on for a day shift while another is always on night shifts, you’re going to end up with a fair few unhappy team members.


What do unhappy team members mean? A reluctance to work and less energy and effort being put in while they are on shift. So implement a rotating schedule. When you do this, shifts will be varied, meaning that the overall working hours become fairer in general. You ensure that all of your operating hours are covered at the same time as making sure that every staff member gets sufficient time off and long enough breaks to recuperate between their working hours. Perfect! Read Getsling’s article on How a Rotating Shift Schedule Can Double Your Team’s Productivity for more information.


 


Encourage Teamwork


As well as looking out for your staff by actively ensuring that shifts are evenly distributed amongst your employees, you also want to encourage them to look out for one another too! Your workforce is the backbone of your business, so you are going to want to make sure that your employees bond effectively and are able to work together for the good of your company. Sure, you want each worker to be able to work independently and of their own accord. But you also want to push the importance of numerous workers collaborating and pulling together to produce brilliant results. So, how do you go about bringing these otherwise disparate people together? Well, in short, you should start focusing on team building activities. Team building breaks the ice between your employees, producing more positive relationships between everyone within the workplace. Common tasks such as the classification game, the picture pieces game, and the great egg drop can help your employees to foster professional and creative communication with one another, which they can then use to tackle problems and develop new, creative ideas.

 


Remember that monitoring and managing your staff is a constant responsibility that you hold as an employer. No matter how well things are going, there are always areas of improvement to work on, so don’t be lazy! After all, the more productive your staff are, the greater profits you will turn over as a direct result of their hard work and dedication to your company and brand. So get your money’s worth by following the simple steps above!




Helping Your Staff to Be as Productive as Possible

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