Productivity is key to a healthy company. From using a standing desk to trying the Pomodoro Technique, the ongoing search for ways to increase productivity in the workplace never ends. The problem is, people react differently to the same techniques.
Instead of treating everyone as if they think the same, try considering the following, easily adaptable psychological ways to approach productivity.
1. Recognize accomplishments in person.
As far as ways to increase employee productivity go, recognizing workers’ accomplishments is a good place to start. Employees value face-to-face recognition over bonuses or other rewards, according to a 2013 survey performed by the employee motivation firm Make Their Day. A whopping 70% of the 1,200 surveyed said that “no monetary value” could be placed on real recognition.
Satisfied workers are proven to be more productive. Research performed by economists at the University of Warwick indicated that happy workers were 12% more productive than average. Companies like Google that take measures to improve employee satisfaction see the results.
2. Make work mean something.
One of the most important ways to improve productivity at work is to create meaning for your employees. In Deloitte University Press’ Global Human Capital Trends 2016, researchers found that meaningful work prompted productivity. According to the report, “Research clearly shows that when employees feel empowered and have a sense of ownership for their jobs, their engagement is significantly higher.”
People find meaning in their work in different ways, from impacting customers or society as a whole for the better, developing important relationships internationally or within the company, or creating a sense of accomplishment about the good work done. Explore what works best for your employees.
3. Engage employees fully.
While creating meaning for employees helps to motivate, many other techniques can engage workers to work productively. According to Dale Carnegie research, companies with engaged employees are 202% more productive.
Companies can go about this different ways, but the most important ways to increase productivity at work through engagement are:
- Open communication
- Employees need to feel as though their contributions matter.
- Good relationships between management and employees
- 80% of disengaged workers report that they are dissatisfied with their direct manager.
- A shared sense of vision
- 54% of engaged workers believe in their company’s positive output into the world.
4. Encourage performance, not individual tasks.
The shockingly low 13% of employees that feel engaged with their work largely stems from ineffective motivating techniques. While the completion of tasks is certainly easier to monitor, emotional rewards for performance are more motivating for workers.
Regular recognition for employee’s accomplishments leads to a leap in productivity, according to Gallup. It also makes workers less likely to leave their job or make mistakes and improves customer service relations.
5. Advocate for breaks.
Ever noticed that after working for a while, the mind seems to hit a wall? There’s a reason for that. A commonly cited studied by Hiroshima University asserts that the perfect ratio is 52 minutes of work to 17 minutes of break. Encouraging these breaks is one of the easiest ways to improve productivity in the workplace.
Prepare a rec room where employees can kick back and focus on something other than work for a short time. Set out equipment like a yoga mat for stretching or a bit of mild exercise, and a brain booster like puzzle games that co-workers can play such as tic tac toe boards, chinese checkers, or a wooden high rise condo. Sometimes, as strange as it seems, the best thing for productivity is to forget about being productive for a time.
6. Be open to out-of-office work
With a bevy of “alternative” options, including working remotely, co-working, and telecommuting, the workplace can mean many different things now. Perhaps surprisingly, working from home can lead to a 13% increase in productivity.
This boost could result for a number of reasons. Not everyone works efficiently in the morning, for example. When working from home, employees can take breaks when they want and get things done when they feel the most inspired. They also benefit from their comfortable home environment, making home workers more satisfied. Not only this, allowing employees to work remotely saves companies money!
7. Pay attention to employee differences.
Different people operate in contrasting ways; this is especially important to note when managing an office that ranges widely in age and cultural differences. Millennials, for example, now make up over a third of the workforce, overtaking the retiring Baby Boomers. This young demographic benefits most from technology-based platforms and may prefer working remotely and instant messaging to cubicles and emails.
For older workers who like the more traditional office set-up, there’s no need to completely lose it. Just be flexible and listen to employee needs.
So, listen to what employees have to say. Acknowledge all that they do and give them a sense of purpose. The positive productivity results will follow!
Author: Yazi Jepson is a content writer who has worked with brands and businesses from all over the world. With her background in business management, she has been writing in the area of human resource, organization behavior and self-improvement since 2009. Connect with Yazi @yada_dadada.