There is an abundance of distractions that prevent employees from being as productive as possible. From cell phones to lack of motivation to employee discomfort, these distractions can cost your company thousands of dollars in wasted time.
Luckily, there are a variety of simple things that you can do in order to increase productivity around the workplace. Next time you enter your office, try to make note of each time you are distracted from work and why you were distracted. You will quickly notice how much it adds up. Below are five simple ways to increase employee productivity and cut losses.
Set Goals for Employees
When employees work long enough, it’s easy for them to lose interest in what they are doing. By setting goals for your employees, they can track their own productivity and strive to get more work done. Some type of award or recognition for achieving the goal may also motivate them to actually try to reach the goal. Many companies set targets for their employees and offer a small reward, such as a lunch gift card, if their employees are able to meet expectations. You may also want to consider offering bonuses to these employees. This might seem expensive, but the increased amount of work that is done will often offset the cost of a small bonus that is given to those who go above and beyond.
Keep Your Employees Comfortable
Discomfort in the workplace can be a major distraction for employees. If an employee is cold or sweating, it can make it extremely difficult to work. Hire a company to inspect your office’s heating and cooling systems to make sure they are operating as they should. Provide fans or miniature heaters for employees who get too hot or cold with the office’s normal temperature. By allowing employees to adjust the temperature of their own personal space, you will be able to give them a comfortable place where they can put their full attention on their work, instead of on their discomfort.
Many employees enjoy working with others on projects and many are much more productive when working in a team. With a team, employees can often motivate each other and think of better solutions to problems while putting their ideas together. The only problem that you might encounter with a team is that some people might slack off and put the work on others. In order to prevent this problem, it is important that you assign specific and individual tasks to each group member. This gives a responsibility to each person that they need to fulfill, while still allowing for the group members to help each other with the final product.
Break the Redundancy
Redundant work quickly leads to boredom for most employees. For employees that do basic work that doesn’t require in-depth training, allow them to work other positions occasionally or trade places with others for certain periods of time. This is not only a great way to help break redundancy, it also will help to give your employees a wide variety of different talents and skills, which is a great form of security to protect against employees that may need to leave your business on a whim.
Fewer Meetings and More Work
While meetings can be productive and necessary, many businesses require mandatory meetings that are largely a waste of time, at least for some of the people present. Sit in on all of your company meetings and make sure that they are totally necessary and productive. Try to determine if the meetings can be shortened or eliminated altogether. Talk to your employees to get their honest opinions about the meetings. Less time in meetings means more time for productive work. You also need to make sure that only the required people are going to any meetings that you may have. For example, sales people should not be attending your marketing meetings, just like normal workers should not be there for management meetings.
These simple steps will likely increase employee productivity more than you would think. Analyze your business and track your distractions for additional ideas on how to improve productivity for your business and employees.
Published: December 18, 2013