In a time when businesses face unprecedented challenges staying staffed with hard-working employees, productivity has never been more important. Maximizing productivity is one of the most common goals business owners and managers have. But determining how to best achieve that objective can leave managers confused and frustrated.
Optimizing productivity can translate into boosted profits and improved morale, so it’s worth the effort to get there. From using product management software to encouraging by example, here are six ways to make your workplace more productive.
1. Use a Product Management Tool
Employees sometimes get stuck in the web of decreased efficiency because they don’t know what they should do next. When there’s a lack of guidance or communication on a particular project, you can expect worker efficiency to plummet. Many managers are stretched so thin that they can’t spend time outlining project parameters and expectations to each employee.
As a manager, you can’t be in all places at all times. To guide and encourage your entire team at once, use a product manager tool. Product management software allows team members to collaborate effectively. It condenses all the tasks, updates, and information for a particular project in one place. It also facilitates instantaneous communication across multiple departments to streamline workflows and maximize productivity.
2. Set SMART Goals
Establishing production goals is a great way to help employees reach obtainable objectives in a timely way. When setting goals, work to make sure they are SMART, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals are known for delivering the most quantifiable results.
The trick to creating achievable SMART goals is to include your entire team in the goal-setting process. As a manager, you may think a specific goal is perfectly achievable within the given time frame. But your employees — the ones primarily responsible for getting the work done — may have different opinions. Invite their feedback and suggestions when creating project-based SMART goals.
3. Minimize Distractions
The average employee experiences work interruptions every three minutes. Frequent and unnecessary interruptions can seriously hamper productivity! Some types of distractions at work are inevitable. You may need to leave your computer for an impromptu meeting or take an unexpected call from a client. These types of distractions are a normal part of professional life and can’t realistically be eliminated.
However, there are other types of workplace distractions that can and should be avoided for the sake of productivity. These include checking social media, sending and receiving texts from friends, and surfing the web during work hours. To reduce these types of distractions, establish a policy that employees can only check personal emails and social accounts during breaks.
4. Emphasize Breaks
While excessive distractions can become a needless waste of time, that is not to say employees should be constantly working. You may think cracking the whip over your team is the best way to boost productivity, but it’s not. Well-timed breaks are important for rejuvenating mental and physical energy.
The human mind and body require downtime to function optimally, especially when working on particularly intense or stressful tasks. To maximize productivity, encourage employees to take periodic breaks throughout the day. Make laptop-free lunch hours the norm in your workplace and suggest the occasional team walk. Consider testing different approaches to see what breaks-taking arrangement works best for improving productivity.
5. Recognize and Reward Productivity
It’s no secret that people like to be recognized for their efforts. Would you be eager to expend your time and energy on someone who refused to thank you for your work? Probably not. If you want to boost productivity in the workplace, learn how to recognize and reward it.
There are various ways you can reward employees for achieving better output. One classic approach to increasing the productivity of sales reps is providing commissions and bonuses when they meet sales goals. You may also choose to implement a formal recognition event to celebrate good performance. Another effective productivity booster is offering additional time off to the highest producers in your company. Finally, don’t forget how important it is to give verbal praise when you recognize a job well done.
6. Encourage by Example
Your example is one of the most powerful tools you have to influence employee behavior. When you hold a position of authority in the workplace, you can count on being both scrutinized and emulated. If your goal is to maximize productivity, make sure you’re encouraging it by example.
Good leaders mirror the qualities and behaviors they expect to see in their team members. As they do this, they earn respect. Delegating is one thing, but leaders who fob off work that’s rightfully theirs will be hard-pressed to earn their subordinates’ loyalty and commitment. If you want employees to improve their output, you should be dedicated to improving your own productivity. When you demonstrate a good work ethic yourself, it’s easier to ask your employees to do the same.
Improving productivity is essential to increasing profits and achieving goals. Hard-working employees also save businesses time and money and help them gain an advantage over their competitors. Implement the suggestions above to make your workplace more productive, starting today.