Every organization will struggle with productivity and performance at some point. It’s all part of the development cycle. It comes from many different places. From onboarding, to moving someone to a higher position while their replacement gets up to speed, a lack of defined guidance and documentation for how to handle situations, and even distractions like too many meetings.
However, while it’s a common situation, that doesn’t mean that you have to play the willing victim. A few tips will help you improve employee productivity and performance building a stronger, more resilient organization.
№1. Focus on Learning and Development
While you might not think that L&D is directly tied to productivity and performance. The truth is they are inextricably linked. When you provide the training your employees need, they are more productive and perform better. However, the benefits don’t stop there. They’re also more engaged, become more loyal, and deliver more value over their lifespan in comparison with employees who receive no training and development.
However, this does require that you go beyond mere mandatory corporate training. You need to offer career development, upskilling, and more. You also need to use a modern Learning Management System that makes it simple for learners to complete their work from mobile devices, making learning accessible even while they’re not in the office.
№2. Delegate and Empower
One of the fastest ways to improve employee productivity and performance is to delegate responsibilities empowering your teams to make decisions. Delegating responsibility helps demonstrate trust, which in turn drives better engagement and more success. Of course, you need to ensure that you’re delegating to the right employees. In some cases, you may also need to come to terms with letting go of some responsibilities – this can be challenging for decision-makers to let go at times.
When you grant autonomy to team members, you empower them. Empowered employees are more confident, less afraid to take risks, and more actively engaged in business growth and development. Empowered employees are also much more productive and the results of their activities are more likely to drive success.
№3. Cut Down on Meetings
This might seem like strange advice in a time when more people than ever before are working remotely, but cutting down on meetings is an important step toward better productivity and performance. Suppose an employee has two meetings on a workday. Each of those meetings takes 45 minutes. So, you’re looking at 1.5 hours of lost productivity already.
Another aspect to add to this: One would need 10 minutes to prepare for each of those meetings, so that’s another 20 minutes. Even in this basic example, we’re at almost two hours of lost productivity.
Now, take that and spread it over a week. How many meetings are your employees required to attend each week? Chances are good there’s a massive amount of lost time there. Even just cutting down on the length of time spent in meetings, focusing on quick check-ins and one-on-ones can dramatically improve productivity.
№4. Make Sure They Have the Right Tools
Never before has it been so critical that your employees have access to (and know how to use) modern tools. What’s more, those tools differ greatly from those that might have been used just a few months ago. Today, you need to focus on things like Trello, Slack, and Zoom, in addition to any other software or apps your business uses in-house. The right tools will help raise the bar for productivity and success.
№5. Recruit the Right People
In some cases, poor productivity and performance are signs of a bad fit, culturally speaking. It’s entirely possible that an employee simply has a radically different set of personal values and ethics. In this case, better recruiting can be the key to improved productivity and performance. It will also have a positive impact on employee retention and longevity, engagement, and so much more.
№6. Map Out Careers
In addition to better recruiting, it’s important to work with your employees to map out their career paths. This is part of an overall strategy that can bolster improved productivity, performance, and engagement at all levels. For instance, by working with an employee, you learn that they aspire to move up to a higher position in another department. You can provide learning and development materials that support those aspirations, and along the way, you can strategize the best way to bring in her replacement for the previous position. It allows greater control over the entire process.
№7. Stop Micromanaging
If you’re a micromanager, here’s one word for you: STOP. It does not improve productivity or performance. It demoralizes your team. If you can’t step away, it tells your employees that you don’t trust their abilities or their judgment. It’s certainly not going to improve anything. So, take a deep breath and step back. Let your team do what you hired them to do.
№8. Communicate Clearly
The key to success in any business is clear, accurate communication. Make sure that you have clear two-way communication. Check-ins, one-on-ones with employees, guidance documents – these are just the tip of the iceberg.
№9. Give Them Time to Care for Themselves
If you expect your employees to burn both ends of the candle, eventually they’re going to burn out. Give them time to care for themselves and they’ll reward you with better productivity and performance. Everyone needs time to step away from occupational pressures and fears, recover, and rejuvenate.
№10. Recognize Their Efforts
Finally, make sure that you recognize your team’s efforts. Give praise. Encourage your team members. You don’t need to hand out monetary rewards all the time, but a pat on the back goes a long way toward spurring better productivity and performance. If your team thinks that you take them for granted, they’re going to be frustrated and performance will decline. A little encouragement, on the other hand, can help them achieve new heights.
№Bring It All Together
Ultimately, improving productivity and performance requires an in-depth look at what’s going on in the company and applying corrective action where necessary. From instituting learning and development initiatives to the right hiring and career development strategy, it’s critical that you’re intentional and taking informed action.