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It’s been a challenge for business owners from the offset – how can we get more out of our work force?
However, often as business owners, we approach this the wrong way; it isn’t just about getting more work done for your business. Study after study has shown that productive employees are empowered employees – employees who feel they’re in a work environment that fosters their creativity, and their individual talent.
If employees don’t feel they’re valued in a job, they won’t put their best work in. This not only means that the output of work done doing from the day to day isn’t as good as it should be, it also means employees are more likely to walk away from your business.
Not providing the right support to help your employees grow in productivity can result in your business losing good staff – and in the long term, this will have a negative impact on your business’s prospects.
To create more productive employees, your need employees to feel valued, and really need to care about your business. Here are our tips on how to create a positive environment for employee productivity.
- Encourage Autonomy
Most entrepreneurs have a tendency to want to constantly be micromanaging, but if you want your employees to feel valued, you need to resist that urge.
Employees grow in their productivity when they have more autonomy. Letting employees decide how they allocate their time demonstrates trust, and allows people to work in a way that’s right for them.
If you really need to know what’s going on in terms of time and attendance, convince your employees to track their time. However, let them decide how to use it.
- Get to Know Your Employees
Your employees aren’t just cogs in the machine of your business; they’re real people with real motivations and passions.
If your employees feel that they’re cared about they’ll invest more in the job. Remember if there are any issues in your employees’ personal lives, check in on them.
On the day to day, get to know your employees’ passions and motivations. Allow them to encourage their interests – remember, people go to work to get paid. Let them know you respect and encourage their passions outside of the job, and you’ll get more out of them from nine to five.
- Recognize Good Work
Employees need to feel valued to be their most productive. This means noticing their efforts, not just a glib “thank you” for their work. Throwing out a “great job” when you have no idea of the specifics of what they’ve been doing can be demeaning.
Instead, try and meet with individual employees once a week. Let them know you’re keeping an eye on what they’re doing, you’re happy with it, and that they’re appreciated. Ask them about their goals and ambitions. This will definitely increase productivity, as people feel more invested. Recognizing good work is crucial to keeping staff motivated.
- Empower them with Technology
Use technology to uplift your employees, not cripple them. Introduce apps and services which streamline manual tasks. Even a service that adds event from the email to a calendar is useful. This allows employees to spend more time and energy on the important tasks, and takes away some of that boring admin work that so hinders productivity.
- Keep People on Your Side
It’s crucial to keep employees on the company’s side. If people feel like an auxiliary part, they won’t feel any loyalty to the business. As in any relationship, you need to nurture people’s attachment to the business.
This involves soliciting ideas and feedback on new projects, and not being dismissive of people’s contributions. Allowing people to make an impact on the business will keep them on your side – and not have them looking for greener pastures.
- Nurture Talent
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book to increase employee productivity – and one which is too often, sadly, overlooked.
If you’ve hired lots of ambitious young people because that’s what you said you wanted, but then don’t foster their ambition, you are going to lose them. Allow talented and ambitious people to grow in strengths. Allocate some of your budget toward training, and give them greater responsibility.
Bright, ambitious people relish opportunities to prove themselves – allowing them to put their youthful energy to good use will ultimately make your whole business more productive.