Maximising Productivity Isn’t All About Flow Charts

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

It can be effortless to fall into the trap of thinking that to increase productivity in your business, you must be utterly concerned with audits and flow charts. However, recent research on this subject has shown that this is not the case. In fact, increased productivity comes not only from identifying and removing unnecessary steps in your processes but from a whole range of different factors. The most effective of which you can read about below.

Employee wellness

First of all, stressed, sick and generally demotivated employees are not going to be at their most productive. That is why employee wellness should be at the top of your list when it comes to improving productivity in your company.

Of course, there are a high number of things that you can do to promote employee wellness. Such as offering healthy snacks, discounted gym membership and even medical cover for those that work for you. Some employers also choose to provide in-house wellness services like meditation classes throughout the day, and napping pods. Where employees can grab 40 winks if they need to recharge before getting back to work.

In fact, some businesses are starting to see the benefits of employee wellness programmes as so important they are instituting formal schemes in the workplace. Of course, these schemes do cost money, but this is often far outweighed by the savings that are made, making them a very popular tactic.

Productive environment

Next, instead of spending your time rearranging boxes on a flow chart, why not rearrange the furniture in your office environment instead? Yes, that is right, the environment that we provide for our workers can have a massive effect on how productive they are.

In fact, there are two main issues to consider here. The first is that of need. That is, you must ask yourself the question: ‘Do your employees have everything they need to do their job well?” Which may include providing them with equipment, reliable tools, supplies, and the resources they need to work productively at their job.

However, the second issue is much more geared towards the aesthetics of the space that you provide for them. This idea is based on the ‘broken window’ effect. That is a space that looks run down and not cared for is likely to encourage poor behaviour and attitudes in those that use it. An effect that can have a knock-on impact on morale, and therefore productivity.

With that in mind, special attention should be paid to your business office interiors with a view to making them pleasant places to work. Of course, you can have a go at this yourself by introducing more natural light and hanging some art on the walls. Although, you may be better off getting the professional to help you. The reason being that they are best positioned for creating just the right type of space that will see your employees shine and be as productive as possible.

Minimise meetings

Currently, you may think that meetings are one of the most important activities that your employees are engaged in throughout the day. However, the truth of the matter is most meetings are unnecessary time saps. Things that prevent your employees from getting on with the real tasks that can positively affect your bottom line.

To that end, it may be necessary, for productivities sake for your business to take an entirely new attitude to meetings. One way to do this is to limit them to a maximum of 10 minutes a day, no matter what the topic or issue.

Some businesses even choose to do this by asking all attendees to stand during the meeting. The idea is that as their legs get tired, the attendees are much less likely to talk on and on when not absolutely necessary.

Watch out for instant reply culture/distractions

There is another way that you can increase productivity in your business without getting anywhere near a flowchart. It is to watch out for the small distractions that add up to big problems throughout the day.

Sadly, in this instant message and instant replay culture, there are a great deal of these. All of which snatch away the focus of your employees and distract them from what they are doing.

Of course, as a responsible and productive employer what you need to do is minimise such distractions in any way you can. One option for doing this is to discourage the instant reply culture, with obvious exceptions such as those working on customer service chats. Instead, you can schedule a time for replying to messages and emails throughout the day. Something that means they are batched together and can stop any productivity sap.

However, for this to be as effective as possible, you will need to encourage your employees to switch off their notifications. Both on their email and smartphones. Now, you may well get a bit of push back here, because notifications can seem as if they are an excellent idea. However, just ask your employees to trial if for and week, and then will see how much calmer and more productive things are and will be happy to convert to this way of working.

Make sure you have a conducive infrastructure.

Finally, if you really want your company to be as productive as possible, you must make sure that your infrastructure is effective. What this means is that everyone has defined roles, and the information, resources, and skills needed to do them.

Additionally, if an employee has a problem, they need to know exactly who to go to get help. Rather than wasting time asking people whose job it is not. In fact, seeking support and advice from the wrong person is one of the most significant barriers to effective productivity there is. From small businesses to huge multinational corporations.

With that in mind, do make sure your infrastructure is effective and contains effective policies for dealing with conduct and capability issues as necessary. In fact, doing so can boost productivity no end, because it is a way of making sure that everyone will be doing precisely what they should be.

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