What is Employee Productivity?
In simple terms, Employee Productivity is a way to measure how much the employees do or produce when they work. Usually measured in terms of output, employee productivity is the value of work done by each employee for the business.
Often businesses simply set more demanding targets and wait and watch. If all employees meet these demands and put their best foot forward, it will increase productivity. But unfortunately, this also often leads to decreased employee satisfaction and later reduced productivity.
Employee productivity can fluctuate due to many factors, but it is ethereal and hard to measure. Having a finger on your business's pulse is a learned and dedicated skill set.
Optimal Employee Productivity is something that every business owner, CEO and manager should strive to understand and develop. However, the challenge is to work on the underlying issues/activities that drive employee engagement, not on employee engagement itself.
How do I measure employee productivity?
There are several ways to measure Employee Productivity. Some of the most common ways to measure employee productivity are filling out timesheets, monitoring computer activities, and tick boxing required actions. However, this information is limited, and the additional administrative burden can negatively affect productivity.
That's why most companies turn to Employee Productivity Metrics or Employee Productivity Software to gain a better insight into Employee Productivity without hiring additional employees for this task.
Lastly, you can simply measure business performance and try to remove the external impacts that would otherwise be driving the KPIs. What have you left? Employee Productivity.
In the article below, we have listed 7 Factors Affecting Employee Productivity & Engagement In The Workplace that you can use in your business, together with three valuable tips on optimising Employee Productivity.
7 Factors Affecting Employee Productivity And Engagement In The Workplace
- Training: Bring them in, Build them up
- Technology: Get the Cool Shoeshine
- Education: Build a Culture of Lifelong Learning
- Teamwork: First, you build the team, and then you get the productivity
- Recognition: Catch people out... doing the right things
- Feedback: Stop, ask, listen... and listen well
- Employee Separation: Longevity builds a happy home
1. Bring them in, Build them up
Employee training is one of the best ways to increase productivity in the workplace. In addition, a good training culture shows employees that you are invested in them and the business. Therefore, employee training should be regular and ongoing throughout an employee's career at any company.
This training should include information on new products, technologies, ways of thinking, and employee-driven training options. Let people drive their learning journey, and you'll be surprised to see where it goes.
Employee training will result in more productive work and increase employee productivity. You'll also have engaged and driven team members who don't mind going the extra mile as you are for them.
Happy employees + new and creative ideas + increased skill sets = Increased Productivity & Engagement.
2. Get the Cool Shoeshine
Employee technology includes all forms of technology that can benefit employees at their jobs. Employee technology in the workplace, such as computers and other office equipment, also includes tech that makes the day more exciting and fun.
VR Headsets for the workplace are becoming more common to enhance employees' productivity. Adopting new and exciting tech increases the potential of benefiting from new ideas and brings a level of excitement to the workplace. In addition, it gives employees compelling stories to share with their friends and family.
Technology can also come in the form of software tech. New SaaS concepts that reduce manual processes and free up employees for more creative tasks will boost morale. RosterElf's staff scheduling software is a perfect example of this, as the time-consuming and manual process of rostering staff and later processing payroll is made Magically Simple.
Image source: Redd | Unsplash
3. Build a Culture of Lifelong Learning
A degree does not always mean an educated employee who can produce quality work productively at a business or company. As a result, many companies offer financial assistance to their employees to receive additional educational opportunities to advance or further their careers. The collateral benefit comes in terms of productivity output levels in the workplace.
If employees receive education through tuition reimbursement programs or paid training offered by the company, it regularly results in higher productivity levels. This is because employees will be better educated overall and contribute more to the workplace environment.
You ideally want to build a culture of lifelong learning within your business. Employee education should be seen as a sign of investment in the people, not just in money but also in time. Employees see and feel this investment, perform better, and put in more effort for you.
4. First, you build the team, and then you get the productivity
Teamwork drives a collaborative work effort between employees that can yield better results in terms of productivity. Synergy builds, and employee productivity increases when everyone works together toward the same goal.
Employee teamwork usually requires minimal supervision from management because all employees are engaged in completing tasks to increase their productivity by working together instead of alone.
Employee teamwork also helps create camaraderie among employees at a company or business, which increases productivity even further by having a relaxed work environment with positive attitudes about coming to work every day.
A virtuous cycle feeds upon itself when productive employees produce high output levels because of a positive work environment and teamwork. Employee engagement increases because employees are happy
5. Catch people out... doing the right things
Recognition is the act of rewarding employees for their work productively in the workplace. Employee recognition can come in many forms, including bonuses, praise from management, awards and public commendation.
Employee recognition increases productivity in the workplace when all employees are praised for their efforts during the workday because it keeps people engaged in trying to produce better results throughout the day.
Employee recognition also keeps employees happy because everyone involved with their company or business has noticed how hard they work to increase overall productivity.
We all like to hear we're doing a good job, so build a culture of leadership that catches people doing the right things far more than the wrong things.
6. Stop, ask, listen... and listen well
Employee feedback is essential for increasing employee productivity because it allows management to listen to concerns hindering production at any given time by individual workers at any company or business.
It also allows the staff to be heard and feel like they have an input on the decision-making process, and it helps team members feel valued.
Employee feedback can be in the form of a survey, often referred to as an "employee pulse" survey. Repeated iterations of employee feedback surveys should always provide employees with questions that let them know their ideas have been implemented and that their opinions about the workplace environment and the overall company or business are valued.
A better but less quantitative solution is nested in your leadership training. First, build a team of open and engaging leaders ready and willing to listen. A workplace with high trust levels in leadership will also be a workplace that grows high levels of employee engagement.
Employee productivity will increase when management takes employee feedback seriously, and action is taken to help improve any identified problems that could be holding back increased workplace productivity levels.
7. Longevity builds a happy home
When employees leave a company or business for another job opportunity elsewhere, the business will see a rapid productivity drop. This drop is because someone else needs to cover their work instead of increasing productivity elsewhere. In addition, once a replacement is found, their training and development will drag on productivity.
It can take months to get a new employee up to speed with their role and even years to reach an experienced employee's productivity level.
Employee separation costs are avoidable when businesses and companies create incentives for employees to stay put. Employee retention efforts often run through the company's human resources department; however direct managers are the first and best point to retain employees.
Employees often cite "Issues with manager" as the number one reason for voluntary separation. Employee productivity typically plummets when employees feel like they do not have an ally in their managers, and once they feel despondent, they are quick to start looking elsewhere.
So get on the front foot and invest in your leadership team.
The Impact of Disengaged Employees
The impact of disengaged employees is high for any company or business in the long run. Employee disengagement causes people to be less productive in their jobs, leading to lost revenue if they are not adequately motivated to do their work with excellence.
Employee engagement is also essential in increasing employee productivity because it helps workers feel more comfortable about coming to work each day so they can focus on being productive at their job instead of worrying about whether or not management likes them.
Employee engagement increases performance rates, morale, and overall workplace happiness by creating positive attitudes among all employees who produce goods and services that contribute to revenue generation for a given company or business.
Conversely, disengaged Employees deliver the precise opposite of this.
Disengaged employees left unchecked spread across an organisation. The growing disenfranchisement is a danger to a company culture where it can spread from person to person. Once the bedrock of Company Culture is destabilised, it can take years to rebuild if the company survives.
How do I optimise Employee Productivity?
- Drive Employee Feedback... and implement the suggestions
Don't know how to motivate your team? Just ask. Employee feedback can help employers understand what's working and what isn't, allowing them to make the necessary changes that increase employee productivity.
Anonymous surveys are a great way to ask employees for feedback, but tell them that their answers are anonymous, so they feel more comfortable speaking the truth without fear.
- Be more fun... and engaging!
Well-planned and structured employee engagement activities increase employee morale and happiness at work, leading to increased productivity.
Employee engagement activities are perfect for any company or business where employee productivity is a priority. The exercises help employees feel more comfortable about their work environment and colleagues, improving individual performance rates.
We have a complete guide on Quick Teambuilding Activities that are tried and tested, so get started today.
Watch out for poorly planned "team building activities" nothing drives employee engagement into the ground faster than dragging people away from their work to undertake dull and frustrating tick-the-box activities.
- Let Them Know You Care
Say thank you! Your employees are building your business; they came to work today, put in the effort, and the hours. Employee appreciation is critical for keeping your team motivated and happy.
A simple thank you can go a long way.
It is also important to show appreciation when employees go above and beyond for their job, team or customers.
Employee appreciation can come in Employee Rewards, Employee Recognition, or Employee Gifts, but if you need the top pointers, read our article on 30 of the best employee appreciation ideas.
Creating a positive work environment by focusing on employee engagement, training, and teamwork can help increase productivity in the workplace for both employees and management.
Culture is critical to driving employee engagement, but you build culture one step at a time. And watch out for the culture trap; you don't improve culture working on culture. Culture forms and grows when you focus on the people, the environment, and the conditions.
Start with cleaning up the hygiene issues in your business, remove the impediments holding back your people from being more productive, and then work on building the "nice to haves".
In no time, you'll see and feel improvements in the key deliverables and the employee morale across the business.
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