If you want to get the most out of your workforce, keeping them happy and engaged is one of the most important things that you can do. And this doesn’t just mean throwing staff parties and providing snacks!
Most employees want to feel a sense of fulfillment from the work that they do, and they don’t want to feel as though they are wasting their time. Working to ensure that everyone is making the most of their time is a benefit to you, and it’s a benefit to your employees, too.
You might roll your eyes at the idea of time tracking, but it’s actually a great way to help your employees to be more productive. Time tracking helps you to identify those tasks that are taking up a lot of time and could be indicative of a process that needs refining.
If tasks are taking a long time because the process isn’t as efficient as it could be, this is a great opportunity to save yourself time and money. It’s also a good opportunity to improve your employees’ working lives, as freeing up their time from a needlessly clunky process could be a great opportunity to allow them to be creative elsewhere.
Time tracking is also a good way of tracking the performance of individual employees. If someone is taking much longer than their colleagues at something, this indicates a need for training.
Some of the best time tracking apps are those that allow you to track your work without interrupting your creativity and don’t rely on you remembering how long you spend on a certain task. You can even get some apps for free so that you can test them out to see if you like them. Check out:
- Toggl track
Encourage regular breaks
It can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to get employees to take a break! If they are in the middle of something that they want to get finished, a lot of people will work through lunch breaks or stay on late to get it done. Being hardworking is a great trait, but not taking breaks actually means you get less done.
Studies have shown that taking breaks increases productivity. People who take regular breaks experience less stress, remain more focused and engaged throughout the day, and also don’t need as much time to recover at the end of the day. We’ve all had those days where we’ve come home so exhausted we can barely lift ourselves off the couch. According to the research, stopping more regularly throughout the day helps to prevent that.
As an employer, it’s up to you to reinforce the message that you want staff to take regular breaks. You can do this verbally, but also by making it easier for staff to take breaks at work. This is why so many startups do things like buy air hockey tables for their staff and provide large sociable canteens where staff can spend their lunch break away from their desks.
Work with HR consultants
HR is about more than employment law and payroll. Experienced HR professionals have extensive knowledge of how to maintain a happy and productive workforce.
They will be able to advise you on what initiatives you can implement to improve the wellbeing of your staff, as well as how to handle things like disciplinary proceedings so that morale in the wider office isn’t affected.
As a small business, it can be cost-prohibitive to hire an extensive HR team, but still beneficial to utilize the experience of one. G&A Partners HR consulting Denver can offer you their expertise as and when you need it, which is a great money saver.
Businesses can really benefit from HR consultancy when they are first getting started to design their HR processes. They can also benefit if there is a culture problem in the workplace that is impacting productivity.
Being stuck in a pointless meeting is one of the most soul-destroying experiences a person can have at work! If you want to improve employee productivity, it’s a good idea to limit the number of meetings you have as much as possible.
Make use of collaboration software like Microsoft Teams and Slack to allow your team to communicate with one another more easily so that less meetings are needed.
You can also institute a company policy where if a meeting does not have a clear agenda and goal, then people are allowed to decline it. This will soon start to reinforce the message that meetings should only be booked when they are necessary.
Help employees set goals
If your employees have goals of their own to work towards, this will help them to feel more motivated. This, in turn, will make them more productive.
These goals don’t actually all need to be directly related to your business or their job there to have a benefit for productivity, although of course, if they are related, that’s a bonus! For goals to be effective, they need to be specific, and they need to be measurable – otherwise, how will you know when they have been met?
When setting goals with employees, you can help them with this. Say, for example, an employee comes to you with quite a vague goal about wanting to get better at public speaking. You could have a conversation with them to understand what it is that they want to achieve, and you might find that what they want is to feel more confident when public speaking. This is quite a big goal that might need to be broken down into smaller parts.
You could help them with their first actionable goal by helping them identify opportunities to practice this skill within the context of their role. The goal might be something like give a presentation on the project you are working on, and request feedback from the attendees.
A goal like this works well because it gives your employee something tangible to work towards and a way to measure their success.