On average, your employees are only truly productive about 31% of their work day – less than three hours.
Helping them do more with their time starts by centering them as humans, not treating them like machines.
According to MetLife, “holistically healthy humans are 53% more likely to be productive.” When their needs are met, it’s these high performers that sail past their targets and make your company more competitive.
Ahead are six initiatives you can implement to encourage productivity and optimize output organically.
Increased productivity has a lot to do with how capable your team feels. Case in point: approximately 10% of employees end up resigning from a company due to their insufficient onboarding experience, says Business News Daily.
Ergo, the more training you can provide, the more confidently your workforce can engage with the tasks at hand. Some ideas include modules around automated tools, internal processes and workflows, your company’s mission, and leadership development.
That last one is important because even if they don’t have a manager title yet, getting them familiar now can prepare them to lead in the future and give them a tangible goal to work towards.
Speaking of tangible goals, help your employees come up with some that feel meaningful to them.
Specifically, “Gartner research shows when employee goals are aligned with organizational priorities and help employees meet changing needs, coordinate with peers and hold themselves accountable, employee performance increases by up to 22%.”
Remember that while it’s ok to set stretch goals, there should be achievable milestones along the way. Doing so helps prevent employees from becoming demoralized and helps them internalize their successes.
If you want to make your employees instantly more productive, stop micromanaging them.
Managers who are finding it difficult to let go should keep in mind that empowered employees are not only more likely to be productive, but research from the Society of Human Resource Management shows they’re also 23% more likely to offer ideas and solutions.
Fostering an environment of trust and autonomy starts by ensuring employees feel a sense of ownership over their work. You wouldn’t have hired them if they couldn’t do the job. Instead of putting them in situations that waste emotional energy by making them feel nervous and watched, focus on stepping back and letting them know you’re available anytime they need guidance.
Plain and simple: 46% of employees feel digital tools make them more productive. The most effective ones will make employees more efficient at their jobs and free them up for more valuable, high-level tasks.
Do your homework to evaluate working conditions and see where there may be bottlenecks in workflow, repetitive tasks that could be automated, or opportunities for more seamless communication and collaboration.
From there you can procure equipment that optimizes the workspace and creates a more comfortable, effective work environment overall.
During the pandemic, much of the workforce took a beat to reevaluate their priorities. Unsurprisingly, their family and personal commitments took rank over their companies and careers.
Organizations need to honor individual personhood and respect those commitments if they expect more output. Do this, and you have a 1.8x increased chance of retaining them as an employee. Research shows those who are satisfied with their organizations’ flexibility & work-life balance policies end up sticking around the longest.
In a way, everything on this list can be considered a morale booster. Still, it never hurts to devote some energy to things like team-building experiences and thoughtful one-on-one check-ins to encourage more human connection.
The happier and more engaged your employees are, the more company loyalty they’re likely to have.
In the end, your team’s productivity is about more than just metrics. Treating your employees like real people who are productive for a purpose goes a long way.