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7 Min. Read

An Ultimate Guide to Employee Productivity

An Ultimate Guide to Employee Productivity

In the workplace, productivity is the main focus. Businesses need to be productive to make money. For a business to be productive, the employees must be productive. Employee productivity can be a bit harder to gauge than business productivity, though. If you’re looking for information regarding employee productivity, then keep reading! We’ve got the ultimate guide to employee productivity here! Learn about employee productivity and how to increase it!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What is Employee Productivity?

How Can Productivity Be Increased?

Best Practices for Productivity Improvement

Key Takeaways

What is Employee Productivity?

Employee productivity is simple to define, but harder to manage than you may think. Employee productivity is the amount of work produced by an employee in a specified period of time. It can also be called employee output. Productive employees meet a goal about how much work they produce. Unproductive employees miss that goal. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Depending on their job, an employee’s productivity may be different from another. It’s important to understand how long a certain job takes to do. You also have to know what resources a job takes. For example, you wouldn’t expect the same amount of output to come from an accountant and a customer service representative. Each individual employee will have a different measure of productivity in a small company. In larger companies, it may be standardized by department. Specialization is key.

Productivity is Not About More

Productivity isn’t about an employee producing more work. It’s about an employee producing consistent work. In a business, it’s more important to produce a consistent amount of work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This allows a business to predict how much work the entire workforce can produce. This is also known as workforce productivity.

More importantly, however, is the estimation data it provides. Knowing how much work can be produced on a consistent basis makes budgeting, scheduling, and turnover more predictable. When parts of a business become predictable, company goals can be set. More importantly, employee goals can be set. We’ll talk more about those later.

How Can Productivity Be Increased?

Chances are you’re looking for methods to increase production. After all, the more productive a business is, the more money it can make. If you’re looking for productivity increasing techniques, check out some of the strategies below.

Goal Setting

While company goals are important, so are employee goals. When employees are given a goal, they’re more likely to reach it. Hiding the areas in which production should be improved is counterintuitive. There are different goals that can be set for the workforce, and they are illustrated below.

  • Long-term and short-term goals can be set for individuals or teams. Long-term goals can be overall goals, while short-term goals can be contributing pieces.
  • Individual goals can be set for each employee. They should be centred around employee performance.
  • Team goals can be set for teams or departments. They’re often large in scale, and each employee’s productivity goal contributes to the overall team goal.

When setting goals, it’s important to remember to provide goal clarity. The goal itself shouldn’t be the only information provided. Steps, techniques, and strategies should be provided to help the workforce meet the goals that are set.

Improve Time Management Skills

Time management skills are crucial to employee productivity. Improving them can lead to higher productivity. When teaching time management, it’s important to observe current time management techniques. There are helpful software applications for just about every aspect of time management. Time tracking and timesheets are essential to the workforce.

For example, one of the best ways to improve productivity is through the Pomodoro technique. This breaks down work into manageable chunks and provides breaks in between sessions. Many timer applications have been built that time the blocks of time and the breaks. Then, the application provides data on how much time was spent productively. This is an effective productivity booster and has been adopted by many professionals.

Improve Workplace Conditions

Business leaders will tell you that the workplace is an essential part of productivity. An ideal workplace can make a positive impact on productivity. The same can be said of a less than ideal workplace. As such, keeping workplace conditions optimal is important.

The best way to improve workplace conditions is to remove distractions. With the way technology has developed, most people have a small computer in their pocket. Smartphones are productivity destroyers. By implementing a policy that requires smartphones to be put away productivity will increase.

Additionally, making the workplace comfortable is important. Comfortable furniture, break rooms, and cafeterias can improve employee performance. Any way of improving employee mental health is a way of improving workplace conditions.

Foster Employee Engagement

Showing employees that you’re engaged with what they’re doing is important. Get involved, talk to them about productivity. Ask for their feedback. Employees should always be involved with the productivity process. Engaged employees will show higher productivity, while disengaged employees will show a lull. When trying to get employees involved, take a look at the best methods below:

  • Ask employees about the productivity standards. Helping them understand why certain goals need to be met can help employees improve performance.
  • Teach techniques for productivity improvement. Teaching ways to improve productivity shows that you care about them meeting their goals.
  • Discuss, don’t lecture. If employees aren’t meeting productivity, discussing it with them is better than punishing them. Don’t choose punishment immediately.

Best Practices for Productivity Improvement

While the above are strategies to increase productivity, there are still best practices for it. When trying to improve productivity, be sure to employ these practices.

Set Realistic Goals

Goal setting is the most important part of productivity improvement. However, goals need to be set in a realistic manner. If they aren’t, they won’t be met. This can cause a domino effect of issues in the workplace. Unrealistic goals can lead to worse productivity. They can also discourage employees, disengaging them. This can cause a large disruption in workflow, and in employee performance.

Provide Regular Recognition

When employees meet their productivity goals, they should be recognized. A simple message can suffice. Providing larger forms of recognition for employees who meet productivity consistently is appropriate. This lets employees know that they’re doing a good job. It also encourages other employees to meet productivity.

Prioritize Tasks Accordingly

Sometimes, productivity may not be met by employees. This may be due to urgent tasks coming up. In cases like this, it’s important to prioritize tasks accordingly. Urgent matters should be taken care of first, and exceptions to meeting productivity can be made.

Monitor Productivity Regularly

One of the best ways to handle productivity is to monitor it regularly. It’s important that productivity monitoring is made clear to employees, however. They should be given clear guidelines to the way it is being monitored, and they should be given regular feedback. Doing this creates trust. Trust between employers and employees is important, especially with productivity monitoring. If productivity monitoring is new in your business, it may be met with frustration. Create clear guidelines, discussions, and reports related to productivity. This can help ease the tension.

Key Takeaways

Productivity is crucial to all businesses. It’s how you know your employees are doing viable work. It’s also a measure of how much output they’re providing. While productivity shouldn’t be the only measure of an employee’s worth, it’s an important one. Be sure to strategize employee productivity in your workplace, and provide them clarity. If you’re looking for more articles like this, be sure to check out our resource hub. It’s full of helpful small business guides and information. Check it out today!